Bri Seeley – Founder of Inspirational Woman Project
Bri Seeley is an entrepreneur of all things woman that is passionate about sharing her story, and the stories of other amazing women. Her training and passion as a fashion designer led her to create a fashion label dedicated to femininity and helping women connect with their true selves. Seeley has paved her path by surrounding herself with inspirational women, which revealed to her a disheartening trend that she is dedicated to change. She recognized how intensely women search outside of themselves for happiness and validation, losing touch with what makes them women and conforming to external pressures of how women should show up in the world. This gap between how women define themselves and how society defines them has created an immense amount of discord and unhappiness. Thus the Inspirational Woman Project was born.
1. We love your kick starter. What inspired you? I have operated a fashion brand for the past four years that is centered around women being women (and not just looking like women!). What I realized was that a lot of women aren’t clear about what it means to them to be a woman. Our society is still run by such masculine ideals that we’re not really taught about being women. So I began a 31 day blog series celebrating what it means to be a woman. This led into an invitation from Arianna Huffington to blog on the Huffington Post about women’s issues, and expanded into a movement – now known as The Inspirational Woman Project!
2. What do you hope to accomplish with your new book? Originally it was that exploration of what it means to be a woman. But the purpose took a bit of a detour during the 100 interviews. A lot of women expressed to me that they didn’t feel inspirational, or that they had to ask their friends or significant others to tell them how they are inspirational. It has become my mission to help women identify this for themselves because I firmly believe that ALL women are inspirational in some way.
3. Is there a common theme in your interviews about women in business and their take on feminism? I think the biggest common thread between the women is their passion. No matter where they are in their life or what their occupation – they all possess an incredible amount of passion for their lives! Some of the women mused about how life would be easier in some respects as a man, but nearly all of them expressed their gratitude for being a woman!
4. What was one of the most eye opening components of your new project? One of the questions is, “How has being a woman opened doors for you?” I was surprised that a lot of the interviewees focused on how being a woman has held them back and hindered their progress in life. Although, I guess that is consistent with what is portrayed and featured in our news and media, so maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised!
5. Do you feel there’s a new wave of feminism? YES! I am actually in the process of writing a Huffington Post blog about this very topic! For years I have denied being a feminist. It conjures up so many negative stereotypes for me, and I have never identified with the movement until recently.
6. As business women, are we making strides to help one another? I hate that this is my answer…. but it’s truthful. Yes and No. There is a huge wave of women banding together to inspire and elevate one another. It’s these women that know how important it is to work together to rise up and how powerful a group of women can be when they’re working towards the same goal.
But at the same time, there are still a number of women who are holding onto the old “scarcity” mentality – that there isn’t enough to go around and you shouldn’t promote the good work of another because it will hinder your expansion and growth. I sincerely hope that this mentality shifts to an “abundance” perspective by seeing how the benefits of working together outweighs any perceived limitations.
Company: Inspirational Woman Project