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Inspiring women

short documentaries ft inspiring women

Har alltid trott att jag är en morgonmänniska men har insett sista åren att nä, det är jag inte. Känner att jag behöver lite motivation och ett lyft såhär en måndag! Även om du är en morgonmänniska så kan det vara najs med några inspirerande minidokumentärer om awesome brudar igen! Vi kör:

Always thought I was a morning person but these past few years I’ve definitely come to realise that I am not. Even if you are I thought it could be nice to start the day off with some inspiring mini documentaries about awesome chicks. Let’s check ’em out:

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Namibia by Maceo Frost

Kuba rankas som en av de bästa länderna i boxning, men trots det så är kvinnor förbjudna att tävla ”because women should protect their beautiful faces”. Namibia har trots det tränat i åratal för att motbevisa detta och få regeringen att ändra lagen. Kort men alltså oj vad jag önskade att den var längre.

Cuba ranks as one of the most successful countries in boxing. Despite this, women are not allowed to compete ”because women should protect their beautiful faces”. Namibia has been training for years to show the government that they should lift the ban.

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The Amazonian Tribespeople Who Sailed Down the Seine by the Guardian

Nina Gualinga är halvsvensk från Kichwa-stammen i Amazonas i Ecuador där de tror att skogen är en levande varelse där människor, plantor och djur lever i ett slutet kretslopp. Vi får följa med när de kämpar mot oljeföretagen som vill exploatera deras land. Så jävla mycket integritet, vidom och stolthet som hela världen borde se. Vill bara utplåna typ alla storstäder.

Nina Gualinga is from the Kichwa tribe in the Amazon in Ecuador where they believe in the ‘living forest’, where humans, animals and plants live in harmony. They are fighting oil companies who want to exploit their ancestral land. A moving story of integrity, wisdom and pride that the whole world needs to see.


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Losing a Leg Didn’t Make This Woman Feel Any Less Beautiful | Dispelling Beauty Myths

Bloggaren och allmänt badass Mama Cax var 15 när en aggressiv form av cancer tvingade henne att amputera sitt högerben. Hon pratar om sin resa från att i skam alltid gömma sin funktionsnedsättning till att lära sig älska sig själv och därmed bli en ikon för personer med funktionsvarieringar. “This label of a person with a disability, or ‘an amputee’… There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s the same label as being a woman or being a black person; it’s just a label.” 

Badass style blogger Mama Cax, who was 15 when an aggressive form of cancer claimed her right leg from the hip down, talks about her journey from trying to cover up her disability to teaching her how to love herself and becoming an icon of courage for amputees around the world. “This label of a person with a disability, or ‘an amputee’… There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s the same label as being a woman or being a black person; it’s just a label.” 






babe of the month | sju smatanova of BySju

Babe of the Month is a monthly interview series created to promote inspiring women online.


For this month’s feature with an inspiring woman I got in touch with a fellow Londoner – Sju Smatanova. She is the founder of BySju, the brand making a name for itself in the fashion scene with its handmade hats. Just this week the Slovaki designer created headlines when Will.I.Am showed up to the Met Ball wearing one of BySju’s pieces.

So what sparked this passion for hats? And what is it like to run your own brand at 27? I grabbed this mega cool boss lady to talk about what she’s learnt from starting her own business, and why she made her granddad cry with a picture from Oxford Street.


I obviously think you rock, but for those unfamiliar with you, could you describe yourself and what you do?

I see myself just as a human being, like everybody else, eagerly wanting to do what makes me truly happy. And it just happens that some hours of the day I dedicate to one of my passions: hats.


 ”…when you wear a hat, at some point there’s going to be someone who’s going to chat you up. That’s for sure.”


I have this idea that those who wear hats are these creative souls who are about a million times cooler than the rest of us. Or what would you say wearing a BySju hat says about a somebody?

I’d like to think that people who wear hats are being themselves. They are bold; and comfortable in their skin no matter what other people think of them. This is my first impression of a person who wears a hat. I also think that someone who wears a hat is ready and open for an interaction. Because when you wear a hat, at some point there’s going to be someone who’s going to chat you up. That’s for sure.


Which one is your favourite?

My favourite is probably The Grey from the latest SHAPES collection. I like the fact that I can reshape it, so I usually wear it differently every day. I wear a lot of black and white, so grey is like a no brainer for me. I also like The Blue!  


Tell me about your journey of starting up your BySju.

