We have another epic female entrepreneur who is sharing her journey from being a woman who is working in corporate America to owning her own business. Today we have the beautiful Goddus Rising Elisa Valdes. Elisa is a female boudoir photographer who has built a tribe of women. She is the owner and the founder of Goddus Rising which is a movement of women rising together. With the power of boudoir photography, Elisa helps women tap into their feminine energy and to have healthy relationships with their bodies. Elisa has over six years of photography experience and worked for eight years in health care. She has tangibly been able to create her own healthy modality that helps women overcome self-identity issues and encourages them to celebrate their sexuality. In this episode, Elisa and I talk all about how she created this beautiful entity and business of Goddus Rising. Our own journeys and struggles with loving our bodies. What it is like to be a woman who is strong and confident and dating and living in the world as an entrepreneur and so much more. If you guys love this episode, please go over and follow Elisa on Instagram at @goddusRising.
I hope you guys love this episode as much as we loved creating it for you.
So today on the podcast we have a really special guest and I’ve told her this before but she gets talked about a lot behind her back at my dinner tables with my girlfriends because we literally talk about the most incredible photographers who are able to really capture the beauty and essence and sensuality and sexuality and femininity and masculinity of a woman. And so today we are so lucky because we get to have Elisa Valdes of Goddus Rising with us at All The Things podcast.
ELISA: Oh my gosh, what an intro. Thank you so much.
REGINA: So true. I told you this when I met you, my girlfriends and I sit at dinner, and we’re like, oh my gosh, did you see that? The shoot that Goddus Rising did? Did you see that one? You’re so powerful. You’re so talented. And the work you’re doing is so special for women. So I’m so happy and honored to have you here today.
ELISA: Thank you so much that brings so much fulfillment because someone I had a photoshoot yesterday with a new client and I never met her. And I was like, How’d you find me? How are you finding me via Instagram? Is it a hashtag or a referral, whatever? And she’s like, I just like made a post of like, Hey, I’m looking for a boudoir photographer. Who do you suggest? And she’s like, five people recommended you. I was like, oh, that does bring so much love to me. So thank you for having me.
REGINA: It’s awesome. And you know what’s so beautiful about that one like people are just knowing and loving your work and are referring you. But then also, like, you get to do that thing. Like you get to have this business and do this thing that is so beautiful and powerful.
ELISA: It’s a dream. It’s a dream coming true. And it’s Yeah, it’s pretty unbelievable, to be quite honest. Because I would have never ever thought I would be doing this at this point in my life.
REGINA: Where did Goddus Rising come from? How was this, beautiful entity born?
ELISA: So Goddus Rising is actually very new. She’s a fresh Mama. But she’s been in existence for two years. We actually share the same birthday. It was the best birthday gift I think I’ve ever gotten when my LLC was approved, and it was an entity. But I was in healthcare for many, many years. And I’ve had always done photography, you know, on the side and college. And even after college, I still kept it as just like that hobby here and there. A lot of fashion, which is fun and funky, and you can get as weird and wild and vibrant with it. Again, I was falling in love with the feminine form and the human body, and nudes. That’s it. I’m just a new photographer. And that’s it. But then, I was going through like my own shift too, with my own sexuality, and just like intimacy and that’s when I got kind of really infatuated with lingerie. And it was a nice in-between, because it’s still fashionable, but it’s still very, very intimate. And it’s a reflection of just like our feminine divine and power. And so that I was already getting really heavy into boudoir. And I was still working in healthcare and my side hustle was starting to get really busy. I was like, can I do this? Should I do this? Should I try? Do I want to make money based on what I’m doing? And I think as all entrepreneurs, we have to have that conversation with ourselves of “Is it a hobby?” Or are you a businesswoman or man? And I was like, I want to be a businesswoman. So like, What do I have to do to get there? So in 90 days, I got to think of a name, a trading name. And I gotta get my LLC and all that stuff. And I was struggling with the name. I was so struggling on the name, I’m all about the goddess, you know, but I can’t be basic. So let’s try to like switch up the verbiage. And I was thinking I was kind of like researching on like, what was out there. Everyone had “goddess” like she’s a goddess or whatever. And it’s like, I don’t like the “ess,” we can make that different. It can sound what else would sound does “ess”? And I was like, God-us like and then I was like, Oh my gosh, as goddesses we rise together. And I was just like this eureka epiphany moment, shining eyes. And I was like Fuck yes. And I looked it up as available as an LLC. It was available as a.com. And it was available on Instagram. And I was like, This is what was meant. It’s available and every single aspect. Claim it. And I did.
REGINA: And you haven’t looked back since. So something that you said, which I was curious about before we jumped on the podcast today you had mentioned you went through your own shift with your sensuality which brought you into doing photography with Andre. What were some of the shifts that happened inside of you leading up to the birth of Goddus Rising?
