This October we are celebrating the Hindu festival of Durga Puja, a festival that pays homage to the Hindu goddess, Durga, and during this time we aim to celebrate and showcase the achievements of our business partners, staff, and customers – all of whom we believe are total goddesses in their own rights.
We are bringing you the stories behind some of the most amazing women across our business, and as our second instalment of the goddess guide we have an insight into the world of Gemma from MuthaHood Goods.
Gemma is someone who we have spoken to before about the positive impact that her female-focused business is having, and we are delighted to have her back once again to share her secrets with us.
I really want to lead by example
Can you tell us a little bit about your business and what you do?
My name is Gemma and I run an online shop called MuthaHood. Our aim is to offer clothing, accessories and gifts that encourage women and girls to know their worth.
Our lead selling slogan is Strong Girls Club and we very much try to perpetuate that message through the products that we offer on our website, and the discussions we encourage across our Instagram community.
Who or what inspired you to start it?
I’m a Mum to two girls, who I often refer to as The Reds, and I really want to lead by example. I want them to grow up to know the value of their voice and opinion.
After I had my youngest I suffered with PTSD due to birth trauma, and through the recovery I realised that although the experience was horrific, it taught me the power of self-belief and to have more strength to use my voice.
I wanted to share my story and experience and took to Instagram to build a wonderful community. I’d had experience in buying before having my girls and I knew that the fastest way to spread my message was through merchandise so I started selling printed tees bearing the slogan Strong Girls Club and since then we’ve expanded into offering a vast array of products that support this message.
Have you faced any challenges as a woman in business?
I have worked in some hugely sexist environments in the past. Pre- Strong Girls Club, I would often brush off the experience or worse question what I had done to evoke such reactions.
What I really love about running my own brand and my own business is that I get to choose who I work with. I make sure to align myself with businesses and companies who share my values, who I enjoy speaking with and who feel a part of my team.
I recently approached a factory to produce some garments and the owner took huge offence to my email signature ending ‘Boss Lady’… it turned into a trigger for him to chastise me and show off about how many women reported into him and that not a single one sat beside him.
I think he perhaps misunderstood his audience because the one woman you don’t want to belittle with sexist commentary is the one who has come out of the other side of PTSD and set up the Strong Girls Club.
The thing that I’ve realised is that these sorts of difficulties are sadly inevitable, but I have the power to push back and also the power to walk away and find the good people to work with.
What makes you feel like a goddess?
Supporting other women in business around me. I spend a lot of time on Instagram for my business, the highlight for me is connecting and networking with other female small business owners.
I love nothing more than sharing tips, tricks, suppliers, support, and cocktails with them. I also can’t tell you how much joy it brings me to answer my DMs that I receive from followers and customers – they’ve become the bringers of exceptional water cooler chat and my days are brighter because of them all.
If you could give other women one tip to help them embrace their inner goddess, what would it be?
Know your worth, understand that your opinion is valued, that it is important and that you always have something to bring to the table.
The moment you start believing in yourself more, and stop listening to the gremlins that sit on your shoulder, the more like a goddess you will feel.
Inspiring words from an inspirational woman. This is just one story of many from some of the incredible women that we get to work with. Keep your eyes peeled over the coming days and weeks to hear more inspiring words from other women who we think are complete goddesses. We will also be sharing more stories on our Instagram, so make sure you’re following @bagsofethics.