Jenni Earle bandanas are meant to bring you bravery, and the courage to do whatever it is you're dreaming about. We aim to keep close the women that inspire us, mentor us and make us laugh. That's what brings you this post today. A few months ago we attended a lunch & learn event that featured Danae Edmonds, the wonderful woman behind Aspiring Co. We were lucky enough to speak with her one-on-one and I was struck at how both Aspiring Co. and Jenni Earle are committed to supporting women - each in our own way.
I'll let Danae tell you the rest!
Tell us a little about you and starting Aspiring Co.
Hey girl hey! My name is Danae and I am the founder of Aspiring Co., a media company designed to inspire women to live their dreams. I am a 3-time stroke survivor and a graphic designer and content creator. I am also an introvert and a lover of Golden Girls and Beyoncé. I am feminist AF and I have always be interested in writing and designing. I started Aspiring Co. under a different name in 2014 with a cofounder. We spilt within 6 months over what I consider fundamental differences. My goal was always to spotlight women who are defying the odds and living creative and/or entrepreneurial lives.
[caption id="attachment_7261" align="aligncenter" width="300"] photo credit Linda Nguyen[/caption]
You share stories about women who are living their dreams, and your purpose is to inspire women. But there's more right?
Exactly! It seems like a lofty, ambitious goal but I believe there is so much power in seeing women who look like you, your friends, family, and neighbors, who are being bosses and happy. Representation is super important to me as a Feminist (if it isn’t intersectional it isn’t feminism). I deeply believe that we are able to create and spread empathy through getting to know more about each other. I also know that people want to know about the people behind their favorite brands.
It is my hope that Aspiring Co. can help tell those stories that make us feel a stronger sense of connection to each other
How do you find the women that you feature?
I am super fortunate in that I try really hard to build a supportive network of incredible people! A lot of the It Girls I feature have come to me from my own personal network OR from referrals. Honestly a ton of them are women who I found interesting on Instagram and reached out to.
Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to strangers <3 I have made so many lifelong friends that way.
Also I am a part of 2 organizations that cultivate relationships -both personal and professional- that have been massive parts of my network. I am a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. also and a StartingBloc fellow. Both of these organizations have made huge impacts on my life and network. I would say a lot of the women I have featured have some relation to either organization or they are someone who I had the pleasure of crossing paths with either in person or virtually. Also my experience in college at Mercer University has given me the most amazing humans I know. I am so fortunate.[caption id="attachment_7260" align="aligncenter" width="200"] photo credit Hela Staniszewska[/caption]
As an entrepreneur and small business owner, how have you struggled and what have you learned during this crazy pandemic?
There are so many important takeaways that I have gained as a result of COVID-19. I had time to think about what value I/ my business could add/ offer to people during this time.
I knew that businesses should think about and focus on what happens after this pandemic and find a way to leave stronger than before.
As a designer I was inspired by watching celebrities go live on Instagram. It made me think about how I could teach people some design tips and tricks that I have learned. Then I started thinking about my super brilliant and talented network. I realized that we collectively could share a ton of knowledge. I think brands that add value are the ones that will continue to last and stand the test of time.
It seems that the PIVOT digital women's conference came out of the COVID-19 situation. Tell us about that. What are some highlights that you're looking forward to?
There are so many parts I am really excited about. I had the opportunity to commission an animation for the conference from a talented friend and mentee, Claudia Luna-Priego (@claudialunapriego). It is so stunning and perfectly sums up the spirit of Aspiring Co and therefore PIVOT. I feel beyond blessed to be in community with so many super talented women who believe in the same things I do. I am also looking forward to all of the sessions. So many practical skills that we can all learn to make ourselves and our businesses stronger. Like how to promote your brand with video, cultivating a growth mindset, Finding Joy in Discomfort, and Building a digital course. 15+ hours of content for a $25 investment. It was super important to me to keep the price point affordable because with everything as uncertain as it currently is, I wanted it to be accessible to our most often overlooked and underserved populations. Check out PIVOT here.
Is there a Jenni Earle bandana mantra that speaks to you? If so, which one!
My favorite is 'I’m still standing'! I also love 'be brave' because it’s a reminder that we all need. A reminder to take risks and walk toward the uncertain. My favorite color is pink so ‘chin up buttercup’ is an honorable mention.
Ladies if you want to find some inspiration, check out the amazing work of Danae and all that Aspiring Co. has to offer.
[feature photo credit Christina Marie Noel]