In the spirit of (US) Thanksgiving, we are doing something a little bit different for this week's Woman Crush Wednesday. If you read this series on our blog, you probably already recognize the Frankly founders as advocates of Shine Theory. Shine Theory is the practice of mutual investment in each other (in this case, the "each other" is our fellow female founders and womxn in our lives.). The idea, coined by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman, co-hosts of the podcast "Call Your Girlfriend" and authors of Big Friendship, is simple: "I don't shine if you don't shine." We are better as collaborators than as competitors.
It's a simple but powerful concept that is tested in every aspect of life, but certainly in female-female relationships as women everywhere have struggled against glass ceilings. The same is said about fashion. As Jane and I began the Frankly journey we were warned repeatedly that the industry is "notoriously catty." Setting aside the gendered language and all the problems it represents, We'll admit that we were worried. Fashion is largely about connections. Networks. It can be a cutthroat and competitive place. After all, there are a lot of fashion brands fighting for a finite number of customers. Would people share the resources they worked so hard to find for themselves? Would they be willing to give up a competitive advantage to help other women shine?
Overwhelmingly, the answer has been yes. So-called competitors have helped us find fabric suppliers, connected us to their favorite designers, and spent their valuable time giving advice when we were in a pickle. Today's Woman Crush Wednesday is dedicated to these women.
To Val at Rec Room: thank you for proactively reaching out and giving tactical advice when Frankly was still just a glimmer in our mind's eye. We might not have taken the leap without you.
To Kerry, an e-commerce titan: Thank you for your continued mentorship and advocacy. You've been an endless source of wisdom on every dimension of our business. We respect and admire you, and hope we can pay it forward in your honor!
To Kim at Hype & Vice: thank you for giving so much time and energy to two women you didn't even know! You've believed in us from the start and offered so many resources when we had none. Truly above and beyond anything we expected!
To Amy and Showly at Pairess: thank you for being our role models in how women can lift each other up in this industry. Thanks for answering a million one off text messages, helping us with suppliers and PR, and for creating awesome products for womxn!
To Christine at Tinsa: thank you for being our sounding board in this LA journey. From suppliers to manufacturers, navigating relationships has been a lot easier together.
To Meg at ADAY: You have built an incredible brand from scratch. Thank you for sharing what you've learned about branding, marketing, hiring, and beyond. You've helped us learn how to grow.
To Ellie and Jensen at ODDLI: thanks for teaching us about Gen-Z! We have so much admiration for your dedication to slow fashion, and we know you'll continue to crush it.
To Kate at Rothy's: you work so hard and your schedule is so packed... probably because you are quite literally the best at what you do. Thanks for making time for us and helping to set our customer acquisition direction.
To Molly at Floravere: thanks for encouraging us to pursue our idea in the midst of the tech bubble that is Stanford. Thanks for helping us figure out our supply chain nearly a year later even as you were moving on to your next adventure.
To our amazing designer, Reagan: thank you for believing in us and coach us through our first collection. Thank you for sharing your connections and helping us build a rockstar team that we love.
To the Female Founder Collective and Rebecca Minkoff: thanks for creating a space that truly embodies Shine Theory. Female Founders: get in on this community!
To Marshay at Buzzoms and and Emma & Lizzy at Torsso: thank you for your willingness to form friendly relationships and delight in each others successes. Women deserve more braless options, and we are honored to innovate in this space with you.
We are thankful for all of these women, and many more. On this Wednesday before Thanksgiving, when we would traditionally be hosting our own Friendsgiving, we encourage you to send a text or call your girlfriend(s). Tell them how grateful you are to have them in your life. Amina and Ann would be proud.