What’s with the pink? I was recently featured in the Toronto Star in an article beautifully written by Andrea Gordon. I say beautifully because this writer “got it” and “got it” quickly. As the two of us scrambled deadlines in our own jobs, we connected for a brief but intense interview. The article was titled: Mompreneurs: Powerful business network or pink-collar ghetto? The article was inspired by a tweet from a Jolie O’Dell; a young woman who is a great writer, a techie and definitely NOT a mother. Jolie’s tweet; “Women: stop making startups about fashion, shopping, & babies. At least for the next few years. You’re embarrassing me.” Please let’s all take her comment and disregard it whole-heartedly. She lists looking for sushi deals as part of her interests. Enough said, but do read the article of the amazing women who have started their businesses. We have ideas, visions, dreams; we employ people; we build stuff; we buy stuff; we sell stuff. That’s a simple plan this economy needs to embrace and let’s all bless ourselves lucky to live in Canada or the USA; where this is truly possible. In fact, women are God-like. We make humans and run companies, we have heart and soul, we have brains and we have muscles. There’s nothing missing from our list of ingredients. The article has great timing with the promise I made previously about What’s with the pink? It’s been a while since I told my story of starting Moxie Trades. I wanted to be a tradeswoman and I wanted to wear pink work boots. I like pink. I also wanted any comments from my co-workers to get out of the way so that we could get to work. Before I took my course for Women in Skilled Trades, I ran a flyer that advertised “Interior House Paining.” Truth be told, I want to paint like Debbie Travis, she is my hero! When I went to the homes in my area to provide quotes I was asked “Where’s your Dad?” and “Who’s going to paint?” and “How are you going to climb the ladder?” I wasn’t equipped for such stupid and ignorant questions and I was asked them by women. So, I decided to name my company Moxie Trades. Moxie is the ability to face fear with spirit and courage so that word was a no-brainer and Trades because that’s what we were going to do. I also wanted a logo that was PINK and I wanted sexy girls holding tools as my logo. I didn’t want any surprises when I showed up to your door with my boobs on. (that’s not a typo) Our pink work boot is named Betsy (another story for another day) and she is our icon. The women in my program ALL bought men’s work boots. That’s shameful isn’t it? I would never have got an appointment with a retailer if I had a black or brown boot. In this life, you can’t whisper to make a statement, you need to scream. I have been asked if our pink work boot is CSA or ASTM approved. This is when I have to remind everyone it’s only a colour. What is with the pink? Historically, before the 1940′s it was suitable for boys to wear pink as it was a “decided” and strong colour. Blue was appropriate for women as it was daintier and more feminin like the Virgin Mary. Feminists have now reclaimed the colour (per wikipedia) and the Breast Cancer Society has also branded with pink. So what’s with it? Today, I think it’s the girliest colour anyone can think of. How fun is it to take male-dominated items and colour them pink. It’s a 180 degree statement. AND, I have been able to advocate for women in the trades because of my pink work boot. I have been able to have discussions about equality in the workforce because of my pink work boot. I have been able to do amazing things, travelled the world, danced in my pink work boots, and inspired women to find their moxie, in work boots or not. What a great time to do the thing you were meant to do. Find your moxie ladies…in pink, black or blue, I Dare YOU!
Thanks for checking out the Marissa McTasney webpage and blog. I decided to put this site together because I have received many calls over the last five years from people; men and women who have an idea, a dream or a vision. I have been invited to speak at seminars, conferences, girl’s day outs, lunch ‘n learns and schools. When I first started my business it was Tomboy Trades, why it’s not called that today is another story (one that’s in the “experience” bucket. ) I have re-mortgaged my house a few times for the love of Moxie. I got a loan from the Business Development Bank of Canada when I received my first purchase order from Home Depot. I have sold purchase orders in order to pay for manufacturing my goods; this is called “purchase order financing.” I have also “factored,” we’ll keep that lesson for another day. I have partnered with “finance guys” who understood money and business but not the heart and soul of a dreamer. I have been blessed by the Canadian media who have heard my “David and Goliath” story and have shared it with their readers. Thankfully, the CBC in Canada asked me to help audition the millionaires auditioning to the be the newest “dragon” on Dragons’ Den. That experience, lived on a whim and in the “why not” bucket, landed the biggest deal ever done to date on Dragon’s Den history – worldwide, thank-you very much. I am now partners with W.Brett Wilson, Canada’s investor with a heart. Imagine being partners with a philanthropist.
In the meantime, I am raising two brilliant kids, they are perfect, they are well mannered, they are funny, they are smart and I love them to death. Carter is eight and Frankie is six. Now, we get to jump in the ocean and swim with stingrays and sharks, and we get to ski down the Rocky Mountains. They are the reason I dream big, think the impossible, love passionately and give generously.
If it weren’t for my husband who continues to stand in my shadow as my good looking arm candy, I don’t know how it would be possible. If it weren’t for my mother who has jumped at every beck and call of urgency for the love of Moxie, her daughter and her grandchildren, this would most certainly not be possible.
I am a lucky girl but as Einstein said “luck is preparation meeting opportunity.”
For every idea, dream and vision needs believers. Big Believers, the kind that won’t let you fall.
So, I hope that I can share my experiences with you so that we can all dream big, think the impossible, love passionately and give generously.
Be bold and find your moxie, I dare you.