This is my first blog post for Droplet! I will be updating this blog with all sorts of posts and ideas, which will develop as I grow my business.
The blog will also include contributions from like-minded people, with a focus on millennials identifying as women.
The first topic I’d like to talk about is being my own boss and being in charge. First of all it suits me perfectly. I have always been loud, outspoken, a leader, and challenged those in positions of authority. I also suffer pretty severely from anxiety, and have battled with depression.
This meant I felt that I needed to be in control at all times. – I like to be in charge of myself, my work and, my deadlines.
When I quit my fashion industry job I couldn’t imagine writing a resume, applying for a new job, and putting my future in anyone else’s hands (more of this in the About section).
What I didn’t expect was how much incredible support I would receive from my peers, but also the negative side effects of going out on my own
I started with researching other women in business – I discovered the hashtag #girlboss and I knew this was something I wanted to get on board with. I loved the idea that I was a baby boss in the world of business; that I was doing it all on my own with no business studies or specific plan.
However, now that I am 11 months in, I have come to realise that I no longer identify as much with the label #girlboss. I just want to be considered a boss.
A negative experience that really solidified my need to be taken seriously regardless of my gender, was when I was looking to rent a pop-up space on Cuba Street in Wellington. I had an extremely condescending interaction with the premises owner over the phone:
“It’s $700 for the week my dear, and you wont find a better price.” I wanted the store for 4 days, and he was charging me a full week’s rent.
First of all, it is NOT appropriate to be called my dear, sweetheart etcetera in the business world. In my opinion, pet names should only be used within your personal inner circle. Some may think pet names are endearing. To me, they are a power play, used to make you feel small, delicate, and in need of care.
I am not delicate. I am the owner of a successful business I started at 24. I deserve respect.
Secondly, you can get a pop up store for cheaper. Way cheaper. Some people just assume you have zero experience and judge you purely on the sound of your voice over the phone.
I am a feminist. However, I have only identified as a feminist in recent years. I come from a very small town in New Zealand, which offered little to no education in women’s studies. Plus, I was interested in sewing at school! A sterotypical woman’s craft. I did not feel that there was any encouragement for me to pursue anything else, despite the fact that at 12 years old I was the top 2% in New Zealand for Maths and English.
At 18 years old, I suddenly had my eyes opened to the blatant sexism that was previously hidden from me. I moved to a larger city, and I started noticing things like the male gaze in film and marketing; the way politicians are treated by appearance and not values; how cleaning products are marketed on TV towards women, etcetera. My identification as a feminist came at a late age compared with some people, so when I realised that I had been unknowingly encouraging sexist values my whole life, and valuing relationships and my image over education among many things, I WAS FUCKING FURIOUS.
Fortunately for me, my eager mind and intelligence has prevailed, and I have taught myself what I need to know by doing my own research as well as surrounding myself with, and learning from like-minded people.
So, when I am patronised for my gender and/or my age, no matter how insignificant it may seem to someone else, I will not tolerate it. In this situation, I acted professionally, continuing with the store viewing and emailing through my questions. Before I had half of my questions answered, I received a text:
“Do you want place XX Cuba Street or not mate?”
“Not if you are going to speak to me like that, it is very unprofessional and I am disappointed with how you spoke to me on the phone. Will not be contacting you again. Regards.”
To which he answered:
“Sorry, thank you and good luck finding a nice place like XX Cuba Street. Good luck.”
My reply was pretty straightforward, and I felt better about the interaction after standing up for myself. Also, I think he apologised? If it was sincere, that is.
So, the moral of this story? Don’t associate with people that do not connect directly with your values, no matter how small the interection. It’s not worth your time and energy.
the chat I had with one of my amazing friends Briar (also my copy editor) that inspired this post:
(Pls ignore my spelling I was passionate typing)
Thanks for reading!!
If you want to submit a think piece or story – in regards to feminism, sex, sexuality or being a millennial, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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