ELISA: So I was hoping that I should talk more about some of my female clientele because we share common ground, I was in a pretty toxic relationship. And my partner at the time when I was like really starting to get into boudoir, but still doing a lot of nudes, but I was doing a lot of showcasing and art shows and stuff like that. And, you know, in this relationship, he was like, you know, you’re not a sexual person. And I was like, how could you tell me if I’m not a sexual person or not? And that really started to sit with me because I was like, “No, I want to be a sexual person.” And then I was like, Well, what does that look like? It doesn’t have to be, you sleep without anyone around the block. But what is it inside of you? You know, what type of woman do you want to feel that you feel like she’s in power, and the relationship ended. And then I was like, You know what, I am a sexual central being, and I am allowed to embrace that. And I just used that as fuel and power. And then again, kind of stepping away from nude photography getting into boudoir. And I was like, this is it. Other women need to experience this. This form of common ground with themselves of seeing themselves in one light, and then shining bright in another. And it’s like this awakening-like phototherapy experience. And that’s kind of how I shifted in between nude and boudoir and really tapping into myself and my life experience.
REGINA: It’s so interesting, thinking about when you were talking about lingerie, I think that lingerie is one of the most powerful tools we can have in stepping into our sensuality. Like when I put on lingerie, I step into another version of myself, and I am here. But I think a lot of women, whether they’re being photographed in lingerie or not, they have a bit of a fear around it. What is that like for you, when women are coming in for a shoot, and they’re stepping into this space that was scary for them, but now they want to step into it. Because I want to step into this, and know the other part of myself.
ELISA: Yeah, and that’s what’s fun about boudoir right? Because it’s still up fashion, you can get funky with it, with leather and lace and flag and gloves. And like you can get as dominant as you want with it to be quite honest. And you know, it’s crazy. I don’t know, it’s so crazy that people trust me to do this. They say, how do I…?. I’m like a styling guide for a lot of my clients. I’ll take the time to browse out your vibe. And if I feel like you’re more boho, if I feel like you’re like classic and black and dark. And I send some styles your way and I’ll help you through that process. And it can be hard. Buying lingerie is not easy. You never know if it’s gonna fit, or if the quality’s good, or whatever it may be. And I just use personal experience and also experiences that my clients have had and kind of help you as a styling guide. And then when girls show up to the shoot, I guide them through the whole thing. I pose them, I wipe their feet, I fix their hair… I am your sister to help you rise and feel like the bad bitch that you are. N
REGINA: Something that I have experienced a lot and it and I feel like you this is a probably a pillar of what you stand for. You’re talking about how with women, it’s stepping into sexuality, stepping into sensuality. I think that when we can step into our sensuality and our sexuality, it leads to us being better bosses better, more powerful in business.
REGINA: But I think a lot of people feel a disconnect.
ELISA: Oh, no, no, it’s like, there’s that one version of myself. That’s like a secret. And then there’s the version of myself that the world sees. And there’s nothing wrong with having that secret. I have a lot of women that come to me and they want to experience that but they don’t want to be shown in that light via social media, or just for their intimate other and that’s awesome. But it does really connect back to self-love, because when you are that boss babe, right? Just being able to see yourself in that light and really that form of acceptance. “Oh my gosh, this is what I look like, this is how someone else sees me and it’s able to capture me.” And then just at the final end, it’s a full closure of “I am enough. This is who I am, I am a goddess”. And then it’s like a boost of energy to just take that and apply it to your everyday life. And it’s pretty magical. It’s therapeutic. Everyone should do it.
REGINA: I agree. It’s so logical. So you speak such greatness into women into stepping into being a goddess and loving themselves and empowering themselves. How are you able to be in this space? You obviously love yourself, right? But you’re a human being just like us, so how have you been able to step into and continue to step into the space of self-love and self-empowerment?
ELISA: So I think I’m very feminine, I have a lot of feminine energy, obviously. But, I think executing and being more equal with my masculine energy. I’ve taken on Boxing, and that’s something that’s really aggressive, very competitive, very manly, and I’m not like that with other women. I don’t see us as competition, I see us as a community and we rise together. So having that balance of really aggressive workouts and beating a bag, and just getting it all out, I feel like it’s helped me so much continue to feel that feminine energy and just be in that space. Because I’m like some people’s counselor in a way or just a coach of going through something, I hear so many different stories of what women are going through, anything from being 28 years old, and going through breast cancer to I was in a domestic abusive relationship for seven years, or I’ve had an eating disorder for my entire life. And I never received therapy or such a wide realm of things. And I feel like I have to be grounded to be a healer in another form. And I do boudoir pretty regularly too. So I think that’s also part of my self-care, and just like my little boost of “ Oop, there you go.”
