After last night, we have reason to believe makers actually is short for movers and shakers. Twelve amazing women shared stories of celebration, inspiration and innovation in a series of five-minute talks, and it’s safe to say there was a buzz of possibility in the air afterward. In an effort to maintain the energy from the night, below are some key inspirations from each speaker.
Jordyn DiOrio, Jewelry Maker
Jordyn pitched her jewelry line to Russell + Hazel with no less than a full-on case of tonsillitis. Sometimes you just have to “show up, dress up and be there.”
Rachel Hardacre, Creative
According to Rachel, the best way to share your idea is to make it tangible. If you’re not sure what it’s like, try to experience it. If you’re not sure if it can be done, try and make it. Strategic thinking and actual prototyping help us understand the whole message better when working together.
Jasmine Russell, Founder
Jasmine found the intersection of data and creativity by discovering an outlet for her interests. She said, “For those ideas and passions that might seem like distractions, see how you can incorporate them into your work to help the communities.”
Maribeth Romslo, Director & Cinematographer
It’s no secret perceptions are skewed in Hollywood: only 30% of screentime features women, and only 11 of every 100 cinematographers are female. However, diversity improves when women lead. Maribeth rolled up her sleeves and said "yes," which helped her find her voice to make a real difference.
Kari Sharff, Producer
Kari talked about our responsibility to support other women in any way we can. Whether through access to STEM education, inclusion in female-centric conversations, or general mentorship, more voices mean less tokenization.
Kim Senn, Illustrator & Designer
The world moves fast. Kim found that saying yes to opportunities, even when terrifying, helped her create her own catalyst to pursue her dreams.
Laurel Turek, Producer
Laurel spoke on the value of listening to her creative voice with love. She said to “give flaws hugs and failures pats on the back” since these “will help you grow, own, occupy and demand successes as well.”
Brett Astor, Editor
According to Brett, we have a responsibility to “represent humanity with humanity.” She spoke to the power of authenticity, saying how females can be portrayed as a voice of strength if we change the narrative.
Elizabeth Giorgi, Director
Elizabeth fought all her life against people telling her to shut up. Luckily, she hasn’t listened. As she said, “women are taught to shut up, and I invite you to never shut up again.”
Caroline Karanja, Founder & Developer
Caroline helped women turn their passions into products. By helping multilingual women learn about STEAM fields, she saw it was easier for more women to explore previously unconsidered career paths. She said, “when people see people they know in fields they love, it’s easier to see themselves in these places as well.”
Leeya Jackson, Art Director
Rather than staying quiet, Leeya listened to voices of other women to transform her imposter syndrome into a superpower. According to Leeya, “if it scares you, it’s probably because you’re supposed to be doing it.”
Sarah McNerney, Creative Director
Sarah spoke to the challenge of figuring it out. She said, “your skin is tough. Embrace the fact that there will always be a better idea and do it for yourself.”
Each speaker shared her own story of triumph, failure, and the ability to learn from it all. While everyone’s story was unique, there was one overwhelming takeaway: our passions and interests really can make a difference if we are willing to listen to them.
/written by Asia Cruz