Women's History Month is celebrated in March in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia, among other countries. It began as a way to recognize and honor the contributions of women to history, culture, and society.
One of the most significant accomplishments of women in history is the right to vote. Women fought for decades to gain the right to vote in the United States and many other countries, with the Suffragette movement leading the way. In 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, finally giving women the right to vote. This accomplishment paved the way for women to become more involved in politics and to have a say in the laws and policies that affect their lives.
Suffragettes hold a jubilee celebrating their victory after the passing of the 19th Amendment.
Women have also made significant contributions to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.
In sports, women have made significant strides. In 1967, Kathrine Switzer became the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon, despite attempts by race officials to physically remove her from the course. This moment was a significant milestone for women in sports, paving the way for more opportunities and recognition.
Many women have made important contributions in the arts, with figures like Frida Kahlo, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Maya Angelou becoming household names for their groundbreaking work. These women paved the way for future generations of female artists and writers, inspiring countless others to pursue their dreams and make their mark on the world.
Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1, 1932 by Georgia O'Keeffe
Overall, Women’s History Month is a time to celebrate the many accomplishments and contributions of women throughout history. From the right to vote to groundbreaking scientific discoveries, women have shown time and time again that they are capable of accomplishing incredible things.
Throughout history, women have achieved many "firsts" in various fields. Here are some notable examples:
First woman to receive a Nobel Prize: Marie Curie (1903, Physics)
First woman to fly across the Atlantic: Amelia Earhart (1928)
In 1928, Amelia Earhart received a phone call that would change her life. She was invited to become the first woman passenger to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a plane.
First woman to receive a Pulitzer Prize: Edith Wharton (1921, The Age of Innocence)
First woman to win a Grand Slam title in tennis: Lottie Dod (1887, Wimbledon)
First woman to swim the English Channel: Gertrude Ederle (1926)
First woman to win an Academy Award for Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow (2010, The Hurt Locker)
Kathryn Bigelow at the 82nd Academy Awards. March 7, 2010
First woman to run for President of the United States on a major party ticket: Hillary Clinton (2016, Democratic Party)
First woman to win the Fields Medal (the highest honor in mathematics): Maryam Mirzakhani (2014)
First woman to win a gold medal in Olympic track and field: Fanny Blankers-Koen (1948)
These are just a few examples of the many groundbreaking achievements by women throughout history.
In the spirit of Women's History Month we would like celebrate our founder, Cindy Hussey, and her series of "firsts" that have positively impacted the eyewear industry in which she has been a leader and a part of since 1987.
Her Series of Firsts -
First to design and print a 3D printed, 8 base sunglass prototype using solid modeling computing technology in 1995. Yes...that's right. She took a prototype she created and printed from an SLA file to her factory in Italy where they were still making prototypes by hand. She was excited to share the new capabilities she was discovery while training in 3D software with a group of engineers from Lockheed Martin.
First to found an all-female, action sports surf, skate and snow brand, Velvet Eyewear, in 1999 with superstar female action sports pioneers Shannon Dunn, Cara-Beth Burnside, Kasia Meador, Sofia Mulanovich, and many more.
First to design, produce, and market a female snowboarding goggle in collaboration with Shannon Dunn.
First to design and produce female spherical goggle lenses in 2001 to offer gradient flash coatings and fashion / technical, base goggle lens with colors for varying light conditions.
First to design and produced a one-piece, quick release helmet compatible snow goggle strap with 3D modeling technology in 2003.
First known to develop a method for Intellectual online eyewear frame selection through data set matching in 2009. This was a full year prior to the founding of Warby Parker in 2010 and the other online optical retailers that followed.
First to introduce a set of three sunglasses for each face shape, oval, round, heart and square in 2017.
First to introduce “seasonal” color matching and filtering for eyewear in 2023.
These are just Cindy Hussey's "firsts" in optical. She was one of the first women in the country to use CAD in 1980 and she was running trials on printing scanners as early as 1981. Printing scanners, as we know them today, became popular in 2000. That was almost 20 years later.
Cindy, may also be the first female to ever sell her eyewear brand to a public company and then buy it back. She has designed and produced sunglasses and eyewear for a host of fashion houses like Milly, Mary Kay, Trina Turk, Judith Leiber and many more since 1995. Cheers to sticking to what you know and cheers to a long history of firsts.
The celebration continues this Women's History Month with well wishes and congratulations from the Velvet Eyewear team to all women and all their firsts, successes, accomplishments, challenges, and failures. Yes, failures....because without failures, there would be no successes.