THRIVE is an AIWA project dedicated to highlighting individuals who are doing remarkable things in their personal and professional lives to better themselves and those around them. These individuals are inspiring, dynamic, innovative and interesting. Today, we feature Filmmaker, Artist, and Entrepreneur Ruzanna Tovmasyan.
Ruzanna Tovmasyan is an Armenian American filmmaker, spoken word artist and business woman. She owns a production company called Ruminate, where she creates professional online courses, films and videos in efforts to enable people to live a full life of health, wholeness and hope. She is involved with many initiatives to help build the Armenian community. Ruzanna has a background in theatrical performance and storytelling. One of ten children, she was raised in Cleveland, Ohio but currently resides in Los Angeles.
Q: When asked to share a bit about her story, Ruzanna shares:
Jesus changed my life and I feel a lot of love in my heart to share with others. I want them to know what has been possible for me, is possible for them too. Joy and healing is available to everyone no matter what they have gone through and God is not indifferent to their pain. My hope for the future is Jesus Christ, as cliche as that may sound, I believe our hope needs to be found in someone that is bigger than us. Someone that doesn’t change, or change their mind and is good and stays constant and that is God.
Q: How has Armenian culture shaped you?
I grew up as the only Armenian the majority of my life, having to explain who an Armenian even is, where Armenia is and who we are as a people. I felt the burden on my shoulders to teach my whole school about what we have overcome and share about our culture. So I began singing cultural songs from Sheram, Sayat Nova and Komitas. Our traditional music had a great impact on my life and I fell in love with our culture.
As an artist, I have mixed all the things of who I am into my art. That includes my faith, my “Clevelandness”, my love for Gospel music, hip hop, film, theater and Armenian culture. I gave myself permission to be fully who I am in all that I do, staying true to who I am, and I hope that it inspires others to do the same.
Q: Share a little about what Ruminate is and how it came to be?
Ruminate started as a production company dedicated to filming professional online courses for business owners. I started this at 27 after leaving a toxic job that barely paid me and I had to get creative on how to make money quickly. It started as side work until my name kept getting passed around and it turned into a business. Now, I have my own online academy where I teach people how to take their passions, skill sets and personal story and make a profitable online business from that through eCourses.
I’ve helped my clients make a lot of money quickly and I want everyone to have the freedom and success that I and my clients have. It doesn’t need to take 5 years to have a successful business, you can do it rather quickly now with social media.
Q: What’s it like being one of 10 siblings?
Is it okay if I say hard? Haha It’s hard because it’s a lot of people to keep up with, each person is different and unique. Now that we are older and many of us are scattered around the country, we don’t get to see each other much and I don’t have the opportunity to see all my nieces and nephews grow up, which has been hard as well. It’s also wonderful because we are all so different, we all bring different talents and gifts to our family. But I must say, when men find out I have 8 brothers, it’s made dating a bit more interesting =).
Q: What’s a piece of advice you would share?
Don’t wait for someone to give you an opportunity, create your own. You are made in God’s image and the first thing He ever did was create something from nothing. It is in your DNA to create what you see in your imagination.
Also, live for something bigger than yourself, serve your community with your gifts and be willing to make sacrifices to reach your goals, you will have a much fuller and richer life.
NOMINATE A THRIVE RECIPIENT
Do you know an amazing Armenian Woman to nominate for AIWA Thrive?