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Meet Trailblazer Marissa Labate

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marissa Labate.

Marissa, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My blog developed under unfortunate circumstances two years ago. In the summer of 2016, me and a nursing coworker went on our way to hike an “easy” trail. I ended up suffering a traumatic injury, being helicoptered out of the canyon, and taken to the hospital where I work. I shattered my leg, broke my wrist, and needed stitches on my face. I was lucky to have survived. Because of this, I was wheelchair bound and off of working as a nurse for ten months. Depression, anger, frustration followed. It was brutal. Someone one day suggested creating a blog. I laughed it off because I in no way have the personality of the typical blogger. I’m not usually the friendly, approachable one in the crowd (ha), and I certainly was not comfortable taking pictures of myself often, encouraging others to read content that was subpar in my opinion. Anyways, some inner urge got me to create this blog, as it gave me a project to work on throughout the long days that I was stuck inside on the couch. I had never posted anything after my accident on Facebook – the people who cared enough to hear about my progress were involved and visited often. As I said, I never have been one that craves that sort of attention. This was about eight months post accident that I created my website, Lipstick & Lifesaving. The title came from me one: being a nurse and two: my passion for uh, lipstick, and other beauty products, combined with me still currently doing event makeup on the side.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Wow, great question. This was the most surprising part to me being new to the blogging game. I have always had such an easy time with computers, and am very savvy on social media. But wow, editing, developing, and marketing a blog is no easy endeavor. There are so many successful and large blogs out there these days that it really takes some time and knowledge in order to succeed. I found so much information googling how to grow your blog, saving information on Pinterest… trying different strategies on my own Instagram to see what worked. My advice for other women who are just beginning a blog would be to do your research beforehand. Find your “niche” as they call it. You need to find a very specific audience in order to be successful. Keeping your content too broad will just get your blog post in the midst of thousands of lifestyle blogs. For me, my niche is critical care nurses and aspiring ICU nurses/students. So, find your target audience, ask yourself, “why would someone want to follow me?” or “what does my typical follower look like?” and cater your content to that follower.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Lipstick & Lifesaving – what should we know?
I have been critical care (ICU) nurse for almost five years now. My blog focuses primarily on posts for ICU nurses and nursing students. I also like to throw in some posts on beauty products and travel, as those are two of my biggest passions outside of work. But my biggest joy and motivator is being a badass ICU nurse. I love the adrenaline, the control, and the critical thinking it takes to be a nurse in the Intensive Care Unit. However, because of the high risk and acuity, it is also an extremely difficult, exhausting, and overwhelming area of nursing to work in. This is where my drive really gets going, is making other nurses in this field realize that they are not alone and that they too, deserve care for themselves. I want my readers to feel better after reading my posts. I want them to have this new motivation to take to work when they clock in the next time around. And for nursing students, I remember so clearly how terrible it was. I want them to see the light at the end of the tunnel. There weren’t nursing blogs or instagrams when I was in college. All you had was each other and the nurses you shadowed in clinical who most of the time, were not friendly toward you. I want to change that culture.

We’re interested to hear your thoughts on female leadership – in particular, what do you feel are the biggest barriers or obstacles?
Nursing is a field primarily dominated by women. In general, I believe that women are equally as capable to excel in leadership positions if they qualify.


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