No shortage of inspiration

Last spring I was with a group of friends and I was telling them about GIRLS CAN! CRATE. One of my friend's husbands asked me, "Do you think you'll eventually run out of women to feature?" I just looked at him for a moment trying to decide what he meant by that question. Was he asking because he didn't believe in what we were doing and honestly thought there aren't that many fearless female game changers out there? Or was it that he, like many of us, just haven't been exposed to all of the amazing women who have changed our world for the better? Thinking for a moment longer, I chose to believe the latter and said, "Nope. I do not think we will ever run out of amazing women because there are so many stories to tell and that's exactly why it is that GIRLS CAN! CRATE is so important. Those stories need to be told."

When we were in the dreaming/vision casting/what-if-we-did-this-that-or-the-other stage of creating GIRLS CAN! CRATE, what became really clear to us was the idea of reflection. We want each crate that we send out to reflect back something to any girl that picks it up---either in the field the woman worked in, the way she looks, the challenges she overcame, the character trait she embodied, something. We want each and every girl to find something she can relate to. Because how many of us can really relate to all of those princesses, TV heroines, movie mavens? Not many. But real women? C'mon! They make the best heroes, don't they? 

GIRLS CAN! CRATE: Of all the ladies you've "met" through each crate, who have you most identified with and why?
Bessie Postcard Front.jpg
ALISON: I'd say I've identified most with Bessie Coleman. I mean the odds were stacked against this woman to not succeed. She was young, black, and a woman in a time when even one of those adversities was a huge road block. She had a dream of flying, and she chased it down. She dug deep within herself. Work two jobs? Sure! Teach myself French? Sure! Travel across the ocean? Sure! Study and fly crazy hours to make it happen? Sure! Then she returns to the states only to have discovered her hard work means, NOTHING. She will not get a job as a pilot. So what does she do? She travels back to France to train to become a stunt pilot. I mean that woman was brave. How many of us are defeated after a few attempts don't work out? But not Bessie. I think her story fuels me the most when I think about what I want GIRLS CAN! CRATE to be and when I consider all the tough breaks we've had. But I can keep TRYING, just like Bessie. I can be FEARLESS, just like Bessie. I can BELIEVE IN MYSELF, just like Bessie.

The more we dug in and began to read, research, and discover the more excited we became because...to be real: women have kicked some serious BUTT! They have contributed mightily to our world and made it a better place-- ladies like Sybil Ludington, who rode farther than even Paul Revere to warn the militia of the impending British military; Emily Warren Roebling, who completed the Brooklyn Bridge when her husband died though she had no experience in engineering; Madam CJ Walker, who became America's first female self-made millionaire after she created the first line of beauty and hair products for African American women and was essentially the precursor of the direct sales model that led to Mary Kay, Avon, etc.; Ruby Hirose, whose work as a chemist was groundbreaking in infantile paralysis vaccine research; and so many more!!! 

GIRLS CAN! CRATE: Of all the ladies you've "met" through each crate, who have you most identified with and why?
MEGAN: I love Patsy Mink. Patsy was a problem-solver, she was ambitious, she was smart, and confident, but she was also passionate about social justice, about helping other people and other women, and used her skills to make the world better.  If a door closed, she thought, "now what?" and got right back to work. I love her. I want to be just like her.

And it's not just women from our past. Think of what little girls in Pakistan learn about themselves by seeing Malala Yousafzai and her courage. What about the likes of Zhan Haite, who has stood up against the Chinese government's policy of blocking migrant workers from taking high school entrance exams that would give them opportunities to lift themselves and families out of poverty? Or what about Julia Bluhm, who spoke out against the media's sexualization and photoshopping of girls through a successful online petition? These are women that girls need to meet and stories they need to hear about!

GIRLS CAN! CRATE: Of all the ladies you've "met" through each crate, who have you most identified with and why?
KRISTEN: Julia Child. I love that she didn't find her groove until her late 30s. She was around 37 when she fell in love with the creativity of cooking and reinvented herself. This April I'll hit the big (GULP) 4-0, and so often as women we're taught that younger is "better," but here's a woman who didn't start what she ultimately became known for until "later" in life and revolutionized the field at that! So for me as we're building GIRLS CAN! CRATE and I'm transitioning professionally into this full-time, that's a huge inspiration. It's never too late to do what you love....it's not how you start the race, it's how you finish it. And I would love for girls to understand that. 

So, no. There is no shortage of inspiring fearless females out there for us to feature. How could there be when women make up nearly 50% of the world's population?

Who would you like to see in a crate? How has your little one been inspired by one of the ladies they've encountered in a GIRLS CAN! CRATE? Share with us here!