"I am here to say that Barnard women do not only graduate as incredible women; we enter that way. We are just lucky enough to be a part of an institution that allows us to mold our own greatness and set our own path." I spoke these words with confidence to a room of young women and their families at my graduation from Barnard College in 2011.
A few years later, during my first semester at Harvard Business School, I started to recognize how spoiled I had been by my access to incredible women during college in New York. As I began thinking of all the incredible professional and personal role models in my life at the time, I realized I had not been introduced to a single one during my childhood in Alabama (outside of the strong women in my family, of course - hi mama!). Something had to be done to introduce girls at a younger age to the incredible women in my life and beyond.
Dialogue around female empowerment generally begins late in life and, without early exposure to amazing real women, young girls are left without strong contemporary role models to emulate. I came up with the idea behind Her Little Story to bridge the decade gap between nine-year-olds without female role models and nineteen-year-olds beginning to recognize the value of female mentors. One day, every mom I spoke with asked how Her Little Story does not exist already - that’s when I knew I needed to build the brand.
Some facts: Self-esteem in young girls peaks at age nine. 72% of girls feel society limits them, and media is the biggest culprit. Fictional characters are strong influences in a young child’s life. Her Little Story provides more than a fictional female lead: imagine if Eloise didn’t grow up in the Plaza, but instead owns the Plaza. Or maybe she started and owns a chain of hotels - she’s Liz Lambert in Texas! Or imagine if Dora wasn’t a fictional explorer, but instead Sylvia Earle exploring the oceans as a marine biologist! Young girls have to SEE incredible women leading in order to later BE incredible female leaders.
Each Her Little StoryBook tells a personal story from the childhood of an incredible real woman. Girls get to know Not So Perfect Deb as a fictional friend. That friendship never fades because Debora will always inspire girls to be strong and lead.
Her Little Story gives every young girl an opportunity to be a part of the ultimate #GirlSquad.