On International Women’s Day, we recognize you. There are many ways to be a woman, and we celebrate and encourage all the expressions that make you feel most like yourself. You are a one-woman multitude: you can embody many forms at different times or all at once. In a world still often stacked up against women, you thrive--yes, like a rose through concrete.
At Treehut, we’ve compiled a small list of inspiring women who have lately captured our hearts and who loom large in our imagination. A varied assortment, they have all helped pave avenues for women who would come, and are coming, after them--whether it meant breaking through a mold or simply being vocal about the advancement of women in the world.
In no particular order and in no way exhaustive, these groundbreaking women continue to roam the earth today. Here they are, each paired with a characteristic all-wood Treehut watch:
Watch Match: Zebrawood + Hawaii Koa Red
Sandberg wrote the wildly influential Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, which spurred a moment in our culture for women in the workplace. The Facebook COO has said that she “won’t rest until women run half of the world’s countries and corporations,” which sounds pretty reasonable to us. Many others think so too: since the book’s inception, over 35,000 support groups across 162 countries have grown out of its influence.
Watch Match: Ebony 37 Green
At 17 years old, Chloe Kim competed in the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang and became the youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding medal, taking home gold on the halfpipe. Prior to that, she was a 4-time gold medalist at the X Games. She was also the first woman to win two gold medals in snowboarding at the Winter Youth Olympics. Her enormous early success coupled with with her sunny personality have made her an instant media darling.
Watch Match: Rouge Small
As former VP Joe Biden once said, our country has never seen a first lady quite like Michelle Obama. Many on all areas of the political spectrum can agree that she has reshaped our country’s attitude toward health and fitness, and has led by strong example. In a bid to end childhood obesity in the US, she was instrumental in helping to integrate key nutrition programs into public schools, giving young students opportunities to explore better healthy food options. She will also always be known as the first lady who turned the White House front garden into a site that produced plant foods for local food banks.
Watch Match: Black Walnut Small
Often cited the “greatest athlete in the world,” Williams has been consistently ranked in top slots by the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) for the past 15 years. Introduced to the game at a mere age 3, she would go pro by age 14. She's now gone on to win 23 Grand Slams, her 23rd now famously known to have been accomplished in 2017, while two months pregnant. Her sheer perseverance, physical discipline, and voice have come to inspire many of us outside of the tennis world.
Watch Match: Ebony 35
Ginsburg is famous for her courtroom advocacy for the fair treatment of women and her work with the ACLU’s Womens Rights Project. Before she was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals in 1980 by President Carter, she had spent the seventies arguing six key gender-bias cases in front of an all-male Supreme Court. Appointed by President Clinton to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1993, her life’s work has been recognized recently in pop culture, with tribute books and a hotly anticipated documentary (RBG) soon to be released.
Watch Match: Purple Heart Small
Toni Morrison’s name is always spoken with a particular air of reverence. A Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winner in literature, her work has been an important cornerstone of the African American experience and in the world of letters at large. She has famously said before that the very reason why she started writing in the first place was to write the books she wanted to read and didn't find available. Today, her novels Beloved and Song of Solomon, among others, often appear on American high school required reading lists.
Watch Match: Maple Burl Small Blue
Orman’s personal finance story is a true inspiration, and one that she’s very publicly and very graciously shared with the world on tour and TV. We can all take a page out of her playbook. Once a waitress with no outside prospects, she approached her trials and errors with a DIY attitude, taking personal interest in learning the nuts and bolts of money management. Her example in careful financial planning has allowed her to enjoy an early retirement doing what she loves to do best: fishing out of a modest boat near her Bahamas mansion.
Watch Match: Mod Small
In 1963, former textile worker Valentina Tereshkova of the Soviet Union literally went the distance, becoming the first woman in space. She orbited the earth 8 times, doubling any record American male astronauts had previously set. Now retired, she followed that pivotal event with a long career as a cosmonaut, engineer and politician, collecting honors along the way.
Watch Match: Theo Red Small
Lisa Randall has the distinction of being the first ever woman to be tenured in all three physics departments at Princeton, MIT, and Harvard. If you’ve been working in theoretical physics for the past five years, you’ve said or heard her name, over and over again. A key player in determining the makeup of the universe, one of her most intriguing, groundbreaking theories has it that we could all be living in “a 3D sinkhole in a higher-dimensional universe.”
Watch Match: Olive Ash Small
An advocate for girls’ education in Pakistan since age 11, Malala awed the world when she not only survived great physical trauma inflicted onto her as a direct result of her endeavors, but went on to continue her work with more vigor than ever. Her dedication earned her the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 at the astonishing age of 15.
What all of these remarkable women share in common is their great capacity for imagination and the will to make a difference in their individual fields, which have spilled out to larger spheres of influence.
Likewise, we all personally know remarkable women that the rest of the world never will. Many of these women lean away from the limelight, operating behind the scenes, living out their best lives in small corners of the world. She’s your mother, your sister, your best friend, your aunt, your teacher. She makes an example of her life: her perseverance, her big heart, her friendship, her work, her creativity.