March is National Women's History month and today is International Women's Day!
"International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. International Women's Day (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first March 8 IWD gathering supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Prior to this the Socialist Party of America, United Kingdom's Suffragists and Suffragettes, and further groups campaigned for women equality. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organisation specific." (https://www.internationalwomensday.com/)
The first time I heard of this "holiday" was on a visit to Italy back in 2001. It was a big deal over there and I had not heard anything about it in the US. Since that trip, I've become more aware of the day and the overall global growth of celebrating women. I find it inspiring and in joining the world in celebration today, want to share stories of female inspiration from NY Handmade Collective team members.
The NY Handmade Collective member base is almost exclusively women artists and business owners trying to change their economic path, do positive work for the health of our planet and our bodies, and make really amazing handmade art and goods for consumers predominantly in NYC, but beyond our borders. I should note that our team does have men - creative men, that own Etsy shops and make gorgeous art, and help run our team - who are deeply appreciated.
The stories below brought tears to my eyes, but even more, I was humbled. To share deeply personal stories about women is to share stories that shape us individually - not all stories are light and fun, but almost all of them leave you feeling connected and awed. I hope you enjoy these stories, as well as feel inspired. When you buy handmade, there is often a strong woman of the past celebrating not just your purchase, but the continuation of their lives, skills, and expertise from our hands to yours.
Remembering Dorothy Finkle Kaufman, 1905-1987 - By Jan Finnell, OverTheTop
Jewelry Inspired by My Grandmother and Mother - by Deirdre Bialo-Padin, Bialo Padin Designs
Two Powerful Women: My Mom + My Wife - by Raquel Busa, Maquina37
Inspired by Nature and the Public Women Figures Who Fought for our Parks and Land - by Maha Saedaway, Sundrench
Creative Genes Run in the Family - by Phyllis C. Stevens, BlueRoseCards
Give thanks to the women in your life. Celebrate their success, failures, and inspiration. Happy International Women's Day!