Can you tell us a little about yourself?
What exactly is VoiceBox?
VoiceBox is a company based around empowering and encouraging women to use their voice and make waves in our current society. Voicebox is centered around encouraging women to stand up and speak up. We are sick and tired of being look down upon for being female, for being paid less because of our gender and being told that we are less than. My mission for VoiceBox is for it to be a place where women can click on to and feel empowered. I want VoiceBox to inspire women to express their opinion and stand up for themselves whether that be in a boardroom meeting or in their own home. Through my company and my pins, I hope to influence women to stand up for themselves and speak their minds. Something as small as a pin can have a big message! My hope is that women wear my pins on their blazers or jean jackets and automatically feel a sense of unity and confidence within themselves.
What inspired you to start VoiceBox?
My main inspiration for starting VoiceBox was the 2016 presidential election. My entire family loves Hillary Clinton and on the night of the election we all gathered at my grandparents house and watched the votes roll in. My sisters and I bought balloons and I made Hillary Clinton cupcakes. There was not a doubt in my mind that Hillary was going to be our first woman president. The hours droned on and we soon realized that our hope was not going to become a reality. I vividly remember coming home and crying my eyes out. The fear and anxiety I felt for the future of our country was indescribable. I decided that I was not going to stand idly by and watch our country deteriorate. My sisters and I grabbed our markers and poster boards and marched alongside 750,000 other women and men at the 2017 Women’s March in Los Angeles. I felt an immense sense of comradery and love on that day. It was the first time since the election that I felt like our country was not going to fail.
Flash forward a couple months later and I found myself mindlessly doodling at my desk. I am in no way an artist and I can really only draw one kind of face. I drew what came to be my first pin “Janet” and I immediately fell in love with her. I felt like she was the way I was going to spread my message. VoiceBox grew out of my love for a simple drawing.
How did you come up with the name?
I was thinking about creating an Instagram account for months before I actually took the plunge. I drew out the design for my “Janet” pin long before I even had the idea of VoiceBox. The more I stared at my sketch, the more I felt I could really make something out of it. I racked my brain for weeks trying to think about what my company name would be. VoiceBox came to me one restless night when I couldn’t get to sleep. My brain was on overdrive and I was thinking about a million things at once. I tapped my notes app and started writing down every idea that came to mind. I wanted my brand to empower women to speak up and use their voice. I typed out a lot of ideas, but VoiceBox was the one that stuck. Your voice box is what creates sound and helps a person talk. What better way to encourage women to speak up, than to tell them to use their voice box? The more I thought about it, the more the name VoiceBox made sense.
What does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day for me starts out with going to school. College allows you to have a flexible schedule which has been a great way for me to juggle both school and my brand. I go to school in the mornings and work on VoiceBox in the afternoons. I normally spend my time writing blog posts, scheduling out Instagram posts and packing up orders.
What is your favorite part about running VoiceBox?
My favorite part about running VoiceBox is definitely the people I have been able to connect with. Through my Instagram I have been able to talk to so many like-minded people!
What is your least favorite part about running VoiceBox?
I don’t want to be one of those people who say they love every minute of their job, but I do! Even when something doesn’t go as planned, I take it as a learning experience. Nothing is perfect, but running VoiceBox has been a really great experience so far!
Can you tell us how you give back?
One of the ways I give back is by donating 5% of all pin proceeds to Planned Parenthood or the ACLU. These organizations are vital to so many people and I wanted my pins and brand to be apart of the greater good.
How do you spread the word about your company?
The sole way I spread the word about my company is through Instagram. Instagram is a platform that allows you to share pictures, voice your opinion and find like-minded individuals. Through my Instagram posts I can interact with my followers and direct them to my site and blog. Social media is a great way to make your company known and noticed!
Do you have any advice for fellow entrepreneurs?
My advice for fellow entrepreneurs is to keep persevering even when it feels like you’re failing. Starting a business is not easy. It takes dedication, patience and creativity. The important thing to remember is that your company is most likely not going to be an overnight success. You have to put in the work in order to see results. So, even when you’re not gaining followers or your product isn’t selling, keep going! Eventually you will reach your goal.
Do you have a favorite quote or go to saying? ☺
My favorite saying is “you won’t know unless you try.” I’m not the most spontaneous person and I can often overthink decisions. I remind myself of this saying all the time. Saying it to myself once or twice always give me the push I need to take that risk!
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
I would love to talk about my pins! I have two feminist pins out right now that are near and dear to my heart. My “Janet” pin represents the modern day feminist. She is strong, independent, confident and persistent. She’s an entrepreneur, business owner, gal pal, sister, mother, grandmother. My goal is for Janet to be a pin that you put on and instantly feel powerful.
My second pin is my “Fierce Feminist” circle pin. Though I love Janet, I wanted to create a more simple pin that gets straight to the point. Many people attach the word “fierce” with a bad connotation. It’s grouped with words like aggressive and competitive. Fierce ALSO means powerful and strong. It’s time we start showing the world that fierce, passionate women are nothing to be afraid of. Why no be fierce? Powerful? Tenacious? I wanted to create a pin that says, “Yes, I’m a feminist and I’m proud of it.”
I recently came out with a blog that has a variety of topics from feminist icons to climate change. My hope for this blog, brand and community is for it to be one big peace circle where everyone can share their feelings and ideas. A place everyone can click on and feel welcome, inspired and informed. I always end my posts with the phrase “Welcome to VoiceBox! Grab a floor pillow, turn on your favorite hippie playlist and join the circle.”