"Nevertheless, she persisted"
- Mitch McConnell, February 2017
With that simple turn of phrase, the ages-old Women's Movement in the United States was given new life. At the same time, the Persistent Sisters brand was born. This was not a direct reaction to the political battles waging in Washington and around the country during this first few months of a new administration; rather it was a response to an overall feeling that somewhere along the way, we have lost our way.
Working together on some other artistic projects, two old college friends, separated by 500 miles but tied together with a shared desire to "do more" in our society, struggled to find a creative outlet that could also have some real impact. We each felt that we could perhaps create a project that would somehow make a difference in the Women's Movement. Unsure exactly what that was, we turned around in our heads the concept of "Feminist Trading Cards". This was back during the election proper - when cries of "Nasty Woman" were being floated around like dark clouds of judgement and everyone was picking sides. "What if we could just focus on the success of women?" we thought. "What would that look like?"
Well, fast forward a month or two, and we had started to piece together what we felt was a viable concept for a brand - one that educated as well as entertained, and one that celebrated women from all walks of life while perhaps leaving behind some of the divisiveness of politics and labels. But we were struggling to name this project... we wanted to emphasize the stories of women, our shared struggles as well as our success and the rich history of women in all walks of life. Throw in the near-impossible feat of securing a domain name these days, and our search was getting desperate. After spending a very long day and night together trying to nail down a name for our new creation, we decided to sleep on it. We had some ideas, but weren't sold. "Sistories" was the closest we could come to getting our concept across in a catchy slogan, but we were sure we could do better.
And then it happened.
The next morning we awoke to the news of Mitch McConnell's words on the Senate floor to Senator Elizabeth Warren as she was speaking during a confirmation hearing for Jeff Sessions:
"She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted."
It wasn't specifically that we wanted to promote the admittedly partisan debate around whether Warren was correct to speak during the hearing or not - rather it was important to capture the emotional response that much of the country seemed to have to his words: nobody puts baby in the corner. And so we had our name - Persistent Sisters.
Today we embark on a new venture to create informative and entertaining products and educational tools for women and girls so that they can learn about women throughout history and be inspired by their persistence. No matter where you come from, or what your position on the topics of the day - we sisters must always support one another in our cause to bring equality and justice to humans everywhere. Join us, won't you?
~Ellen Schaeffer and Tamara Hoffbauer
Co-Founders, Persistent Sisters