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Ladypoints: Celebrating Women’s Creative Working Lives

Jun 19, 2013

by Lisa Butterworth

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When it comes to women in the workplace, discouraging statistics are commonplace. Like the fact that Forbes’ list of Fortune 500 CEOs hit a record high last year with 20 women. Or the groundbreaking number of women in Congress (still less than 19 percent of our country’s representatives). Or that women made up just 18 percent of the directors, producers, writers, cinematographers, and editors for last year’s top 250 films. This lack of representation means female role models and mentors are few and far between. When it comes to women who are kicking ass at what they do, we’re left to simply wonder how they do it. Ladypoints, a brand-new web series created by four female film school grads, is hoping to help solve this issue, one episode at a time. And they’re doing so with a little help from Etsy and its sellers.

ladypoints-2

The main goal of the series is to celebrate women and the interesting, independent lives they’re forging by focusing each three-minute episode on one awesome gal (the pilot features actress/writer/improv comedian Nicole Drespel, and forthcoming subjects include Racialicious associate editor Andrea Plaid and puppeteer Elizabeth Hara). “In a way, each episode is like career day,” says Jamie Li, Ladypoints’ director of photography. “We get to find out about the jobs and the passions that women have.”

It opens up the floor for other issues as well, she explains, from big-picture challenges, like how to deal with sexism or harassment on the job, how to handle failure and rejection, to more detail-oriented subjects, like how to find a mentor, how to get health insurance as an artist or freelancer, and how to pay rent while pursuing your passion. “Obviously a lot of these things we all learn from experience, but I think there’s an extra burden on women because we don’t easily get access to that sort of advice,” Li says. “It has a lot to do with our gender — we’re intimidated to seek that advice, or we don’t have people we feel comfortable enough around to ask those questions.”

ladypoints-1-etsy

The Ladypoints team.

Li experienced this firsthand while getting her BFA in film/TV production at NYU, when she felt shy speaking up as one of the only women in her camerawork class. It was in this program that Li met Keiko Wright and Rekha Shankar; she met Samantha Knowles while doing an internship in the industry. The women realized they had kindred sentiments, especially when it came to sexism and racism, so when Wright came up with the idea for Ladypoints after an inspiring volunteer experience with the non-profit Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls, all four were on board.

But it takes a lot more than excitement to get a project off the ground, especially one that involves lights, cameras, and sound equipment. After filming the pilot episode with borrowed gear, the women realized owning their own was crucial to the success of the series, and launched a Kickstarter to raise the funds. That’s where Etsy came in, featuring Ladypoints on its curated Kickstarter page. “To us, that was a big deal. It was positive to have that recognition and be able to tell everyone, ‘Hey! We’re important, we got noticed!’” Li says with a laugh.

ladypoints-3

Within five days the women reached their $5,000 goal, covering the purchase of equipment. They decided to try to raise $2,500 more, to allow them to produce a second season with interviews beyond Ladypoints’ NYC home base. “We want to show that, hey, you can be in any city, any town in the country, and you can be doing really awesome things for yourself and for your community, and empowering the women around you,” says Li. They hit this extended fundraising goal as well, thanks to some killer rewards from Etsy sellers, including “Feminism is cool” buttons and “Fight like a grrrl” totes from ModernGirlBlitz and “Cats against cat-calls” stickers from Justyna Dabrowski.

Thanks to the success of the Kickstarter project, Ladypoints debuted this week. Planning for season two is already well underway. Which means a few more women’s stories will have their time in the spotlight. “Our audience is women. They’re the people we’re going to cater to and that’s something we shouldn’t apologize for,” Li says. “Guys can want to watch it, that’s totally cool, but our audience is women. Young women, older women, women in their 20s — their reactions are what we care about.” When asked what the response to Ladypoints has been like, Li excitedly confirms what I had hoped: “There are tons of women out there who are like — yes, it’s a call to arms! We need to do something!”

More Posts From Lisa

3 Featured Comments

  • WomanShopsWorld

    Carter Seibels Singh from WomanShopsWorld said 3 years ago Featured

    Kudos to you ladies!! This is so inspiring, so necessary, and so important in our culture. You ladies get lots of points in my book for bringing this issue to the forefront, and for helping to pave a better road for those who come behind you. Wishing you lots of success!!

