International Women’s Day 2019
O My Bag’s ‘She-Shed’ Project
Today marks the day we celebrate the achievements and contributions of the most badass people we know. That’s right, we’re talking about women! Time to think about the meaning of this day, and to tell you how O My Bag chooses to celebrate: with the introduction of our so called ‘She-Shed’.
International Women’s Day
But first, what is International Women’s Day exactly? To recap: on March 8 in 1908, the first protest of women has held in New York, to increase awareness for the bad circumstances in the textiles industry at that time. A few years later, in 1910, German women rights activist Clara Zetkin decided to devote the day as annual day for women. That’s right, this year marks the 119th edition!
Good, but why is it still necessary to celebrate the rights of women in particular? Even though we have progressed when it comes to gender equality, women still experience discrimination and inequality in work environments. In the age of girl bosses and female entrepreneurs, the term ‘CEO’ is still often associated with ‘him’ rather than with ‘her’. So yes, an annual occasion to think about women doesn’t seem like a bad idea. Of course, there are many ways to celebrate this wonderful day, but we figured, why not challenge the most male oriented space – the shed.
She-Shed: The Ladies-only Backyard Escape
To be fair, we didn’t come up with the concept of the She-Shed ourselves. Writer Erica Kotite explains in her book ‘She Sheds: A Room of Your Own’ that it is the ladies-only backyard escape from the heavy load of responsibilities that we women have, such as jobs, marriage, children, house hold, chores, and so on. The She-Shed is therefore a place to get some rest, but also to work on creative projects. We decided that a She-Shed would be a perfect addition to O My Bag’s female led business. Our goal: the first women working in the She-Shed before the 8th of March. And guess what? We made it!
Our Very Own She-Shed
Our She-Shed project might be a side project compared to our other activity, because of course, lovely bags need to be designed and shipped (let’s not forget, we women have some business to attend to). Still, we took our She-Shed very seriously and decided to arrange a small renovation in terms of tech stuff like central heating, electric points, and lightning. At the early stage we had a brainstorm where our O My Bag team members came up with ideas ranging from a mini library, flex yoga area, a meditation space, to even a special corner for plants. We are still in the midst of finding the perfect furniture, adding some nice leather details, thinking about the most efficient set-up, and so on. Our official opening will be in two weeks (check our socials for updates and pictures!), but some of our team members already sneaked to the She-Shed to enjoy some Zen moments.
But the most important thing is that while we were working on the She-Shed, we took some time to think about our own values and accomplishments as a women led organization. Women empowerment is a cause that O My Bag supports, so basically we support women and women-led organizations. And we’re proud of that!
Who Run the World? Girls!
‘The Cup’ in Kolkata, India, is an example of a mini organization the we support. This is a café inside the Fairtrade organization called Freeset Global which provides employment and support women who were trafficked into prostitution, as a safe space where a supportive community is grown. All of our sales profits of the Black Friday Weekend were donated to The Cup, which marks €5000 in total to afford necessities likes kitchen and staff equipment, but also manicures and movies nights with an actual projector. You might even call it a She-Shed! In this way O My Bag contributes to global issues like the empowerment of women.
Not only in India, but also in our Amsterdam Flagship Store and The Hague Store we hope to empower and inspire each other every single day and pass that on to everyone who wears an O My Bag. No negative competition, but instead we women take care of each other, while doing the work that makes us happy. So yes, it is true what they say about us. Girls just wanna have fun, but girls also wanna do good.
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