Today we’d like to introduce you to Lucy Osinski, Myriah Rose, Kelsey Harkin, Julia Ama, Lindsey Kluik, Sara Ann, Shannon Moss, Monroe Alvarez and Danielle Francine Shwartz.
Lucy, Myriah, Kelsey, Julia, Lindsey, Sara, Shannon, Monroe and Danielle, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
WRITTEN BY LUCY:
I am a fairly new skater who definitely doesn’t fit the typical skateboarder mold. I was a pro ballerina terrified to get on a board, but was taught correctly by my boyfriend and fell in love with how liberating and empowering skating felt. I fell in love with it so much that I was skating every day. Very quickly I realized the unwanted attention I had attracted from being a feminine woman skating alone. I started recruiting other women to join me in hopes of finding more comfort in numbers. I soon started having GRLSWIRL skates with other women and suddenly I wasn’t just sharing the streets with other ladies, but she was sharing the empowerment and freedom that I found from skateboarding. A few months of nonchalant skate meet ups, a magical group of women showed up one evening and we all hit it off. From there Lucy alongside 8 other women decided to push GRLSWIRL and create roles and initiatives. We now have 9 co-founders who together are moving GRLSWIRL forward not just locally but worldwide! We aim to create our own content and empower our local creatives, help our community and raise awareness and money for local charities and causes, as well as just spread the stoke and love of skating to every women regardless of age, background or level.
After months of heavy work from suddenly we are a force, not a minority, and it feels revolutionary. We’ve been growing in numbers ever since and it’s been incredible to see the support and excitement from not just our city, but worldwide.
WRITTEN BY KELSEY:
My story of GRLSWIRL really started with a pair of coral colored flared pants … I was walking past what would now be one of our main GS meet up spots in Venice, Menotti’s Coffee – directly underneath the infamous VENICE sign. And I met Lucy. She said something like … “Yo, those pants are LIT let’s skate together some time…” I met her again a week later at my clothing lines launch party, then 2 days after had the most rad skate meet up with some of my now dearest friends. We just cruised the Venice boardwalk, down towards Santa Monica. It was so liberating, fun and nonjudgmental. That night we started the GRLSWIRL Instagram page, and I think that’s when we all knew that this was going to be something beyond special.
Now almost 6 months later, we’re inspiring young girls and women around the world through the power of social media, teaching and group skates. We’ve grown from our little skate crew of 9, into a powerhouse of 150+ GRLSWIRL community members. Our group skate this week had 50 women from all over southern California coming to skate and have fun with like-minded women. Some of them had never skate boarded before, and it’s really rad to be able to help them out and see them progress in just a couple hours.
It’s really become an unexpected full time business for us, and we hope to keep growing. We’re strong because of all the work each of our co-founders has put into GS. Each of us has our own jobs within the company…
Lucy, our CEO. Lucy oversees all. She’s been the glue holding us all together. She’s so pumped about EVERYTHING skate related and really harnesses that to bring the founders and our community together. Her vision and dedication to our social media has been the forefront of inspiring women to join our movement. She’s genuine and authentic in her approach, and I think people are naturally gravitated towards her for it.
Myself (Kelsey) & Tobi, our Co-Heads of Community Relations & Philanthropy. We’ve been working the past couple of months to really develop our philanthropic agenda within Venice – and soon to be beyond. We’ve organized multiple fundraisers – including raising goods for St. Joseph’s Centre and now we have a charity drink at our local bar / restaurant WABI where there is a GRLSWIRL drink on the menu, proceeds go towards The Venice Family Clinic for the entire month of August. Our upcoming events include teaching young girls how to skateboard through different charity organizations. The present and future of GRLSWIRL is really to empower young girls to break gender boundaries and feel comfortable and empowered to take up any sport, regardless of stereotype.
Julia, our Head of Finance & Operations. She’s our real business lady and thank gawdd for her. She keeps us all on task and handles most of the things that us “right-brained” people aren’t that great at. She’s also amazing at connecting the dots and people. She’s our Brazilian ray of sunshine and the most enthusiastic skater.
Myriah & Lindsay, our Co-chief Marketing Officers. Our hype queens. Pretty much the faces of our GRLSWIRL Community. These gals work tirelessly to make each and every GS community member feel at home and welcome. From the moment they DM us on Instagram to their first group skate. Not only do they develop relationships with our members, but they’re continuously developing relationships with our Venice community. Organizing parties and events to better engage with our neighbors and members.
Danielle, our Executive Media Producer. Content producer extraordinaire. We really pride ourselves on connecting with local artists, photographers, videographers to create the content that we put out into the world. Danielle is the head of all of this. She scours through tons of emails, DMs daily to find creatives that align with our mission. She plans all of our shoots, down to the T. She’s the reason for all the dope content you see of us on the web.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Many struggles!! Mostly with facing the challenges of all having full time jobs and lives that keep the food on the table, all while trying to juggle growing a worldwide movement! Luckily we are all each other’s best friends and all each other’s #1 fans, so we keep each other moving in the right direction and hold each other accountable.
Please tell us about Grlswirl.
We are an all women run company, there are 9 of us who founded Grlswirl together. We all have different roles within the company but basically, we all contribute to being a philanthropic, community oriented group that collaborates with various artists, photographers, and brands to create content that we believe in. Our message is essentially to empower women through skate and community and to support each other in overcoming fears. Our local parties in Venice are super fun because we bring people together to skate, play music and hang out. Which is a total throwback to the old Venice. I think what sets us apart from other skate groups is that we have not conformed to typical skate culture. All of us individually are creative, diverse people with different passions, and together we are a force. I work in fashion and love the color pink for example, and I don’t switch out of that when I go skate. Little quirks like that I think take people by surprise because they’re not used to seeing girly chicks like us cruise by them ferociously on a skateboard or drop into a bowl alongside them. In all fairness, I had never even attempted to drop into a bowl at the skatepark before GS. I was happy cruising around on the street and thought the bowls were way too intimidating. But now I go with the girls and it’s scary but little by little we do it and it’s so freakin fun and addicting. I’m super proud of the personal and larger obstacles we are breaking down as a group.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
NOTHING!! It is all a journey and we are learning and growing immensely from this adventure. Every experience has really influenced positive change to cultivate true transparency and communication within our company.
- Website: https://www.grlswirl.com/
- Phone: 8452752270
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/grlswirl/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GRLSWIRL/
Fanny Chu, Brie Lakin and Monroe Alvarez