  • supcatzzz

    Jamie Li said 3 years ago Featured

    Hey Lisa! Thanks for writing a great article about us. Everyone can check out our first episode here, featuring Mindy Abovitz, drummer and founder/editor-in-chief of Tom Tom Magazine!: http://bit.ly/12HI9Bm

  • PennyBirchWilliams

    Penny Birch-Williams from PennyBirchWilliams said 3 years ago Featured

    Thanks for this post bringing attention to the Ladypoints webseries. I just watched the first episode and have subscribed to it on YouTube. I found it a very well made video and a very interesting interview with self-taught drummer and magazine founder Mindy Abovitz. I think it's wonderful that these four young women are making their series about the lives of women today, with inspiring role models for all of us. As far as women have come in our culture, there is still plenty to be done; an online series like this can also inspire women in other countries and cultures with even less opportunity for self expression and freedom of choice. I particularly related to Mindy since my niece is a drummer and she's struggled many years to make a living and find success (she's now in the group Girlyman.) My favorite quote of Mindy's is "I believe that we're capable of doing anything we want to do." I wish I had believed that when I was younger and wanted to go to film school in California to be a film editor, something practically unknown then, and didn't have the courage to go for it. I love my new business here and having so many successful role models on Etsy gives me hope and encouragement that I can see this dream become reality. I look forward to more episodes and inspiration from Ladypoints!

72 comments

  • WomanShopsWorld

    Carter Seibels Singh from WomanShopsWorld said 3 years ago Featured

    Kudos to you ladies!! This is so inspiring, so necessary, and so important in our culture. You ladies get lots of points in my book for bringing this issue to the forefront, and for helping to pave a better road for those who come behind you. Wishing you lots of success!!

  • inesdavidovic

    Ines Davidovic from Beperceptible said 3 years ago

    Great article:)

  • thelittlemarket

    Debbie from thelittlemarket said 3 years ago

    Great read!!!

  • thesmittencollection

    Judith from thesmittencollection said 3 years ago

    Such an inspiring topic.

  • admspeicher
  • CuriousLemon

    Karine Fournier from CuriousLemon said 3 years ago

    Sweet !

  • NicolasKnitKnacks

    Nicola and Jessica Belton from CelticKnittingCo said 3 years ago

    Very inspiring, great article!!

  • materialrat

    Margarita Rat from PackRatJewelry said 3 years ago

    Amazing! This is such an important issue in today's society and you ladies are doing a great job to show it from such an unexpected side. Awesome post! Best of luck in your project!!

  • justartnow

    Judith McKenzie said 3 years ago

    Congrats!

  • Iammie

    iammie from iammie said 3 years ago

    Great!

  • hejjuni

    Juni from HejJuni said 3 years ago

    very inspiring!

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie said 3 years ago

    Love this!!!

  • theresatron

    theresatron from TheMonstersLounge said 3 years ago

    Good job! Looking forward to watching the film. It's also inspiring to see our young women acknowledging that the world isn't the magical meritocratic fairyland we've been asked to believe it is and doing something about it. Well done!

  • valeriephoto

    Valerie from valeriestitchery said 3 years ago

    Awesome and inspiring. A great idea.

  • pagefiftyfive

    Melissa Mika from PAGEFIFTYFIVE said 3 years ago

    Love it!

  • gboliver

    Gail Oliver from AttentionGetting said 3 years ago

    Great article!

  • gooseberrystudio

    Suzi Tarman from gooseberrystudio said 3 years ago

    Yes! The power of women. Inspiring conversations....and, we all need to acknowledge the women who brought us to this point and the continuing dialogue and change that we can implement in our lives and the lives of our co-workers and daughters. Way to go!

  • LivingVintage

    LivingVintage from LivingVintage said 3 years ago

    Awesome! You go girls.

  • ballandchain

    Katrina Balling from ballandchain said 3 years ago

    awesome.

  • CASIMIRA

    CASIMIRA from CASIMIRA said 3 years ago

    congratulations! as an artist who focuses on women's issues and lives, this inspires and encourages me, thank you...

  • H88255

    H88255 from HillarysSuperfoods said 3 years ago

    I love this post! It's so important to be an independent and strong woman! Girl power!!!!

  • Agasart

    Aga from AgasJourney said 3 years ago

    Fantastic project and idea. Yes, Yes Feminism is cool!!!!

  • TheSoCalCompany

    TheSoCalCompany from TheSoCalCompany said 3 years ago

    I love this and i'm so happy you succeeded with Kickstarter. More people need to realize they are feminists. (People. Not just women.) Congrats to you and keep spreading your message!

