Featured Super Heroine: Emma Banuelos

Introducing our first ever featured Super Heroine – Emma Banuelos! This series will focus on super heroines in the group doing amazing and interesting things. We chose Emma, a long-time Super Heroine member, as our first featured Super Heroine for many reasons. She’s a great person to know and will always make you feel like she’s your friend even after meeting her once! We’re also featuring her because this is SHE’s the Boss month and Emma is an entrepreneur.  She also volunteers at the St. Louis Science Center and St. Louis County Library. If you see Emma at an event, be sure to say hello! You can also find Emma on Instagram and Twitter.

Emma Baneulos headshotTell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to be a Super Heroine.
I like to be happy and surround myself with people who make me feel good about life. I like to feel inspired by the people I associate myself with, I enjoy having deep conversations and telling funny jokes (at least I think they are funny) over coffee and my latest craft project. That is how I came to be a Super Heroine, I found a group of women who were not only nerdy but also encouraged this appreciation of nerdiness. I came to St. Louis almost 3 and a half years ago; not knowing anyone in the area, I wanted to dive right in to this new city and find my place within it. Super Heroines Etc, guided me to find other women who were nerdy in their own right and allowed me to find my place in a city I now call my home.

You have been a Super Heroine for a few years now and attended quite a few events. Which one has been your favorite and why?

This is such a difficult task to narrow down my absolute favorite event that I have been to. What is so great about Super Heroines is that there is such a range of the types of events, that each kind of event is uniquely amazing. Yet if I had to make a choice, I would say that my favorite would be tied between the Women’s Screenwriting Workshop and the Nerdy Networking events. I loved the screenwriting workshop because that workshop opened up a new style of writing for me as well as a new level of confidence in my writing. The Nerdy Networking event was fantastic because it not only was an opportunity to meet other members of the group but it also gave you the opportunity to better yourself whether it may be how you look for new employment, to what you put on your resume. I am really looking forward to the amazing events that are planned in the future.
Emma Steampunk
What are your TOP five nerdy interests?
My top five nerdy interests would have to consist of, and not in any particular order. Knitting/crocheting, Cooking, Writing, Watching movies/TV(winter is coming) and travelling. I am interested in travelling but I don’t do it as much as I want to. HA! If I may add a sixth, it would be listening to audio books. The Harry Potter ones have consumed my life at the moment.


As a geek and a self-proclaimed feminist, what issues are you currently concerned about that are facing women in geek spheres?
My main concerns currently are how women do not get the kind of respect I think we deserve. Women are treated as if they aren’t good enough at gaming, coding or general ‘nerding out’ but they are only used as a object to sexualize and fawn over. It gets exhausting to see time and time again but on the other side of the coin. I feel confident that change is slowly on the horizon in this aspect. Where there are women who are ridiculed and put down, there are others that stand up and and show support in each other. That is but one key to success, communication with each other as women and being strong together. More and more people are talking about the problems in the world and more and more people that were once the problem are now trying to be helping the solution. Or if they know what’s best for them, they stay out of the way to make room for the solution.


You’re also a mom! As a nerdy mom, what issues are you staying aware of as your daughter grows up?
Yes! I am a mom to a beautiful, quirky toddler who is so filled with life! When I see my daughter, I see such an amazing creature, a being who is a force to be reckoned with but so breakable too. I worry about the world I have brought her into, I fear of the life that lies in front of her and what might be lurking in the shadows awaiting her. Because unfortunately, rape culture exists. And here I am trying to raise a strong willed young lady knowing, that what is in my past might be in her future. Now, that, as a parent, is where I tend to get really mad at the world. Also, what is really important to me is her education. I want her to be better educated than I was, I want her to feel like she can succeed in learning the STEM subjects and I do and will continue to encourage her to try things that interest her. That is another issue I worry about, how the world is so ready to tell a person they cannot do something or they are not good enough to do something. I want her to look back at the world and laugh. Laugh that someone is telling her what to do with her own life and body. Even if it is me, I would love it if she just laughed right in my face.


Emma in a carThis month’s theme is SHE’s the Boss which is all about encouraging women to become entrepreneurs. You’re an entrepreneur yourself. Could you tell us about what you do and why you started?
Women are the perfect bosses. All of their lives women have been told they are too bossy, so it’s time to start living up to the hype and start acting like the boss that we all are. Five months ago, I began my ridesharing career as a Uber Driver. I started doing this originally to find some supplemental income but my husband was fired from his previous employer so, I then went to driving full time. I didn’t realize how entrepreneurial driving for Uber was going to be. I’ve always had goals of running my own business but never had the confidence to actually do it. That is one of the things I enjoy about driving with Uber is that I now feel more confident in my other business goals. One of them is to open my own coffee shop, it has been a dream of mine for many years but now it is something that I am more willing to risk doing.


What advice do you have for women who are thinking about becoming an entrepreneur?
Some advice I would give to women who want to become an entrepreneur are to be knowledgeable about things pertaining to what you want to do, have passion in what you want to do, accept that things cannot be perfect and when things go wrong (sorry honey, it happens) have a kick ass support system in place to have your back and to help you land back on your feet to try again. Also, sacrifices will happen and will need to be made not because one thing is more important than the other but that you are trying to make one thing better by working on the other. Have confidence in yourself, smile and be kind and the world will smile back.


I wrote a really good blog post a few years ago about what I thought the top 5 keys to success were and I think those key points still hold true.

Thanks so much to Emma for sharing her story with us! Keep up with all our SHE’s the Boss theme this month by visiting the SHE’s the Boss page of the website.

Author: Carolyn Noe

Carolyn is the Founder & Executive Director of Super Heroines, Etc. She is a recent transplant to Cincinnati and lives with her husband and her dog. She regularly nerds out about Parks & Rec, Firefly, and Pride & Prejudice.


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