Of course we celebrate the women in our lives every single day of the year but on International Women’s Day the web will be inundated with tales of famous women forging thought the struggle and strife of a male dominated world. Yes that should, most definitely, be celebrated, spot lit and notated to pass on to future generations of girls and boys, but instead of joining the cacophony of voices praising the likes of Emmeline Pankhurst or Frida Kahlo, I have chosen to identify three women that you probably won’t have heard of. Three that have inspired me to be more creative more compassionate and more me.
I also think we should take a little time to celebrate ourselves in amongst looking after our families, work, pets, houses, the neighbour’s pets, so on. Because after all… Who runs the world? We do.
First up is my Mum.
Now I know most people will say that they are inspired by their mothers and rightly so, but until I had my own children it really didn’t register how. My mother is a product of her generation, not very confident in her own skills and abilities, often pointing out what she is not good at rather than shouting about what she is. I always knew that she had: ‘no qualifications to speak of, was terrible at maths’ and ‘was not creative at all’. Yet she could tell me the latin names for most of the plants in her beautiful 3 acres of garden, have a number of amazing books published and, not only pass an MA in Decorative and Fine Art with flying colours, but then be asked to lecture on the course for the following 20 years. She has also been the prominent breadwinner in our family, which, as a child, I was aware was not the norm and a very powerful message for three daughters.
She is a staunch activist and fights vigorously for what she believes in be it for her children or the community around her and often enables change. Her work ethic, love and support is something I hope to pass to my children. As age takes hold, of her, and me, our roles are starting to change and yet she still inspires me to forge through life keeping close the things that matter and to never stop learning.
Next up is Claire Knill, aka In the making
Claire is a friend and fellow maker that I have known for a few years. I met her just before she had her children which is often a very transitional time in life. She seems to have totally used this time to explore her creativity, moved and morphed from one thing to another in a beautifully transient way and she hasn’t been afraid to change her work or try out new things. Pretty much everything she creates I find totally jaw dropping, from stunning wedding decorations to styling the Brighton Dome year on year for Brighton’s Etsy Local Christmas Market, to her current range of beautiful perspex mobiles. Her calm and continuously cheerful outlook on the world is one to inspire.
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Finally it’s Suzi Warren, aka Twisted Twee
I haven’t known Suzi that long – we connected through Not On The High Street as she is a fellow seller on the platform. She continuously makes me laugh. Her Facebook and Insta feed are full of amazingly witty comments on the world, her amazing creations and demonstration videos remind us not to take ourselves too seriously #crapwrap #shittygift. Her product ranges have an equally unique humour – from reclaiming negative words for women such as Hag Harriden or Fish Wife that now proudly adorn t-shirts, to her ‘political pants’ with faces of politicians on Y fronts. But by far my favourite is her latest endeavour to welcome people into the uk at the Eurostar gate at Kings Cross St Pancras. An act that has sparked the #bemoresuzi hashtag, and I am trying to be in my everyday life.