Grab your pearls and sequins! Tickets are still available for our quarterly League of Ladies networking shindig!

Debbie Sessions

Debbie Sessions

Debbie Sessions with Reno-based assembled three looks to get you ready to party like it’s 1922. curates and links to vintage-inspired clothing, accessories and shoes across the ‘net. Items are organized by decade and cater to any budget.

Debbie proves that making a living, having fun and following one’s passion can be a successful blend — and that’s why Girlmade hosts League of Ladies. Gatsby-inspired attire is highly encouraged, but like we’ve said before, the best accessory is a great attitude toward meeting local entrepreneurs, politicians, students, industry leaders and more.

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Whether teens contemplate college or embrace the workforce after graduation, they need ways to explore their options. That’s why the Girlmade team has spent this sweltering summer preparing for Girl Empire, a one-day conference about college prep and entrepreneurship for high school girls.

Girl Empire will be from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 9 at the brand new Whitney Peak Hotel in downtown Reno. Tickets start at $99 if you bring a friend, but you could go FOR FREE! All you have to do is visit the “Win a Scholarship” page on the Girl Empire website and answer the short-answer questions. Tickets include lunch and access to Whitney Peak Hotel’s climbing wall.

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Film features female founders

Film features female founders

Posted By on Jun 18, 2014

Noting the disparities between male- and female-led companies, two filmmakers seek to champion entrepreneurship and inspire girls to explore tech careers.

In She Started It, directors Nora Poggi and Insiyah Saeed follow four female founders for one year as they advance their tech startups. The four entrepreneurs are Thuy Truong of GreenGar, Brienne Ghafourifar of Entefy, Stacey Ferreira of MySocialCloud and Agathe Molinar of Lemon Curve. The documentary also features executives such as Debbie Sterling, who created the GoldieBlox engineering toys.

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From 72-foot sculptures to wireless microcontrollers, Reno residents have triumphed in crowdfunding campaigns.

Industries of all kinds have flocked to Kickstarter and Indiegogo for financial support. Locally, crowdfunding created jobs at tech startup Pinoccio and advanced a massive wooden masterpiece for Burning Man. On a national level, a push to bring back children’s TV classic Reading Rainbow as a web show raised $1 million in one day.

Maria Balinska

Maria Balinska

Maria Balinska of Cambridge, Massachusetts, exceeded her $44,250 Kickstarter goal for The Local Global Mashup Show in February 2013. The weekly podcast was another way for Latitude News — a media startup Balinska founded in 2011 — to explore links between U.S. and international topics. Latitude News is currently on hiatus while Balinska explores partnership options for maximum news distribution.

“Any American community actually has a lot more links to the rest of the world than initially might meet the eye or that people expect,” said Balinska, who worked for the BBC for 18 years. “The question of parallels is one where there’s a whole discussion around journalism that looks not at problem-pointing but problem-solving.”

“The question of parallels is one where there’s a whole discussion around journalism that looks not at problem-pointing but problem-solving.”

With that in mind, Latitude News covered Massachusetts’ emerging gaming industry and followed up with how other countries, such as Hungary and Norway, fared with legalized gambling. The Local Global Mashup Show added an audio element to Latitude News. For an example, check out this text version of the podcast report on orphans in the U.S. and Russia.

Although not all crowdfunding campaigns have LeVar Burton’s star power behind it (he cried when the Reading Rainbow project reached its goal!), Balinska points out five reasons why Kickstarter can help startups.

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5 Under 25: Ladies You Should Know

5 Under 25: Ladies You Should Know

Posted By on May 28, 2014

When I think of women who inspire me, Jennifer Lawrence instantly comes to mind. She’s been on my radar since her appearance in the indie flick Winter’s Bone, but she has mainstream success as Katniss in The Hunger Games movie series. If you haven’t seen either of those movies, you’ve probably seen her rocking blue body paint for the latest X-Men installment.

She notched an Oscar for Best Actress by the age of 23, and if I didn’t like her already, she endearingly tripped and fell in style as she approached the stage to accept the award. But you don’t need a golden statue on your mantle to let the world know you mean business. Here’s five ladies under 25 in Nevada and beyond who will inspire you.

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Tickets available for Girl Empire

Tickets available for Girl Empire

Posted By on May 14, 2014

For immediate release: May 14, 2014

Tickets available for Girl Empire
You make the rules — Reno businesses partner with Girl Scouts of the Sierra Nevada to host inaugural event for forward-thinking high school students

RENO, Nev. – Tickets are on sale for Girl Empire, a one-day conference for female high school students interested in entrepreneurship and college/career planning.

Students will have an opportunity to hear from entrepreneurial leaders, gain confidence in the startup scene and receive guidance in post-secondary educational planning by hearing about colleges that support entrepreneurship. College alternatives, like bridge year programs, will also be discussed.

