This month, we are celebrating Women-Led Businesses. Each week we will talk to an extraordinary woman about her business.
Being biracial daughters of a White parent and a Japanese parent each, understanding race and difference was a core part of Sara and Misasha’s psyches since they were children.
But it wasn’t until Misasha married a Black man and had very mixed race boys that the two best friends - who met 25 years ago as undergraduates at Harvard - started talking about racism more publicly.
Why? Because of the very real fear that Misasha has that one day, her sons or her husband will walk out of their house and not come back, based solely on the color of their skin. And if you know and love a child, you know that fear like that is gutting.
To move the needle, Sara and Misasha started their award-winning weekly podcast in April 2019, aimed specifically at helping White women get access to stories, history, and action steps to use their privilege to uproot systemic racism. Then, in late 2021, they released their heart-led anti-racism book Dear White Women: Let’s Get (Un)comfortable Talking About Racism and are thrilled with the reviews it is getting for its tone and practicality - and hopefully, the difference it will make to all who read it.
They know the title is pointed, but they want people to know that that’s because they’re calling to White women as their target audience.
Why White women? There’s a twofold answer.
And being biracial, Sara & Misasha have been able to float among circles of White women and are aware of what conversations are - and aren’t - happening in those circles. Often, their friends would say they felt defensive or overwhelmed or didn’t feel educated enough to make change and wanted to look away. But unfortunately, for Misasha and her Black husband and their very mixed race boys - and so many others like them - they don’t have a choice. They can’t look away.
Misasha’s children’s lives are out of her hands the moment they walk out the door; once the boys leave her house, their lives are in all of our hands.
Together, Sara and Misasha hope that their platform makes it easier for more White women to understand our individual and systemic biases, learn our country’s history, and make the changes we need in each circle we’re in - to make the world safer for all of our children.
Learn more about Sara and Misasha’s book and listen to their award-winning podcast at dearwhitewomen.com
We have the honor of highlighting Katherine Homes for Women Led Wednesday this week. There are few words that will describe how inspiring this woman is in her quest to educate and create awareness for causes she is passionate about. We’ll start by telling you she started her brand to educate and inspire individuals into action through her various creative formats. The passion driving the brand creations is to generate awareness around threatened species and wild lands.
From a very young age, Katherine felt a deep connection to the wild - as a child she was very shy and felt it was easier to connect to the wild than to people - and developed an unwavering commitment to protect the earth as a whole.
“The wild, while it has a voice, it is a language we don’t often understand. I wanted to somehow translate that language intuitively, and make that voice heard. I do that typically through music and art, sometimes through my writing, but mostly through my work.”
Leading up to the launch her company Katherine led a full and experiential life of studying environmental psychology and sustainability both at university and in the field after school. Along the way she became and accomplished musician, artist, and educator. Her work with numerous environmental nonprofits led to her quest to bring environmental awareness to those far outside the walls of the nonprofit world. She felt that art was the best medium to do this and thus, her brand was born.
Katherine hand paints her art using watercolor on wood. She focuses on threatened species and wild lands bringing in patterns and colors found in the wild. Katherine plays with the use of color and her images are bold and bright. Her art is what draws you in, but her why, is why we stay. She educates the customer on interesting facts, what threatens it and what tangible actions we can all take that will ultimately make a positive difference.
Like Rhonda, she believes in the power of supporting women. “Studies show that it's much harder for myself and other women, to get business loans, house loans, or funding for their organizations and while we receive significantly less funding we deliver higher returns on investment and that's not just professionally. We deliver a higher return within our communities. Women reinvest their money and their resources back into their families, communities, and society. We nurture ourselves, our partners, our children, each other and the Earth. From our all-female sales team to our 99% female-led accounting firm whom we work with, I believe that when we uplift women we uplift everyone. I can not stress the importance of supporting women.”
A Woman of Inspirations | Rhonda Swenson
Rhonda is a woman that possesses a variety of strengths, the kind that impassions and supports other women in the vastly underrepresented world of women in the outdoors. Please join Krimson Klover in supporting the #WomenLedWednesday movement by helping us kick it off with a highlight on our fearlessly feminine and empowering leader.
From Rhonda Swenson
"I grew up in an outdoorsy and creative family and that has really fueled my passion for helping other women gain the experience to express their passions and fulfill their dreams.
Before my days at Krimson Klover (and before #WomenLedWednesday was an actual movement), I have always made a conscious decision to support other women in both the outdoor industry and my community.
There are so few women in the outdoor industry starting at the top as brand founders and trickling all the way down to product development, creativity, and manufacturing positions. Supporting women in all of the job functions that it takes to run a brand is imperative to empowering females to find and excel in their pursuit of passions.
I’m proud to say that we have a female team working on everything from product design, material sourcing, graphic design, trade shows, marketing, and more! It’s incredible what can happen when you reinvest your energy to lift up other women in their positions. The collaboration, communication, and creativity that come from our team is amazing!
At the end of the day, if we as women invest in other women-owned and led businesses, that investment comes back to the community exponentially more than it does with most male-run/founded companies. I’m always looking for opportunities to contribute to worthy causes and to promote women in the outdoor and ski industries, mentoring young designers and offering a role model for success with my own women-powered and operated company.
Being a woman in business, especially in the outdoor industry, is special and I can’t wait to highlight more women this month that are making a difference by supporting the passions we hold true at Krimson Klover.
Update on what I do for my outdoor time in case you’re interested:
I continue to ski both at resorts and in the backcountry, bike Colorado & European mountain passes, and travel the world."