  • KruelIntentions

    Karina from KRUELINTENTIONS said 3 years ago

    Amazing! Congrats! xo

  • catchaleaf

    eva andrews from catchaleaf said 3 years ago

    Feminism is indeed cool and equality is still a goal even now, in the 21st Century!

  • GracefullyGirly

    Kimberlee from GracefullyGirly said 3 years ago

    Hooray for you and women everywhere! Congrats on the success thus far and I wish you much success on into the future.

  • oldworldprimitives

    Stephanie Baker from oldworldprimitives said 3 years ago

    Awesome.

  • PrintOnPaperStudio

    POP from POPprintonpaper said 3 years ago

    Amazing!

  • pumpkiandmo

    Kathi from PumpkiAndMo said 3 years ago

    So great! The world needs brave and creative people!!

  • GeorgieGirlLLC

    D George from GeorgieGirlLLC said 3 years ago

    Great post! Thanks for sharing!

  • richdon1

    Rich and Dona from TheCottageMouse said 3 years ago

    My parents always taught my sister and I that we can achieve anything. Thank you mom and dad. That was all it took....Great parents...

  • LittleGussy

    Kasia B from ShesGUtSSY said 3 years ago

    Great Article!~

  • cosmiksouls

    joan kelly from cosmiksouls said 3 years ago

    AWESOME !!! Thanks for the share :)

  • auntjanecan

    Jane Priser from JanePriserArts said 3 years ago

    Very cool article to read!

  • christineshmisteen

    CHRISTINE SHMISTEEN from TheArtOfFinerThings said 3 years ago

    just--- yeah, no comment. ..

  • hubinshow

    hubinshow from hubinshow said 3 years ago

    Congrats!

  • debvasbinder

    Deb Vasbinder from BabyCuteBaby said 3 years ago

    Great article - Inspiring that you made your goal in like no time at all. Great success to you and your promising future. The Ladies Rock!

  • blossomparties

    Katherine from BlossomParties said 3 years ago

    Love to hear about inspired and inspiring women!

  • WackyWanitas

    WackyWanitas from WackyWanitaDesigns said 3 years ago

    I was just watching a video today on the evolution of the swimsuit, of all things, and how it has potentially de-powered women, rather than empowering them (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJVHRJbgLz8). It's cool to know that Etsy is backing the right kinds of motions to empower women. I wish I'd known about it when the Kickstarter launched, but I'm definitely going to check out Ladypoints now that I do know about it! Thanks!

  • xutian1

    ya mo from 2013color said 3 years ago

    great article!!

  • JewelrybyDorothy

    Dorothy from JewelrybyDorothy said 3 years ago

    Interesting article!

  • supcatzzz

    Jamie Li said 3 years ago Featured

    Hey Lisa! Thanks for writing a great article about us. Everyone can check out our first episode here, featuring Mindy Abovitz, drummer and founder/editor-in-chief of Tom Tom Magazine!: http://bit.ly/12HI9Bm

  • HoneyThistle

    Wei from HoneyThistle said 3 years ago

    This is uber cool! I'm definitely going to follow the tumblr, and watch the series. And I love the "cats against cat calls" stickers :)

  • aressa

    aressa from OriginalBridalHanger said 3 years ago

    Kudos to you all!

  • BozenaWojtaszek

    Bozena Wojtaszek from BozenaWojtaszek said 3 years ago

    This work is never done - you go girls!

  • TheIndianPaperForest

    Suzanne Furtado from TheIndianPaperForest said 3 years ago

    A BIG WOO HOO!! You four girls are amazing for thinking and bringing this initiative to life - it's a much needed one, and it's truly surprising that no one thought of it before. It's so true that we women have trouble speaking up about our issues and concerns in our workplace, or often even with our family members and friends - guess the hesitation stems from being afraid to have this seen as a sign of weakness in an environment where we can so easily be typified as the 'weaker' sex. Am off to see the 1st webisode now, but just had to congratulate you all first and say Thank You! Warmly, Suzanne

  • KayaNow

    Christine from KayaNow said 3 years ago

    Thank you ladies for bringing this up and out to the people! I frequently wish to see more empowerment for mothers, in particular. So many, from single to working/partnered, to stay-at-home moms seem to me to feel so disempowered by our culture at large, if not also by their immediate family situations--& so much of that feeling is tied to money. We need a new experience--we need financial empowerment so that we can feel all-around empowered as mothers & free to choose lifestyles that create mind-body-soul balance for us as we do the ever-important work of raising future generations.

  • peshka

    Peshka from Peshka said 3 years ago

    Great article!

