So Much Love for No-Longer-Strangers

It's been three months since the launch of Lady Guns Global and each day I don't believe my heart can swell with any more love for a no-longer-stranger and then in comes another nomination introducing me to yet another incredible woman making a difference in the life she's chosen for herself.

In celebration, I'd like to share with you some of the lovely things from lady guns and supporters that I've heard over the last few months and encourage you to continue to live a fulfilling life, inspire others around you and recognize the women you know deserve the title "Lady Gun."

Praise for Lady Guns:

This kind of community was clearly so needed. It feels so comforting to be surrounded by strong and beautiful women and to know that our generation is supporting and celebrating each other in new and true ways. It makes my heart full to think that when I am old and gray, I’ll be lifted up by a family of choice of interesting, diverse, beautiful women who I met along the way.
— Cortney Ahern
Lady Guns Global is a great resource for inspiration, wisdom, a strong feminine perspective, and learning about the wide range of industries and endeavors that women are involved in.
— Eva Deitch
I love the idea of celebrating women who inspire us. It was such a treat to think about the folks who deserve to be honored, pick one and write about her.
— Shana Ross
I commend you for what you’re doing here. Women empowerment is essential, as there are still many inequalities we are fighting and I think what you’re doing is a big part of that movement!
— Dr. Yon Chong
Your blog is very necessary and it truly oozes positivity and love. I love the name and am a firm believer of building up women and not competing against other women.
— Amhalise Morgan
I greatly admire what you have created: women supporting women to step into their power by owning what they do and what visions they hold dear. The paradigm is shifting and women are stepping into their right as lease holders to their power. I can’t think of a more pressing time (the suffragette movement?) for women to celebrate their inseparable connection with one another and all life forms. It is necessary for the survival of our species. So right on Lady Guns Global for making this a mission.
— Maria Cutrona
I absolutely LOVE this - I always believed that women should celebrate each other more. Well done, you!! What an extraordinary way for women to encourage and support other women.
— Dana Ferguson
I love that you nailed down a name for this phenomenon and feel blessed to be considered one!
— Sarah Teeple

Thank you all for your tremendous support in this requisite time of growth. Cheers to all of the lady guns who have made this site what it is and to those of you we have yet to officially welcome to the community! I look forward to meeting you all.

Raydene Salinas, Founder

All Moms Are Lady Guns

As daughters, we seem to have special bonds to our mothers. Perhaps it's the someday thought of becoming one ourselves or the appreciation in knowing that, even if children aren't in our future, we'll forever be loved unconditionally by one very special lady.

We've gathered up thoughts on motherhood from some of our incredible lady guns who wanted to celebrate their moms on Lady Guns Global. And happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!


RAYDENE SALINAS

To begin, I'd like to introduce my mom. The lady with the most comfortable hugs that somehow wrap your entire body and your soul into what feels like a warm cocoon that makes everything melt away instantly. The woman who has never stayed silent in searching for what she wanted in life. The brilliant lady who wants to help her students because she cares about them and is determined to help them create better lives for themselves. The supportive, loving, opinionated, determined, confident mother of four (I'll say it) amazing children -- and many foreign exchange kids -- and grandma to a truly incredible seven-year-old. This is my mom, Franki Larrabee. You'll meet her and love her instantly.

The day I realized my mom was a person, 2011. | Photo Courtesy Raydene Salinas

The day I realized my mom was a person, 2011. | Photo Courtesy Raydene Salinas

She's always been my mom, and always will be, but about three and a half years ago, I began to know her as a woman, her own woman. A person with a story, a past, someone with goals and plans for how to meet them. This was a woman who had her own world -- one where we were all welcome, of course, but one I'd never really thought to exist, because she was "Mom." I started to realize in a very personal way, that what she so wisely and lovingly told me growing up was true: the world does not revolve around me. And it was wonderful to be able to enter her world and learn about what and who brought her to where she was that day: sitting across from me, as my mom, in a diner in Woodside, Queens. Mom, thank you for everything you've done for me, big and small, and for always showing me that it's never to late to make your dreams happen.


Photo: Courtesy JaKenna Gilbert

Photo: Courtesy JaKenna Gilbert

JAKENNA GILBERT

As a daughter, Motherhood means to me: Sacrifice. Putting our needs before their own. It's humbling to know that another human being loves us so unconditionally that they're willing to give up so much. They're so giving! Whether that's emotionally to let us hate them during our teenage years, knowing that we'll some day grow to understand, respect and love them even more; financially to provide for us, send us to a good college, help us when we need support; and again emotionally, to put their own lives on hold in order to build ours. It's altruism at its core.

