CELEBRATION SPOTLIGHT Priscilla Subramaniyam
The Celebration Spotlight recently interviewed Celebration Ambassador Priscilla Subramaniyam. Priscilla shares a passion for living each day with positivity. Her energy inspires others to go out and make a difference and to be the best versions of themselves. She infuses these qualities into the National Day Calendar mission and Celebrates Every Day! We visited about being an ambassador, special events and locations in the Kansas City area, and what Celebrate Every Day means to Priscilla.
Make the Bed
Michele: Can you share with me some of your background and some of the experiences you’ve had celebrating every day?
Priscilla: Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to be with you today. I’m just thrilled to be a part of the Celebration Nation. This is a movement that means so much to me. And it’s kind of funny how you find your way around such an important motto like this. Back in 2013, when I was interning for a local toy company, I incorporated the National Days into my content for the prospective brands I was interning for. So that’s kind of where I started with the National Days. And it’s kind of funny because I just found different opportunities to incorporate those National Days, International Days, Monthly Observances throughout my career. So that’s probably where I’d say I’ve gotten a little bit of experience with National Days with my career.
Michele: I’ve listened to your podcasts and your YouTube videos, and you include a lot of your community, important topics, and you’re not afraid to tackle a challenging subject. How has this changed your lifestyle?
Priscilla: One of the things that is really important to me is believing in yourself, self-empowerment. That starts the minute you get out of bed. Every day that you choose to get out of bed, you’re choosing to make a conscious effort to do something good in your life. It just starts with you getting out of bed. People talk about, “Why is it so important to fix your bed in the morning?” I have tremendous respect for anyone who served in the military, any branch of the military. Thank you for your service. Talk to people who served in the military, and they always say, “The best way to have an attitude of gratitude is to start by just making your bed in the morning.” That’s what I believe with this lifestyle I’ve manifested around Celebrating Every Day.
“Every day that you choose to get out of bed, you’re choosing to make a conscious effort to do something good in your life.” Priscilla Subramaniyam
No matter what my day will encompass, it helps with those things that I’m not prepared for, or when there’s something at work I wasn’t anticipating, or there’s a challenge. As a parent, I know I have the right mindset and a sound support system. I have a strong belief in being positive, but it doesn’t mean that my life is perfect. By no means is it that way. I have struggles just like any other person. Struggle is part of human nature. So it’s really important to realize that when you go through hard times in your life, in any capacity, professionally, personally, you have a support system and seek resources when you need them.
Positivity Vibe Tribe
Michele: This also goes right into your Positivity Vibe Tribe. The theme is right there. Where did you come up with the idea for it?
Priscilla: It’s quite fascinating, actually. Nothing really comes into play; the dominoes never really line up as you want them to. Positivity Vibe Tribe has been a culmination of lived experiences. The things I’ve been through in my life, trying to get to the best version of myself. And I believe that pillars of optimism, resilience, and gratitude through positivity – those pillars are really what have helped me in my life to get me to the best version of myself.
Trivia Question: How many quarts of popcorn do Americans eat annually?
That’s how the Positivity Vibe Tribe came about. It actually was born on a stage in the spring of 2018. I was in a competition as a finalist. I was asked a question about social media. On that night, on that stage, this idea was born. It’s just funny how you can look back and see how every experience in your life is getting you to a point where you want to be. In spring 2018, I had that really incredible transformative experience. I thought about it, reflected on it. I tried to understand how that experience would shape me.
Sometimes, we don’t see that challenges can be blessings in disguise. But, quite frankly, I think that being in this global pandemic for this period of time was a big awakening for me. It was an opportunity to set the stage and for me to face my fears and say, “I want to go and put this forward.”
In 2020, I established this digital community called Positivity Vibe Tribe, and we are focused on optimism, resilience, and gratitude through positivity. So, I’m grateful to have been able to have had that experience in 2018. Every experience you are facing, whether positive or negative, I have found that the more challenging situations in life are setting us up for breakthroughs. We’re not always taught that way. It took me a long time in my life to realize that.
I think it’s about encompassing this lifestyle and having the right mindset, and knowing that every experience you have is a means to get you to the best version of yourself. For anybody out there that thinks life is linear, it’s definitely not. It takes us in so many directions. And the most important thing to remember as a human is that when you are going through something difficult, it’s probably because you are leveling up.
“…when you are going through something difficult, it’s probably because you are leveling up.” Priscilla Subramaniyam
National Popcorn Day
Michele: Positivity goes really well with the mission of the calendar, too. Yes, there are things we have on the calendar that are complex subjects. But we also look at how they help us grow.