  • averygraydesigns

    Stephanie Bense from AveryGrayDesigns said 3 years ago

    Sisters are doin' it for themselves

  • csburdick

    csburdick from callmebrazen said 3 years ago

    I love this! Thanks for making your ideas a reality to the benefit of all of us!

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat from mazedasastoat said 3 years ago

    Don't like sexism in any form, calling this kind of sexism "female empowerment" or some such catchy title doesn't make it any better. I don't want to be noticed for my gender, I want to be noticed for the quality of my work. And in my private life I want to be the best ME I can be, not an outstanding woman & not an imitation man, just a good person.

  • PennyBirchWilliams

    Penny Birch-Williams from PennyBirchWilliams said 3 years ago Featured

    Thanks for this post bringing attention to the Ladypoints webseries. I just watched the first episode and have subscribed to it on YouTube. I found it a very well made video and a very interesting interview with self-taught drummer and magazine founder Mindy Abovitz. I think it's wonderful that these four young women are making their series about the lives of women today, with inspiring role models for all of us. As far as women have come in our culture, there is still plenty to be done; an online series like this can also inspire women in other countries and cultures with even less opportunity for self expression and freedom of choice. I particularly related to Mindy since my niece is a drummer and she's struggled many years to make a living and find success (she's now in the group Girlyman.) My favorite quote of Mindy's is "I believe that we're capable of doing anything we want to do." I wish I had believed that when I was younger and wanted to go to film school in California to be a film editor, something practically unknown then, and didn't have the courage to go for it. I love my new business here and having so many successful role models on Etsy gives me hope and encouragement that I can see this dream become reality. I look forward to more episodes and inspiration from Ladypoints!

  • emberair

    emberair from EmberandAir said 3 years ago

    Thanks for a post about this, a highly controversial topic, but still a good point for discussion I think.

  • ArtDecoDame

    Desiree from ArtDecoDame said 3 years ago

    Great read!

  • BellasBeautifulLife

    Bella Montreal from BellasBeautifulLife said 3 years ago

    Very encouraging! Thanks :)

  • buffalogirls

    Ludmilla from buffalogirls said 3 years ago

    Thank you for bringing feminism to the forefront.

  • janeyreed

    Janey Reed from SoooNeat said 3 years ago

    Awesome!!

  • madebymidge

    Midge Blitz from ModernGirlBlitz said 3 years ago

    So inspiring! <3

  • CharmingShopLove

    Marissa Howes from CharmingShopLove said 3 years ago

    So amazing and inspiring. Thanks for sharing with us!

  • pinkpicnic

    Amy Brown from jumbojibbles said 3 years ago

    It made my day to see this. Feminism for everyone!

  • kellymccoolcrafts

    Kelly McCool from McCoolsCrafts said 3 years ago

    Such a wonderful read.

  • favor9433

    Sherene from SimpliAdorable said 3 years ago

    This was very inspiring! THANK YOU!

  • Nemki

    Nemki from nemki said 3 years ago

    I think this is great, but I would prefer to see something this inspiring that includes everyone regardless of gender :)

  • normaharrell

    Norma from CultOfChiffon said 3 years ago

    Thank you for this blog. I have long thought that the words "feminism" and "feminist" needed to be resurrected in a meaningful way for today's youth, to show them why feminism is still needed. For too long women have shied away from identifying themselves using these terms, for fear of alienating people. That is sad because feminism is simply about having options and showing tolerance. In 2013, there is still so much work to be done in these areas. So yes...feminism is still very relevant, and very cool!

  • Deconfetti

    Nata from dekkoline said 3 years ago

    Great post! Very inspiring!

  • TheresasGourmet

    Theresa Ryales from TheresasGourmet said 3 years ago

    Great article!

  • dominna

    Katrina Dzerkale from Dominna said 3 years ago

    reading this was a time well spend :)

  • deekish

    Deeksha Lakshmi from TheColorWagon said 3 years ago

    Very interesting. I will be looking forward to the series.

  • NirvanaRoad

    Lisa from NirvanaRoad said 3 years ago

    Great read- will have to now watch the Lady series!

  • msddesign

    Michele Starzec-Ducharme from msddesign said 3 years ago

    This is great-can't wait to tune in! :)

  • fordsdesignerjewelr1

    Ms. Page from EvilMomStudio said 3 years ago

    Belated: Totally love this -- I'll be sharing this upward!!

  • korenkwan

    Koren Kwan from GarasuWonderland said 2 years ago

    this is inspiring!

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