Joy

Brave Girl Melody Ross knows the beauty of your soul

By Kate Matthews
Images Courtesy of Melody Ross

It seems an unlikely coincidence that Melody Ross lives in Star. She is, after all, a star in her own right. Vibrant, creative, perceptive, intelligent and driven, Ross is the architect of her own life. And what a life it is.

Ross lives a life that demands a long list of adjectives. She a wife, a mother of five, a fourth generation Idahoan, an artist, an advocate and an entrepreneur – and that’s just on one hand (plus one thumb). The other hand, on the other hand, is often outstretched to those needing a lift in life or hard at work creating the inspiration Brave Girls Club is known for.

BRAVE GIRLS CLUB

Ross first became known for her innovative design and publishing company, Chatterbox, which she left in 2009 to care for her husband (and high school sweetheart) as he recovered from a traumatic brain injury. It was in the wake of that experience that Ross conceived of Brave Girls Club.

Knowing that the endeavor would be even better if she partnered with the brave girls (and boys) in her own life, Ross teamed up with her sister Kathy Wilkins and enlisted the help of her amazing and supportive family, and together they mustered up the courage to follow their dream and Brave Girls Club was born.

Defining Brave Girls Club is like trying to define a piece of art-in-progress. It is constantly growing, evolving and taking on a life of its own; serving as its own inspiration to both the artists creating it and those who are experiencing it. At its core, however, Brave Girls Club is an international community of women collaborating to create a more meaningful life experience through art and each other.

The Brave Girl experience is unique to every woman who is a part of this collective, but regardless of each woman’s background or experience, the overall goal remains the same: to feel safe, capable, powerful, happy, encouraged, connected, reminded and alive. This is achieved through the community Ross creates, both online and at her Brave Girls Camp, through shared experience.

Brave Girls create together by working on a myriad of crafting projects (designed for all abilities) from the comfort of their living rooms and shared via the web. Brave Girls share their experiences by connecting with one another and bridging the digital divide. Brave Girls encourage one another by championing their tribe’s dreams and achievements and supporting each other through hardship, heartbreak and loss. And through it all, Brave Girls see the spirit in each other’s journey and the beauty in each other’s soul.

BRAVING THE HOLIDAYS

While Ross doesn’t fear the holiday mêlée her self, she does empathize with the stress, fear and hardship others experience as the pressures to perform for friends and family mount this time of year. Ross contends that many women experience debilitating feelings of inadequacy as the holidays approach, and that fear stems from the feelings that what they do, what they give, what they cook, and sadly who they are, just isn’t enough.

And she’s the first to admit that it’s not just women feeling this fear, it’s men too.

She also adamantly believes that this simply is not true.

The result is The Brave Girls Club Random Words of Kindness Project. Shortly before Thanksgiving, in anticipation of the crush of Black Friday, Ross publishes a PDF of kind words that Brave Girls across the country and around the world can cut out and pass out to strangers, all in the hope that those lucky enough to receive these kind words will feel just a little braver about their day, their life, their circumstance and what they have to give.

But it’s not just the receiver of these kind words that find the experience uplifting; it’s the messenger as well. “The whole experience just brought me so much joy,” says Ross’s daughter of the experience. To learn more, search for the “Brave Girls Random Words of Kindness” project on YouTube.

Brave Girls Club has more than just kind words to offer this holiday season. Ross’s book A Little Bird Told Me, Vol. 1, is available for the brave souls in your life, as are a host of other Brave Girl products in the online Brave Girls Shoppe.

To learn more about Melody Ross and all that Brave Gils Club offers, visit www.bravegirlsclub.com.