Today marks one of RevitaLash Cosmetics’ favorite days to highlight, International Women’s Day. For the last 110 years on the 8th of March – yes, the first Women’s Day was in 1911 – the accomplishments of women and their quest for equality have been recognized and celebrated! The United Nations made the day official in 1975. Since then, it has become a genuinely global event. This year's theme, "Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world," recognizes the exceptional efforts by women in shaping a more equal future… and in light of the pandemic recovery.
As said before, March 8 is significant for RevitaLash Cosmetics… it’s a day to reflect on company history and the strong, determined, resilient co-founder, Gayle Brinkenhoff. Her vision was to help women feel beautiful during what could be the hardest time of their lives… undergoing cancer treatments, as Gayle did.
Her resolve to accomplish her life’s work… despite the setbacks and prejudice… remains inspirational. And today, a new generation of women continue the RevitaLash Cosmetics legacy with spectacular success… built on talent, toughness, empathy, and equality.
In every department in every RLC facility you’ll find women at every level of management… up to the President herself.
International Women’s Day is an occasion to honor the accomplishments of the RevitaLash Cosmetics women who are helping push the envelope for gender equality with the same creativity, intelligence, and hard work Gayle displayed.
Meet Jean, Darlene, Jesselyn, and Randi… four extraordinary women representing the multitude of women who are working together to build their careers, support their families, and redefine leadership by building a 21st-century corporate culture dedicated to opportunity, equality, and service to women everywhere.
Thank you for agreeing to share your experiences. To begin, what is your role at RLC?
Jean Macke: Senior Global Advertising Manager
Darlene Delaney: Administrative Assistant, Global Teams
Jesselyn Alvarez: Global Director, Digital Marketing & eCommerce
Randi Vandagriff: Director of Global Marketing
Q; How do you celebrate being a woman in your daily lives?
Jean: My biggest celebration is being a mom. Every day I am grateful for the experiences my three boys bring. They are my greatest joy. I also celebrate by taking care of my health: exercising and eating well. Exercise makes me feel stronger and more confident, helps me get energized, and focuses my mind on all the tasks I need to accomplish.
Darlene: Sometimes I just turn on Alicia Keys’ “Girl on Fire” and sing as loud as I can. It’s always been a song that makes me feel like celebrating.
Jesselyn: I celebrate by being unapologetically myself; shining my light and not dimming it for anyone. I believe that when you shine your unique inner light, you brighten the lives of those around you. And you inspire others to light up, too. I celebrate by showing women it’s safe to be your unique self and to illuminate the world with your gifts and talents.
Randi: Girls’ nights are so important to me. They are definitely a celebration every time we get together (even if it’s six feet apart with masks). I also celebrate by teaching my daughter how powerful women are on their own, and what they can do when they band together for the greater good.
Q: What is one way you’ve broken down stereotypes or gender barriers in your life?
Jean: I’ve worked in advertising for over 30 years, with most of my career spent in agencies primarily run by men. That has been very challenging.
And being a working mom with three children, I have to not only work hard but also manage a household. I have watched and learned from friends in the same situation who have successfully balanced their work and personal lives, while making their way to top corporate positions. I have been fortunate to work with women who support each other. Empowered women, empower women.
Darlene: I spend time sharpening my strengths and overcoming my weaknesses… empowering my two daughters through my example. Raising my children, it became apparent that gender stereotypes begin with how you are taught to behave as a child.
Early on, I realized how important it is to allow my son and daughters to have their own style of communication. It was important to accept that they didn’t have to conform to one style common to their gender. I had to break down my own stereotypical way of thinking and learn how to be OK with letting my kids play as they wished.
My son liked Barbies and was sensitive, while my oldest daughter wanted to play basketball with the boys. I learned how to stop making comparisons and overcome preconceived ideas about how things “should be” and stop worrying about what others might say. I had to let my children express who they are. My takeaway? Children should be able to choose a future based on their individual interests and skills, not gender stereotypes!
Jesselyn: I don’t do things by the book; I don’t adhere to a specific mold. I constantly question and then make up my mind about what I want to do, say, think, or look like.
Randi: In the old regime, the man was the breadwinner while the wife stayed home to care for the kids, right? Not in my household! My kids ask me all the time why I have to go to work, and I happily explain that mommy works to provide for the family. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Q: Who inspired you to be the woman you are today?
Jean: I’ve been inspired by a few people in my life. Mom taught me the importance of being a good person, to care about people and to treat them with respect. This simple philosophy is so important in your career, in your relationships, and in your everyday life.
I’ve worked with women who inspired me to continually strive to be my best self. They taught me that by working harder and smarter, we can not only raise our children but also grow in our careers. One of the most empowering women I have been blessed to work alongside over the years is now president of RLC. Watching how she leads this company continually inspires me.
Darlene: This is a hard question. There have been so many women who inspired me. Starting with my mom, of course. She could make an entire room laugh without even trying. People always gravitated to her sense of humor. She had a way of changing an ordinary day into an extraordinary one. That’s inspiring.
She taught me how to build my self-confidence: it’s not about being perfect, it’s about being me. She taught me to keep a positive mindset, even in my darkest hour. My best friend to this day, my mom is the one who made me feel brave enough to leave my comfort zone, to reach for more, and not allow my fears to hold me down… all by the example she set.
I am continually inspired by women who are kind, compassionate, and selfless… those who show me how to keep pushing to become the best version of myself. An inspirational quote I often lean is from Elizabeth Gilbert: “You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings!”
Jesselyn: My grandmother inspired me. She went against the grain. Living life for herself and not in the way others expected. Her bravery inspired me to do the same, and she has supported me along the way. She is the epitome of kindness. I aspire to be that as well.
Randi: I am inspired pretty easily. Women who are true individuals. Women who speak for themselves, wear what they want, act on how they feel, and stand up for their passions.
I continue to be inspired by all the women in my life who have made me who I am today by supporting every path I’ve taken… encouraging me to reach for the stars with these simple words, “you can do it.”
Finally, my mom, of course, and the female bosses I’ve worked with in my professional career. Girl power, ladies!
Want to Learn More?
We also interviewed other women via Zoom who work at RevitaLash Cosmetics all around the world in honor of this special day. Click below to view the video! Let’s continue to empower and build one another, Happy International Women’s Day to you all!