Badass Females Who Inspire

March is Women’s History Month and the host of International Women’s Day. So we’re honoring those women who influence and inspire us — both in our personal lives and as public figures. Read on to hear from each member of the Savage team about their favorite fierce females.

Gabrielle Martinez

My maternal grandmother influenced me greatly. I was the eldest granddaughter so I had the most time with her. As a child, I spent every day at her house, observing and learning from her example. She embodied so many characteristics that I admire and pull from on a daily basis — her work ethic, inner strength, ability to multitask and her dedication to family. She was the matriarch of our extended family, and at any one time, she would be working multiple jobs. Then, when she finally retired, she started yet another business.

Her first one was a beauty salon. She had such an ability to talk to and connect with any customer, no matter their background or socioeconomic status. She was a force of nature — witty, big-hearted, funny — and in total command of her life. I’m constantly channelling her positive mindset. She taught me that, whatever the circumstances, you find a way to move forward.

My two daughters of course are huge influences too. Seeing them grow into young women and find their their own voice and inner strength is inspiring.

I’ve also had the opportunity to work with Michelle Obama, and just to be in her light and energy is hugely inspirational. I admire how she uses her intelligence, energy and kindness to move people toward the greater good.

Jon Kirsch

There are several women in my life who have inspired and shaped me. First, I have to give credit to my mother. I had a good childhood, simple as that, and she made that possible. She was there to support me with whatever I needed and gave me a solid foundation. Next, my wife who is the yin to my yang. Our opposing personalities have created the coolest parts of our marriage. She’s incredibly intellectual and sharp, which is one of the things I most admire about her.

Finally, my daughter, Isabella, who has completely changed my outlook on life. As my wife observed, I became a totally different person the second after she was born. Watching her learn about the world and approach it her own way has shifted my perspective too. Plus, she’s already smarter than I am! I love to hear her opinion and what’s going on in her brain when we’re discussing a specific topic. She’s so creative and sharp and has this simple but intellectual outlook on things. I learn so much from her.

Ashley Taylor

My grandma, Rosemary, is always motivated and motivates me — she is actually the reason I went to grad school. She raised two kids while also working and going to night school so I have no excuse for not applying myself and taking on challenges. She’s always asking me probing questions and offering new perspectives on situations. In the past year, I’ve felt the weight of her influence even more. I’ve become more conscious of it and her — appreciating her, really listening and realizing the similarities in our personalities and habits.

In the public sphere, I love and look up to Oprah and Shonda Rhimes because they are forces for positive change and creativity. Shonda, especially, is always pushing the envelope and thinking about the future — she’s a year ahead of the rest of us!

Hollie Lewandowski

There are several public figures who inspire me with their class, grace and strength. And the following isn’t even an exhaustive list — there are so many badass females out there.

  • J.K. Rowling: Of course I admire her genius as a writer and world builder, but what I love most about her is how she’s used her fame for good. She started from nothing and now donates a good deal of her fortune to charity. Plus, her Twitter game is so strong.
  • Queen Elizabeth I: I’ve read a lot about the OG Elizabeth as I call her. I admire how she didn’t feel she needed a husband to lead. She did it herself and I would argue, is the most influential monarch in history.
  • Princess Diana: I read her autobiography recently and was so inspired by her charitable work. She really exemplified those in power using their influence to effect positive change.
  • Ellen DeGeneres: Ellen makes me cry on a weekly basis. She’s such a genuine person and is able to address real issues with both kindness and humor. Plus, she’s always giving back to those in need.
  • Michelle Obama: Speaking of crying, when I saw Michelle speak, I definitely shed tears. She was so elegant and poised and used her time in the White House to address the issues she cared about. I admire her thoughtfulness in everything she does, her dedication to family and of course, her incredible strength.
  • Kathryn Bigelow: She’s the only female director to have won the Academy Award, which is impressive in itself, but she consistently takes traditionally masculine topics and crafts great stories around them.
  • Laura Dern: From Jurassic Park to Big Little Lies, Laura Dern plays strong, driven and smart female characters. And what’s more, she models these characteristics in her real life, which is something I greatly admire.

Of course, I wouldn’t be able to appreciate these strong women if I wasn’t first inspired by the fierce females who raised me. My maternal grandma, who I grew up two blocks from, was the matriarch of the family — always very outgoing and untraditional. She played baseball, helped my grandfather build their business, and travelled the world. I always wanted to be at her house, which was a playground for her grandkids.

My mom and aunts are also incredible role models. My mom would do anything for me and did. When I was growing up, she took me everywhere — school, sports, activities. She worked at the middle school I attended and even stepped in as a track coach when the team was in need. She’s amazing.

Christophe Collins

My grandmother is my inspiration. She moved here from Louisiana with about a third grade education, worked as a cook forever, and has always been the anchor of our family. Both by her hardworking example and her encouragement, she made sure we knew that we could do anything we wanted. She is one of my biggest supporters — I even lived with her for five years — and she gave me the confidence to put myself out there. Despite her lack of education, she’s so wise.

Another inspiring female in my life is the head of Savage Smyth, Gabrielle Martinez. Watching how she runs the company, how she expresses herself and how she treats people is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. If I ran a company, I would copy her! As a leader, she is fair, kind and works incredibly hard. If she works that hard, there’s no excuse for anyone else to slack off. She’s teaching us all how to stay dedicated, humble and believe in ourselves. And on top of that, she gives back to the community and is one of the sweetest people I know.