March marks Women's History Month and, in particular, Friday, March 8th marks the 108th International Women’s Day.
So What is International Women’s Day?
- Mozart had a sister who he considered to be more talented
- Ella Baker predated Martin Luther King as a prominent civil- and human-rights activist
- And, what I deem the most fascinating, Lewis and Clark’s guide and translator (so the one who was on the SAME trip as the men) was PREGNANT, NURSING, and CARRYING A TODDLER!!!
While helping build a women’s shelter in Chimbote, Peru, Joy McBrien heard countless stories of abuse, survival and resilience. Recognizing that women are more easily able to leave situations of domestic abuse if they’re economically self-sufficient, Joy founded Fair Anita as a way to provide these women sustainable income (paying 3x the local minimum wage) and access to resources they need.
Joy McBrien, Fair Anita Founder
LIVING THREADS CO.
Amanda Zehner, Living Threads Co. Founder
Back in December, we profiled Amanda Zehner, founder of Living Threads Co., but we will always take the opportunity to give a shout out to our amazing partners and call attention to all the good they’re doing.
Amanda launched Living Threads Co. after working in international development in Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Honduras. She was inspired by the women artisans in these countries, but also recognized the challenges they faced including access to markets, credit, design, and training.
It’s no surprise Christal Earle’s company is called Brave Soles.
What most of us would consider an impossible situation, Christal was forced to rebuild her life in two different countries—Canada, where her career was based, and the Dominican Republic, where her adopted daughter couldn’t leave. Christal turned lemons into lemonade or, more appropriately, old rubber tires into beautiful shoes and accessories and co-founded Brave Soles in 2017, a conscious brand of beautiful leather bags and footwear made from upcycled rubber tires.
Christal Earle, Brave Soles Co-Founder
KIND KARMA CO.
Laurinda Lee-Retter, Brave Soles Co-Founder
As a youth, Laurinda found jewelry making to be incredibly therapeutic and realized that it could serve the same purpose for at-risk and homeless youth while also giving them the opportunity to learn new skills, a flexible work schedule, and profit sharing to work towards achieving their own goals.
One common thread between these women’s stories? They’re all working towards equality, not just for themselves as they carve out a place in the traditionally male-dominated entrepreneurial space, but also for all of the women they work with from marginalized communities whether here in Toronto or across the world in Vietnam. As Steinem put it, “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist, nor to any one organization, but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.”
So keep stoking the fire and keep those campfire stories going! Happy International Women's Day!
Recovering fast-aholic with a penchant for giving thoughtful gifts and doing good.