International Women’s Day

 

It’s International Women’s Day, a day dedicated to celebrating all the influential women who inspire us around the globe!

To mark the occasion, we spoke to three influencers we love, to find out what the day means to them, where they get their inspiration from and what they feel their biggest achievements are – while also giving us advice and insight into their chosen careers, including modelling, consulting, content creating, science and art.

 

Simone Charles

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

To me, International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate all the achievements that women before us have made, and how they have paved the way for us. There was a time where we weren’t even allowed to vote and look at us now – we are Prime Ministers, and we are in the White House! It’s also an opportunity for us to reflect on the women of the future and how we can continue to pave the way for them.

 

What women inspire you in your life and why?

I’m inspired by so many women. I’m inspired by Girlbosses like Jamelia Donaldson who founded the Black Hair Subscription Box ‘Treasuretress’, to models such as Precious Lee who is paving the way for black, plus size women in high fashion. Of course, keeping it close to home I’m also inspired by my Mum and my Grandma who continue to have such a positive impact on the woman I am today.

 

Tell us a little about your job and what advice would you give to young women trying to get into your industry?

I have two jobs – publicly I am a content creator and model, and privately I am a Senior Consultant, so I certainly keep myself busy! The advice I would give to someone wanting to enter the world of social media is to be yourself and use it to your advantage. Don’t try to be anyone else as it won’t be genuine! Authenticity is always key. Also – have fun with it 🙂

 

What women in the public eye are you inspired by and recommend the work of? E.g. painter, author, speaker etc.

I would highly recommend following some Black fashion designers who are breaking into high fashion such as Melissa’s Wardrobe who is an amazing stylist and Fisayo Longe who owns the brand Kai collective. They put both their highs and lows on social media and really give a realistic portrayal of working in the industry. Their content is also incredible and so inspiring!

 

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we’d love to hear about an achievement in your work or personal life that you’re proud of?

I’m most proud of all the campaigns I’ve booked in the last 12 months alongside my 9-5 – particularly my latest Boux Avenue campaign. I’ve appeared in shop windows all over the UK including Oxford Circus! It was a surreal moment and something I am endlessly proud of.

 

Mimi Labesa

 

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

Women’s day means justice and hope to me. Justice for women who have to endure discrimination because of their gender, for the dreams and aspirations that were lost in their fight for equality. Hope that the next generation of women all around the world would not have to fight to receive equal rights and opportunity.

 

What women inspire you in your life and why?

My mother has inspired me the most in my life. She is the most fearless, independent and kind person I have ever known. She is a single parent who worked so hard to raise 6 children against all odds. She raised her children showing us the possibilities before us and that the world is our oyster. She found her way in life through sheer force of will power after losing her husband at a young age. 

 

Tell us a little about your job and what advice would you give to young women trying to get into your industry?

I have only recently quit my job as a Chemist after 8 years in the personal and healthcare industry to be a full-time content creator and blogger. As a Chemical Analyst, I worked in a skincare lab where I tested the chemical competent of skincare products to ensure they were within acceptable quantity and fit for purpose. I also researched and analysed radio-pharmaceutical products that were used in clinical trials of neurological diseases.  Now a blogger and content creator, I hope to use my science knowledge to offer advice on skincare to my audience.

As a woman in science, I am aware that women are under-represented in STEM-related fields and this is due to gender stereotypes steering girls and women away from science-related fields.

My advice for young women trying to get into science is to not believe the narrative that science is hard, boring and better suited for men. I had so much fun as a scientist and I want to integrate it into my content. Do not let the fear of the unknown keep you from your greatness. There is magic in every one of us.

 

What women in the public eye are you inspired by and recommend the work of? E.g. painter, author, speaker etc.

Oprah Winfrey is a woman that has greatly influenced me. She was the first woman in television I knew. As a young girl, I remember watching her on TV and thinking I could do that. I would gather my friends and pretend I was a talk host, and they were my audience. She is confident, ambitious and self-driven. She went to a place where there was no path for black women and created a path. She continues to inspire me with the way she continues to encourage and empower young girls and women.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is an amazing writer and speaker that has also inspired me. Her stories are inspired by Nigerian history and tragedies. As a Nigerian, I admire her work as a storyteller especially with stories that a lot of black women and I can relate to.

Sade Adu is a singer-songwriter who has inspired me with her songs. Her voice soothes, it communicates pain and joy and these songs have helped me through some difficult times. She always gives off an understated elegance and simplicity that I aspire to embody.

 

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we’d love to hear about an achievement in your work or personal life that you’re proud of?

Quitting my day job to start and focus on my brand is something I am super proud of. It is a boss move and I hope to inspire other women to pursue their dreams fearlessly.

 

Emily McSevich

 

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

To me, International Women’s Day is about empowering women by building them up to realise they can achieve anything if they chase their dreams. My absolute favourite saying is that “great things can happen when women support each other”. Be a cheerleader to other women to go further, think outside the box and push harder to achieve the things they want.

 

What women inspire you in your life and why?

I spend a lot of my time on Instagram for my job and I have a great support system of amazing women on there. They inspire me to keep going on the days that are hard and we cheer each other on when we accomplish great things. It’s so inspiring to see women achieving their goals and ambitions daily! Another female influence I have in my life is my best friend. She’s always 100% beside me with a calm and kind outlook on life. I think the world needs more of that.

 

Tell us a little about your job and what advice would you give to young women trying to get into your industry?

One of the things I love about my job as an international artist is that I get to talk to people from all over the world. When I create a bespoke piece of art for a customer, I get a little window into their life and what inspires them to feel something when they look at art. Being able to create something that sparks joy in someone’s home makes me so happy! If I were to offer a single piece of advice to an aspiring artist, it would be to trust the timing of things. Where you are right now on your art journey is exactly where you should be. Don’t focus on what others are doing or where they are because it will swallow you whole. It’ll all come together when It’s supposed to, just as long as you don’t give up!

 

What women in the public eye you are inspired by and recommend the work of? E.g. painter, author, speaker etc.

Some women in the public eye that I am inspired by are the writers of the “Good night stories for Rebel Girls” books Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo. These amazing ladies recognised the lack of female role models in children’s literature and wrote books about inspirational women past and present. They then commissioned artists from all around the world to illustrate the books. My 11-year-old daughter loves history but was feeling disheartened at how unequally women have been treated throughout history. After reading these books cover to cover multiple times, she realised heroines don’t need rescuing!

 

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we’d love to hear about an achievement in your work or personal life that you’re proud of?

My greatest achievement has been creating a life I thought only lived in my dreams. I started with nothing but some paint supplies and an empty Instagram page and I’ve built it to be a steady, rewarding business full of amazing friends and customers. 

 

 

 

 

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