Happy International Women's Day

Happy International Women's Day

International Women’s Day 2024

I like to use March 8, International Women’s Day, as an opportunity to think about the state of women’s rights and well-being. I would love to hear back from you what you think.

Avital’s is very much a woman-focused business, with a 100% female staff at the moment, 100% female ownership, and about 85% female clients. Nearly all of the purchasing agents I work with are also women, and several of our suppliers are woman-owned companies. Women are well-represented in the bodycare business, at least at the smaller end. I suspect that, like Barbie busting into the toy company board meeting, the same can’t be said of the largest companies. Those companies might (try to) cater to women, but I suspect the upper echelon is largely made up of men.

I recently was reminded of one well-known exception: Martha Stewart. Granted, her forays into bodycare were short-lived, as far as I can tell. But her empire is going strong, as is she, at 82 years old. I recently watched her “master class” at Masterclass.com.

Martha inspired me, I admit it. She has been around my entire adult life, one way or another, and is the OG influencer without the plastic surgery or weird contour makeup. I remember her on morning TV and I remember the splash (or was it gasps of horror) when she had the audacity to partner with Kmart. Because I was focused on my career, first as an academic, then as a system administrator, topics relating to anything domestic were of no interest to me. Back then, the choice seemed binary: reject all that domestic stuff to be a modern, professional woman. Even so, I knew about her, I knew her catchphrase “It’s a good thing,” and I associated her name with thoughtfully curated quality and good taste. 

Eventually, I got in touch with the rest of my personality: I like cooking, baking, crafting, and making things, including the things I make for you. Martha never rejected that part of herself, but used it as inspiration for what she does. The way she described her business and its organization intrigued me. At the heart of the business–and she makes this clear–is NOT Martha. The center is content, all the information that her company publishes, on a changing variety of platforms, including TV, a recently shuttered print magazine, the Internet, and 100 books over 40 years. One hundred!!! She is a highly intelligent woman who loves to learn how to do things, and then pass that knowledge along. 

It’s a very good thing.

Other parts of her talk inspired me as well: she has a great morning routine, including pilates and green juice, and she plans her time. She doesn’t react to life. She makes a plan and carries it out with an iron clad schedule. Sometimes a particular project works, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes, things go badly indeed. But she moves on from the failures, even the failure that landed her in prison for five months. These three things: morning routine, planning, and a willingness to move on after failure are things I see time after time when I learn about successful people in a variety of fields.

Martha is the first to admit that she is only able to accomplish all of this because she has such wonderful people working for her, including a personal assistant, hair and makeup for on-screen interviews, departments full of people who do the day-to-day. But she is still very much the standard for her brand.

If you decide to watch her master class, I’ll be interested in what you think. Do we need an Avital’s forum? I would like one, to make this communication more than one-way. If you agree, let me know what platform would work for you (FB is the usual choice, but I know not everyone is on it).

So Happy International Women’s Day. Let’s work on our morning routine, planning life, and letting go of the things that don’t work. –Lesli

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