It’s International Women’s Day, and we think ladies are pretty neat. Here’s a couple from Wellington that we like, a lot.
Lady occupation: Founder of Wā Collective
Relationship: Client (and friend) of Five + Dime
Consensus: All around amazing lady
Olie has an infectious energy about her and a signature pair of cherry earrings. But what’s cooler than her style and personality, is her personal mission. Olie’s trying to stop a little thing called ‘period poverty’ through her social enterprise Wā Collective.
Earlier this year, when Olie stayed at my house in between flats (don’t even get us started on the housing issues in Wellington right now…), she told me that prior to Wā Collective she’d lived in India for six months and set up a small scale education and training programme for the women in the village to make their own menstrual products. Let me just repeat that. She trained women who didn’t have access to menstrual products, from a-whole-nother culture and dealt with huge language barriers, to make their own cloth pads. That’s freaking amazing.
Also before Wā Collective, I admired (from a distance) Olie’s business idea at Startup Weekend Wellington Environment. She and friend Holly (the duet just rolls off the tongue) worked on a beautifully-designed offering of ‘period underwear’ - the sexy kind.
Then in late 2016, Olie ran a good ole’ Vic Deals-based online survey of former and current Wellington students to dig into this period poverty thing a little deeper (you know, validation). She discovered that a shocking 1-in-3 people had skipped a class because they didn’t have access to menstrual products. What. The. Hell.
So Wā Collective was born - Menstrual cups as a cheaper, better and more environmentally-friendly solution to tampons and pads.
And today, to celebrate IWD, Olie has just launched the Wā Cup nationwide. Anyone who menstruates will now be able to buy a cup for $49 and subsidise another for a student down to $15. Oh, the power of the people. That’s what I love about the social enterprise model.
To steal a few of your puns, Olie...
Cup Yeah! You’re bloody amazing.
Lady occupation: Copywriter at Five + Dime
Relationship: Really good friend and colleague
Consensus: Too modest for her own amazingness
Alice just recently chopped all of her hair off, and this is one of the things I love about Alice. She doesn’t give a toss about what mainstream society thinks it means to be ‘a girl’.
A proud lesbian, who constantly reminds us of the gender biases wrapped up in our language, and has made a strong case for us to have gender neutral bathrooms in the office so that everyone feels welcome. Alice started what she’d describe as a ‘low-key meetup’ for the Wellington LGBT community, that has the power to do incredible things.
Capital Queers is a weekly gathering that moves between LBQ and Fortune Favours (and others, that I’m probably not aware of). There’s no RSVPing. Alice just puts up an event on Facebook and goes along every week to see who shows up. From what I’ve heard, there’s been some really amazing conversations and connections that have come out of this ‘low-key meetup’. At times they’ve had upwards of 30 people show up.
Along with taking initiative in the LGBT community, Alice also has a killer sense of style and writes copy like she forged it from steel - honestly her work is truly beautiful.
Cheers to you Alice.
Lady occupation: Co-Founder at Roar Content
Relationship: Rents a desk at our space
Consensus: The fittest lady we know
Jo Miller is this crazy-tall, beautiful, wonderfully-warm human that shares an office with us and runs a kickass content marketing company called Roar Content.
She’s amazing in her own right. But the thing that impresses me even more is her commitment to biking every day from her house in Lyall Bay to the office on Dixon St. I mean, that is a b*tch of a drive (for Wellington) let alone a bike ride.
Every day, Jo lugs her ‘Specialized Hardrock Sport’ mountain bike (yes, I had to google this) up our two flight of stairs, changes out of her bike gear and then after a long day at the office, changes back and rides home.
Whenever I see challenges from the City Council prompting Wellingtonians to ride their bike to work, I think - yeah I could do it. But the reality of Wellington weather is that you don’t want to be riding your bike to work most days. Not Jo. She does it every day. Rain or shine. It’s insane.
And what’s more, her bike is a Frankenstein creation. Jo’s partner - Radio NZ presenter, Simon Morton (also a huge bike enthusiast) built it for her using a bunch of old random bikes. It’s potentially the most creatively upcycled bike in Wellington.
Jo, you’re single handedly fighting climate change with your alternative to driving. You’re not just a top notch lady but a top notch human.