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International Women's Day

Posted by Kitty Fuller on
International Women's Day
Kitty Joyas is a female founded, female run business.

 This International Women’s Day, we wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate just some of the women that inspire us. From innovators, educators and change-makers, we’re delighted to shine the spotlight on the following females and their incredible work.   

GABBY EDLIN

Gabby wears the Triplet Pearl Drops

CEO & Founder of Bloody Good Period - an organisation fighting for menstrual equality, getting period products to refugees, asylum seekers and those that cannot afford them.

Here at Kitty Joyas, we see International Women's Day as an opportunity to celebrate the powerful women that we know and look up to. What is your definition of a powerful woman? 

Someone human. To me that means someone whose work is powered by love, and who is able to forgive themselves and others for mistakes.


Which 3 women are the biggest inspirations to you and why? 

My three sisters, Carmen, Lois and Lily. I know they're my sisters so I'm biased but they're just great. Carmen is a secondary school teacher to teenage boys, which I'm in awe of, and is an amazing mum to my niece Violet. Lois teaches four year olds, and has more patience and compassion than anyone I know. And Lily has just become a doctor in clinical psychology and always has the sagest advice. All three never fail to support me and keep me on the straight and narrow! 


What did you aspire to be when you were younger?
 

I wanted to be a fashion designer! I was obsessed with drawing clothes and designing Oscar-worthy gowns…


Are there any key pieces in your wardrobe that you gravitate towards when you feel you want to feel your most confident? 

I am the most boring dresser - it's always high waisted jeans and a jumper with trainers. But when I need a boost I love red lipstick, big earrings and platforms. 


You've done some amazing work with Bloody Good Period What has been your proudest moment to date? Career or personal life!  

I would say when a woman I know told me she's been checked out for (and subsequently had an operation for) fibroids, because our work empowered her to speak to her doctor about it. 
 
Learn more about Bloody Good Period, and support their work, as well as their dedicated Ukraine response fund here: www.bloodygoodperiod.com

 JASMINE O'HARA


Jaz picks the Forest Green Hoops

Founded by Jaz in 2015, The Worldwide Tribe creatively tells the story of the global refugee crisis through the use of film, photography and podcasts. Bringing a human, personal element to the growing issue, TWT works to raise awareness and support for grassroot projects making a direct impact on the ground where humanitarian help is most needed.

Which 3 women are the biggest inspirations to you and why? 

 My incredible friends, the Mardini sisters – Sarah and Yusra are Syrian, and fled Syria when they were teenagers. Growing up they were keen swimmers, and when making the dangerous crossing from Turkey to Greece on a boat, their engine stopped working. They were the only 2 people on board that could swim, so Sarah and Yusra got out, and swam the boat to the safety of the shore.
1 year later, Yusra was competing in the swimming at the Rio Olympics. Sarah went back to Lesbos to help other Syrian refugees. When campaigning against the criminalisation of humanitarian efforts, Sarah was arrested and is now facing a sentence for her humanitarian work.

 Khalida Popal – An Afghan football player and captain of the Afghan Women’s Football team, Khalida was instrumental in safely evacuating the Women’s Team out of Afghanistan last year following the Taliban takeover. She’s done so much incredible work for women and girls and continuously sacrifices her own safety for causes bigger than her.

 My Mum – She has shown me that love is infante. Not only have I watched her love her 4 biological children, but she has also shared her love with the 4 children that she has fostered over the last few years. My 4 brothers from Afghanistan, Sudan, Libya and Eritrea came over to the UK as unaccompanied refugee minors (they inspire everything that I do!) My Mum has been the gel that holds us all together and reminds us of the power in being united, respectful and loving to one another.

What did you aspire to be when you were younger? 

 I always wanted to work in fashion! My first job was with an amazing underwear brand called Pants to Poverty where we produced Fairtrade organic cotton underwear in India. I worked half the year in India and really felt that fashion was an industry that I’d be able to drive meaningful change in. That all changed 7 years ago when my first foster brother joined our family. My purpose really shifted and the stories of migration and the cause of refugees and asylum seekers really came to light. It felt like something I couldn’t ignore and that’s where The Worldwide Tribe was born.  

Are there any key pieces in your wardrobe that you gravitate towards when you want to feel your most confident? 

