We had the good fortune of connecting with Marisa Donnelly and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marisa, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
“You are light — as soft as a flicker, as fierce as a flame.” When I was eighteen, a close “mother figure” friend said to me, “You bring so much light to my life.” And that comment resonated so deeply within my heart. As a young adult, still navigating the world, I realized how powerful it was for an adult to regard me with respect and admiration. I realized that this concept of “being a light” was something I wanted to embody for the rest of my life, both personally and professionally. Flash forward to my mid-twenties, the idea for my business first sparked in my mind. At the time, I was writing and editing for a larger magazine — and loving it — but I desperately wanted to teach people, coach people, write even more authentically, and share the passion I had for words with the world. As I decided on a concept and a name for my business, “Be A Light” was born, which quickly became Be A Light Collective: a creative marketplace, collaborative community, and collection of resources/services for people looking to pursue their true passion and purpose. This idea of “light” has since shifted and grown in so many ways over the years and has inspired a lot of content, specifically this quote: “You are light — as soft as a flicker, as fierce as a flame.” If I were to define myself, my vision for my business, and my hope for each and every person I work with, it would be this. You are light. You are powerful and strong, but you are also gentle and soft. And your unique voice, vision, and place in this world is valuable.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Be A Light Collective started as a desire to create a “safe space” on the internet. I wanted to encourage, uplift, and empower people, especially because I feel that social media can become so saturated with material things, judgment, and societal pressure of to be “perfect.” What began as a goal for online inspiration quickly became an outlet for my creativity, for my services, and for purposeful networking to serve the audience I was reaching. Thus, Be A Light Collective was born. Be A Light Collective is a San Diego based writing/editing and tutoring services business focused on relationship-based services. This company is also a creative marketplace, collection of resources and services, and collaborative network that connects individuals from all over the world in both vision and purpose. What sets my business apart, in my opinion, is the investment in people. You can find a writer, editor, or coach with a simple Google search. But if you’re looking for a coach/teacher/editor who is truly invested in YOU, if you’re looking to move forward with your goals authentically and meaningfully, and if you’re looking to connect with like-minded people, then the Collective is the place for you.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m a Midwest girl at heart (born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago), but ever since I moved to Southern California, I’ve fallen in love with the beach, with the hard-working-but-relaxed vibe, and with the ever-present sunshine. If I were to take someone on my day-in-the-life favorites in San Diego, we would start with a lox bagel from OB Donuts, then go on a hike (with my dog in tow) at Cowles Mountain, followed by hanging out with the sea lions at the Children’s Pool in La Jolla. After leaving the beach, we’d make a quick stop at OB’s Dog Beach to hang with the pups. On our way through OB, we’d grab a quick slice of pizza at Surf Rider and bike down Newport for late-afternoon coffee at Vili’s Health Bar. Then we’d walk Sunset Cliffs down the street from my house to see the sun go down and decide between my two local favorites for dinner: Sundara Indian food or the Joint’s sushi. If we’re up for even more late-night adventure, we’d head to Firehouse for mellow music and fancy vibes.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are so many incredible people that I’ve had the opportunity to work with and for since launching my business. I’m also so blessed to have a community of support around me: my family, my boyfriend and his son, and a few close friends who have always seen and appreciated me (and my multi-passionate tendencies). One person I do want to recognize, though, is a professor I had in college: Dr. Kyle Torke. When I think about defining moments in my life, I am reminded of sitting in his office as he encouraged me to believe in myself, my vision, and my voice. His mentorship is one of the reasons I have felt called towards both teaching and coaching. I want to help my clients feel as heard, as valued, and as inspired as he did for me.
Other: In addition to my business, I’m the founder of Momish Moments, a vertical dedicated to sharing and empowering all journeys of motherhood: https://mymomishmoments.com/
Israel Palacio | Othentik Productions