I started my first business when i was five years old; granted, i sold rocks on the front stoop of my grandparents’ house in chilly pittsburgh the day after thanksgiving, and i made about a dollar – but it was something. It was actually something vitally important – it was me believing that i could do anything i put my mind to. My dad and mom raised both my sister and me to believe either of us and both of us could achieve, believe, create, design, try, write, study, younameit anything i/she/we ever wanted – most especially because we were girls, and then women.
We were taught that the ingenuity, creativity, empathy, soul, power, and grace of being a girl and a woman is a competitive advantage – and it’s our responsibility, choice, and power to use that for good.
All i ever really want is for other girls and women to know that same truth.
Here are just three of our commitments to that spirit:
- Back in 2013, my friend, jamie brown, and i launched ‘bea is for business’, an educational platform that teaches children about business and entrepreneurship; though it is built for both boys and girls, the platform’s main character – bea – is a girl who teaches her friends – boys and girls – about business; we made that choice because we realized that business education needs to start sooner – and children need to learn that from the get-go from a powerful, smart, creative girl. There are now five books in the series; learn more about bea and buy her first book here. (all five books are available on amazon.)
- toth shop supports female-owned businesses and organizations – from high-powered organizations like the women’s impact fund to every high-powered girl scout entrepreneur selling cookies outside the walgreens.
- Every month since we opened in 2015, toth shop has profiled at least one woman or female-owned business for a publication. We have dozens and dozens and dozens of female stories on the internet. Here are just three of those stories: Meet Abby Kircher, Meet Priya Patel, Meet Quinn Gwin.
- Every semester, we offer internship opportunities – we always bring on curious, high-achieving, young women who are interested in writing, business, and the cross section of both disciplines. We always pay our interns, too, because we believe it’s important to set a standard that a woman must be paid competitively for her work, and, more importantly, how she thinks.
I can be a stickler on toth shop’s pricing and value for a couple of reasons – first, because i believe we offer a competitive, luxury, and quality product based on our intellectual capital and creativity. Second – and more importantly – because i know that what i’m doing is paving the way for the next generation of women. The moment i second guess or shortchange my effort, i make it harder for her – next week, next year, next generation.
Look, here’s the deal – i’m not a feminist as we currently define it in 2019; i AM an advocate for equality across all people, genders, races, ages, orientations, educations, professional experiences; i’m even more of an advocate for diversity of thought.
I just know that there are a lot of powerful women out there who are hard on themselves and need to know they’re awesome. Our economies and our hearts need everything they are and will be; everything we are and we will be.