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      Live Boldly Blog — Women for Women

      #WCW -- Rachel Lubanowski & Tanja Leonard

      Our #wcw this week is a Dynamic Duo, here in Boulder, CO.  They organize and execute Recycled Runway put on by the Common Threads Creative Lab.  If you've not heard of Recycled Runway, Project Runway meets Boulder tweens and outfits made entirely of recycled materials.  Watch the video from last year here. Participants design, troubleshoot & create original garments from found materials, as well as present them in a professional runway show & competition at the Boulder Theater.  In addition, they both are able to use their creative talents and love for fashion at Common Threads Boulder.

      Common Threads is a unique boutique founded in 2007 that combines higher end consignment, new garments and the creative lab.

      Rachel Lubanowski

      What is your day job? I am the store manager & social media designer at Common Threads in Boulder.

      Favorite Hobby/Sports: I love to keep a balance of active & chill: Hiking, dancing, seeing live music, seeking out natural hot springs, organizing (nerd alert!) & creating in my studio for my side project, grey tangerine.

      Who has inspired you lately? why? Lately, a few of my close, dear girlfriends have been *extra* inspiring. They're fellow artists with very different paths & I am in absolute awe of their creativity, honesty (with themselves & their art), strength, experiences & friendship!

      Who do you hope to inspire? Anyone! If I inspire one person, that will make me incredibly happy.

      How do you #liveboldly? I live boldly by being confident in my decisions & for what I believe in, supporting other artisans (I LOVE to support other makers & small business owners!) & getting out to explore this stunning world (& state) we live in!

      What are you most excited for in 2018? I am most excited for a few (secret) artistic projects that I have in the works, potentially a bit of travel & the oh-so-evident change. I love how each year is so different & full of growth!

      Tanja Leonard

      What is your day job? Teaching sewing/knitting and book keeping

      Favorite Hobby: Anything to do with making things, sewing, knitting, weaving, spinning, cross stitch.

      Who has inspired you lately? why? I am abundantly inspired by both of my daughters; Samantha (22 yrs) in med school and Audrey (19 yrs) at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Both girls have been very focused on their goals and are diligently working towards achieving those goals.

      Who do you hope to inspire? I hope to inspire today's young people to put away their media gadgets and get creative with their hands and their minds. While we can use technology to make projects and our lives easier, I strongly believe in the benefits of being creative with our hands.

      How do you #liveboldly? I jump into new opportunities and I don't hold back! What are you most excited for in 2018? I am excted to have the opportunity to again work with so many young people, be it through teaching sewing and Recycled Runway or through volunteering with Blue Sky Bridge and teaching kids about body safety and trusting their instincts. We all have the opportunity to make our world better, one person at a time.

      Follow these fashion mavens, on the following social channels:

      Common Threads Boulder: Web, Insta, Facebook

      Recycled Runway: Web, Instagram,

      Facebook (Tanja's Day Job) Common Threads Creative Lab: Web

      (Rachel's Side Hustle) Grey Tangerine: Web, Instagram, Facebook

      #WCW -- Gina Bégin

      #WCW -- Gina Bégin

      Our #wcw this week is Outdoor Women's Alliance Founder Gina Bégin.  If you'd like to learn more about OWA and Gina, take a listen to this awesome podcast from our friend Kristen Carpenter-Ogden, found here.

      What is your day job?

      As the founder, I volunteer with Outdoor Women's Alliance (OWA) 40-60 hours a week (no pay), so I would say that that is my day work. ;) However, to make ends meet, I am a freelance writer and occasional photographer for my stories and other freelance photography projects. I've written for various magazines and online publications, such as Outside Magazine, Huffington Post, Mountain Magazine, etc., but with trying to strike a work-life balance, I've focused my writing down to just two clients and spend the rest of my time with my co-volunteers and community at OWA.

      Favorite Hobby/Sports:

      Sports: I've been struggling with a major injury in 2014 that wasn't corrected due to medical malpractice. It changed my life drastically, especially as the founder of an outdoor-focused nonprofit. The uninjured, healthy version of me would immediately claim skiing and rock climbing, with ice climbing, whitewater kayaking and mountain biking as follow ups. Right now, though, I'm happy just to get outdoors at all in any form. I'm trying to get into cross country skiing—something I thought I'd never be into because I always preferred moving downhill on skis—but found with the injury that I can take it at my own pace. It's nice because with my other sports, I still expect my body to perform at the level it used to and my mind has a hard time dealing with the fact that my body isn't functioning the same anymore. With trying a new sport, I don't get frustrated by those expectations.

