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“When We Lead” Works to Help Women Break Into Entrepreneurship and Public Office

Kimblery Strother and Jennifer Green. Photo by Robert Chappell.

This piece was produced by a student reporter in the Madison365 Academy. To learn more or support our educational programs, visit madison365.org/academy.

The women’s march in Washington, DC, in January 2017 was a galvanizing moment for many in America, including two Madison women who’ve since made it their mission to help more female entrepreneurs start businesses or run for office. They’re using their graphic design skills to do that.

“Women, especially minority women, aren’t getting their share of funding. We don’t have equal pay, we don’t have equal job titles, we don’t have representation in our government and we’re not getting our share of business revenue,” Jennifer Green said.

“We feel it’s important to have more women at the table, especially women of color,” Kimberly Strother said.

The business is called When We Lead. Green and Strother started it in January 2018. They created affordable tools for women entrepreneurs and political candidates to develop their identity, design their materials and do their brand storytelling.

Green and Strother have been friends for 14 years. According to their website Changing the Face of Politics, Jennifer Green designed for a beloved national brand for six years before opening an independent branding and web design studio in the midwest called Shu Shu Design, where she’s spent over 15 years working locally and nationally with professionals and leaders of socially responsible businesses, nonprofits, cooperatives, and higher education institutions who move the world forward with their work and ideas. Kimberly Strother has a BA in Art History and Women’s Studies from Allegheny College and a Master’s Certificate in Internet Marketing and Advanced Social Media from University of San Francisco. Kimberly recently completed courses in coding and visual design through online female-focused tech school Skillcrush and a UX Design course with General Assembly. She’s been an art director for national brands and owned her own design studio.

Green and Strother want to help women political candidates with their advertisements and campaign materials because there aren’t a lot of women in Congress to address issues like wage equity and women’s health. “(Women) are 51 percent of the population and we should have equal representation in Congress,” Green said. “Right now only 21 percent of all political offices are held by women. Of that seven percent are held by black women.”

Their concept for an initial customer journey is that they offer a free downloadable brand discovery map. This helps define things like identity, logo and brand, and tell you why they matter. This will help you define your audience and strategy. This includes a worksheet that helps you figure out the basic categories that brands fall under to help you figure out where yours fits. They will also help craft a style guide based on your brand’s personality — and they aim to keep it all affordable.

Green and Strother are excited to grow and help more women entrepreneurs and political candidate with their visual identity and brands.

“We think that they’re there is an audience for this because there were 11.6 million women-owned businesses as in 2017 and I think there’s at least 850 women-owned firms started every day,” Green said.