Why I Love Birthdays

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To our Project Gravitas community, 

I love birthdays. I love others’ birthdays. I love my own birthday.

It is the one time of year where you have full permission to unabashedly celebrate your presence on this planet (and your nearest and dearest get to toast how lucky they are that you are in their lives!).My favorite question to ask on a birthday is, “What are you most looking forward to in this next year of life?” There is such a sense of hope and renewal on a birthday.

In honor of this sentiment and in celebration of our company’s birthday, we have launched our Begin Again series, featuring your stories. Each story is an embodiment of the birthday spirit, because it takes real gravitas to reflect on why you’re so special, to believe in yourself, and to press the reset button. As my father likes to say, “Every day can feel like your birthday.”

When I founded this company, my hope was to empower you to own your moment every day. Thank you for inviting us to be a part of your lives. It is always more fun to celebrate a birthday with the ones you love.

With gratitude,
Lisa Sun
CEO & Founder, Project Gravitas

And to all the Cancers and Leos who share our birthday month, here’s to you on your special day:
July 3:  
Nancy C. – Happy Birthday!
July 8:  Annmarie T. – Happy Birthday and enjoy!
July 13:  Alison Singer – Happy Birthday to our Woman of Gravitas!
July 14:  Kristen Hamilton – Happy Birthday to our Woman of Gravitas!
July 18:  Ileana – “Happy Birthday prima!” – Wendy
July 26:  Valerie S. – Happy Birthday!
July 27:  Kim – “Have a blessed birthday, Love ya.” – Tanya R.
July 28:  Cathleen – “Thought you’d like these clothes.” – Mom
July 30:  Melinda L. – “God Bless You on Your Birthday. Happy 60th!” – Helen H.

A Personal Reflection: My First Day

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[Photo by Lisa Sun]

On my first day interning with Project Gravitas, I hopped on a train with the team and traveled down to Washington, DC for the United State of Women Summit. The summit, which took place on June 14, 2016, focused on the challenges women face and how we can move forward. These challenges include physical, economic, and emotional abuse, as well as a lack of educational opportunities around the globe. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama each spoke about how we can empower women not only on a nation-wide level, but also a personal level.

The morning of the summit, we woke up early and went to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, where our team set up a display featuring our cape blazers, vests, and a few different styles of dresses in The Girls’ Lounge. Throughout the day, we alternated between listening to presenters, speaking with brilliant women, and styling women with our Josephine Cape Blazer – the ultimate super hero uniform.

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[Photo by Sylvie Palmer]

Listening to powerful presenters, such as President Barack Obama, discuss their views on how we can close the gender gap was incredibly inspiring. The diverse range of speakers also included Bamby Salcedo (president and CEO of the Trans Latin@ Coalition), eleven-year old Mikaila Ulmer (founder of Me & the Bees Lemonade), and one of the most successful investors in the world, Warren Buffett.

During the summit, I learned about how President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have both taken legal action to ensure progress for gender equality. For example, the first piece of legislation that Obama signed as President of the United States was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, and he later signed the Affordable Care Act, which covers, among other things, the cost of birth control for women across the country. As a senator in 1994, Joe Biden created and helped pass the Violence Against Women Act. During the United State of Women Summit, President Barack Obama declared, “I may be a little grayer than I was eight years ago, but this is what a feminist looks like.” In response, all 5,000 attendees gave the President a standing ovation. Later, he also said, “Our country is not just about the Benjamins. It’s about the Tubmans too. We need all our young people to know that Clara Barton and Lucretia Mott and Sojourner Truth and Eleanor Roosevelt and Dorothy Height. Those aren’t just for women’s history month. They’re the authors of our history. Women who shaped our destiny.” This particular quotation resonated with me because hearing the President of the United States say that women’s history is equally as important as men’s history felt like an important step to overcoming sexism. Both men inspired the crowd of activists by discussing their opposition to discriminatory stereotypes that confine women, especially in the workplace.

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[Photo by Sylvie Palmer]

Later in the day, Michelle Obama was joined by Oprah Winfrey, and the two discussed their personal experiences as women in positions of power. Their conversation touched on topics such as staying true to yourself while trying to help everyone around you. Mrs. Winfrey also asked Mrs. Obama to share her opinion on the idea that women either can’t or must “have it all.” To this, she responded, “You can get it all, but it’s hard to get it all at the same time. It’s just a matter of managing expectations.” The First Lady proceeded to describe how she “blocks out the haters” and their sexist and aggressive comments. Later, the two women discussed how to empower girls and make women feel more confident. Their authenticity and humor were equally uplifting and inspiring.

