FIRST THOUGHT: Princess Princeless
When we’re young girls, we can appreciate a lot about the idea of being a princess. Princesses get to prance around in ball gowns and don’t have to clean their rooms? Sign me up! I’ve always liked the idea of princess perks but never really got into the whole Prince Charming thing. I wanted more stories about how a princess gets to do what she wants. Thankfully, one enterprising girl dad thought the same thing and decided to take action, creating a wonderful action-adventure comic series called Princeless. The main character, a headstrong young princess, isn’t into the usual advantages that come with being a member of royalty, like fancy dinners and lavish dresses, instead exuding the kind of independence and heroism that every girl reading her story can’t get enough of.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 12 Percent
When a T-shirt for girls reading “Training to be Batman’s wife” hit the retail shelves, many enlightened shoppers were rightfully angered, and everyone had an opinion. The surprising thing is that, when polled, only 12 percent of respondents said the shirt was sexist and shouldn't be sold. Amazingly, 40 percent found no problem with the shirt at all. As one frustrated dad noted, apparently, “boys can be heroes. Girls can marry them.” Where’s the “I’m a princess and I can save myself!” girls’ T-shirt? Isn’t it about time we taught our daughters they can do and be whatever they want?
WOMEN TO WATCH: Rebecca Melsky and Eva St. Clair, Co-founders of Princess Awesome
We’re pretty sure today’s Women to Watch, the founders of Princess Awesome, a totally different kind of girly clothing line, would second that opinion. Rebecca Melsky and Eva St. Clair started their apparel company with self-respect and girls’ empowerment in mind.
At its core, Princess Awesome features collections that reflect girls themselves, particularly their interests and hobbies beyond what you might see in a traditional kids’ clothing store. From colorful and adorable designs emblazoned with sharks, rockets, robots and trains, Princess Awesome gives girls the option to express themselves in fun, unique ways in outfits that aren’t necessarily conventionally girly. Boldly patterned, twirly dresses depict She-Rex dinosaurs, and the science-and-math collection features the cutest Atomic Flurry snowflake leggings and even an “I solve my own problems” long-sleeve T-shirt. But my favorite is definitely the eye-catching Pi in the Sky design, including dresses, leggings, scarves and headbands emblazoned with the mathematical pi symbol.
What’s super-special about Princess Awesome is that Rebecca and Eva recognize girls don’t have to choose between ruffles and robots. They can dream about being a princess while also fantasizing about fighting fires, and can pick clothing that embraces both. At Princess Awesome, girls are allowed and encouraged to tap into all sides of their personalities.
Rebecca and Eva started their awesome biz small. They made the dresses themselves in Eva’s basement, and sold the bulk of their stock within weeks. They kept it up, selling out their Princess Awesome designs so quickly that they eventually turned to factory production and built a Kickstarter campaign that, within just a month, became the highest performing childrenswear Kickstarter ever, eliciting thousands of global backers who had long been in search of inclusive girls’ clothing.
Now that they’re successfully breaking down gender stereotypes in the girls’ apparel market, these mompreneurs are making sure young ladies hear what they have to say. Their advice: Always wear what you want, and be kind but don’t be a pushover. Stand up for what you believe is right and defend your passion through and through. As Rebecca says, “There’s no reason not to be brave, confident and generous. The world is yours!”
QUITE THE QUOTE
Let’s close out our story of awesomeness with a fantastic quote from Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu:
“Because she competes with no one, no one can compete with her.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.