The Aug. 9 conference will be held from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at Whitney Peak Hotel in downtown Reno. Students will be able to attend sessions related to college preparation and entrepreneurial thinking. Confirmed sessions and speakers include:

  • Telling Your Story: Using the secrets of screenwriting to write your personal statement for college
    Taught by Ethan Sawyer, Los Angeles-based screenwriter and Girl Empire keynote speaker
  • Cool Schools: Uncovering the hidden gems in higher education that are doing awesome things
    Taught by Alex Ellison of Dunce, a Reno-based college planning service
  • Biz Speak: Gaining confidence in the startup culture and new business practices
    Taught by Ashley Jennings of Girlmade, a company that helps women start their businesses
  • The Branding of You: Creating a positive online image and making your ideas known
    Taught by Krystal Tingle, Lover-in-Chief at The Love Jump and Director of PR at The Abbi Agency

“It’s time young people take ownership of their education, formal and informal. We want every girl to leave Girl Empire with the tools, confidence and connections to take charge and make her own rules,” Ellison said.

“The job market is changing all the time. It’s time that we prepare our girls to succeed in any field, instead of setting them up to fail in a field that might not exist in five years,” Jennings said.

Event sponsors include Dunce, Girlmade and Girl Scouts of the Sierra Nevada.

For more information, visit

# # #

Media Contact
Ashley Jennings

Images (click to download)
Left: Girl Empire promotional material

Right: From left, Reno business owners Alex Ellison and Ashley Jennings are among those who will speak at Girl Empire on Aug. 9.

Ellison and JenningsGirl Empire



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We consider ourselves to be young-at-heart here at Girlmade. When we needed photos to promote Girl Empire, we thought, “How can we reach out to teenage girls? What do they like?”

We consulted Kayla and Sophee, our high school interns. Our dive into teenage culture revealed they like impromptu photo shoots, being with friends and making a statement with their personal style.

And they don’t like compromising that style when dressing for internships.

Armed with iPhones, props and — of course — cookies, we roamed downtown/Midtown Reno to prove affordable style doesn’t have to be sacrificed for a sweet job opportunity. A tremendous thank you to Plato’s Closet for letting us raid your store for some of these colorful, work-ready threads.

group bwHolding hands like this in public is totally natural.

KaylaIntern Kayla rocks the most comfortable-looking pants.

Christine SopheeInterns Christine and Sophee know the importance of a
trusty bag, whether it’s a large clutch or a roomy backpack.

Trio selfieAshley, Christine and Kayla lean in for a selfie.

BONUS: Here’s a Great Gatsby-inspired top that is perfect for our upcoming League of Ladies event. It’s in July, but it’s never too late to start planning. (As far as we know, this sequined top is still available for purchase at Plato’s Closet here in Reno.)

Alex GatsbyAlex knows: When in doubt, wear sequins.

Want more pictures from the shoot? Of course you do. Click here.

Photos: Ashley Jennings and Sophee Hillyard

Christine Seiber is a grad student at the University of Nevada, Reno. She can be reached at and on Twitter @seibersays.
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League of Ladies ABCs

League of Ladies ABCs

Posted By on Apr 22, 2014

We can't thank you enough. (Photo by Christine Seiber)

We can’t thank you enough. (Photo by Christine Seiber)

A is for Ashley, League of Ladies mastermind.
B is for BootRoxx, blinging boots of all kinds.

C is for Colorful Cord Covers at for your phone.
D is for Dunce College Planning, where study skills are sewn.

E is for EasyKeeper, helping farmers manage goat herds.
F is for Female Founders, because “glass ceiling” are dirty words.

G is for Girlmade, helping women pursue their dreams.
H is Heidalicious. (We saw you dancing as her rad beats streamed.)

I is for Instagram. Hope you took pictures, because this party rocked.
J is for jewelry crafted by Karen Hancock.

K is for Suzy Klass — thanks for the flowers.
L is for League of Ladies — because y’all have the power.

M is for Makers, because they’re born engineers.
N is for Networking. That’s why we’re all here.

O is for Opportunity. Seize it, sassy lasses.
P is for Photographers (M. Linquist and Matt and Jentry), so work those silly glasses.

Q is for Queen — actually, forget the monarchy.
R is for Reno, where you can build your own hierarchy.

S is for Startups going against the corporate status quo.
T is for Truckee, home of Coalition Snow.

U is for Urban farming, perfected by Lost City Farm.
V is for Vera Chroma. Check out Leilani’s artsy charm.

W is for Women. We hope this event made you feel at home.
X is for X — the best chromosome.

Y is for Your next ‘do at Outsider’s Hair Studio. (It’s lovely straight or curled.)
Z is for, helping women across the world.

This is Girlmade’s way of saying thanks (again) to all the sponsors and everyone who attended League of Ladies on Thursday. I tried my best to work everyone into this post, but you start to lose brain cells after rhyming things for three hours.

League of Ladies sponsors

The next (Great Gatsby-themed!) League of Ladies will be July 10 at the W.M. Keck Museum at the University of Nevada, Reno. We’re gonna party like it’s 1922.

Christine Seiber is a grad student at the University of Nevada, Reno. She can be reached at and on Twitter @seibersays.
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