The best thing about my mother is that she is truly supportive and confident in my decision making. She raised me to be independent and that can, in reality, be hard for a mom! I went to college far from where I grew up, I moved to NYC, I've traveled everywhere in the world, I want to live abroad some day and I know that she will always support me with a smiling face and warm positivity. She's not the kind of mother who ever makes me feel guilty for being far away, she never makes me feel bad about missing a holiday with the family - and in return, I make her a priority and try my absolute best to make sure she knows she is loved and adored from wherever I am in the world.

The thing I miss the absolute most is her smile and laugh. Wide smile, loud laugh. People tell me I laugh like her and it is the best, most tear-inducing compliment anyone can ever give me (I'm actually tearing up now!). It makes me feel like I'm carrying a piece of her with me no matter where I am.


ANNE GEGG

My mother always quotes my grandmother saying, "Your best friends are your mother, and your pocketbook." and "Nothing good happens after midnight." Both are words to live by.


Photo: Courtesy Candice Orlando

Photo: Courtesy Candice Orlando

CANDICE ORLANDO

Through the laughter, tears, hardships and celebration, I absolutely LOVE being a mother (my daughter calls me mommy) and watching my mom be an amazing grandmother (my daughter calls her mom). We three have a bond that can never be broken.


LINA WAHLGREN

My mother is truly the most generous person I know, she is always looking out for others and seeing how she can help them before thinking of herself. That is truly the most incredible thing about her. Therefore, I really want to give back to her on Mother's Day and make it all about her!


MICHELLE HANSEN

Motherhood is still such a crazy yet profound concept to me. My almost-nine-month-old surprises and delights me daily. It's amazing how he knows that after a long day in pumps and pearls, in board meetings and conference calls, that the thing I need most is one of his sloppy, drooly kisses when I pick him up from daycare. It's the hardest, most trying thing I've ever done, being a mom, but so worth it. This kid is everything to me. I never knew I could love so deeply -- he makes me want to be a better person.

Photo: Courtesy   Michelle Hansen

Photo: Courtesy Michelle Hansen

Being a mom has given me such a matured perspective on my own mother, and a huge sense of gratitude for her patience, playfulness, and vigor. She wasn't perfect- and that's what made her wonderful. She taught us to own our uniqueness and celebrate our differences; to be tough, yet gentle. Most of all, she taught us tolerance and forgiveness -- such important virtues to have in our world today. I hope I can be half the mom she has been to me. If that's the case, my son is a very lucky little boy.

Photo: Courtesy Michelle Hansen

Photo: Courtesy Michelle Hansen

And then there's my mother-in-law. Lisa is mom to two rowdy boys -- if that's not grace under pressure, I don't know what is. But if you know her two boys, you'd know she did something right. They are the epitome of love and loyalty and laughter. There's a lot of love in that house when the family is together -- and a whole lot of laughter!

My grandmother, who passed away last year, is probably the most amazing woman I've ever known. Mother to four kids, and single mother after the love of her life, her husband, died when the oldest (my mother) was just 16. Her dignity never left her. The woman could throw back martinis like most of us drink water. She never had a hair out of place and always looked amazing. Even in her last days, she was concerned about her 'lip rouge.' There was a tenacity about her that was so feminine, but so fierce. I envy that about her -- she always knew what she wanted.

Lastly, my darling sister. This woman has so much grace and positivity, she simply beams (even with a two-year-old and being 37 weeks pregnant, she still does her hair and makeup every day). She has the most amazing and optimistic disposition of anyone I've ever known. Despite everything that might be working against her, she will remind you of the blessings she has above all else. Parenting and being a mom comes so naturally to her -- like she was born to do this!  She is my mom-spiration, if that is such a thing.


SHANA ROSS

Motherhood for me has been a lesson in realizing that I need to LIVE as well as talk about my values, and make sure that I am modeling the kind of person I want my son to be.  For me, that's meant overcoming a lot of fears, and doing so visibly, which is terrifying in its own right.  But I don't want my kid to miss out on great things because they're scary (Tire swings!  Swimming!), so I'm starting to let down my guard for the first time too, in my late 30s.”


Photo: Courtesy Dana Ferguson

Photo: Courtesy Dana Ferguson

DANA FERGUSON

The world never held so precious a jewel as my mother.  She is an amazing human being and I love her.

