We had the good fortune of connecting with Catherine Martinez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Catherine, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I often see the Angel Numbers such as 1212 and 555. They say If you often see 555, it indicates that you are a person who relishes opportunities to expand and grow. You constantly want to be in the middle of the action and are always looking to move forward in your life. When you see this number, it means that significant and necessary changes will be happening in your life. These changes will move you closer to your divine purpose. When it comes to 1212 wants you to stay focused on your best possible future, and to remain optimistic throughout the entire journey. Your angels are right behind you as you turn your dreams into reality. It’s an indication that life is about to shift in a big, positive way. You may have to step out of your comfort zone, but your angels want to reassure you that it will all be worth it. You simply can’t spend your life being timid or afraid. You have to get yourself out there and grab your fair share of life. It’s only in taking risks that you can truly appreciate the real meaning of living. That is exactly what drives me, the ability to never want to quit, and to never really rely on consistent safety nets & staying comfortable owning fear to keep me stagnant. When it came to my career choice I was actually pursuing Human Services & never pondered the thought of becoming an Audiologist, until I started my 3 years at NYU. The fear of change was daunting me due to what my parents would think when I decided that Human Services wasn’t satisfying my passion and yearning to become a Doctor of the hearing mechanism would so. I also thought that the change would dent my scholarship but in fact, it was the opposite, I received further financial assistance as well as a total change in perspective when it comes to community & helping others. What risk has also taught me is that fear is a state of mind that can have the ability to control your life. It can withhold you from learning new things and emotionally maturing into accepting that with risk comes failure & with failure comes always change. What I mean by that is that I didn’t let fear consume me to the point I wouldn’t take the risk of changing my career to then later find out how passionate I was in my new field of choice & how much I’ve honed and mastered it. I didn’t let fear consume me in not starting my own small business of accessories I enjoy although I barely had enough to start it off, I had a few hiccups in the road that postponed my launch but I was able to make it a reality. I didn’t let the fear of taking the risk of letting the thought that my small business isn’t trendy or doesn’t hold popular items that would be sure to sell consume me into starting something that makes me feel proud of myself for having the ability to accept that I can fail, but I wouldn’t let the failure hold me back from taking even more risks to come closer to each of my milestones. Risks will be something that I always take because, without risks, I wouldn’t be the person that I am today.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a New Yorker that graduated from NYU’s CSD Program who raises awareness by Creating American Sign Language Beauty Tutorials. I wanted to reach the Deaf community which is one of the communities that aren’t always involved in beauty tutorials because of the communication barrier. I noticed right then and there, imagine somebody from the Deaf community trying to watch [videos] and the subtitles probably are not available or the subtitles are misleading. That’s what really pushed me, even more, to want to continue to do it. I have been able to have a positive impact through my videos but I want it to reach the millions to possibly help even more from the community aware that there is someone that cares and will raise awareness on communicative resources such as Closed Captioning & ASL. I feel like at this point, our platforms should be, if not bilingual, then multilingual. If we have the advantage where we know more than one language, use it. My American Sign Language has evolved and definitely my involvement. I really want to make more New Yorkers or fellow organizations aware of the importance of Deaf Schools, American Sign Language as well as communicative resources for the kids of tomorrow. I also have a little shop called Cat Signs which I created as a little accessories nook of ASL I love you bracelets I designed & created as a conversation starter for anyone in the community or who is immersed in the world of ASL. I also have my fave anime-themed Phone cases which are inspired by Dragon Ball Z characters such as Piccolo, Goku & Vegeta.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Hit up Parkslope for some good eats especially Chela, Fonda, Cousin Johns Bakery & Spice. In Queens hit Astoria Park strip, Kissena Park or Forest Park for a little Park/picnic day and make sure to hit up these spots like The Bonnie, Sushi Bell, Pho Che, MoTea Garden, Cafe Bench & the Queens Health Emporium (vegetarian) for some yummy food to take with you. If you are in long island enjoy your days at Freeport, Huntington, Cold Springs Harbor or Port Jefferson for food, walking, relaxing, drinks, night out & outdoor activities. Definitely if you are in NY check out Fire Island for a lovely Beach day immersed with tanning, relaxation, food & great vibes

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Of course I would love to note that my failures have gotten me closer to accomplishments but I would have to thank my friends & certain family members whom have inspired me to make sure I always keep going. The following would be: 1. My brother Alessandro 2. My parent’s tough love 3. My friend, Peter Lymberopolous Jr. 4. NYU Professor, Dr. Kelly Bridges 5. Movie: Dead Poets Society 6. Book: All About Love by Bell Hooks 7. Mill Neck School for the Deaf Staff Megan Forrestor, Greg Osborn, Armando Farruya & Kim Worko for further immersing me in ASL Advocacy & Deaf Culture. 8. Anyone who educates me and supports me in no matter what I do

Website: catsignsshop.com
Instagram: thatscatherinem
Linkedin: Catherine Martinez
Twitter: thatscatherinem
Facebook: Cat Martinez

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