National Popcorn Day is January 19th and the birthday of National Day Calendar. So what’s going on in your community worth celebrating for National Popcorn Day or any other day for that matter?
Priscilla: What I want to talk about is a local gem in our community. We have a popcorn shop called Topsy’s Popcorn, and it has been around for over 60 years. We have an open space called the Country Club Plaza, and it’s the first planned suburban shopping mall in the United States. Topsy’s is the oldest merchant in the Country Club Plaza. It originally opened as Patzi’s. They were purchased in 1948 by Mr. Jerry Berger. And then, he changed the name to Topsy’s and registered the name as a trademark on July 1, 1950. Today, Topsy’s International, Inc. comprises 12 franchises, popcorn, ice cream shops around Kansas City and surrounding areas. Topsy’s shops achieve 2-3 times the sales of a typical popcorn shop. And Topsy’s ranks as the top 2 U.S. retailers for Christmas.
“Shopping and supporting local is an important part of the economy. I think that’s super important.” Priscilla Subramaniyam
Michele: What other events happen in and around the Kansas City area?
Priscilla: Some of the fun things I’ve been able to do as a Celebration Ambassador have been around National Days. One memory in particular that really stands out is celebrating National Ice Cream Day; going to Betty Raes in Kansas City has been a really enjoyable experience. Also celebrating National Doughnut Day with Donutology. They really believe that the key to happiness is donuts. I love looking for small businesses and showcasing them. Shopping and supporting local is an important part of the economy. I think that’s super important.
Michele: Do businesses and organizations celebrate special days, or are there any festivals near you that really speak to the National Days?
Priscilla: The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art hosts fun festivals for anyone visiting the Midwest. They bring in food trucks and have games outside that are super fun and really enjoyable. Another one that I’m particularly fond of is the World War I Memorial and Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, which pays respect to our veterans. We are the only city in the country with a memorial and museum dedicated to our WWI veterans. It’s a really special place. They do a good job around National Doughnut Day. They’ve done both in-person and, more recently, virtual webinars around the history of National Doughnut Day and how it got its start.
Michele: What are your favorite National Days?
Priscilla: My favorite is National Coffee Day. I drink coffee like water. It is my absolute favorite thing to start my day is to have my cup of joe in the morning. I absolutely love love love National Coffee Day. And, one of the things that I appreciate is that National Day Calendar does is the list they compile of participating businesses both local and national. You compile a robust list so we can go and patronize those businesses. I’ve done that! I saw something listed there, and I patronized that business, and I was really happy to do it. I wore my coffee socks and fun Celebrate Every Day sway.
Michele: We do like to include small businesses that are local to you and the national chains, too. National Day Calendar also includes a classroom section geared toward educators and students. How do you see the calendar from an educational standpoint?
Priscilla: When I interned for that toy company, one of the sister companies was geared toward teachers. There are definitely a lot of National Days that can align very well for educators. The possibilities are endless. The ones I like are the ones that can tie into STEM.
I think there’s a lot of opportunities for kids to be curious. One of the important things we can instill in them is that love for curiosity. When you have a hard class in school, and it’s difficult to understand it, sometimes it takes an educator to help you through that difficult class and help you understand the material, not just memorize it but understand the concept, that you’ll actually have a better time enjoying the application. I think it’s more fun for students, whether it’s first grade or high school, that there’s an opportunity for them to see it in a different way. If we can help our youth see the application of the hard sciences, it can be more enjoyable for them.
Celebrate Every Day
Michele: What does Celebrate Every Day mean to you?
Priscilla: Sometimes, we wait for that birthday, anniversary, or birth milestone. But why should you wait? We can make each and every day count. I believe the motto of Celebrate Every Day encourages us to find joy in everyday life. It can help manifest our inner child. It can light up any kind of social setting. I will say that over the past two years, as a person, as a parent, as a professional, this motto has given me a lot of hope. Sometimes difficult days, come what may in life, it has helped me to keep going. It has also helped me to help others along the way through the Positivity Vibe Tribe. We’re all in this together. That’s something I wanted to share.
Michele: I want to share the answer to our trivia question before we sign off. The answer to “How many quarts of popcorn do Americans eat annually?” is 17 billion quarts per year. So that comes out to 47.2 quarts per American.
Priscilla: Holy smokes! Let’s give a shout-out to Nebraska for National Popcorn Day, too. They lead the corn belt in popcorn production.
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