 I love colour – it makes me feel confident and happy. I have a collection of rings that I’ve collected from the various countries that I’ve travelled to. Wearing them really makes me feel connected and reminded of memories.

You've done some amazing work with TWT What has been your proudest moment to date? Career or personal life! 

 I personally have had so many – one that spring to mind is when I spoke at the UN in New York! But I think my proudest and happiest moments really are pivotal around my foster brothers. Watching them grow and evolve into the people that they are today is incredible. Watching them stand up and tell their story in front of a crowd, even if it was just their school assembly, was simply amazing.

You can learn more about The World Wide Tribe here: www.worldwidetribe.com

BESMA WHAYEB



Besma wears the Triplet Pearl Drops

Sustainable fashion advocate Besma is the founder of Ethical Influencers - a digital community of people doing good. With a focus on sustainable, environmental and social storytellers, the platform helps bring together and amplify the voices of likeminded people and brands to make a difference

What is your definition of a powerful woman? 
From an early age I’ve been inspired by powerful women: my mother, my grandmothers, my sister, my teachers. Now, I like to surround myself with powerful women - my friends, my colleagues, my favourite authors and artists. To me, a powerful woman is one that knows herself, cares for herself, and is strong in her convictions. She extends that knowledge, care, and strength to those around her. And most importantly, she asks for better. As women, we are still taught to be good, to be quiet, to be polite. I love women who challenge this - those who challenge the patriarchy, who are loud in the face of adversity, who stand up against the status quo and blaze a trail for all women.
 
Which 3 women are the biggest inspirations to you and why?
 
I’m forever inspired by the work and activism of Naomi Klein, and recently finished her book On Fire - I recommend it if you’re concerned about challenging the systems that keep us from a more sustainable future. 
 
Céline Semaan, Founder of The Slow Factory, also provides me a great sense of solace through her environmental justice work, and how she links her heritage and culture within that.
 
And I have to add my on-going style inspiration - Justine Soranzo. She just nails it every time. Strong and soft, feminine yet powerful.
 
What did you aspire to be when you were younger? 
 
My earliest memory of dreaming about my future was a splotchy painting I did of a ballerina - I was inspired by my grandmother, who used to dance on stage, and would take my sister and I to ballet classes every weekend. By my teens, I dreamed of being a writer - and here I am! Just don’t hold your breath for a novel anytime soon…
  
Are there any key pieces in your wardrobe that you gravitate towards when you want to feel your most confident? 
 
Yes! My Ganni blazer is what I reach for when I want to be confident, but I like to soften it and wear it as a mini-dress with a minimal skirt and tights. I also feel great in my Grenson Nanette boots - they’re my big bad biker boots, but I ride an electric scooter so there’s a gentler side too!
 
You've done some amazing work with Ethical Influencers. What has been your proudest moment to date? Career or personal life! 

 Founding the Ethical Influencers network has probably been the best move I’ve made in the last few years. A rising tide lifts all boats as they say, and I wanted to put that into practice, creating a space for likeminded content creators to connect. It’s important to me to create a sense of belonging and community in my work, and this has been the embodiment of it.

You can read Besma’s blog here: https://www.curiouslyconscious.com/ 
And discover Ethical Influencers here: https://ethicalinfluencers.co.uk/ 

LAURA JARDINE PATERSON

Laura is the founder of CONCAT - a web development agency led by talented refugee and female developers from countries of conflict. Concat empower marginalised developers by providing them with employment whilst creating innovative tech solutions for our clients.

What is your definition of a powerful woman? 

A women who lives without fear to challenge the status quo.

Which 3 women are the biggest inspirations to you and why?

 Rupi Kaur - her poetry is amazing.

Kim Scott - everyone should read her book Radical Candor.  

Lina Khalifeh - she is an amazing female entrepreneur and founder of SheFighter which empowers women throughout the Middle East by teaching them self-defence.

What did you aspire to be when you were younger? 

A famous artist!  Are there any key pieces in your wardrobe that you gravitate towards when you want to feel your most confident?   Definitely jewellery, my Joyas always! Skinny jeans and some colourful trainers.

You've done some amazing work with CONCAT. What has been your proudest moment to date? Career or personal life!   

One of my proudest moments was on a recent team call, one of my developers said "CONCAT has given us the freedom to live again", it made me tear up! 

You can learn more about Concat and the work they do here: https://concat.tech/