Amplifying the Stories of Women Workers


Photo by Arely Rubio.

(Above) While passing by Lake Highland’s Middle School campus, we noticed Atlantic Strings across the street. Walking in, we were mesmerized by the beautiful instruments lined up against the wall. The worker told us how much she loved working with everyone, from young children to adults, to help them find their perfect strings fit.

Arely Rubio and Arya Sant, Staff

(Above) Framework Coffee Bar, located in Orlando, was an interesting take on this year’s trendy coffee shops. Their mission statement ensures that they are always using the most biodegradable and organic materials. The woman working that day put the biggest smile on our faces as she chatted with us about her day and prepared the delicious salted chocolate chip cookie. (Photo by Arya Sant. )
(Above) Originally we stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts to take a break from our photography. However, when we met the sweetest worker at the window, we immediately knew she had to be a part of our work. She mentioned that she had a long day and was excited to get off soon. The drink in her hand, a Frozen Chocolate, represents what we love to enjoy in our free time after school. (Photo by Arya Sant.)
(Above) Spiral Circle Metaphysics Bookstore is a very safe space for many workers and frequent visitors. We had the opportunity to listen to a very personal story of how working at this shop saved one of the workers from depression. She felt unmotivated until her eyes were open to the place, and her friend convinced her to come to work. All of the workers are very passionate about what they do and were excited to be a part of this project. (Photo by Arely Rubio.)
(Above) The owner of Spiral Circle Metaphysical Bookstore & More was the previous owner’s best friend before she passed. She explained that this was more than a store to the people around her, and it served as a safe spot that gave comfort when needed. She described this store full of crystals, jewelry, and books as her second home and the place she goes to when she needs extra love. (Photo by Arya Sant.)
(Above) At one of my favorite places, Purple Ocean Superfood Bar, a super sweet worker told me about her day, and of course I ordered my favorite açaí bowl off the menu. Her random fact of the day included a bee flying into her truck. She laughed it out, but she wasn’t laughing when the bee found a new home in the truck. (Photo by Arely Rubio.)
(Above) Of course we had to pay a visit to Royaltea. Not only are their drinks something to always look forward to, but their staff is as much worth the visit as the drink is. This Boba gem is the go-to for many of the students here at Lake Highland. The location and quality is perfect and serves as the perfect spot to relax and enjoy some bubble tea. (Photo by Arely Rubio.)
(Above) Sunny State Co. located on Mills Avenue is a store filled to the brim with vibrant colors and unique clothing, accessories, and vases. We were tempted to buy everything we saw on the shelves. Sunny State Co. is the definition of trendy, holding everything one needs to keep up with today’s fashion. (Photo by Arya Sant.)
(Above) Essential workers are spotlighted all over the place nowadays since the rise of COVID. Attached to them are always headlines spreading bad news, but this is different. We went up to this nurse and showed gratitude for the actions she chooses to do every day. After a long day of work, a simple smile and thank you can mean much more than just an encounter at Target. We are so grateful to have these healthcare workers to help us through tough times. (Photo by Arya Sant.)

While roaming around The Mills 50 District we decided to shine a spotlight on our local businesses. Suited-up workers admire a toy microphone, never thinking their shift at work would include a pink Dollar Tree stocking stuffer. All that was needed to understand the story of their business was a single conversation and a snap of a photo. After posing with the mic, they carried on, making sure their customers were as happy as we were. We explained how the mic represents how voices around Orlando should be heard. From this, not only will a simple toy represent their work, but it will represent the memories of the people who crossed our path. The story begins with a single buck.