Femininity

We had the pleasure of attending the Ms. Foundation‘s Gloria Awards here in New York City last week – talk about #GirlsWithGuts.   The crowd blew us away as it was a real who’s who of female trailblazers; everyone from Gloria Steinem herself to Chelsea Handler, Hillary Clinton, Tamika D. Mallory & Carmen Perez (founders of Women’s March), Martha Plimpton, and Ann Curry, among so many others.

Beyond the fantasticly festive, positive, inspiring energy and celebration of the amazing work this organization does and appreciation for how far we’ve come, we walked away realizing how much more work remains unfinished.  We like to stay in the realm of the positive and avoid getting overly political, you know . . . find the silver linings.  That said, our hearts ached a bit after hearing the story of Sydney Phillips, recipient of the Peggy Charren/Free To be You and Me Award presented by Marlo Thomas.  We struggle to believe that in 2017 a girl can be expelled for wanting to play a sport, yet she was.  Read the full story here.

PC: Getty Images

Fashion

Thank you NY Magazine for your series, An investigation into the joy and pain of fitting in: exploring the pathologies, hierarchies, and quirks of female socialization from high school to the workplace and beyond.  As a brand we cannot deny that being popular contributes to the bottom line . . . but we continue to ask ourselves, “at what price?”  Why can’t we use athletes as models for our marketing campaigns you’ll hear us ask?  Why can’t we show our brand ambassadors in everyday life rather than completely staged in a traditional photo shoot we argue?  Can’t a brand gain a loyal following without exploiting women and their physical assets?  Can’t our passion for boxing translate to a broader community of champions . . . champions of other women and causes?

We applaud Stina Sanders for her efforts to demonstrate how despite so many people frowning upon perfectly edited images, they don’t want the real deal.  We’d like to go one step further and try to change that behavior . . . we aim to gain your affinity by remaining fun, real, authentic, different and championing other amazing people, causes and companies who also have the courage to fight the good fight. 

PC: Esprit

Fitness

As you might imagine, here at JLEW bags we are very happy to see the rise in popularity of boxing.  That said, boxing is more than putting on wraps, gloves and wailing on a bag.  Mastering fundamentals at the outset is key to development and injury prevention for any sport and boxing is no exception.   Bravo to Health Magazine and 2-sport, 3x world champion Chris Algieri for breaking down the basics.   Watch the video here.

Flair

Chat with Jamie, our founder, about her favorite things to do and she’ll likely say surf . . . then caveat it with “but only in warm water, with no rocks, with 4-6 foot waves.”  How can she champion #GirlsWithGuts legitimately and purport to like surfing if she’s not really that great at it?  Because, as Karen Rinaldi articulated so candidly in her Opinion piece for the New York Times, “. . . “Why pursue something I’ll never be good at?  Because it’s great to suck at something.”  Read the full piece here.

Why do we at JLEW Bags care about this beyond the fact that Jamie truly enjoys surfing?   It’s much deeper and explains a bit about her personality and passion, which compelled her to start the company and persevere despite one obstacle after another.   It’s about her drive to learn and continue learning how to learn.   Harvard Business Review noted four attributes successful executives have in spades: aspiration, self-awareness, curiosity, and vulnerability. They truly want to understand and master new skills; they see themselves very clearly; they constantly think of and ask good questions; and they tolerate their own mistakes as they move up the learning curve.  We can promise you this at JLEW Bags, Jamie will never stop working hard, motivating the team to think creatively and generate and test new ideas.  We might not get it right the first time but we will continue to innovate and build the brand in a gutsy and authentic fashion.

Jamie surfing in Bali in 2014.