REGINA: Something really beautiful that you just said, which I feel like a lot of people shy away from is you honor your masculine and you honor your feminine. You are feeding your masculine with boxing and with letting it come out. I’m the same way I have a lot of masculine energy. And I’m I have a lot of energy period. There’s a lot of feminine energy and a lot of masculine energy. Even in the way I work out, it’s really aggressive, because it feeds the masculine but I’m also so sensitive and so creative, I feel that and I think that’s beautiful because I think a lot of times, women, we’re in this world right now, we’re in the collective where we’re talking about the masculine and feminine polarities, and women stepping into their femininity, and in that conversation, I think, sometimes we kind of like “No, suppress the masculine a little bit.”
ELISA: Yeah, kind of goes back to taboo and just stereotypical labels that we fall into. Like, “Oh, no, I have to be like super feminine” and not embracing it all, so other energies that we do have, and that make us balanced like Yin and Yang, they go together.
REGINA: Have you done a lot of work around stepping into both of your polarities, masculine and feminine? What is dating like for you?
ELISA: Dang, she got personal! Oh my gosh, what do you mean, like, am I more of a very dominant person when it comes to my relationships? Or do I become like…
REGINA: Yeah, how do you show up in dating? Is it difficult? Is there any part of your polarities that you have, which are so strong showing up with another person?
ELISA: In the last couple of relationships that I’ve had, I’ve warned them that I’m feminine. I’m sexy. I show up wearing lingerie on the media. It is my job. It is what I do. You have to accept it. Don’t get jealous. Don’t get needy about it. Okay. It’s a fly. That’s like one of my “yo, you gotta get over that now.” I’m very dominant as a person, as a female. And I think that does carry into my relationship too, like I have a hard time letting men in my past or present or whatever, I’m getting me things or offering me help because I’m like, “No, I don’t need your help, I don’t need a man.” So that’s something I’m still learning to tailor back and accept. If someone wants to give you something as someone wants to cater to you and nurture you and show you what you really are worth, accept that. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s not seen as a weakness. And I kind of have a hard time with that.
REGINA: I’m the same way it has been historically very difficult for me to allow a man to help me and take care of me.
ELISA: Well, it’s a pride thing. It’s like, “Oh, okay.”
REGINA: I just went on a date with a guy recently. I’ve been on a couple of dates with him. And he was like, Listen, you’re very strong. And I was like, “I’m a lot.” And I don’t say that in a self-deprecating way. I’m a lot. And he said, “You are a lot. You’re difficult. And I like it but you have to let me take care of you sometimes.” And I was like, “Don’t act like you know me.” He was like, “you have to let me spoil you a little bit and take care of you. It’s how I show love and affection. So you show up as you are. But let me show up as I am too.” I was like, “He’s right.”
ELISA: Sit back girl, let me take control. That’s what daddy’s telling you.
REGINA: I liked that. I liked that. Tell me more, daddy. Hahaha. So a pivot from what we’re talking about. Now you went on from working in a corporate job to being a full-time entrepreneur. What has that transition been like for you to go from that type of structure to the self-made structure of a business owner?
ELISA: It’s been a shit show.
REGINA: Yeah. Me too. girl.
ELISA: She’s rising. It is a little bit of a circus. But it’s okay. It’s entertaining. Oh my god. So I was in healthcare for a very long time. I’ve done so many different things in health care, from insurance to population health education, case management. I was in school for nursing. I could not get into a program. I kept trying. And I was like, “What the fuck, like why is this not happening to me?” This is something that I’ve wanted for so long and I’m a healer and I’m a nurturer. And I’m feminine. You know, I’m very much a nurturer. Like all my heart, you know. And I met up with an old medical director of mine, and she went entrepreneur. She left corporate and I mean, like, corporate-corporate, good money, triple her salary corporate. And she’s like, no, I’m sorry. Like, it’s my time to run my own show. And I was like, how did you do it? And she looked at me, and she goes, you’re not a nurse. I’m sorry. I don’t see you as a nurse. I was like, so open. And I was like, Oh my gosh, how could you tell me that? I’ve been working so hard. girlfriend! And she goes, you’re so talented with how you help women express their feminine energy. She goes, there are different other ways of healing modalities. Elisa. And I left and I sat in my car for like an hour, and I just fucking cried. And I was like, Oh, my gosh, I think she might be right. So kept working in corporate. And then the business started growing. And it kept growing. And I kept falling in love with that. And it was a constant high, for me, you know? And, you know, it’s funny, because even yesterday, I was feeling really down. I was feeling really down. And the guy I’m seeing, he was like, “What can you do that’s gonna make you feel better?” And I was like, “Nothing! I’m fucking depressed!” And I did a photoshoot. And I came home. And I was like, I’m fine. I had the best day ever. I was like, you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing