Today I am participating in a Clever Girls post about the Fierce Fund and the Traveling Blue Wig Project. This is an excerpt from the Clever Girls website about Firece fund:

Every woman has a story of strength. To recognize and celebrate these stories, and to ensure women and girls are always empowered to be Fierce, Clever Girls Collective is proud to announce The Fierce Fund, a corporate advised fund of Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

In 2013, The Fierce Fund will donate $20,000 in support of nonprofit initiatives that celebrate, encourage, and elevate women and girls. 

In October 2012, Clever Girls Co-Founder Sheila Bernus Dowd, was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. She underwent surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, and today is in full remission. Throughout her treatments, she continued to work at CGC, ran the annual fundraiser at her children’s school…and found a new affinity for hats and fake hair. 

Having one of our own go through this difficult experience sharpened Clever Girls’ focus on helping women when we most need support.

Our stories of strength take many forms.

Being Fierce is having the courage to try a new career, drive across the country, travel somewhere you’ve never been; standing up to a bully, calling out hate speech, voting; being strong for your kids, being there for your friends, being active in your community. Being Fierce can mean going back to school after a couple decades away, it could mean putting on a bathing suit at the public beach. Or being Fierce could mean going through cancer treatments and choosing to rock a blue wig in stride.

We all have our moments of being Fierce, and we’re collecting your inspiring stories. Fifty members of the Clever Girls Collective will be receiving blue wigs and sharing their stories of “Being Fierce” in blog posts.

My story about “being Fierce” comes from stepping outside of my comfort zone as a crafter, a blogger, a mom, and a business owner.

fiercefund-jennifer-priest-hydrangea-hippo-oct-2013

Two years ago I decided to attend a summer trade show for the Craft & Hobby Association. I had never been to the show in the summer before, never been to the host city of Chicago, and it was my first time attending the show as a member, rather than just under someone else's membership. I booked a hotel room by myself, booked a flight, and took a leap of faith.

A month before the show I applied to be a CHA Designer Member and was accepted. A week before the show, I made the decision to attend and to participate in my first ever Designer Showcase. This is where Designers show their work to potential clients (companies, manufacturers, editors, and publishers) in the hopes of getting hired. I had some idea what to expect but no time to prepare. I was the last table on the last row, all by myself in the back of the room and not included on any printed materials. I just filled my suitcase with samples and had no real “display”. At the end of the night, I had one project picked up for publication!

I knew people but it was still hard to go it alone.

At that show, I made so many wonderful connections that have blossomed into strong friendships and powerful business opportunities. Some of my best friends were made at that trade show! It took me getting out of my comfort zone to grow my business and my confidence in new ways. That trip inspired me to always consider getting away from what it is easy and challenging myself to be fierce- life and my career has been so much more rewarding ever since.

Continue following the action using the hashtag #FierceFund. How have you been fierce? How have you supported your friends, colleagues, and familieswhen they need your help most to stay fierce?

Author: Jennifer Priest

It started with jewelry, beading, sewing, home decor, painting, basket weaving, pottery, and cross-stitch. Marry that to an entrepreneurial spirit & at 9 years old a girl is selling her wares at craft fairs as far as her parents and grandparents would drive her. These days, Jennifer enjoys crafts of all genres from sewing to scrapbooking to jewelry with a little dabbling in the mixed media world. Her style is approachable and she wants everyone who sees her work to feel that they too can embrace creativity and make their home and life beautiful.

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