      Hobby: I grew up in Florida and was a hip hop dancer through high school, performing on a Florida T.V. dance show as a dancer and working as the choreographer of my own dance team. I still love hip hop dancing with friends, but living in my small town in Canada, there aren't as many opportunities.

      Who has inspired you lately? Why?

      My twin brother and sister-in-law. The next generation has always been a huge focus in my life and as a goal with OWA's future programming. My brother and sister-in-law are the ideal of selflessness and patience, always putting their large family of little ones first, even before work and always before their own needs. I'm awed by their dedication to family, working hard to provide them with new experiences and hands-on learning opportunities, and with their unending patience and excitement over the littlest things the kids want to show them (which is constant! :).

      At least in my experience working with youth in Florida, many kids don't have this kind of upbringing—parents either had their own agenda or worked multiple jobs to make ends meet. But I would love to help more youth have it in their life, even when they can't experience at home. My brother and sister-in-law are an example of the hope I started OWA with—programming that would emulate that kind attention, hands-on learning and growth for kids; especially young women.

      Who do you hope to inspire?

      Eventually, my own children, if I'm lucky enough to have any. But either way, the next generation of young women. In youth, I see the "seeking for common ground" understanding that all youth seem to have, but that so many of us lose along our path to adulthood—especially now with the bickering and holier-than-thou opinions that occur on social media channels. Our generation seems to have forgotten that there are many views on life, many life experiences that shape those views, and because of that, each person's idea of a subject is correct to them for a reason. Putting others down and being the loudest "shouter" has never done anything to change a belief system. Understanding and humble examples have.

      I see that promise in youth, as long as they can hold onto the common-ground approach to relationships with their fellow human beings. I try to foster that feeling in conversations within OWA.

      How do you #liveboldly?

      Quietly.  For a long time, my personal social channels were super active, and I enjoyed getting out there and sharing what I was doing. But after working professionally in social media marketing for years and seeing the rise of "influencer" campaigns, even being sought out by major outdoor companies as an influencer for their marketing purposes, I just felt, well, hollow. Social media started feeling very self-centered, so a couple of years ago I cut my my personal social media use down by probably 90-95% and rolled that time to focusing on social media at OWA. At OWA, it's always been the mission to highlight what others are doing, especially the "every day" women, and it feels much more fulfilling than promoting myself. I want to use my organization's platform to help as many women as possible in our community, from the oceans of my Florida home state to the volcanic mountains of Indonesia, have a moment where they feel special and recognized for their adventures and abilities.

      What are you most excited for in 2018?

      Launching our expanded Grassroots Program, an extension of our Grassroots Teams at OWA. We've had a lot of hiccups along the way, since we're all volunteers at OWA and trying to build something that hadn't been created before. Once it's ready, we'll be able to deliver on something that's been requested of our Grassroots Program for years at OWA—the ability to for women to create local adventure communities even outside of our regional teams.

      You can follow Outdoor Women's Alliance on all of your favorite social channels.

      @outdoorwomen on Instagram and Pinterest, @womenoutdoors on Twitter

      #WCW Jen Gurecki

      #WCW Jen Gurecki
      Our #WCW this week is Jen Gurecki.  After year s of hearing women complain about gear that didn’t serve their needs, she decided it was time for ladies to take matters into their own hands and co-founded Coalition Snow.  She’s bold, fired up and super rad. 

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      #WCW Bronwen Lodato

      #WCW Bronwen Lodato
      Our #WCW this week is the gorgeous Bronwen Lodato.  Bronwen has been making jewelry for as long as she can remember. Her inspiration stems from a life lived in motion. 

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      #WCW Colleen Cannon

      #WCW Colleen Cannon
      Our (#WCW) Woman Crush Wednesday this week is Colleen Cannon.  Colleen Cannon founded Women’s Quest after a highly successful career as a professional triathlete. 

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