Girl Empowerment Brands for Little Feminists
We are a female-driven team at Thrifty Littles, so we know who run the world. Women’s History Month gives us even more opportunities to celebrate that. As for me, well, I’ve always been all about singing female praises, so any chance I have to dig in even deeper gets a strong yes.
When I was a little girl, I watched my mom make business moves and take so many phone meetings that her big, 90s earrings stretched out the earring hole on her right earlobe. No joke. She was committed to smashing ceilings, earlobes be damned.
After school, I sat in her office and lifted my nose out of whatever book I was reading to watch her, transfixed. She had shoulder pads and pencil skirts, and she was a boss. All moms are.
My mom also over-indexed on girl empowerment for me, as she should. Whether she was letting me add the latest Babysitter’s Club novel to my school’s book order, sitting with me to watch Oprah and eat popcorn, or helping me write my student government speech, she constantly sent me messages—outwardly and subliminally—that nothing (nothing!) was off-limits.
We’ve come a long way since the 90s, but The Babysitters Club still speaks to female entrepreneurship (have you seen the Netflix series? Fantastic!). Oprah is still the most disarming interviewer of our time. My mom got a small outpatient surgery on her earlobe and, even in retirement, leads the occasional conference call with the same knowhow, confidence, and charm she did when I was five.
As a collective, we also have tons more girl empowerment brands to choose from. So, to celebrate Women’s History Month, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite children’s brands for little feminists, from STEM clothing to books featuring powerful historical women and monthly subscription boxes.
I’m pretty sure my mom would have purchased from all of them for me, and I can guarantee she’ll be browsing this list and sending some things to our porch for my two-year-old daughter. You can never start too soon.
Research has shown that starting as early as age five, girls start believing self-limiting ideas about how smart and capable they are compared to boys. Piccolina is working to change that. A lifestyle brand dedicated to empowering today’s young children to become tomorrow’s leaders and problem solvers, Piccolina designs products that encourage discovery in little ones.
The brand’s products show women in leadership positions or fields relating to science, technology, engineering, and finance. Items are high-quality and feature unique, artist-drawn designs and patterns that inspire and empower the girls who wear them.
As the founders say, “From the way we design our products, to the artists we collaborate with, all the way to the female-owned manufacturers that we produce with, we’ve made a commitment to social justice, equality and inclusion.”
These small messages go a long way in raising empowered women who will take the world by storm.
If Bravery Magazine had existed when I was small, I 100% would have subscribed from the minute I learned about it. The likelihood that I will subscribe in my 30s is high, even though my daughter is only two. Never too early!
This beautiful quarterly print magazine features a strong woman in each issue. It’s full of educational content, fun DIYs, and illustrated biographies. Each issue of Bravery Magazine includes role models diverse in ethnicity, race, ability, background, and interests. The kid-centric publication also tackles difficult topics in ways children can understand and introduces traits and characteristics that help them grow into brave humans.
Bravery Magazine’s mission is not only to empower kids but also to provide parents, teachers, and caretakers with the tools they need to facilitate important conversations and confidently take the reins. This is one you’ll want to subscribe to for your daughter(s) and your son(s).
One of the things my mom grinding away at her important jobs taught me is that girls can be pretty and smart at the same time. That sounds obvious, but for a long time (and, sadly, sometimes even now), it wasn’t. So, SmartyGirl’s concept of doing STEM in style resonates with me.
The company’s mission is to empower girls to pursue what makes them unique through clever clothing that encourages curiosity. Inspired by her daughter’s love of airplanes, founder Emilee Palomino created leggings that feature designs traditionally marketed to boys, and reinvented with a clever twist. Girls like airplanes (and sharks, chemistry, dinosaurs, insects, cars, space and robots), too, and now they have more options to wear them!
I know I would have loved leggings that showed off the bugs I collected in my bug barn growing up.
If you’ve been in any book stores the past several years, you’ve probably seen a Rebel Girls book. Their bright and distinctive covers with superhero fonts are hard to miss and difficult to put down. But, Rebel Girls the company is a lot of things: it’s a whole entertainment ecosystem that includes books, podcasts, toys, and digital media that introduce girls to diverse stories of extraordinary women from the past and the present.
The company’s motto is “Dream bigger, aim higher, fight harder.” From chapter books on specific female heroes to Rebel Baby onesies that tell the world who’s boss upon birth and business plan templates they can start filling in as young as six, Rebel Girls will grow with your little woman well into high school and beyond.
Girls Can! Crate
For the girls and caretakers looking to get their hands dirty creating, sign up for the Girls Can! Crate. These girl power crates were created after the owner’s daughter, age four at the time, said: “Let’s play princess and prince—you be the prince and you rescue me.”
In an effort to show her daughter girls have every power to save themselves, Girls Can! Crate creator, Megan, built a toolkit for future world-changers that is delivered monthly. Its goal is to introduce girls to world-changing women to show them what’s possible.
Each monthly crate features an inspiring female role model, a 28-page activity book, hands-on activities, and more. We have a sneaking suspicion that parents will learn a lot from each of these crates, too!
Annie the Brave
I can’t speak for you, but as far as I’m concerned, the limit does not exist on STEM clothing lines for little girls. Annie the Brave was created after the founder’s daughter asked for a dress with scientists on it. Like many great beginnings, Chelsea couldn’t find what she wanted for her daughter, so she created it.
Annie the Brave was created to show girls that they can be anything—scientists, astronauts, the future President of the United States of America ;). The sky is no longer the limit. Sizes start at 2T!
Questioneers Series by Andrea Beaty
This STEM-centric book series is soon to be a TV show! The Questioneers series includes multiple picture books and a chapter book about female heroes with STEM careers—an architect, an engineer, and a scientist. The beautifully-illustrated books encourage readers to question, to think, to persevere, and to be great citizens. Grab the books now and watch for the show to premiere soon!
Little Feminist Book Club
From newborns to nine-year-olds, the Little Feminist Book Club has a subscription option for all the small ladies in your life. You can start with board books or subscribe to boxes with paperbacks and activity books for older kiddos. Starting at just $19/month, the Little Feminist Book Club is flexible and dynamic.
The company’s feminism is intersectional: it’s anti-racist, body-positive, trans and gender-fluid inclusive, and challenges ableism and classism. A team of parents and educators spend 5-6 months analyzing and testing each book, so you can trust you’re getting the best of the best for your little feminist.
Little Feminist from Mudpuppy
One of the first books I bought before my daughter was even born was Little Feminists. At almost-two, her attention span is short, but she’ll sit on the floor and flip the brightly-colored pages of that book for several minutes, which I count as a win.
The Little Feminist ecosystem has expanded a ton since I bought her board book two years ago—it now includes multiple box sets, magnets, a puzzle, a diary, and more. This is the perfect place to start raising little feminists, sons included!
In another instance of a mom noticing how prevalent princess savior stories were in her daughter’s life, Hopscotch Girls was created to break the mold of male-centric, stereotype-reinforcing media. The company was created to flip that stale paradigm on its head by using media to build girls up instead of tearing them down.
Hopscotch Girls’ books, diaries, activity books, drawing pads, and more feature strong female role models, reinforcing a healthy body image, inspiring confidence, and encouraging STEM skills. Keep stock for when your girl has a hard day or give them as gifts on special occasions—any time is a good time for girl power!
Find something you and your kiddos love here? Tag us in your posts (@thriftylittles)—we’d love to see and cheer you on!
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