Women Who Inspire Us

In honor of this past Women’s History Month 2016, we wanted to highlight some of the women who have inspired us. The following women are some of the many who have changed our lives by their service, examples, and legacies.

Brené Brown

“Loving ourselves and owning our story through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.”

Introduction: Brené Brown is a researcher, author, speaker, storyteller, and an inspirational leader from Houston, TX. She is best known and widely acclaimed for her NY Times Bestselling book, The Gifts of Imperfection. Brené has done tremendous work on bringing topics of vulnerability, worthiness, and hope to light for all. After doing enormous amounts of research on shame, she went through her own journey of what it means to be what she calls ‘Wholehearted.’ By experiencing her own personal journey, she has helped many through her books, online programs, and TED Talks to become worthy of self-love and to live a ‘Wholehearted’ life.

Why we picked Brené: Brené is an advocate of one’s vulnerability and embodiment of the phrase: good enough. She is a phenomenal woman and motivator. She has vulnerably shared her own story with the world, proving that through your own struggles you can help others to reach their fullest potential.

 Brené inspires us to…

  • Read more of her books
  • Be vulnerable
  • Don’t fear failure
  • Believe you are enough now
  • Find the light within
  • Dare greatly
  • Share your story
  • Find your creativity and share it
  • Be grateful
  • Rise strong

Brené Brown TED Talk: Vulnerability


Malala Yousafzai

“One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.”

Introduction: Malala Yousafzai is from Pakistan, and is a human rights activist. She survived the Taliban regime–three bullets, one being a headshot wound as she stood up for education. She is a leader and proponent for educating women, mainly for advocacy and education of women in her country. She is the youngest person to ever receive the Nobel Peace prize. To learn more about Malala’s story, click here.

Why we picked Malala: Malala is a beacon in the darkness for all who aspire to rise above your given circumstances. She has paved the way for many women to receive an education and to speak up about inequalities.

Malala inspires us to…

  • Be powerful through education
  • Speak out against injustice
  • Overcome the deepest of trials
  • Choose to be brave
  • Stand up against inhumanity
  • Know you have a voice & can make a difference, no matter your age

Malala’s Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech


Immaculee Ilibagiza

“The love of a single heart can make a world of difference.”

Introduction: Immaculée Ilibagiza survived the 1994 Rwandan genocide. This horrific massacre claimed the lives of 1 million innocent Tutsis women, children and men. For 91 days, she and 7 other women hid in a 4×4 foot bathroom to escape the slaughter of the Hutu attackers. She experienced horrific conditions and lost her whole family, save for one brother. But she gained peace, hope, faith, and forgiveness. She is an author of 6 books and recipient of the Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Reconciliation and Peace. She is also recognized as one of the world’s leading speakers on hope, faith, and forgiveness and spends her time sharing her message with the world.

Why we picked Immaculee: Immaculee is an incredibly strong example of survival and strength. She has chosen to have love and forgiveness when she could have shown hatred and anger. She makes us want to be more understanding and kind towards others.

Immaculee inspires us to…

  • Define ourselves by our character, not our circumstances
  • Be your own teacher
  • Be forgiving
  • Never lose faith
  • Find our greatest strength that is within us
  • Rely on our inner peace
  • Share our message with the world

Immaculee’s Incredible Story


Coretta Scott King

“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of it’s members…a heart of grace and a soul generated by love.”

Introduction: Coretta was a Civil & Human Rights activist and one of the most influential female leaders throughout history. She devoted her life to social change, service and equality for all while also being a devoted mother and wife. After her husband was assassinated, she founded the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change. She brought their message of nonviolence and equality to prime ministers, presidents, and leaders worldwide. She always strived to be compassionate, forgiving and understanding of people from all walks of life. I Corinthians 13:13 –“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

Why we picked Coretta: King being the face of the Civil Rights Movement, Coretta was undoubtedly the backbone. She was the protector of her family, and she was the strength and heart of all those involved in the movement. She is an example of what it is to march on in the face of adversity.

Coretta inspires us to…

  • Advocate for human rights
  • Give love and support
  • Uplift those who need to be lifted
  • March forward in the face of adversity
  • Maintain elegance through trials
  • Keep family as a main priority


Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“Never ever accept ‘Because You Are a Woman’ as a reason for doing or not doing anything.”

Introduction: Chimanda is a Nigerian novelist, short story and nonfiction writer. She is a critically acclaimed author whose awards include, Orange Prize for Fiction and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. Her second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, was adapted into a film in 2014. Chimanda was born in an Igbo family and raised in Nigeria. She is consistently using her culture and perspective in the world to write interesting and engaging books that bring acclaim to an industry that lacks a strong representation of women of color. Chimanda is also known for her speeches, most notably her 2013 TEDxEuston talk entitled “We Should All Be Feminists.” In this talk Chimanda shares her views on gender and sexuality and her experience as an African feminist. This talk was sampled and Chimanda was featured on Beyoncé’s 2013 song ***Flawless. This effectively sprang Chimanda into the cars and earbuds of millions of people around the world. Chimanda is an incredible role model for millions of girls around the world, particularly girls of color. She continues to be this role model and break down barriers with each step forward she takes. We can’t wait to see just what she does next.

Why we picked Chimanda: She takes pride in being a woman, and she doesn’t feel confined to fit in any box. She is an impactful leader in written works, public speaking, and is unapologetically herself.

Chimanda inspires us to…

  • Share our own stories
  • Write our stories
  • Not let society define who we are
  • Defy all stereotypes
  • Honor our uniqueness
  • Be a role model for young women
  • Own our stories, life, and culture

Chimanda’s TedxEuston Talk: We Should All Be Feminists

We dedicate this post to all the women who inspire us to be educated, strong, vulnerable, authentic, and brave.


Hi! We’re The Collective and Company.  We are a group of women who have been friends and sisters for some time. One night, we came together realizing that we needed a more impactful way to stay connected, uplift and support one another, share our experiences & stories, and relay, and learn from our life lessons. So, Des had the brilliant idea of starting a blog.

The idea is that this blog would bind us in our sisterhood, and no matter where we ventured or where life took us, the blog would be a way to stay connected. We have all been needing a space where we can embrace who we are, revel in our thoughts and ideas, and give a voice to our different perspectives. Our blog is full of everything we saw, loved, and are passionate about, from YouTubers, fashion, and food, to inspirational thoughts and ideas right from our lives and other “impacters” surrounding us. And we want to put those things out into the universe by expressing ourselves in a myriad of ways! Here’s the thing, the world is full of people who we know can connect with and find value in what we have to say, and hopefully that gives you a voice too.

We are four best friends who created a lifestyle blog. We blog about anything and everything, from food, fashion, fitness, style, makeup, to inspirational/enlightenment, DIYs, and skincare.

Anna Marie ‣ Desireé  ‣ Marlena ‣ Bethany

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