International Women's Day 2021
by Andrea Martinello
There was a flowery photobooth, professional photographer, pleasure products, cocktails, friends and, most importantly, a great cause to support.
On Sunday 7 March, Botanica Bird teamed up with businesswomen from around Newcastle to host the ultimate International Women’s Day event raising $1,444 for Dress For Success’ brand new branch in Broadmeadow!
The event was everything we could have dreamed about and more! We will tell you all about it in a moment, but first we want to talk about Dress For Success and the reason for the fundraiser.
Dress For Success
Dress For Success exists to improve the employability of disadvantaged women, trans women and non-binary people by providing free professional clothing, support networks, and coaching and career development tools.
Unemployment rates for women in Newcastle and Hunter Region are above the national average and these women may be experiencing poverty, unemployment, underemployment and family violence. This statistic doesn’t sit right with us.
We chose to support Dress For Success because we want to empower women to live out their economic achievements by having the backing of a welcoming, non-threatening space, like the Newcastle Dress For Success branch, to take their first steps into the corporate world.
The money raised on Sunday has gone towards helping Dress For Success Newcastle to transform a woman’s future with over six months of one-on-one career coaching, resume drafting support, interview preparation, access to digital career support workshops and webinars and a killer new interview outfit! Oh, and a full week’s wardrobe when she gets the job!
The funds will also help the new Newcastle branch raise awareness of their services and achieve their 2021 goals of longevity in the region, helping 250 women transition from welfare to work, send 200 packages through their ‘Pack-and-Send Outreach Program and increase their virtual capability to reach more women in need.
The Dress For Success Newcastle Branch opened its doors on International Women’s Day, Monday 8th March, and are located on 116A Belford Road, Broadmeadow NSW.
International Women’s Day
Alright, let’s talk about the day that filled our hearts with feminist love.
You would have seen it painted across Botanica Bird (and all of the collaborator’s) social media accounts #newycelebratesIWD – flowers of purple, white, green and pops of yellow as a salute to the Women’s Suffragette colours. This was Botanica Bird and Zoe Lonergan's ‘Karma Photobooth’!
We were inspired by the women who went before us, making fashion a political statement. The colour purple represented dignity and loyalty, loyalty to the cause. White represented purity, yellow is hope and green for new life.
A fun fact for you, the Suffragettes were more media savvy than anyone gave them credit for. The colour white, and yellow for that matter, was worn because it made an eye-catching statement in the black and white photos taken at the time.
Throughout the day people from across Newcastle came and participated in a professional stylised photo opportunity that was decorated by Botanica Bird with a wreath made of local flowers that were of course supporting the Women’s Suffragette colours and shot by the talented Zoe Lonergan.
Abby from Pleasure & Peach was there doing her thing, breaking down the socially constructed shame and stigma around female pleasure. While donating $15 from every sale of her featured pleasure products, she discussed better sex education to help women lead the fulfilling and liberated sex life they deserve. Reminding us you can be a boss in the workplace and the bedroom!
We also sold our Botanica Bird International Women’s Day Flower bunches with 100% of profits donated to Dress For Success!
While all of this was happening, Ash and her team from The Falcon facilitated our three hours of power, making sure everyone was well hydrated with cocktails and nibblies.
We all left The Falcon on that Sunday afternoon feeling absolutely elated that we had achieved our goal – to uplift and empower all Novocastrian women, to raise awareness of International Women’s Day and to #choosetochallenge.
We rise by lifting others
When thinking about all of the collaborations Botanica Bird has been involved with over the years, we are proud to say that they have all been with female-lead businesses!
It was recently brought to our attention that in the last decade two-thirds of small businesses created in Australia were founded by women, however they also have the highest rate of withdrawing their businesses, particularly during the pandemic.
Furthermore, The Gratton Institute found that if there were an extra six per cent of women in the workforce, we could add up to $25 billion to the Australian economy. We know, the world doesn’t make sense to us either.
We believe that by working together within the community we can inspire each other, look out for each other, and give each other the confidence to be heard. Also, in our experience, women are the hardest workers.
In light of all of that, here’s a shout out to all of the female-lead businesses Botanica Bird has worked with in the last year:
- Shan Rose Photography
- YWC Productions
- Sorella Hair Salon
- House of Lita
- Lita Studios
- Yu Non Toxic Nail Salon
- Pleasure and Peach
- Zoe Lonergan
- Paper-crane Vintage
- Make up by Bonnie-Lee
- Mustard Made.
Within the flower Industry:
Vases made by:
Features in publications:
Botanica Bird Freelance Team:
The feminist content you need
Keeping with the #choosetochallenge spirit we have put together a list of our go-to Instagram accounts for Australian feminist inspiration.
Media & Entrepreneurs:
- Shameless Podcast (pop culture podcast ‘for smart people who love dumb stuff’)
- Part Timers Media (platform championing female athletes)
- Behind The Brand (diverse collective supporting female entrepreneurs in Australia)
- Mamamia (Online media outlet reporting on what women topics affecting Australian women)
- Business Chicks (A network for female entrepreneurs in Australia)
- Bri Lee (Author and consent and female rights activist)
- Jamila Rizvi (Writer)
- Nas Campanella (Journalist and Disability Affairs Reporter)
Influencers & activists
- Dangerous Females (platform voicing women’s opinions and news through great memes and quotes)
- Chantelle Otten (Sexologist)
- Abbie Chatfield (Ex-Bachelor contestant turned feminist influencer and podcaster)
- Flex Mami (TV host author, DJ and podcaster)
- Carly Findlay (disability activist)
We are beyond grateful and look forward to being a part of the many more community supported activations for 2021. All our love x