While attending The United State of Women Summit, I was awestruck being in the same room as so many of my personal heroes. I will always remember the powerful feeling that comes from sharing ideas and creating a community to fight for a common cause. 

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[Photo by Sylvie Palmer]

 

-Sylvie Palmer, Project Gravitas Intern 

Gravitas On the Road: The White House United State of Women Summit

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On June 14, the Project Gravitas team attended the first-ever White House United State of Women Summit in Washington, DC – and it was incredible. As a brand dedicated to empowering women, we felt particularly grateful to be able to take part in such a historic day. Additionally, every person on the stage projected some serious gravitas, which is always inspiring to see. We’ve highlighted some of our favorite moments from the day, ones that celebrate the progress we’ve made towards women’s equality, illuminate the challenges we still face, and inspire us to continue the fight every single day.

Our Team’s List of Must-Watch Speakers

1.  Barack Obama:  “I may be a little grayer than I was eight years ago, but this is what a feminist looks like.”

2. Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Michelle Obama:  “You make me proud to spell my name W-O-M-A-N.” - Oprah Winfrey to the First Lady, channeling the words of the late Maya Angelou

3.  Mikaila Ulmer: “Entrepreneurs hold the American dream, and the biggest dreamers are kids.” 

Our Team’s Favorite Quotable Quotes from The Summit

  • “You can get it all, but it’s hard to get it all at the same time. It’s just a matter of managing expectations.” - First Lady Michelle Obama
  • “Our country is not just about the Benjamins. It’s about the Tubmans too. We need all our young people to know that Clara Barton and Lucretia Mott and Sojourner Truth and Eleanor Roosevelt and Dorothy Height. Those aren’t just for women’s history month. They’re the authors of our history. Women who shaped our destiny.” – President Barack Obama
  • “It will not get better until we listen to women and girls and deem their experiences valid.” - Jaha Dukareh
  • “When women succeed, America succeeds.” - Representative Nancy Pelosi
  • “If we want equity, we need diversity.” - Marley Dias
  • “The United State of Women is just like the United States of America; it is fierce, it is diverse, it is constantly changing and it is addicted to caffeine.” - Amy Poehler
  • “The girls project and I and everyone we work with are working to chip away at the barriers and bottlenecks that are keeping more than 50 million girls out of secondary schools.” - Sophia Bush

 

-Sylvie Palmer, Project Gravitas Intern

The Mom Project

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To our phenomenal Project Gravitas community,

Today, I see my own mother more fully than I ever have. As the firstborn daughter in an immigrant family, I have always sought approval and recognition from my mother. But when I started this company, my mother said, “I don’t want to just hear the good things. When you have a problem, tell me the bad stuff too.”

When our company hit our first roadblock, I called her to tell her about it. She said, “Remember I was your age once, and I was an entrepreneur too.” She told me a story about her challenges in running a company and she finished with, “You’re not alone.” In that moment, I saw the world through her eyes. She became a fuller person, not just my biggest cheerleader but also someone who has made mistakes. It took real courage for her to open a new door in our relationship.

What I now know is that there is a richer narrative behind every maternal story. Behind every unfailing advocate, counselor-in-chief, empathetic shoulder to cry on is a woman who has made tough choices and has tremendous life experiences to share.

With that in mind, I am proud to share that we are turning the month of May into The Mom Project, a collaboration with photographer Lanie McNulty. Lanie has partnered with us to capture the stories-not-seen of moms who have faced turning points in their lives, with the hope that in her words, “personalities shine through and truth emerges.” Each Wednesday of this month, I hope you will be as inspired as I am and share your stories with us.

I will always look up to my mother. But I now also stand shoulder-to-shoulder with her in whatever comes next. I may never know all of her stories, but I’m hungry to hear as much as I can. Because the beauty is in the good and the bad that we will share together. Thank you, mom, for being you – all of you.

With gratitude,
Lisa Sun
CEO & Founder, Project Gravitas

Visit ProjectGravitas.com to experience the Perfect Dress - Italian fabrics, made in NYC, with a slimming secret!

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