Women who are changing the world
From inventing products, to blogging for social good and helping women around the globe fight poverty — these powerful women from all over the U.S. are changing the world in which we live. Meet five moms who are doing amazing things that matter!
Kirsten Dickerson, Texas: Co-founder of Raven + Lily
In 2011, Kirsten co-founded Raven + Lily — an apparel and accessories company that empowers women through design partnerships and sustainable economic opportunities. She currently employs women in Africa, India and Cambodia at fair trade wages to give them access to a safe job, sustainable income, health care, education and a chance to break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families. Each collection features handmade, eco-friendly pieces that reflect the culture of the woman artisan behind each design.
Though family is always top priority for this wife, mother of two and CEO, Kirsten's home and work lives are uniquely intertwined. When she married her husband, a humanitarian filmmaker, she honed her love for design by creating the sets and wardrobe for many of his projects. She combined this experience with her two decades of global humanitarian aid service to create her unique model for Raven + Lily alongside her partner, Sophia Lim. She and her family have traveled the world for film, humanitarian outreach, cross-cultural studies and the adoption of their Chinese daughter, Mei Li.
Tamara Monosoff, Northern California: Founder and CEO of Mom Invented
In addition to writing five business books for entrepreneurs and advising the Clinton Administration — where she served in two positions, including chief of staff for the Office of Vocational and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education — Tamara is the founder and CEO of Mom Invented. Through Mom Invented, this mother of two supports other moms who are inventors, entrepreneurs and small business owners by providing an online community that helps women turn an idea into a successful product and business. She also created the internationally-trademarked consumer products brand that supports these moms-turned-inventors by marketing a line of products to retailers nationwide under the Mom Invented brand.
Tamara is truly a powerhouse when it comes to supporting women in business, but it doesn't stop at Mom Invented. She also serves on the board of directors of the International Association of Working Mothers — a charitable organization dedicated to supporting working moms through advocacy and education.
Jennifer James, North Carolina: Founder of Mom Bloggers for Social Good
Jennifer James has made a major impact on the blogging community, social media and the emerging social good space for mothers and parents. She was recently recognized as Most Generous Social Media Maven by Fast Company and her list of accolades continues to grow.
Jennifer is a mom of two who created the Mom Bloggers Club, one of the largest social networks for moms who blog, with a membership of more than 18,000. As if establishing a network that fosters camaraderie among thousands of moms wasn't enough, Jennifer has used that collective influence to found Mom Bloggers for Social Good. Mom Bloggers for Social Good is a global coalition of more than 1,000 bloggers in 17 countries who have committed to use their online influence to advance critical social issues. By organizing these influential moms and partnering them with nonprofit causes, Jennifer has given dozens of cause-related organizations an opportunity to reach new audiences to educate, raise awareness and even raise funds.
Kristin Ahmer, Southern California: Founder of Sili Company and Project Sili Soul
Kristin not only invented a product that saves moms time, hassle and helps save the environment from packaged-food waste, she also found a way to take a life-threatening experience and channel it to help children and adults with special needs.
Within five months of launching Sili Squeeze — a spill-proof reusable food pouch — Kristin was reminded of her time in the hospital after suffering a brain bleed following the birth of her child. While the doctors saved her life, she says it's the nurses who saved her soul by caring for her when she couldn't care for herself. That prompted her to found Project Sili Soul, beginning with a 300-pouch donation to Children's Hospital of Orange County, to help care for children who otherwise could not feed themselves and serve as a thank you for the amazing care they gave her and her child. Through her continued work with special-needs facilities, she has also found that children and adults alike can benefit from her Sili Squeeze line, from blind children who can now feed themselves in the classroom, to adults who now have the dignity of being able to feed themselves. In addition to continuing work to launch her new line, she's always looking for ways to help special-needs groups and facilities along the way.
Stefanie Weiss, New York: Founder of askStefanie, mental health specialist
Like teachers, oftentimes mental health professionals are the unsung heroes who truly make a difference in a child's life. Stefanie is a tireless advocate for children's mental health and specializes in OCD, anxiety, ADHD, PANDAS and other related mental health disorders. As the mother of a child who has struggled with OCD and anxiety, she understands that getting the right help and being proactive can make all the difference in a child's life and the lives of the entire family involved. Because she understands firsthand how daunting it can be for parents to find the right specialists, Stefanie has distinguished her practice by working with parents to collaborate on selecting a team of doctors that will be the best fit for each individual child.
In addition to juggling her career and role as Mom of three children, Stefanie recently co-founded the askStefanie and Spectrum Neuroscience and Treatment Institute monthly roundtable series. The series allows parents from all over the U.S. to gain access to top medical professionals, engage online with experts in the field of mental health, learn about new treatments and studies and ask questions in an intimate forum so they can find the support they need to care for their children.