What Does Being A “Strong” Woman Really Mean?

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As International Women’s Day is approaching, we want to show some love to all the badass women out there.

We do not believe that there is just one characteristic or term pertaining to a “strong” female lead. In fact, we believe that the term strong can be used to describe several women, who are polar opposites of each other.

From our CEO and Creative Director who come from a long-line of female entrepreneurs-

Sarianne.

For me, my mom has always been my rock. She is the person who I trust most in this world and who has always been there for me no matter what. I wrote two sentences and I’m already crying… But my mom has taught me how to be a strong woman, an entrepreneur, kind and honest, how to appreciate everyone and everything. She’s the mother to me and my three sisters. It is just the five of us now, but we’ve managed to build a home in the absence of a man.

I’ve watched my mother work from 8 AM to 7 PM almost every night that I can remember. She built her own company, Rosariumand before that she was running, Ruusutarhat, a business with my uncle. She has always had the urge to work with people and she’s a really likable and respected woman in our hometown, Kouvola. This has played a major role in my life because she has taught me that being kind to employees is better than running a company as a boss with a scare-factor. I believe a strong woman can demonstrate being kind and real, all while conquering her world! And trust me when I say this: My mom is a real badass at it!

And speaking of badasses, I have to mention my grandmother. She had my father when she was only sixteen. She is a true rebel, still to this day – I’m sure I got my potty mouth from her… But she’s a great example of a woman who wanted to experience everything in life. She’s climbed to Everest, sailed into storms and overseas, met her true love in her fifties and still loves to live. This quote by Nikita Gill represents her perfectly, and is suitable for all of our badass elderly women out there:

“I hope you are blessed with a heart like a wildflower. Strong enough to rise again after being trampled upon, tough enough to weather the worst of the summer storms, and able to grow and flourish even in the most broken places.”

Sarianne and her family.

Emmi.

My family has strong entrepreneur women as well. My grandma was running her own book & cosmetics store for 45 years, with the help of my grandpa, in the small town of Hämeenkoski, Finland. When I was a kid I always loved to go hang out at the store, and to help however I could. I got to visit a lot of book fairs and events in Helsinki with her and my mom, and I’ve always admired her so much for her courage and entrepreneurial spirit. And she always finds time to play sports, and time for all her grandchildren. She’s a super granny I’d say!

My mom has also been an entrepreneur for a decade, running her own business as a physiotherapist, working around the clock every weekday. She’s THE most energetic and the most positive person I know! When we were younger, my parents were running a private, sports-related kindergarten. Still while managing our “little” family of eight; my five little brothers and me, all having creative hobbies and sports trainings, required them to be our taxi drivers. And mom has always managed to be the first one to volunteer to all the sports tournament cafe’s – baking every weekend for them and being the salesperson at the volleyball and floorball games… and she still does this! She’s definitely the daughter of my grandmother. On top of everything, she finds time for her workouts, crazy hours of cross country skiing, jogging, playing ball… I’ve always wondered how she does it all. But you know, maybe it’s the fact that staying active drives them both, they just can’t sit still! I feel like I’ve inherited my passion for entrepreneurship and my determination for making things work… god I love them both so much.

To this day, I am still super close friends with my mom and grandma, even though we live totally on different sides of the world for most of the year. Gotta love FaceTime!

“You deserve to have your feelings heard. You are strong.”

But being strong does not require you to be the CEO of your own business, or the mother of six. Those who are still in grade school going through the daily struggles of fitting in, finding the right attire, and excelling in your education for a better future- you’re dealing with a lot and we believe that you are strong.

To the woman out there who decided she did not want to bring children into this world because she is too busy creating her own world. She is told she is selfish, but she is strong. For the woman who had to cancel plans for the 5th time for her children, she is told she is not selfish enough, but she is strong!

For the girls and women who are binging on Netflix with a pint of ice cream, calling your mum for the 5th time today because you are curing a heartbreak the natural way… you are strong. And for the women who are endlessly browsing through Tinder trying to get out of their PJs and their minds out of his bed, you’re strong too.

For the girls who called him one too many times because you felt you did not get quite everything off of your chest… more power to you! Forward that email, and send that text. You deserve to have your feelings heard. You are strong. And to the women who walked away without a word because they could not handle the abuse any longer, you are strong. 

To the women who are struggling to find peace with their physical appearance, we hear you, you are beautiful, and you are strong. It’s okay that you decided to leave your diet at the door this morning, you deserve to eat bread and chocolate and pudding on a bad day too.

And to the girls who have not had to be strong yet, remember that you are capable and you have the power to overcome anything that is thrown your way.

Let’s be honest, us women go through a lot in today’s culture of constant pressures and judgement. We are talking body shaming, sexual harassment, dress codes, size 2 expectations, being happy and “put” together all of the time… what the fuck does that even mean? I’m pretty sure my limbs are attached to my frame… therefore I must be put together? Come on, ladies. I’m calling bullshit.

We should not allow one word to define who we are or how strong we are as women, but here are a few traits that women are negatively judged based upon and we want you to know, they too, can make you strong!!!

  • Vulnerable

  • Inquisitive

  • “Working” Mum

  • Curious

  • Reserved

  • Ditsy

  • Dedicated

  • Self-reliant

  • Feisty

  • Light-hearted

  • Hormonal

  • Bull-headed

  • Diva

  • Bubbly

  • Athletic or Curvy

  • Skinny

  • Determined

  • Bossy

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