Welcome to Women Taking Leaps 2018
An introduction to the interview series celebrating the audacity of women
Last year, I started this series at a time in my life that felt like a free-fall. A life-changing leap left me feeling weightless and doomed, unsteady and alone. The leaps and lives of the women around me were a source of solace and inspiration. I could look into the choices these women made and see how they had not only survived, but thrived in the face of uncertainty.
My early subjects, all somewhat close to me, differed in journeys tremendously. A young college student on a zero-waste journey, starting with a YouTube channel with big dreams to impact the world. The founder of an international nonprofit serving the mothers of children with disabilities. A filmmaker and adventurous woman who moved to the other side of the world with nothing but a couch waiting for her. A ballerina from Rio living and working her dream in northern Germany.
Each of these women made a choice that altered their lives in ways they could never comprehend at the time. Some of these leaps are far in the past, others are still in the throes of the first jump. And in their own way, each of them continues to leap every day, living out the future their decisions created for them.
Their strength, grace, softness, and steadiness have inspired me for an entire year, and in this new series of Women Taking Leaps stories, I’m proud to bring you twice as many female voices whose lives will surely inspire.
This year, I hope you will join me in celebrating the artists, travelers, businesswomen, mothers, activists, and friends. While each of their journeys is inherently unique, what threads us together is this:
We are women living in the golden age of female empowerment. Our place is no longer just at home or just at work - we are making our lives anywhere and everywhere. In small towns, across continents, in foreign cities, and in our dream cities. We are doing more than women ever have had the capacity to do and we are speaking up to ensure no woman is silenced or shunted again.
I am proud to announce the voices generously sharing their stories of leaps, bounds, setbacks, and growth with me through the 2018 series of Women Taking Leaps. Please take the opportunity to get to know each of them, see their work, and mark your calendars for how you can experience each of these inspiring stories.
Taking the leap to create an innovative business model that connects women with ethical brands and provides education for a more conscious shopping experience.
Join us LIVE on Instagram: Thursday, February 8th at 12 EST
Morgan Hamel is the brains and brawn behind The Garment, a Canada-based business connecting women with ethical and sustainable clothing brands and providing educational workshops for developing capsule wardrobes. Fast Fashion has been making headlines as of late but Morgan is a long-term champion, referred to directly as an ethicist. Each season, The Garmet hosts 'virtual pop-ups' which include key pieces vetted and approved by Morgan, in a central location with a special discount to help women update their closets with confirmed-ethical pieces.
Learn more about Morgan and The Garment:
Taking the leap to become a cause-focused international documentary photographer
Join us here for the interview launch: Thursday February 15 at 12pm EST
Freya Dowson is an internationally recognized documentary storyteller, primarily working with photo and video while further venturing into services for non-profit agencies. Her work features a range of subjects from animal conservation in Kenya to surfers in Sierra Leone, street photography in Morrocco to her personal delights in England and Western Europe. An eye for light, a commitment to capturing the raw beauty and authenticity of her subjects, and a hearty resourceful soul continue to inspire us - all of us who follow her journey and those new to her work - to embrace life and "awake the light."
Learn more about Freya Dowson and her global documentary storytelling:
Taking the leap to couple her healing experience and her academic study of nutrition to transform the lives of individuals struggling with a disordered relationship with food
Join us LIVE on Instagram: Thursday, February 22 at 12pm EST
Meg Dixon is no stranger to the struggle with food or its numerous root-causes. For years, Meg has catalogued her healing journey and shared countless inspiration and helpful articles to impact the lives of those struggling with disordered eating. In her years studying nutrition, Meg found clarity on her own pathway to healthy eating and is now a champion of the concept: intuitive eating, and arguably intuitive living. She now has a weekly podcast, a partnership consulting firm, and serves hundreds of women through her Facebook group: Nourishing Minds Tribe.
Learn more about Meg and Nourishing Minds:
Taking the leap to pursue her creative work full-time and to be a pioneer social media influencer marketing
Join us here for the interview launch: Thursday, March 1 at 12pm EST
Dominique Davis may be best known by her virtual pseudonym: All That is She, where she blogs and creates stunning visual content both in personal and professional nature. Dominique is more than a talented photographer: she illustrates whimsical ideas, carefully styles stunning imagers, and works magic in photo manipulation while still keeping the image looking real. As a pioneer in influencer marketing, she works with brands and other influencers to impact this new and exploding method of advertisement - one that feels genuine, personal, and peer-based. Dominique's blog is a treasure-trove of education for anyone wishing to create Instagram gold and is a source of inspiration for those with a soft-spot for crisp aethetics and adorable pets.
