CHEERS TO STRONG WOMEN: WEEK 4

CHEERS TO STRONG WOMEN

Welp folks, this is the last week of our Cheers to Strong Women campaign. If you haven't heard about it, let me fill you in.... 

For the month of February, we have been donating a percentage of all sales to organizations that support and encourage strong women. We have given back to Planned Parenthood, Girls on The Run, The Malala Fund, and more. To support this campaign, we have been interviewing some bad-ass babes who are, to me, the definition of a strong and modern woman. 

With the month of February coming to a end, the women below are bringing it home and I am can't wait for you to read more about them! 

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Lauren Merriman

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1. Who are you and what do you do? 

My name is Lauren Merriman and I am the owner of Indian Summer Collection and a serial entrepreneur. I am also a mother of five and on a daily mission to standup in whatever ways I can for human equality. 

2. What does being a strong woman mean to you? 

To me, being a strong woman means standing up for what you believe in. If you feel something, acknowledge it. 

3. What advice would you give to the teenage version of yourself?

I would have told myself to focus more on myself and my own personal wants and needs from an earlier age. I spent a lot of time letting outside influences get inside my head. 

4. Name a woman in your life that has inspired you to be the woman you are today.

Dr. Leslie Novak. She was instantly my most beloved college (psychology) professor and I later became her TA. She made me see life for the first time on my own. She also taught me about feminism and how it is the advocacy of women's rights on the basis of equality between the sexes. I had literally, until then, only heard of feminists being wild, left-wing, burn your bra types! In general, there were countless revelations I had both during her classes and in private conversations with her that I still remember to this day thinking: "Yes! You are saying everything I'm feeling." She knew how to make my thoughts feel validated and encouraged me to take a path of life that at the time was far bolder than what I had ever thought for myself previously. 

5. Tell me a fact, secret, or something weird you do. 

So many things! I always joke that I have to be one of the youngest humans who is passionate about collecting rate Staffordshire porcelain figurines. This is also something partly ignited by Dr. Novak. I was fortunate enough to spend time with her while I was living in London. On weekends I loved tagging along on her shopping trips in which she would hunt for antique dog collars and charms and I would hunt for my Staffordshire's!

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6. What is your favorite piece from Sierra Winter Jewelry? 

Our Jane Birkin Inspired necklace....

... sneak peek! 

Indian Summer Collection X Sierra Winter Jewelry Collaboration! Coming this spring. 

7. What is one of your favorite organizations that supports and encourages strong women? 

The Women's Foundation in Kansas City. I have found both a friend and mentor in our Executive Director, Wendy Doyle. I am in awe of her achievements and also know her to be an invaluable asset and connector in our community. 

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Wendy Doyle

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1. Who are you and what do you do? 

My name is Wendy Doyle and I am the President and CEO of the Women's Foundation, a nonprofit that promotes equity and opportunity for women of all ages, using research, philanthropy and policy solutions to make meaningful change. 

2. What does being a strong woman mean to you? 

To me, part of being a strong woman has always meant being a voice for the voiceless and lifting up other women- especially those in challenging circumstances. 

3. What advice would you give to the teenage version of yourself?

Listen to your gut. It rarely fails. 

4. Name a woman in your life that has inspired you to be the woman you are today. 

I was inspired by the example of my mother and grandmother. Both were strong, hard-working women who made tremendous sacrifices to ensure a brighter future for their children. At that time working women were still the exception. 

5. Tell me a fact, secret, or something weird you do. 

I am a twin and we have the 'twin intuition' thing. I know when we need to reach out and my twin brother does the same. It is super cool. 

6. What is one of your favorite organizations that supports and encourages strong women? 

There are so many great organizations that it is hard to choose. However, I am a big supporter of developing your own support network- both to help celebrate your successes and lift you up after setbacks. 


Gayle Winter

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1. Who are you and what do you do? 

My name is Gayle Winter. I am the mother of Sierra Otto. I am currently the Co-Owner of Sierra Vista Vineyards in Manhattan, Kansas. I previously owned a fitness center and was also in real estate. 

2. What does being a strong woman mean to you? 

Being a strong woman means facing problems head on. What is that saying? 'When the going gets tough, the tough gets going!' I have always said to myself that facing problems is putting one foot in front of the other and go. I also believe in the power of prayer.    

