A password will be e-mailed to you.

You probably already know them. They are all deeply intertwined in Sactown’s thriving community. You loved Emma Fletcher’s art installation at TBD fest, or maybe you’re one of the lucky people Misha Lindsey has decorated a home for. Successful female role models are fundamental to the empowerment of women of all ages. More and more, we see women founding companies and heading businesses. Sacramento boasts a huge number of impactful women who have made monumental improvements to our city. Highlighted below are just a few.

Home developers, an interior designer, a computer engineer, a writer, and a human rights activist gave us their take on what it means to live and work in California’s capitol city.

Lisa Culp | Founder & Executive Director, Women’s Empowerment7-12-16-5-Women-Photos-Sacramento-41

Why have you chosen Sacramento as your home and place of business?
Part of the beauty of this community is the caring volunteers and employees who want to be part of the solution to ending family homelessness. Sacramento is a wonderful place to raise a family, but if you don’t have many resources, it can be a very painful place to do so. There is a staggering number of women and children who are homeless here, due in large part to the high unemployment rate in Sacramento. There is a significant lack of resources and services to educate and empower women who are homeless with the skills and confidence to rejoin the workforce. We are grateful that so many in our community recognize that Women’s Empowerment is filling that gap.

How do your current projects reflect the communities of Sacramento?
Ninety-nine percent of our classes are taught by community volunteers who share their expertise, resources, and wisdom – a diverse mix of skills that reflect our beautiful community. Sacramento encourages creative, innovative solutions to challenging issues; Women’s Empowerment has an innovative program design that addresses the varied career development needs of homeless women: comprehensive job readiness training, our Get A Job Kit paid training program, employer partnerships, and employment retention support for employers and our graduates.

What advice would you give women (or girls) looking to make a change in their communities?
As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Believe in your dreams. Come together with other brave women who want to create a world and community that we are proud to pass on – and do it!

As Sacramento continues to grow, what avenues do you hope thrive and expand?
We need a lot more affordable housing so that all Sacramento families have a place to call home. I also hope we are able to expand the number and diversity of employment opportunities that provide a livable wage and health benefits.

Rachel and Katherine Bardis | Co-Founders & Developers, Bardis Homes8-13-16-5-Women-Sacramento-8

Why have you chosen Sacramento as your home and place of business?
Both of us were born in Sacramento so we have always had family in the area. We never really knew how unique of a place Sacramento was until we went away for college. Sacramento is such a small and supportive community, especially when compared to Los Angeles or the Bay Area, that we couldn’t really think of any other place to start a business. Plus, Sacramento is close to so many awesome adventures!

How do your current projects reflect the communities of Sacramento?
With one of our most recent projects, The Mill at Broadway, we really wanted to celebrate the diversity of Sacramento within each of our homes. We took the opportunity to use all local interior designers for our 10 model homes. This really gave the community a “Sacramento” feel as each designer has a completely different style, but all of them somehow uniquely played homage to the area. It was really an awesome thing to see.

What advice would you give women (or girls) looking to make a change in their communities?
Take the one thing you are most passionate about and go with it.  Oftentimes, people get hung up trying to do, or focus on, too many things that they aren’t doing any of them effectively. If you focus on the one most important to you and go with it, you will make a greater and longer-lasting impact.  

As Sacramento continues to grow, what avenues to you hope thrive and expand?
With so many people working from home now, and the easy access to email, it would be great to see more co-working spaces throughout the area. And, because we love food, we always want to see more farm-to-fork restaurants.

Katie McCleary | Founder & Executive Director, 916 Ink7-25-16-5-Women-Sacramento-7

Why have you chosen Sacramento as your home and place of business?
I moved to Sacramento in 2001 after being in love with the Pacific Northwest my entire life. It was a hard transition, but over time, I became smitten with Sacramento and I don’t anticipate ever leaving. Sacramento is my chosen home because it’s so ripe with opportunities and the people who are dedicated to making Sacramento the best, most vibrant medium-sized city in the nation, are some of the most fantastic innovators I’ve ever met. Sacramento is a thriving city where inspired change-makers, business owners, and artists can make their mark. You don’t easily find that elsewhere.

How do your current projects reflect the communities of Sacramento?
Nearly five years ago, I co-founded an arts-based literacy nonprofit called 916 Ink. Our mission is to empower and amplify youth voice through creative writing workshops that end in a professional publication. Essentially, we transform youth, ages 5-18, into confident writers and published authors. We serve youth who reflect the population. This means that the kid from Land Park can take one of our writing workshops, but so can kids who are experiencing homelessness at The Mustard Seed School. Over 75% of the youth we serve experience obstacles of some kind, whether that’s being in the foster care system, incarcerated, on probation, and/or attending a low-income school.

What advice would you give women (or girls) looking to make a change in their communities?
Anyone can bring about change in their communities—especially in a place like Sacramento. What advice I would give to young women or girls who want to pursue change-making is that they must commit to failing. Failing is the best thing a young person can do in life because it teaches you to embrace perceived “failure.” There is no such failure, just a series of “no’s” that will lead you to “yes.” If you can be resilient enough to fail, then you are ready for success. You must embrace your passion in times of good and bad.

As Sacramento continues to grow, what avenues do you hope thrive and expand?
My wish for Sacramento is that we continue to engage in self-love. The last three years, we’ve seen Sacramento rise and everywhere you look, people are talking about how much they love being Sacramentans. This love is leading to creating our own brand and that’s what Sacramento has wanted for so long – a unique identity. We have it now, so let’s keep nurturing that.

Emma Fletcher | Co-Founder & Computer Engineer, Rocket Department, Inc.7-12-16-5-Women-Photos-Sacramento-11

Why have you chosen Sacramento as your home and place of business?
I came to Sacramento three years ago from Washington D.C., and I love it here. I was instantly amazed at the warm welcome I received. People were so excited to share Sacramento with someone new, always ready with suggestions of the best places to check out or people to meet. The inspiring and supportive people here are the reason I’ve been able to build the most innovative projects of my career and start my own company, Rocket Department.

How do your current projects reflect the communities of Sacramento?
Sacramento has strong arts and technology communities—my favorite projects combine both. Project Obelisk, which we built for TBD Fest, is a great example. People can spin the boxes to change the colors, creating an interactive game. I’m looking forward to building more technology installations that bring out the wonder in people. Another passion of mine is cultivating the growing maker community in the Sacramento area. My team and I developed “Learn To Solder Kits” that we are selling! In this way, we’ve been sharing the joy of making technology. We’re looking forward to designing more kits over the next year and doing more outreach events.

What advice would you give women (or girls) looking to make a change in their communities?
Don’t be afraid to fail. So many of my best opportunities have come out of “failures.” If you’re passionate and you put hard work behind it, then you’ll accomplish something great. It might not be what you set out to do in the first place but that’s okay. The journey is more important than the destination.

As Sacramento continues to grow, what avenues do you hope thrive and expand?
I’m excited about the growing tech community in Sacramento. When I first moved here, there was a small group of dedicated techies who built amazing things and put on events. Every year the community keeps growing. At every event I go to, there are more people who are new to Sacramento and excited about getting involved with technology. With the RAILS Grant and the opening of I/O Labs, this is definitely a turning point for Sacramento. The key is to connect the people who are building with the resources they need, and that’s happening right now.

Misha Lindsey | Owner & Designer, Design by Misha7-12-16-5-Women-Photos-Sacramento-17

Why have you chosen Sacramento as your home and place of business?
Sacramento’s change and growth has really been fun to watch, especially because I’ve grown up here and been able to watch the city evolve throughout my entire lifetime. There’s also a budding design/art scene developing here, not to mention a ton of development. In regards to my design work, it’s a city that has been relatively untouched as far as modern design goes and I look forward to helping both homeowners and commercial ventures get creative and tap into some really cool architecture and design.

How do your current projects reflect the communities of Sacramento?
At Design by Misha, we work on a variety of different residential and commercial projects, so through that, I get to see the differences between the communities of Sacramento. For instance, I’ve worked on projects in the downtown area such as The Mill at Broadway, which is attempting to perfect the urban lifestyle through design. We’ve also done a lot of work in the areas right off the grid like East Sac and Land Park with clients who are trying to redefine their living space while maximizing storage solutions or creating a space that the whole family can truly enjoy. I’m lucky enough to work on a variety of projects, so I’m constantly witnessing the nuances which give so much character to the different communities that create Sacramento.

What advice would you give women (or girls) looking to make a change in their communities?
My advice to make a change in your community is to be the change, don’t wait for or expect someone else to do it for you. If you see a need, fill it; if you see something broken, fix it. Be the change. If you see someone in need, help them, build up the courage to talk with them and see what it is they need. The same goes for the communities which we live in. If you don’t like something that is occurring in your community, then work to change it. We all need to take responsibility if we’re going to create a better Sacramento (or a better world, for that matter) and that change has to start with individuals.  

As Sacramento continues to grow, what avenues do you hope thrive and expand?
I would love to see the art, design, and music scene thrive and expand in Sacramento […] and I’m excited because I think that’s actually happening. From what I’ve seen sprouting up in West Sacramento, the Railyards, and even a few restaurants and new home developments around town, people are really starting to push the boundaries in design and bring new ideas into this city. We, as a community, need to make sure that we maintain some of the focus on those in need within our city as we continue to push forward with new developments and opportunities.

Check out their websites to learn more about their organizations and companies. Did we miss someone? Let us know in the comments!

X
STAY CONNECTED.
We'll keep you updated with all the cool things happening in town and more.
We'll never spam you. Pinky promise.