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From Grit to Glamour 

Kicking down doors and taking names is something that comes naturally to this spitfire. Marla Bautista is the published author of My Thoughts Abandoned. She is also a blogger and speaker. But, her self proclaimed most honorable duties are being an Army Wife of 12 years, mother of three, and community leader.

As an entrepreneur, giving back is what she does best. Marla is the CoFounder of The Bautista Project, a custom decor and apparel company that donates its profits to homeless communities around the world. “Educating and Empowering communities in need helps adults, both young and old, gain knowledge that is useful in their everyday lives” Marla exclaimed. The Bautista Project has provided meals and hygiene to thousands of people in need. Marla knows what it's like to be in need. She came from a place where most people cringe when they hear the name, Watts, California. In the 80's and 90's, this city was known for violence, poverty, and riots.

Marla's childhood was riddled with pain and confusion. Both her parents died before she was 10 years old. She was left with a step father who abused her and her siblings until adulthood. Creative writing was a way for her to create a world that was happy, fun, and safe for everyone. Her dream was to one day become a successful writer. However, the universe had other plans for her life. Marla became a product of her environment. Finding herself homeless and in trouble with the law, she was lost. She struggled to find herself. Living in shelters, she promised herself if she ever became successful she would do everything in her power to ensure she taught girls like her to believe in their dreams while working toward success. She married in 2007. "Being the spouse of a Soldier is definitely a unique experience. Our family travels a lot, and it can be difficult to immerse yourself in a culture you know nothing about. But, we've learned how to adapt quickly", Marla says of her life as an Army wife. She is also the mother of three children. Each child being born on different ends of the Earth. Although difficult, she found a way to obtain a higher education and make a name for herself in the entertainment industry.

Using her creative writing skills, she began working as a freelance writer. In 2017, her first book My Thoughts Abandoned was published. She continued climbing her way up the ranks.

Recently, she was invited to attend the Nolcha Shows for New York Fashion Week in Manhattan. Bringing her influence as a military lifestyle writer, she displayed her unique taste in fashion. Using her love of writing, she intertwined her fierce style to create entertaining stories for communities everywhere. Military life is hard. Families are constantly separated and oftentimes, military spouses are left to tend to the family, alone. But, the pride they exude speaks volumes about their service to others. Marla hopes to use her story, and the stories of other military spouses to raise awareness of the unique challenges they face. No two people are alike and neither are their struggles.

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