Wake up early. Analyze lab results. Prepare reports for clients. Go to scheduled air inspections in commercial and residential environments. Submit samples to a lab in Washington. Then back to office work and equipment maintenance. That’s the typical day in the life of an Indoor Air Quality Inspector. Meet Jennifer Philipps of ERA Test, LLC in Montana. She and her mom, Lisa, own and operate the business. They test air to detect threats like mold, asbestos, radon, and methamphetamine. Together they are able to work across the entire state. The dynamics of the mother/daughter relationship in a work environment have brought the family closer together. They are able to lean on and learn from one another. It’s much more common to come across family businesses that are passed from father to son. I must say, it was really exciting to come across a multi-generational family trade that not only involves the women, but is entirely run by them. What an awesome gift of knowledge and skill to bestow. Jennifer’s work wear: Carhartt Women’s Clarksburg Zip-Front Sweatshirt & Women’s Sibley Denim Cropped Pant
Let’s take a minute to think about women in media and how we’re portrayed. It’s a common enough topic these days. Many of us are aware that our society is continually bombarded with gorgeous glamazon women, thin and flawless, with glowing skin and shiny hair, perfectly positioned, sitting, standing still, just waiting to be admired.
We all know the wonders of Photoshop, the great works of make-up artists, and the phenomena of calorie counting. Even once the smoke and mirrors are revealed, it can still be hard to shake the conditioned image of what women are expected to be in this day and age. Of course what we need is an adjustment of those expectations. We say we’ll think differently and react on a more educated level when we see these constant reminders of what our culture demands of us. But it can be tough to stand strong against the nonstop barrage.
We need to start consuming media that shows us the real strength and beauty of women. Watch movies and read books that pass the Bechdel Test. That’s simply a work of fiction that features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man. Quite shockingly, there are few contemporary pieces that pass. Seek out the ones that do. Toss out the magazines that tempt you into the never-ending chase after a newer, thinner, fitter, happier, sexier you. Trust me, once you find your true path in life and do what it takes to follow it, you’ll be the better version of yourself that everyone hopes to be.
Don’t buy into the misconception that women are catty with each other and just want to compete at all costs. Stop perpetuating that behavior. We need to build each other up. Be inspired by the strong trailblazers who have left a wake that shakes things up. That’s my ultimate goal with Crafted in Carhartt. It’s a place in social media, where women are portrayed as the strong, capable, creative, and awesome people that they truly are. Let’s focus on the good we as women can bring to the world. Be challenged by women making art, building skills, making things, and getting business done. We can all learn from each other’s stories and advice.
I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather see images of women, who are masters of their trade, proficiently swinging a hammer, shoveling coal, and accomplishing something great than someone who is dead in the eyes, forcing a smile as just the right amount of wind tousles her hair. How about you?
Pictured above is Detroit artist, Kate Silvio. Read more about her and her work here.