FIRST THOUGHT: Women Holding Court
I recently devoured the Netflix show The Crown. It chronicles the beginning of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, who, like Queen Elizabeth I, was only 25 years old when she ascended the throne.
The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II took place in 1953, and these many years later, this ruling monarch can boast plenty of historical accomplishments during her reign. Not only is she Britain’s longest-lived monarch, she’s also the world’s oldest reigning and longest reigning monarch. And she’s the longest reigning female head of state in world history!
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: $20 Billion
One way of signifying the shift to queen involves, of course, the regalia and the glorious crown. What we wear often demonstrates who we are or who we want to be. For instance, maybe you want to be more active in 2017 and stop binge-watching all those documentaries about the royals! That’s where workout apparel comes in.
Remarkably, women’s activewear is now a $20 billion industry. In the past, women were often overlooked when it came to sports and activewear, forced to don stodgy blouses and skirts when diving for tennis balls or solidly knocking a golf ball onto the green. After all, they weren’t expected to be competitive, so why did they need the freedom to move easily in their clothing? Thankfully, things have changed and, armed with the appropriate—and comfortable—clothing, women can now feel free to kick some butt in our chosen sports and easily beat out those boys clad in ridiculously printed golf pants!
WOMEN TO WATCH: Gauthami Vemula and Renae Virata, Co-founders of UGauGrrl T-shirts
Whether you’re hitting the yoga mat or the couch, there’s one piece of clothing that we can all agree on: the T-shirt. Today, we’re talking about this classic piece of apparel with a side of girl power. Gauthami Vemula and Renae Virata, the co-founders of UGauGrrl, offer classic and flowy tees for girls and women that feature inspiring female icons and catchy empowerment slogans.
Emblazoned with artistic renderings of female groundbreakers like Marie Curie, artists like Frida Kahlo and activists like Harriet Tubman and Malala Yousafzai, UGauGrrl T-shirts evoke girl-power vibes that we can’t get enough of. One of our favorites reads as an anthem: “Don’t be a footnote. Write your own story. Your story matters most.”
Given the background and experience of the company’s founders, it’s no wonder they ended up developing a unique and feminism-focused business. Gauthami, who is passionate about helping others, previously worked as a mental-health therapist and as a manager for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services before founding a family-management consulting firm called Color Me Safe.
Renae, a master of communication, has worked as an assistant buyer and special-events coordinator for a department store, an account executive with a major job-recruitment company and director of a specialized marketing firm called revXmarketing.
Gauthami was born in India and Renae’s parents come from the Philippines. This worldly outlook is woven into the mission of their one-of-a-kind clothing company. They hope their T-shirts’ positive messages and images of powerful women have an impact on women and girls, regardless of language barriers or differing circumstances. And always keeping activism and nonprofits at the top of their minds, these aspiring women are sending a portion of the proceeds from their winter T-shirt collection to The Malala Fund, a nonprofit dedicated to giving girls throughout the world access to quality education.
Up next for Gauthami and Renae: They’ll continue growing their #ModernMuse social campaign, and release a new collection in the spring. With a company that started as a movement to inspire, empower and impact women and girls to tap into their gifts and share them with the world, they can’t go wrong.
QUITE THE QUOTE
Whether you’re the queen of a country or simply the queen of your household, you have power in your voice and in your story. As politician Geraldine Ferraro said:
“We’ve chosen the path to equality. Don’t let them turn us around.”
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.