5 years ago my grandfather gave me his first ever bowler hat as a gift. I started wearing it everywhere and really made a connection with it. It helped me to be more confident and a bit more playful with my fashion choices. I never wore a hat before but this time it was just so easy. It also had a very unique shape that was nowhere to be found and I then started searching for hat brands with contemporary design, but couldn’t find one that would speak to me. 

At the same time I was also working in the City, in finance and felt really disconnected with my job. I did not feel my work had value (even though I was paid well) and so all of this combined slowly formed the idea to start my own brand.


So we know you are rocking it, but what are some of the challenges?  

I find the most challenging to actually sit behind the computer and do the work. I get easily distracted but I also realised that there’s no other way around it. Especially at an early stage of your business when you just have to do what needs to be done because there’s just noone else to delegate this to. I have learned not to fight it but understand that it’s all part of the job.


What are the most important lessons you’ve learnt since you started your business? 

To be dedicated and patient. Nothing comes easy and everything takes time. If you really find something you’re passionate about, go and do it. You really have nothing to lose when you try, but everything when you don’t.


If you could change something about the fashion industry, what would that be?

I wish the criteria some people in the industry are using to value others would have a bit more of the human factor in them. Because life isn’t always just revolving around clothes. Sometimes it’s also cars and cash (joking!). No but seriously, someone can say “well it’s just fashion, it’s how it works, get over it”, but I actually think it also applies to other industries [too], not just fashion. I just wish people were a bit more conscious and aware when dealing with other people, be it in fashion or finance or wherever.


London seems to be a big influence on your brand, tell us about that.

London celebrates individuality probably more than any other city in the world. So that aspect really influence my designs everyday. I also lived through a lot (good and bad) in this city and it helped me to peel down the layers I have built around me for so many years. It took me to great highs but also brought me down to the ground equally quickly. And I needed that to get to the bottom of my being, which influenced the message (or the soul if you like) of the brand, and that is self liberation and self expression.


What has been your proudest moment since you started BySju?

My grandfather once told me a story about when he was in London just after the WW2. He said he went to this huge street called Oxford street and saw all these big stores everywhere he looked. He said that one day if he wins the lottery, he will buy me a store on this street where I will be able to display our hats (he always referred to them as ours).

My proudest moment was last year, when our collection was displayed in the front window of Topman. I sent him a picture of that and he cried because he was so proud. For me, that was the best moment of my life.


”You don’t have to be the first one in what you do, you just simply have to be good at it.”


What advice do you have to young women who dream of starting their own brand?

To young woman but equally to young men I advise to always follow your dream! To be a bit more practical: do your market research first and well, find out about other brands and make yours unique. Differentiate yourself. But if you do that [whilst] following your heart, it will come naturally. You don’t have to be the first one in what you do, you just simply have to be good at it.


Interview with Sju Smatanova





Indonesian blogger ROSALINDA TIJOE
Fashion blogger CLARISSA HENRY




All images are by BySju

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babe of the month | chloe sheppard

Babe of the Month is a monthly interview series created to promote inspiring women online.


Chloe Sheppard is the 19 year old photographer that has taken the Internet and Lana del Rey by storm. I found her dreamy 70s style portraits of her friends one day I was deep into the maze of Instagram and was left breathless. Her photographs capture all the glamour, angst and awkwardness of being a girl in your teens. Therefore I was stoked as she agreed to have an email convo with me. We talk about why that age fascinates her, her obsession with the States and what advice she’d give to other teens out there.


I obviously think you rock, but for those unfamiliar with you, how would you describe yourself?

A film photographer obsessed with old American culture, records and roses.



What is it you want to communicate with your work?

Really to begin with I was just taking photos because it was something I found enjoyable and a distraction from other work I should have been doing at the time. But now I’m thinking more consciously about what I’m putting out there, I just want to be inclusive in my work. I want to shoot all types of people who have similar views and ideas to myself.


You only shoot teen girls in quite dreamy settings, tell us about that.

I think because I’m quite close to turning 20 and no longer being a teenager, I feel like I’m losing something. Perhaps I’m more drawn to capturing teenage girls because I would have liked to have been captured in a similar way when I was that age.


Looking back at your journey, what advice would you have given to your 13 year old self?

It’s cliche, but probably to stop worrying what people think. And to not get so wrapped up in petty things when there is so much more to life. To never take things, or people, for granted.


I would also say that your photos and videos has quite a glamorous 70s LA feel to them. What is it with the states and/or that decade that fascinates you?

