Today we’d like to introduce you to Taylor Weiss.
Taylor, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My story starts around the time of the 2016 presidential election. My family and I are avid Hillary Clinton supporters and we had no doubt in our minds that she was going to be the first woman president. As the night went on, our hope slowly changed to sorrow. Hillary Clinton was not going to win and the reality was hard to bear. I remember going home and crying my eyes out. I had an intense fear and anxiety about the future of our country. It was hard to imagine that Donald Trump was going to be our new president. I decided that I was not going to stand by and watch our country fail.
My sisters and I attended the 2017 Women’s March in Los Angeles and it was an overwhelming experience. For the first time since the election, I felt a sense of togetherness. The march lit a fire in me that I didn’t know I had. I felt empowered, strong and liberated all at the same time.
One night, a couple months later, I was mindlessly doodling at my desk. I am in no way an artist and really only know how to draw one kind of face. I drew what came to be my first pin “Janet.” I immediately felt a connection to this 2-D sketch and knew that she was the way I was going to spread my message.
I came up with an idea for a pin months before I actually created my company. I racked my brain trying to think of different names for my brand. After typing idea after idea on my notes app, I decided on the name VoiceBox. Your voice box is what creates sound and helps you speak. As someone who loves using their own voice box, the name just felt right.
VoiceBox is a company that encourages women to use their voice to create a positive change in society. Through my company and my pins, I hope to influence women to stand up for themselves and speak their minds.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Getting to this point in my life was not all smooth sailing. For a long time, I considered myself a feminist, but I don’t think I actually knew what that word embraced. I was too invested in myself and my friends to care about the news or the injustice that our world was facing on a daily basis. It wasn’t until I was about 16, that I realized how self-involved I had been. Around this time, I went through several personal challenges and through that experience I learned a lot about myself. I realized that there are bigger things going on in the world than what outfit to wear to the mall.
At 18, I feel like I know who I am and am proud to express my passionate feminist views. It is so important to feel fierce and powerful. It’s about time we as women stand up and fight for ourselves.
So far, VoiceBox has been a success and I haven’t faced too many obstacles. Of course, there are everyday mishaps and frustrations. Overall, this has been a positive and eye-opening experience.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about VoiceBox – what should we know?
VoiceBox is a company centered around encouraging women to stand up and speak up. We are sick and tired of being looked down upon for being female, for being paid less because of our gender and being told that we are less than. My mission for VoiceBox is for it to be a place where women can resonate with the message and feel empowered. I want VoiceBox to inspire women to express their opinion and stand up for themselves whether that be in a boardroom meeting or in their own home.
I try to spread this message through my pins. My “Janet” pin represents the modern day feminist. She is strong, independent, confident and persistent. She’s an entrepreneur, business owner, gal pal, sister, mother, grandmother. My goal is for Janet to be a pin that you put on and instantly feel powerful. Something as small as a pin can have a big message. My hope is that women wear my pins on their blazers or jean jackets and automatically feel an inner boost of confidence.
My second pin is my “Fierce Feminist” circle pin. Though I love Janet, I wanted to create a more simple pin that gets straight to the point. Many people attach the word “fierce” with a bad connotation. It’s grouped with words like aggressive and competitive. Fierce ALSO means powerful and strong. It’s time we start showing the world that fierce, passionate women are nothing to be afraid of. Why no be fierce? Powerful? Tenacious? I wanted to create a pin that says, “Yes, I’m a feminist and I’m proud of it.”
I recently came out with a new site and blog. My blog has a variety of topics from feminist icons to climate change. My hope for this blog, brand and community is for it to be one big peace circle where everyone can share their feelings and ideas. A place everyone can click on and feel welcome, inspired and informed. I always end my posts with the phrase “Welcome to VoiceBox! Grab a floor pillow, turn on your favorite hippie playlist and join the circle.”
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My family and my best friend have helped and supported me a lot throughout this process. It can be confusing and a little scary starting your own business at any age, but especially at 18. When I need a few words of encouragement or I’m starting to doubt myself, the closest people in my life are there to encourage me and push me forward.
- Janet Pin, $12
- Fierce Feminist Pin, $10
- Pin Bundle, $15
- Website: https://voiceeboxx.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: voice_boxx_
- Other: https://voiceeboxx.com/new-blog/