We used to laugh saying, “We already have to wear one bra, we don’t need the waistband of our pants for additional support.” That line actually made it into some of our first marketing materials at Red Ants Pants.
But maybe we do need some extra support, sometimes anyway. Maybe not for our chests, but perhaps for our pounding hearts.
More recently we have been exploring how the theme of strength is woven into both our pants and the lives of the people we serve. As I write this, Tammy Wynette’s album Womanhood is on the record player. My trusty cow dog, Nellie, is at my feet. I’m drinking good, strong coffee from a mug made by a dear friend. Immediately out the window is a small grove of aspens, somehow able to hold root in this dry, rocky bluff overlooking the river. Ox bows, a buffalo jump, the swimming hole, hay fields, and the bull pasture frame my view.
There is indeed strength all around us, in us…leading us, inviting us, challenging, and supporting us.
I think about the courage to trust our own strength. The strength of womanhood, shared. The strength in gaining wisdom, earning respect, and growing up. And at the same time learning that it is okay to not always feel strong.
I think of the strength it takes to accept our curves and even celebrate them. The strength in knowing we can raise a little one, or three little ones. The strength of sharing our stories, and the strength in listening.
The strength of our partnerships, our families, our communities.
I think of the darkest hour just before dawn when his hand somehow knows how to find yours, even in his sleep. And at that moment, despite our minds avoiding slumber and racing with things that need to get done, we are reminded that we have support. We are not in this alone. Ever.
I think about after nine years in business finally writing our mission statement.
We provide workwear for women.
For the makers and the growers, the builders and the doers.
We support them with humor and heart, quality and class, integrity and courage. Always.
I think about the support beams of this timber framed home. And of barn raisings. How we need each other. We always have. And although there aren’t enough barn raisings anymore, perhaps we could have more wood cutting parties in the fall so we can have bigger potlucks around the fire when the snow flies. And we could help each other plant our gardens so we can have more harvest dinners and raise our glasses to the grit, the calluses, the courage, and the pride.
For there is indeed strength in our togetherness.