3. What advice would you give to the teenage version of yourself?

It's not about your physical being but about your spiritual well being. Also, get a good education. It makes things so much easier. 

4. Name a woman in your life that has inspired you to be the woman you are today. 

My Mother Naomi and My Aunt Gevene.

When my dad was in the Air Force we moved around a lot and when we would move, he usually would have to go before the rest of our family. My mother was in charge of organizing the move and often sacrificed her needs and wants to make us feel at home in our new environment. She was always the caregiver in her family. Not only did she raise us, but she looked after her parents as well. 

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My Mother's older sister, Gevene, was a professional woman working for McDonald Douglas in Los Angeles. Not only did she work full time, she also helped her husband with his businesses. At the time this was not the norm. She never had children but treated my brother and I like we were her own. I looked up to her as a role model in my professional life.  

5. Tell me a fact, secret, or something weird you do. 

I love to work out! I can't go a day with out doing something physical. I would like to get more into body building... Sierra will think this is weird.

Note: Yes, I think this is weird. But whatever Mom, you do you.  

6. What is your favorite piece from Sierra Winter Jewelry? 

I love it all of course, but I would have to say my Primrose Earrings. They are named after one of my favorite prairie flowers, The Evening Primrose. 

Primrose Earrings // 14K Gold and Diamond // $1499

7. What is one of your favorite organizations that supports and encourages strong women? 

My husband and I have adopted two ladies through World Vision. One is from the Republic of Congo and the other is from Kenya. The money we contribute goes towards their education, clothing, food, and clean water.   

 

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Oprah .... just kidding.

Sierra Otto

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1. Who are you and what do you do? 

My name is Sierra April Winter Otto and I am the Owner & Designer of Sierra Winter Jewelry. I am a mom, wife, sister, daughter, and the chick who is writing this blog post. 

2. What does being a strong woman mean to you? 

To me, a strong woman is someone who is confident, knows what she wants, and isn't afraid to hear she is wrong. She can adjust when she needs to but puts her foot down when she knows something is off. She puts her family first, but never loses sight of her own individually. 

3. What advice would you give to the teenage version of yourself?

I would tell teenage Sierra this (and she probably wouldn't listen): Embrace the opportunity you have been given of education and soak it up like a sponge. Even though you learn differently than others, you are smart as hell. Your social life is not the most important thing and neither are boys.

Also, wear sunscreen.  

 Teenage Sierra caring way to much about her social life and NOT wearing sunscreen. 

Teenage Sierra caring way to much about her social life and NOT wearing sunscreen. 

4. Name a woman in your life that has inspired you to be the woman you are today. 

My mom, Gayle. She is my best friend and role model. (Mom... don't start crying) She has done a lot in her life and set the precedent for who I want to be. In business, she has taught me not be afraid to knock on doors. I quote her daily, "You'll never know if you don't ask!" As my number one fan, she has never stopped encouraging me to do my best and live my dream. As a new mom, she calms me and gives realistic advice. And as a friend she lets me call her 10 times a day to talk and listen to me vent when I need to. She also laughs at my jokes and I appreciate that. 

5. Tell me a fact, secret, or something weird you do. 

I do a lot of weird things. I don't mind eating cold leftovers. I've been collecting rocks ever since I was a kid. Everywhere we go, I come home with rocks in my suitcase. I also think I'm pretty funny. Like the thing about Oprah at the top of this section... I laughed out loud about it. 

6. What is your favorite piece from Sierra Winter Jewelry? 

I can't have a favorite in the same way you can't have a favorite kid or pet. However, I feel like a total bad ass when I am wearing my Warrior Earrings! 

Warrior Earrings // Gold Vermeil // $289

7. What is one of your favorite organizations that supports and encourages strong women? 

I am going to get real with you... not everyone is all butterflies and rainbows after they have a baby. Hormones can be out of whack and it can be a dark place for some women. That's why I am choosing Postpartum Support International. PSI helps Mammas feel strong and confident in their adjustment to motherhood. 

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Thank you for following along on this campaign! There are six days left to shop and help us give back to organizations that support and encourage strong women!

Peace and Love, 

-Sierra