This female run Latinx brand is perfect to support for Women’s Day and beyond


International Women’s Day is already here. While you might be using the day to watch Captain Marvel or Alita Battle Angel (or both), we’re spotlighting Ilse Valfré, an artist who empowers women with her illustrations.

Celebrating International Women’s Day can be beautifully messy because there isn’t really a particular way you’re supposed to celebrate. Sure, this year’s theme is “Balance for Better,” which inspired a lot of women to volunteer, protest, and donate to women-centric causes that fight for equality of women, globally.

As many women celebrate today by hosting or taking part in protests that encourage the world to better advocate for equality, there are other ways you can celebrate International Women’s Day and support other women. For example, we can highlight the contributions and work by women business owners and leaders.

One such creative female mind is Ilse Valfré.

Overall, empowerment isn’t a monotonous or a myopic experience, and Valfré thankfully understands that. The Mexican-born artist creates illustrations for her brand of apparel and accessories. Her designs give customers a range of ways to express themselves, which innately helps women empower themselves on a basic level. After all, sometimes we need an outlet to empower ourselves before we help uplift other women, and sometimes a Zodiac calendar is the perfect way to refuel ourselves.

Treating ourselves, with a mental health day from work, with a jacket that sarcastically expresses our apathy, or both are all forms of self-care. That kind of self-care-riddled expression is what Valfré is part of the reason she creates her artwork. Her illustrations are a cathartic way to express and share her refreshing humor to help other women express themselves, and hopefully, do the same for others.

Beyond her relatable art and apparel, Valfré’s work and business remind us how powerful social media is. Twitter and Instagram aren’t just places for us to vent into the void (i.e. our 52 followers). They can be powerful weapons that ignite impactful conversations.

In Valfré’s case, she used social media to help start her brand, as she tells NBC News:

"When the editors weren’t interested, I found I could use social media. I drew every day and I posted every day, and Instagram was the platform that really blew things up. I owe a lot of thanks to Instagram; I guess I just used the right hashtags, and was really consistent."

Like any comic fan, Valfré’s art is inspired by various comics and comic book characters. However, she wields her career and artwork as a wearable way for women to express themselves and their womanhood in diverse ways — because there’s no one way to be a woman, just like there’s no set way for every and any woman to get inspired. Regardless, we’re glad that Ilse Valfré just gets it.

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