Pictured left to right are my mother, myself and sisters: Deveral Ferguson, Dana Ferguson, Sasha Ferguson, Ashley Paige Ferguson. My poor dad got suckered into taking this photo but he (Ashward Ferguson) definitely deserves a shoutout too!


Photo: Courtesy Krista Welke

Photo: Courtesy Krista Welke

KRISTA WELKE

My mom has always been my number one fan and been there for me, she coached me in cheerleading and, lucky for me, was around when I was a college cheerleader and took in a whole team of UW-La Crosse cheerleaders as her own because their moms were not near by. She is always giving of herself to others instead of putting herself first. My mom is truly amazing. Now that we live apart it is hard, because we can't sneak off for a pedicure or dinner or a movie as often, but not a day goes by that we don't talk! I love her lots!! Two years ago she finally did something for herself and went back to school and got her Massage Therapy License and opened her own business and I couldn't be more proud!

MALLIKA RAO

The most stylish thing about my ma is how she wore a sari loosely, the silk able to fall off her shoulder so she somehow looked sensual, elegant, and too busy to care very much about how her clothes were doing, all at once.


CAROLINA RODRIGUEZ

My mother always reminds me to let go. I can't think of a single grudge that she holds. It's hard to find people that live by their advice but my mother is one of them.

Photo: Courtesy Carolina Rodriguez

Photo: Courtesy Carolina Rodriguez


Photo: Courtesy  Allison McCann

Photo: Courtesy Allison McCann

ALLISON MCCANN

As a daughter, motherhood to me is this unwavering bond of unconditional support -- my mom is the best listener and advice-giver. She's the first person I want to talk to when I'm scared, stressed or otherwise feeling like I need a pick-me-up. The most incredible thing about my mom is her thoughtfulness -- I am 25 years old and she packed me a snack lunch for my plane flight and even cut the apple into slices. When she's not around, I miss my running buddy and my free therapist! I'm not a mother yet, but when I think about all the annoying, terrible shit I've done or said to my mom and [the fact that] she still loves and supports me this much -- that makes me excited to one day be a mother."


NATALIE FAIRCHILD

Moms will always be moms, forever giving relentless support, infinite generosity, and selfless love. Where would we be without our mama bears? It's impossible to imagine life without them!

Photo: Courtesy  Natalie Fairchild

Photo: Courtesy Natalie Fairchild


Photo: Courtesy  Ariel Brickman

Photo: Courtesy Ariel Brickman

ARIEL BRICKMAN

"My mother's ineffable sense of resilience keeps me in awe every single day. I have never met a woman who can carry so much on her shoulders and still have a smile on her face and wide open arms."


My kids and me, ten years ago. | Photo: Courtesy  Amhalise Morgan

My kids and me, ten years ago. | Photo: Courtesy Amhalise Morgan

AMHALISE MORGAN

"I love being a mom, truly. Recently my 14 year old daughter asked me if I always knew I wanted kids and I replied 'Well, for me it wasn't about having kids as much as it was wanting to be a mom which are completely different things.'

"I love being for them what I respond to [in life]. I am a teacher, a protector, a provider, a laugh-instigator and the list goes on. I love spending time with my kids and I miss them horribly when they go to their dad's house.

"My ex-husband and I splitting up only helped our kids. It taught my kids that commitment to your own happiness is necessary in life. I know having children is truly a miracle and I am thankful everyday for that gift."


KARA DOLCE

"Motherhood is a gift. I feel very lucky because my mother, Maryann is my hero. She is strong, beautiful, kind and funny. I'm not alone in saying she's one-of-a-kind and the world wouldn't be right without her."


EVA DEITCH

My mother is a mama bear through and through. She is strong, fiercely loyal (and protective!), and has the biggest heart. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve enjoy the experience of learning about her as another person in the world, outside the role of mom.

The photo below is an image of her standing in front of her most favorite painting at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Photo: Courtesy Eva Deitch

Photo: Courtesy Eva Deitch

ROHINI SHAH

As a daughter, motherhood means: A surfeit of love in all forms – comforting, uplifting, supportive, smothering, proud. All interactions between a child & mother are laced with love, regardless of the form it takes.

My mother is incredibly gifted at languages – she speaks seven languages (four with native fluency, and three others that she’s developed a working knowledge of). Her adventuresomeness and willingness to try new things belies her age.

