On my trip to Montana, it rained quite a bit. I practically lived in the new Carhartt Women’s Cascade Jacket. It’s much easier to enjoy the sweeping views and wide open skies when you know your rainwear will keep you dry. This Storm Defender® waterproof breathable jacket comes with articulated elbows so you can easily move around, a left-chest map pocket that’s certain to keep its contents drip-free, interior cuffs with thumbholes for those extra inches of protection, and an adjustable hem with drawcord and barrel lock adjusters. It’s basically your rain jacket dream come true.
Stepping into the front room at Stephanie Revennaugh‘s house, I knew I had happened upon a tremendous artist. Her work thoughtfully placed among her beautifully Montana inspired living space played a melody between rich colors, textures, and elements of nature. Different projects were sprawled out, not quite finished, but still breathtaking. She captures a perfect moment of movement in her sculptures, full of life and resounding with a peaceful power.
Stephanie began her career as an artist in oil painting. After a few years, she took a sculpture workshop and felt she’d finally found her native medium. In the thick of the thrill of starting a new piece loaded with endless possibilities, she relishes the challenge of embodying the clay with a spirit all it’s own. Then in turn, seeing the finished work speak to and affect others.
Stephanie’s advice for other women hoping to get into the arts as a full time career is to “start right now clarifying your desires and acting on them consistently. The road is guaranteed to be full of challenges. Keep showing up through them. Build the best support network around you that you can (which often starts with family) and stay dedicated. The most challenging part for me is balancing creating work with running the business end of an art career. My Mom has stepped into a business manager position for me, which has been wonderful. I’m all about hiring people who have skills in areas I don’t. It relieves frustration, saves time and usually money as well. “
That being said, if you’re dreaming of it now, get after it! There’s no sense delaying when you could be finding your way and building skills as you go. Focus and hard work can get you places. Take it from Stephanie and “trust your creative instincts and passionately create what is in your heart.”
There is so much to appreciate about fall: crisp air and crunchy footsteps, soft earthy tones and speckled foliage. It marks the start of bonfire season and cuddle-up in-warm-blankets season. I’m a big proponent of surrounding oneself with the great outdoors. That being said, it feels natural to pluck up a few flowers from the yard and put them in a vase, but what about leaves? They can be just as lovely, with free flowing branches and freshly turned hues. Why not give it a try? It’s a free way to decorate for the season and it challenges you to see the beauty in what most consider mundane.
Exciting news on the Carhartt front: New Holland Brewing in Michigan created a beer just for us! It’s crafted from locally grown Cascade hops and barrel aged into an American pale ale, with a hint of malty sweetness and toasted oak. The Carhartt team took a road trip all the way from Dearborn, MI to the Great American Beer Festival in Colorado. The photos above are from their pit stop at Subterranean in Chicago for a night of live music, good beer, and beer art. Let’s all raise a frothy glass to the 125 years that Carhartt has gratefully served the hard working men and women across the US; forged by sweat, grit, and sturdy gear.
what I wore: Carhartt Women’s Belton Shirt & Carhartt Women’s Series 1889 Sim-Fit Double Front Denim Dungaree (tune in for tomorrow’s post to see this outfit in action)
In a time when men outnumber women in films 3 to 1 on screen, unequal pay based on gender still unfairly affects females on a day to day basis, and social media and advertising outlets are repeatedly beating women down with unrealistic and often times contradictory expectations about beauty, health, and happiness; it’s time we stand together and let out stories and experiences bring about an era of change. Let’s applaud the women who are out there defying stereotypes and pushing forward in careers and fields where they are outnumbered. From one woman’s triumph shared to another’s inspiration spurred, small changes will amount to larger ones that can eventually redefine what it means to be a working woman.
Ona Magaro’s glass creations and her life story are quite the achievements to admire. She has turned her passion into a thriving business. After years of fine-tuning her craft, her work is breathtaking and unlike any I’ve seen. Take a look at the glass sculpture Ona created for us, from start to finish. She envisions the body of a bird by utilizing the simplicity of a single color and an elongated curve, free flowing and elegant. But don’t let the airy nature of her art fool you. It’s hard work, requiring a tremendous amount of physical strength and a heaping load of creativity. Her advice to anyone hoping to follow in her footsteps is to study marketing, accounting, and writing to build a successful business around the artistic talent.
As Oscar Wilde would say, we live in a world where “life imitating art” is an everyday occurrence. May Ona’s art and experiences be something that young women can look up to and hope to emulate as they grow and discover what path they’ll pursue. When I asked Ona what she wanted to teach her children about the arts, and how she hoped her work will affect the way they interpret the world around them, her simple response is what I hope to share with you, “That anything is possible.”
