I’ve started work with a brilliant local marketing guru, a woman from the Orange Street Collective, Amy Eller of Amy Eller Marketing, who specializes in socially conscious enterprises. I contribute my talent with content and learn from Amy’s ridiculously awesome marketing expertise. She has developed her own technique for distilling exactly what is at the heart of the messages her clients work to convey with their brands. To better understand this process I took a go at applying her messaging guide to my company. And I got pretty mad.
Maybe you have heard of the 5 whys, a technique for getting to the bottom of a problem by continuing to ask "why" until you get to the root causes. Well, part of Amy’s messaging guide includes this technique. I had come up with the idea that the problem my brand seeks to solve is this: Our culture has told women that they aren’t valuable. Women are waking up, seeing problems in the world and want to do something valuable to solve them, which requires them to embody and share their value.
The solution I propose with Reid Miller: A community that celebrates the vitality of women as problem solvers in the world. And so then I’m supposed to ask WHY.
- Because women have been subtly and not so subtly told that what they bring to the world doesn’t matter.
- Because we live in a world run by men who have power and can’t see the value in an alternative approach to what currently exists
- Because it threatens what exists so they resist it.
- Because a new way of doing things will mean different winners and losers.
- Because a new way of doing things will lead to a different sort of value created (And a different outcome. Thank goodness.)
And then I felt the anger at the neglect that exists in women’s apparel. What we see today in the fashion industry are symptoms of the assumption that women don’t matter. Men’s clothing allows them to move, has a place for their wallet and keys, because how else would they go about their important business? Why would they wear clothing that didn’t contribute to this? Whereas women’s clothing is not designed for movement because it doesn’t matter if they can move. It doesn’t matter if their clothing slows them down. THEIR TIME IS NOT IMPORTANT. So pissed.
So I want us to reimagine what is means to be a woman in this world. That a woman is powerful, and coming into this power will lead to a global transformation.
I want a woman’s garments to be a visual cue for her and the world around her that she means business, she is to be taken seriously.
What is not negotiable: That your garments make you feel strong and beautiful just the way you are. That they are smart and creative, just like you.
That you can move and be comfortable throughout your day, whether you are walking, biking, or creating. That your garments are built to last. That they are low maintenance and environmentally friendly because your time and the environment are important.
It is a long, slow climb. But this is where we’re headed.