That’s always a vibe I try and incorporate into a lot of my work. I love the states. When I was younger I wasn’t so well travelled outside of the UK, but all the things I was into, like musicians etc were all from America, so I just associated it with them and thought of it as this great land. Now I’m older, just a lot of the visions I have for my work fit well with certain places over there that it just feeds my infatuation I guess.

Also a lot of the music I grew up listening to, and still listen to now, was from the 70s, so I feel attached to it in some way even though I wasn’t alive through it at all. The clothing style too, oh and the cars, I’m just in love with it all. I have so much love for America now, but I think it looked a lot nicer back then.


What is the best thing about being a female photographer?

I think I get to connect with other female photographers and artists in such a special way because of it. I feel like we automatically trust each other because we understand the way we work. I’m also super shy, and the thought of directing a boy on a shoot makes me beyond nervous haha.


What cultural touchstones i.e. books, films, events, have been influential in shaping you and your work?

The movie Thirteen definitely influenced my aesthetic a lot as I watched it when I was very young. It’s literally one of the greatest films and carries such a good message as well as being beautifully directed. Same with the movie Dazed and Confused. I partly blame it for my obsession with the seventies. Other than that, it’s mainly music I’m inspired by. I hear songs and lyrics which either make me want to create photos/videos to match them, or to photograph the kind of person I feel would listen to the same songs you know?

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I heard that your dream came true and our all ultimate crybaby Lana del Rey followed you. Tell us about that!

Ah yeah it was crazy! I’d just got off the phone when it happened and I almost dropped my phone I was so ecstatic. I had met her in London and gave her a copy of my zine, as parts of it are so heavily influenced by her. Then the next day she followed me and I was just like… speechless.

I have tweets from when I was like a super lame 15 year old saying how I’d die if she ever followed me. I was so obsessed.


This feature is about highlighting inspirational women so I’d like to know who are your biggest girl crushes are and why.

Well besides the obvious one of Lana Del Rey, I l o v e Jane Birkin. She is such a beautiful person, both inside and out. I watched a video of her once and she said something like “I’ve been given such a privileged life that I feel it’s only fair I give something back” and from then on dedicated herself to helping humanitarian charities.

Also Penny Lane from Almost Famous. She lived my dream life and I still to this day wish I could be the real life version of her.

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Any final advice for all aspiring kickass women out there?

Keep doing what you’re doing. Even if you think you’re getting nowhere, you’re always going somewhere. And don’t forget to keep appreciating the other kickass women around you.


Chloe Sheppard Interview Photographer





Indonesian blogger ROSALINDA TIJOE
Fashion blogger CLARISSA HENRY




All images are by Chloe Sheppard

Follow my blog with Bloglovin





Time for another post with short documentaries with inspirational women. I tend to watch them on the bus on my way to work or a meeting because it makes me feel like a bloody boss. Hopefully these will do the same for you! Don’t miss out on the first part.

Badass photographer Andrea Sonnenberg aka Teenwitch captures everything that I dream of when it comes to youth culture. I want to catch a plane down to the States and become her intern/friend and experience her adventurous life.

The community and artistry behind the female black hair beauty Salons in the States.

Maddie Sensibile just seems like the coolest chick. She works with social media for Urban Outfitters and talks about her obsession and love for bands.

Runner and chef Preety Mudhar on going after her dream job and how being athletic helped her do that.

Shantell Martin, an artist known for her stream-of-consciousness drawings, draws on people, on airplanes, and on clothing. Her approach to art and creation is free and liberating and I wish I could have the same attitude to writing.



Part I



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So I’m a sucker for mini documentaries and addicted to video interviews with interesting people. Unfortunately going through vimeo, nowness or any other channel there are mostly men who get featured. And that’s interesting too, but it makes me sad because women are obviously just as inspiring.

So I will start gathering videos I find of wicked women for you to enjoy. Here is the first, hope you like it!

The photographer Jessica Lehrman who grew up travelling around in an RV with her hippie parents and has such a relaxed view on photography. COOL CHICK!

The humble Canadian internet queen Petra Collins talk about the digital outrage around her pubic hair and her struggle with body image.

Nikki Lane is a performer, business owner, traveller, tv presenter, fashion retailer etc etc. A true entrepreneur and I wish someday to be able to survive on doing a little of everything I like.

Clara is the most badass 16 year old I’ve ever heard of. She goes to dirty punk gigs to sell vegan cupcakes and she’s making it big! <333

This collaboration and discussion between make up artist Mila Victoria and blogger Chantelle Silva about being fierce and creative.

What do you reckon? Have any you like that you can recommend?



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