Learn more about Dominique and All That is She:
Taking the leap to open a community space to help people fall in love with handmade
Join us here for the interview launch: Thursday, March 8 at 12pm EST
Ryan-Ashley Anderson, the solo-entrepreneur behind Smart & Becker Creative is a creative force to be reckoned with! Designing and hand-crafting jewelry for nearly a decade, she's taken the leap to open her first retail/community space in Knoxville, Tennessee. Smart & Becker, A Gallery for Makers and Lovers is unlike any gallery you may have visited: In addition to a monthly artist feature show, Ryan-Ashley has a full calendar of social events including workshops, educational talks, and a Social Justice Book Club. Her goal? To make art accessible for all. She's curated a crisp and diverse selection of handmade goods to serve all wallets and will continue to offer maker and small-business consulting services for organizations looking to grow, diversify, and brand. If you're in Knoxville, you can visit Smart & Becker at 1154 McCalla Ave, or visit them online from anywhere!
Learn more about Ryan-Ashley Anderson and Smart & Becker Creative:
Taking the leap to move to a foreign country and become a champion for their modern renaissance
Join us here for the interview launch: Thursday, March 15 at 12pm EST
Lindsey Tramuta's life in Paris has spawned numerous articles, a blog called Lost in Cheeseland that's been around more than half a decade, and a recently-published book titled: The New Paris. What is the New Paris, you ask? Lindsey moved to Paris to attend college and stayed, despite what you may think you know about American's living in Paris. In the decade since, she's become acquainted with the cultural rhythm of the City of Light, cataloguing its modern renaissance through food, craft, tourism, and beyond. Lindsey's hard work helped her build a massive network, connecting her with creative minds, established pillars, and the change-makers bringing modern flair to her adopted hometown. In The New Paris, Lindsey breaks down the different facets of a changing city, evolving to meet the rapidly globalized culture and reforming its identity beyond what we could have ever romanticized.
Learn more about Lindsey and The New Paris:
Taking the leap to start an indie city-culture platform from inside a major media syndicate
Join us here for the interview launch: Thursday, March 22 at 12pm EST
Erin Slocum is not your modern entrepreneur. Yes, she's started one of the most popular cultural platforms in Knoxville, Tennessee and yes, she's a boss-babe commanding a small creative team with an ambitious project schedule. Erin is also employed by Fox 44, a massive media syndicate in the Eastern US. While it may seem like quitting your job is the only option to pursue a creative vision, Erin took a different route: When the idea came up for her media-baby, Knoxville Weekend, she assembled a team from inside her organization, rallied high-level support, carefully implemented her company's resources, and has created a masterpiece. Erin's story is inspiring for any entrepreneur or hopeful-preneur who isn't interested in leaving the nest, but instead wants to learn to work within the system.
Learn more about Erin and Knoxville Weekend:
Taking the leap to “just do it” when it came to becoming an artist and to continue her autobiographical art practice every single day
Join us here for the interview launch: Thursday, March 29 at 12pm EST
Mari Andrew was instantly my friend when I came across her Instagram account. Every day, she publishes an autobiographic - humorous - relatable illustration by her own hand; a practice to which she's maintained dedication for more than two years. To start the year off with a bang, Mari's book Am I There Yet? The Loop-de-loop, Zigzagging Journey to Adulthood publishes on March 27. Despite setbacks and maintaining a full-time job through most of the writing process, Mari has compiled an impressive collection of personal essays and illustrations to make-up her first-ever publication. Mari's voice is akin the the voice in my head, maybe yours, too. She shares her experiences vulnerably, writes plainly and in language we can understand, and put herself out there even if she doesn't feel confident or doesn't like the work she's producing. One of my favorite quotes from another of Mari's interviews regarding work she might not be particularly fond of: “I usually put it out into the world anyway and see if someone else is fond of it.” (source)
Learn more about Mari and pre-order her new book: