I don't mean pink and flowery, I mean shaped differently - let's see
A while back, I wrote about my hatred of pink, flowery gardening gloves. I found them insulting and avoid them like the plague as I do pink watering cans, pink kneeling pads, pretty much pink anything in the garden other than flowers!. Then I was approached by an American company called Womanswork® to feature in a piece about my London roof garden, the rub being that I was to be photographed wearing a pair of the gloves they make specifically for women. (Link to article) My first instinct was to decline but then the gloves arrived - and hooray, they weren't pink! And, yes, they were really comfortable and the fit was lovely. Honour saved.
Although I've always been a fan of Showa gardening gloves, this is a company who specialises in industrial gloves worn predominantly by the male hand. So maybe there is something to it. Sometimes products do need to be designed specifically for the female shape..
Womanswork® founder Dorian Winslow and I got chatting further about the development of the company. 'We are a woman-owned family business, celebrating 35 years!' Dorian says. 'My mother Biz handles customer service and billing; Marian is my right and left-hand person in the office; my childhood friend Bonnie and my friend Rebecca help with trade shows; Debbie and Stancy are close gardening friends who are sometimes hand models too. My daughter Eve tests new products in her Vermont gardens and advises me on reaching out to the younger generation of gardeners.'
There was something else we had in common. On Dorian's website, you'll find stories of women, many connected to horticulture, who have inspired her: Strong Women Building a Gentler World
It is heartening to read about women such as Whitney Richardson who is a garden educator for The Kitchen Community, a national program that builds learning gardens in schools. She works with 40 schools on Chicago's west and near south sides, and successfully initiated a farmstand programme for schools to offer student grown produce to the community. Or Nicole Hamilton, a volunteer for Monarch Watch, whose mission is to restore the habitat of the Monarch butterfly. Her efforts have galvanised the people of Loudoun County, VA, to plant thousands of milkweed plants, critical to the Monarch's survival.