A Letter From Our Founder, Kira Karmazin
The fire was lit September 2010, when I attended Omega Institute’s annual conference “Women & Power 2010: Our Time to Lead."
I have been going to Omega for over ten years for retreats, workshops, and self-imposed “time-outs.” This was my first women’s conference, and this year it was a weekend retreat focusing on leadership. I was looking forward to spending time within a community of women, listening to leaders in the community and getting more focused about the goals outside my immediate horizon – what are the critical issues facing women today? What are the global issues and challenges we are facing?
As the weekend progressed, I was moved to both tears of compassion and of joy as the speakers shared their pain, challenges and triumphs. We listened to speakers, including Zainab Salbi and Leymah Gbowee, share their views on a wide range of topics from abuse and poverty to science and individual strength. These women have been leading change for us…and because of their commitment and work, women have made great strides here and abroad. And yet, it is clear, there is so much work to be done. I was profoundly impacted by how far women have come, and how far we still have to go before we have true global equality. There have been great strides, great momentum, and there remain great voids. We all know this. As women we face it every day in all aspects of our life. We see it at home, we see it at work, we see it in the world.
With so much great work – how do we maintain the momentum? How do we accelerate? Is it conceivable to think that if we do the difficult work today, our daughters will live in a world of equality? Is that too big of a dream? I believe that if you can visualize it, it can become a reality.
The conference title “Our Time to Lead” got me thinking… many of the speakers had a call to action – they were asking for involvement, fundraising, and grassroots help.. and I kept thinking about resources…if we are going to truly change the platform for women, then we need to change the economics. Women need to create and direct a lot more resources in the world before any of this will truly and completely change. And yes, women are making great strides in the boardrooms. I believe that the heart of feminine independence lies in ownership. It means that women need to take the risk to build and create successful women owned businesses. This will change the entire dynamic for women in the world. There is no limit.
I get so much joy reading about all of the young female entrepreneurs in the digital and social arenas today. There seems to be so few boundaries for them – just creativity and opportunity. It’s fantastic to know this is happening.
And then I took a hard look in the mirror… as a woman working in an industry that creates product for women, there are very few women owned apparel businesses. Very, very few. Shockingly few. And I realized that I needed to step up in the world, take the risk,and create a woman owned business that creates product for women while being dedicated to compassionate causes. If there was ever a time in my life to build a women owned brand, it is now.
And so the fire was lit.