Happy International Women's Day! 💘💘
While planning Handmade Home Co. I learned the hard way that women aren't taken seriously in the business world.
Whether people want to believe bias still happens or not, women know first hand that it does.
I am constantly met with comments about my appearance in meetings.
I am asked if I agree that "sex sells" on a weekly basis.
I am asked what amount of business money I spend "going out on coffee dates with the girls"...
It was really disgusting. Any time I would try to address a comment head-on, I was instantly dismissed or gaslighted.
Them: "We all know that women spend more money than men. It's a proven fact. They are also way too emotional. So where do you think you're wasting your money? Too much hair and makeup? Too many mall shopping trips with the girls?"
Me: "Pardon?.. I am talking to you about a Furniture Restoration Marketplace - what does makeup have to do with that? If you'd like to know my product & tool budget we can talk about that".
Them: "Let's not get off-topic here Chanel..."
This happened so many times that I am now actually expecting it & am surprised when it doesn't happen.
Only 2 months into the business planning I learned that for my own comfort - I wouldn't be using my camera for Zoom meetings anymore.
"Wow, you are gorgeous!"
"I was not expecting you to look like...THAT!"
"Woah, are you Asian…?"
"What ethnicity are you? I literally cannot focus until I know"
"I thought you’d be… “butchy-er"
"When I saw your photo on the website I thought…Woah, I NEED to work with this girl"
"You refinish furniture looking like that?!"
"Pretty girls who build stuff?... you could definitely use your appearance to make sales. Sex Sells"
When I brought this up to other professionals to see if they agreed with the bias; I was told to keep my mouth shut if I wanted to progress in this industry.
I will continue to talk about this and share my experiences because I never want other women to feel like what they have gone through isn't valid.
What you feel is valid.
What you do is valid.
YOU ARE VALID.
So, keep standing strong for what you believe in & do not ever allow someone to silence you. Do your research & know your industry. Do not give someone the chance to silence you with their ego.
It warms our hearts to know that we are helping support women-owned businesses and we will continue to push & grow by using our SKILLS, not our appearances.
THANK YOU to the creators & women who have put their time, energy & money into being part in such a creative field.