Did you know that we have a secret ingredient in our bandanas? Every inch of fabric, every fiber, each dye color and mantra is infused with something incredible: moxie. (To be honest, even our brass and leather bandana slides, and paper products have it too!)
Merriam-Webster has three definitions that capture this word ‘1. energy, 2. courage, 3. know-how’. Moxie is a ‘Force of character, determination, or nerve.’ Moxie is not a verb, it’s not an adjective, it’s a noun. Moxie is something that you have, something you hold, something you keep close.
Where does this moxie come from?
All you trailblazers out there have the same moxie that inspired Jenni to start her own company, rise from the ashes of personal struggle, and print her first bandana, ‘be brave’. We are in-awe at the courage and energy that you all bring to each challenge, each day and every obstacle. The Jenni Earle gang has a lot of moxie, but it’s the stories we hear from our fans that replenishes our stocks of determination and nerve--and all that goes into every piece we make.
Any force, even a force of character, can be overwhelming. My experience is that my moxie can be deemed “too much” by people in my life. Women with determination and strong character are sometimes painted in a less-than-flattering light: they are difficult, emotional, or too serious. I have had both men and women in my life call me “intimidating”, and even at times “scary”.
When I receive negative feedback I find myself wanting to become smaller, quieter, easy-going, and more submissive. I feel that my moxie turns me into a giant monster, like King Kong or Godzilla: all my friends, family and potential romantic partners run screaming through the streets while I smash buildings in the background. What they don’t know is that I’m not chasing them, I’m trying to follow them. I want to be seen, understood and loved.
Don’t be afraid of yourself. Don’t let other people tell you that the moxie you have is a bad thing. Moxie is what gets us out of difficult situations. Sometimes, moxie is what reveals an obstacle.
The movie Moxie came out this year. It is directed by Amy Poehler, and adapted from a novel of the same name by Jennifer Mathieu. The movie features young protagonist, Vivian, who is a quiet girl that is grateful to be outside of the spotlight of high school social rankings. Members of Rockport High School vote and rank girls based on desirable body parts (gross). A new student, Lucy, arrives to Rockport High and shakes up Vivian’s conception of how a young girl should handle the social pressure created by male classmates. Vivian advises Lucy to “keep her head down” so that a particularly toxic male character, Mitchell, will hopefully “move on to bother someone else”. Lucy responds: “I’m going to hold my head up. High.”
Vivian eventually begins to see that the “normal” high school behavior is incredibly problematic. The friendship between Vivian and Lucy sparks a revolution in the highschool orchestrated through a self-published magazine called Moxie. The girls of Rockport High--even the popular ones that get voted up by male students--are tired of being ignored, diminished and categorized. It’s a real “girl-power” kind of movie.
Moxie is for everyone, not just girls in high school. We all have a little bit of it in us; it’s what makes us speak up when we feel strongly, it blossoms when we take the first step to realizing a dream. It takes a lot of strength and determination to be authentic, whoever you are, whatever you are doing, however you identify yourself in this world. We’ve all got it, and we all need it; that’s why we make our bandanas.
It’s your moxie that perks up when you hold a Jenni Earle bandana. It’s a sign that you are recognizing our not-so-secret ingredient.