When's she's not around, I miss the easy conversations about nothing and everything. The daily conversations you have with your family when you live at home.

As a mother, once in a while, you see your child and have such a complex surge of love and emotion, that it reminds you what you must have inspired in your own mother – and you become grateful for having been the recipient of it.

Lady Guns Loves Art!

This week W Magazine Art Director, Lina Wahlgren shared one her favorite projects, W Art, with us:

Photo: Courtesy W Magazine

Photo: Courtesy W Magazine

Photo:   Taea Thale

Photo: Taea Thale

Stefano Tonchi, the Editor-in-Chief here at W Magazine, wanted to launch a supplement focusing only on Art. So W Art was born and I was given the task to design this magazine from scratch. This was really a fun but challenging project. W Art is released twice a year and the next issue will be out next week with a very interesting cover star!
— Lina Wahlgren
Photo: Courtesy W Magazine

Photo: Courtesy W Magazine

The newest W Art cover on Lady Guns Global is here!

 

Lady Guns Is For Boys Too!

Here, at Lady Guns Global, we're all about the girl power. Hence, #ladyguns! But show us one man who has never, ever met a woman. You can't. We're pretty sure it's mathematically impossible. And that's great, because that means even more people to help us recognize incredible ladies from across the globe!

Photo: Courtesy Tiffany Huet

Photo: Courtesy Tiffany Huet

So, men, we're talking to you now. Who are the women in your life who have made an impact on you? The ones who are doing amazing things for their communities, for the world? The ones who are just the coolest and might not even know it? You know the ones -- friends, lovers, colleagues, relatives, bosses, etc. Tell us about those women.

Recognize them for the important, powerful, intelligent, supportive, badass ladies they are! They'll thank you and so will we.

An Inspiring First Week

This is a thank you note to YOU. It's been just over a week since Lady Guns Global launched and we have read about 12 incredible women, all with inspiring things to say about their lives, careers and those they admire.

Nominations have come in from current lady guns and those who found Lady Guns Global on their own. I know that I've created this space for a reason when I get an email signed, "Thanks for letting me voice how much I appreciate [my friend.]" I can't wait to read more of your nominations -- they make my heart soar!

@LadyGunsGlobal social following is growing and there's been such amazing feedback all around. Please continue to follow @ladyguns on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for updates on the newest lady guns.

Let Lady Guns Global help you recognize the women in your life by sending over an email or using the Nominate! page. Thank you for all of your support so far. Here's to growing together and inspiring one another!

Show us your #LadyGuns!

Raydene Salinas, Founder

 

Lady Guns Global Launch

Today is the day! The official launch of Lady Guns, fittingly on International Women's Day (March 8) 2015.

Lady Guns is a new platform, recognizing talented, driven women from across the globe, working in a variety of fields with diverse backgrounds and experiences. It was launched by me, Raydene Salinas, with the support of more than 30 of the Lady Guns in my life.

This idea had been brewing for a long time before today's launch; with no name, platform or fully formed ideas of any kind, just the want to recognize the women in my life. I knew that the ladies in my life were talented, powerful, kind, and humble individuals, but nothing could have prepared me for some of the responses I got to very standard questions.

"What do you do for love?" and "Who is a lady you admire/consider a mentor?" were the two questions which the responses floored me. In some cases, I felt like I didn't know the woman who I've known for years, thinking, "How could you not tell me that you volunteer regularly at a home for mentally disabled or orphaned children? You should shout that from the rooftops. But not to worry, I WILL!" After hearing numerous other examples like this one, I knew that this was exactly what I needed to be doing.

So, here you are world, the first group of Lady Guns who deserve your applause! Please show your support for the lady guns in your life and nominate them to be featured on our site.

Annji Mandersheid, Emily Shornick, Abbie Klenzman, Julee Wilson Wareham, Angela Denae

Annji Mandersheid, Emily Shornick, Abbie Klenzman, Julee Wilson Wareham, Angela Denae

Other info you should know:

Definition: lady gun | ˈlādē gən | (noun, informal): an important or powerful woman who has inspired another, with or without knowing that she has : My mother has been a lady gun since before I was born.

Photo: Eric T. White

Photo: Eric T. White

Share with us the women you want to recognize as lady guns and we'll work with you to feature them on our site. Find Lady Guns Global all over social media and email us with nominations and questions at ladygunsglobal[at]gmail.com. We look forward to hear from you soon!

Show us your #LadyGuns!

Raydene Salinas, Founder