For Women, By Women: Let’s Stand Together

We’d like to take a step back and appreciate all strong, inspiring voices in honour of International Women’s Day. The women at S/ are proud to showcase the brave and brilliant spirits in our community who empower each other, have become masters of their own craft, and who encourage others to follow their lead. We had the opportunity to ask what this day means to them.

Amber Joliat, Creator/Owner of MISFITSTUDIO

“IWD is a day to reflect and manifest equal rights for ALL women to lead a life full of freedom inside and out. That we all seek love, connection, and joy and together are stronger when we lift each other UP. It’s time to learn to work with ourselves rather than against ourselves, there is tremendous power and freedom on the other side of being at war with yourself.”

Stephanie Potocnik, Sommelier at Paris Paris

“As a woman today, I am an advocate for change. In a male-dominated industry, it is important to stand together, lean on each other, and help each other achieve our aspirations; we are our own best allies. I am fortunate to have met and worked with many influential women in my field. On International Woman’s Day, I will celebrate these women and all women who are an inspiration to others.”

Luisa Duran, Hair & Makeup Artist

“This Women’s Day and every day, let’s remember that we should never shy away from our assertiveness. We can set an example by not being afraid to blend and balance our feminine and masculine traits. That being strong does not make you less feminine and being ‘soft’ should not define your femininity. We can be powerful and vulnerable and although it may be challenging at times, we have the natural ability to handle that complexity with grace.”

Hayley Elsaesser, Fashion Designer

“For me, International Women’s Day is not about me as a privileged woman, it’s a day to realize how far we have come in terms of equality and women’s rights, but also how far we have to go in some cultures and parts of the world. It’s a day for people who have a voice to stand up for those who do not. It’s a day to be thankful for those who have come before us and sacrificed for us. Growing up with a single mother, I never really questioned how powerful women can be, but as a global society, we still have a long way to go.”

Vanessa Cesario, Creative Director of Unika Swim

“To me, IWD not only marks an opportunity to go above and beyond celebrating the women in our lives, but sparks a conversation on how we can continue to lift each other up. How can we, as a whole, simultaneously recognize AND help women to be recognized for the unique characteristics they contribute to the world? It’s a great time to practice gratitude for how far we’ve come in regards to equality, and in conjunction, offers the chance to further the dialogue of where we’re going from here—and most importantly—how we can continue to keep moving forward.”

Me Time, DJ/Producer and Connector at We Met Dancing and EveryBody

“Don’t get it wrong, women are thriving—we are resilient, resourceful, and ready to take on the world. And yet, systemic sexism still runs rampant and threatens our ability to thrive on our own terms. We need more than one day a year to address these issues, but International Women’s Day is an important reminder that there’s work to be done. This year, I would like to see more allyship—both on the part of women supporting each other, raising each other up and embracing intersectionality to recognize trans, non-binary and POC folks—and on the part of men, who can support women by listening more, taking up less space, and speaking up when they see exclusion, discrimination, injustice, and abuse.”

Talvi Faustmann, Musician & Art Director

“Feminism to me is something that exists more in my day to day, something that I would think and read about more privately as opposed to in groups. This day represents feminism’s long history and it’s more organized and collective efforts at reform, which I,  of course, deeply appreciate but have never felt like I was a part of. It’s easy to sneer at the idea of there being a mere ‘day’ for something, but it is significant politically to acknowledge this progress and take time to recall how recently some of these things were reformed and what that says about where we are now.”