International Women’s day is coming up, and aside from International Beanie Day (pretty sure I made that up), it is one of the most exciting holidays for STIK! The importance of having strong female role models cannot be underestimated, and we’ve all been blessed to have them growing up. When I told the team that their inspiring woman couldn’t be their mom, there were quite a few groans. It was actually extremely difficult for all of us to narrow down just one woman who truly inspires us, but we persisted and came up with a great list. If you’re curious to know who some of the many women we will be celebrating this Sunday are, read on!
Tessa: When it comes to Instagram influencers, people are either incredibly skeptical or huge fans. I happen to fall into the "huge fan" camp with Danielle Bernstein, the woman behind the successful fashion blog and brand WeWoreWhat. Anyone who follows her knows that she is extremely hardworking and ambitious - there's a reason she was named to Forbes 30 Under 30 last year at the age of 24! Her list of accomplishments is beyond impressive, from building her own clothing brand to developing a tech platform to launching her namesake collection with Macy's to writing a book. She's inspiring me to get sh*t done!
Sarah: Besides being one half of the cutest power couple, I'm inspired by what Michelle Obama has been able to accomplish on her own. Since coming on the scene as the first African American First Lady, I love that Michelle took full advantage of her platform to make a positive impact on the world in as many ways as she could. Michelle is genuine and relatable with her efforts. She has spearheaded several initiatives to help all people, including girls just like her own, but also those who are marginalized. The way Michelle Obama uses her voice and exudes confidence is, I think, inspirational for all women.
Tory: Oh boy, where to start with my girl, Savannah Guthrie?! Maybe a good place is who she is - Savannah has been the co-anchor of the Today Show since 2012, and has become one of NBC’s top on-air legal analysts and political journalists. As someone who’s watched the Today Show almost every day since I can remember, I’ve admired Savannah for quite some time. Being the co-host of a morning show does not seem like an easy feat, but Savannah never seems to sweat under-pressure. I’ve watched her conduct interviews of high-profile world leaders, guide viewers through less intense cooking segments, and lead NBC and its viewers through an incredibly complex, confusing, and sensitive time after Matt Lauer was fired. On top of all of that, Savannah is a mom of two and she doesn’t hide that her kids are her pride and joy. I feel incredibly lucky to have a woman like Savannah to look up to as I navigate the ups and downs of working motherhood - watching her navigate her day to day with dignity, poise, and humor makes me feel like I, too, can do it all.
Meg: Serena Williams has inspired me since I was a teenager, and she continues to inspire me (and many other young women and little girls) today. As an athlete growing up, I admired her determination, work ethic, and most importantly - how she was and continues to be so unapologetically herself. Over the years, Serena has taught me to stand up for myself and my beliefs - like when she questioned an umpire's call as sexist, which ultimately cost her a game. Watching her become a mother and continue to dominate on the court has been such a lesson in perseverance and resilience. I have a feeling I'll be watching her - and rooting for her - for many, many years to come.
Claudia: Jordana Kier and Alexandra Friedmanare are the founders of LOLA, and I am inspired by their dedication to women's health. The company makes 100% organic products and gets delivered straight to your door with a monthly subscription. I think this company is incredibly genius for many reasons. It's something women need monthly and the convenience of delivery is a game-changer. You can also customize your order to fit your needs and your body. It's a miracle company!!
Peter: Eliza Shirazi is the founder of Kick It By Eliza and has made quite an impact on the Boston fitness scene, even before turning 30 years old. Although anyone can take a Kick It class (even I have done a few), it has captured young women and developed quite a community - The Fempire. I am so inspired by how Eliza has grown her brand, but at the same time, kept it so authentic and real. She covers sensitive topics in a truly genuine manner and is so approachable. I am honored to call Eliza my friend!
Christina: Sarah Blakely is my go-to for when it comes to finding inspiration to grow my business. I’m sure a lot of women feel this way -but I really do think we have a lot in common. Prior to starting Spanx, Sarah was in sales (so was I), listened to motivational speakers on tape growing up (embarrassing but so did I... Zig Ziglar was my guy), and started her business without any experience doing anything required of starting a business (omg me too!). I love listening to her on podcasts because she’s incredibly open and honest about the many difficulties she experienced in the early years. I’ve actually listened to her How I Built This podcast almost 10 times and when I heard her speak live at the HIBT summit this fall, I totally fangirled. She’s someone I aspire to be someday - incredibly down to earth and humble, insanely successful, open about her “failures” and on top of all that, pretty funny!
Franny: I never would have thought that one of the coolest women I look up to would be a 98 year old lady from Astoria, but here we are. From the moment I learned about Iris Apfel, I have been completely enraptured. She is the epitome of effortlessly cool and somehow her lessons about style double as lessons in life. Not only does she break down so many stereotypes about what it means to be stylish or beautiful, she makes me forget that they ever even existed. If you don’t know about this “accidental icon,” I urge you to look her up - but beware of the hours you will probably lose scrolling through outfit after outfit she has ingeniously put together. Iris will make you believe that she invented round glasses and chunky jewelry. To be honest, I’m not even sure that people wore color before Iris. In summary, Iris Apfel is the reminder we all need that authenticity and comfort is paramount to trends and money every time (and she is the grandma we all wish we had).