because it’s able to equally balance you and create so much joy. Anyways, a little sidetrack. I worked in healthcare forever. And in 2020, I decided to jump into entrepreneurship. And I was like, that’s it, we’re gonna do it. And when I jumped, all of a sudden, I hit the selfie syndrome, imposter syndrome. And I was like, Oh my gosh, how can I do this, I need help, blah, blah, blah. And I became very dependent on a relationship I was in, in the past. And I became very dependent on him for reassurance. And then COVID hit, and we separated. And then I was alone in my apartment by myself. And it just hit and I’m like, so what do you want to do? Like, really what do you want to do with your life? And I was like, I want to buy a house. I don’t know what I can even qualify for. But like, I’m sick of living in this apartment, you know, 600 square feet, and I’m stuck in it for a month and a half or how long we were in quarantine for. And I thought I need to get a job. Because I need to get a job that’s gonna sustain this business for right now temporarily. So I went back to corporate America. And it was really hard because I saw it as a failure. And I was like, that’s it. Like, I jumped. And now I’m going back like a weakling, like, How could you? And then I was like, No, like, you’re gonna use this money, you’re gonna milk this money because you work from home, have a salary plus them, and then work on your business on the side again. And I did that. And then once COVID kind of chilled out. Holy shit, Goddus Rising was Rising, because of everybody who had been locked up. And a lot of women went through a lot of divorces in 2020. It was like the awakening that we all needed to have of “No, I deserve more. No, this is not settling with me. No, I need celebration, I need to accept myself, I need to come back to myself.” I started getting so booked. And I was like, holy shit, this is insane! So I said to myself, okay, you’re not gonna be able to do both jobs forever. I’m just gonna wait until that point that I got to choose? So in November, I was working like 85 hours a week, slamming down, like working all day, almost like it was a sales job position that I had. So my phone was ringing at 2 am in the morning from a hospital, like, it was insane how much I was working in between both. And I got a house and I moved. And then I was like, Okay, I’m in this great new space, I have the availability to have an in-home studio, if I want to have an in-home studio, I just have a space to create now and to run a business. And I was like, I quit the show. And I’m just gonna see where Goddus Rising rises to. And I started getting really busy. And then there is a weird shift between February and January. I think every bit every business went through it. There’s a lot going on publicly, globally. And it was that time to step back a little bit. Recharge, and then amp up. And here we are today.
REGINA: Here we are today. I love it. Because I think a lot of times people see what we’re doing in our businesses, or they see the beauty that we put out into the world, the things that we’re focusing on like I’m always seeking and choosing to focus on the goodness in my life. I put out beautiful things and educational things, you do the same thing. But people don’t always know like, the fucking hills and valleys and pivots that we have had to make to allow these entities to be born to live these beautiful lives. It’s also interesting because I think sometimes when people are starting their businesses, a lot of my listeners are newer entrepreneurs, newer coaches because they’re seeing a lot of highlight reels and the goodness that’s out there in the online space. They don’t think about the side where, no, it’s still really fucking hard. And we have terrible days but then we get to do the thing that we love. We get to flip it around and do the thing we love still. It’s so good. It’s so powerful. So how can women find you connect with you and work with you?
ELISA: Oooh, yes, girl! Okay, so Instagram is where I’m really big into that’s @goddusRising. It’s the same for Tick Tock. It’s the same I’m not really big into Tick Tock. I’m starting. I’m trying. It’s like a whole nother full-time job on its own! These reels in TikToks?? And my website is https://www.goddusRising.com. And I have a new extension of Goddus Rising which is my podcast called Ola mami. So check it out on Spotify, Apple podcasts, and music.
If you guys love this episode, don’t forget to take a screenshot share it in your story on Instagram, and tag me and Elisa also please please please if you’re loving the episodes, rate review and subscribe to the podcast on Apple iTunes. I love you guys and I will see you next time on all the things podcast.
Regina Lawrence Esq. is a former trial attorney and law school professor turned soulful business & life strategist. She has found that so many entrepreneurs have these brilliant ideas and dreams but don’t know how to take the dream and create a system or structure to make that dream & idea profitable. That is where Regina comes in. With discipline, consistency, systems & structure, we can’t help but create profit & fulfillment from our soul-driven business ideas.
Regina’s approach to coaching marries her background in legal analysis, spirituality, mindset coaching, holistic nutrition, and neuroscience to create an experience that will assist you in getting into alignment, get clear on what you are here to do and what steps and systems to implement to make that dream a profitable reality.
You can find Regina on Instagram @reginaalawrence.