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
Montana is one of the most beautiful places on earth. I was lucky enough to spend a few days backpacking around the area. It’s filled with geysers, natural hot springs, wildlife, and so much nature to explore. Here are a few tips I researched before I set off on an adventure:
1.) Avoid poison ivy, poison sumac, and poison oak. (pictured above)
2.) When packing a backpack for the trip, pack the heaviest items closest to the middle of your back, lighter items on the front and bottom of the bag, and medium-weight, frequently used items on top.
3.) To gauge how much daylight is left in the day, outstretch your arm and hold your hand just under the sun. Count how many times you line up your hands in the distance between the sun and the horizon. Each finger is equivalent to 15 minutes of sun, therefore each hand is equivalent to about an hour of daylight remaining.
4.) You guys know I’m a picture-a-holic, but don’t get so camera happy that you forget to step back and appreciate the glory around you. Make sure to put down the electronics for a bit to really soak up as much wilderness as possible.
Now get out there and experience the natural beauties the world has to offer!
When you think of a wilderness ranger, who do you think of? Do you picture a big burly bearded man, covered in plaid? Would it blow your mind to see a woman ranger, wearing pink, with a pickaxe in tow? If so, consider your mind blown.
Meet Kat Barker, a trails and wilderness supervisor. She and her crew head to the backcountry for 8 day long trips of 10-hour work schedules, consisting of clearing downfall, maintaining drainage structures, trail and bridge construction, etc. It takes a tremendous amount of strength and wherewithal to perform the daily tasks and move camp every night. The job may be tough, but it comes with the best office space around. Every night ends with a good meal at the campfire with friends, and rest is sweetest after collapsing into a sleeping bag, every limb aching from the typical routine.
It’s inspiring to see this role, historically dominated by men, being filled by strong, independent women. Kat’s advice for young girls who hope to follow a similar career path is that, “You can do it! If you love being in the mountains and enjoy working really, really hard and sweating a lot, there is nothing stopping you. It can be difficult to get your foot in the door with public land management agencies, but do your applications, and call, call, call! Making actual connections with the people in charge of trails and wilderness programs goes a long way in getting hired. Or there are many other arenas like firefighting, range work, biology technicians, etc. that are open for newcomers as well. Once you get hired on, even more doors will open.”
Nothing beats a barrel of determination and love for nature. Let your passions be your driving force in life.
After spending a week in Montana, you’re never quite the same. I just got back from a road trip across the beautiful state in search of hardest working women around. The talent I discovered and the beautiful scenery I took in blew me away.
Murdoch’s Ranch & Home Supply Store, based out of Bozeman, was designed with the ranchers’ needs in mind. From extra large parking spots out front to the down to earth staff inside, every detail of the store invites you stick around and enjoy the shopping experience. I was able to outfit 19 women in Carhartt gear at Murdoch’s so that they’d be ready for a hard days’ work. In the weeks to come, I’ll be sharing each one of these Montanans’ stories with you.
Take a closer look at Murdoch’s and find a store near you. You can even live chat with a ranch hand for advice and tips.
I think there are a lot of women (myself included) who often feel as though they are without a voice; be it in the workplace, the construction site, on the range, in social media, or during everyday life. It can be infuriatingly overwhelming to stand against the dialogue that already dictates those venues and arenas: the ideas that men are better leaders, women can’t perform as well in tough, blue-collar jobs, or even that women are better suited to clerical tasks rather than being out on the field.
Women, let’s stick together and raise our voices simultaneously to create a new discussion. We are capable. We are strong. We can swing a hammer or wield a crowbar. We can be contractors and painters and cattle ranchers and mechanics and engineers. We can do whatever job we want. We can lead, and we can do it well. WE CAN.
That brings me to Meegan Czop and the folks at Rebuilding Exchange. Many women there fill roles that are typically considered a man’s job. Meegan spends time on the ground scavenging through demolition sites for materials that can be resold through the non-profit to the public for re-use. It’s a tough job and she’s often the only woman to step foot in the work zone.
I tagged along on a trip she made to a Chicago warehouse that was ruined by fire a few months ago. With a jump in her step, she explores areas that would make most people nervous. A job that requires an adventurous spirit requires a special person. Meegan is changing the dialogue of what women are capable of with the elbow grease she puts into every day, the hard work she does to preserve and better the community, and the way she defies stereotypes with confidence and competence.