Laurel Thatcher Ulrich coined the phrase “Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History” in an obscure thesis paper. Now it is a favorite phrase among feminists and for some women, a justification for wild behavior. But what does it really mean? In this book Thatcher delves into the history of women, highlighting some of history’s most famous women such as Virginia Wolf, Christine de Pizan, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

Through her profiles of historical women, she illustrates that women made history, not necessarily by behaving wild or bad for the sake of wildness, but by going against social convention because their conscience required it. I found this book fascinating and it made me want to read and study more about women’s history and social studies. It gives a great overview of women’s history and politics and it offers great insight into female issues.

-Liesl Shurtliff – Goodreads



ponder this . . .

January 20, 2011

“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
-William Morris 1834-1896



A smear campaign is an intentional, premeditated effort to undermine an individual’s or group’s reputation, credibility, and character. .

The latter part of 2008 saw the fruition of a nasty smear campaign directed at Stinky Couture. Diligent, persistent and unfounded are just a few of the words that describe it. Why?! Friends, family and customers have kindly given their input and continued support.

Did I unintentionally step on toes, rock the boat with SC’s apparent quick success? If SC’s success rattled the self confidence of some others in the business, they have my sympathy for their own perceived shortcomings. Business is business, business is competition. Compete via quality of product and sound business practices.
Do I choose to not share every aspect of my life, intentionally keeping a safe distance between my personal life and my business? Yes.
Do I believe in keeping the buying and selling facets of business separate? Yes.
Do I prefer my nickname? Sure. So what?
And what of the numerous unashamedly copied SC concepts and designs? Don’t worry about people stealing your design work. Worry about the day they stop. -Jeffrey Zeldman
Did and do I expect to earn a fair wage for the time, quality and detail that goes into every Stinky Couture product? Absolutely!

The fact is that the online world of friends and contacts is a fickle one. Often one may be a friend one day and a target the next. As I see it people can be far too comfortable posting anything and everything on the internet. Some find that with anonymity, it’s easy to be malicious, unkind and make false accusations knowing that there will likely be no atonement or accounting for their words. I am passionate about everything and everyone in my life and though there came a time that I had to withdraw to reflect, to analyze, to breathe . . . the heart of the matter is this: our beautiful daughter is the face of Stinky Couture and I will not have the smear campaign be her legacy. I stand behind by my business integrity which is characterized by the honesty, reliability and fairness shown to each and every customer. As I’ve said before and what still holds true; the building of a business as a mother, wife and career woman requires investment, persistence and the sacrifice of precious time with loved ones. I could not make it through the trying times without the love and repeated support of those around me.

Recently I received an email from a fellow WAHM that prompted today’s blog post and though appreciated the words cannot undo the damage done. The following are excerpts from that email:

. . . I do need to apologize to you for being mean. I know I was. . . .

So Daphne. I am sorry for going to web and the drama blog – it was so out of character for me and honestly – I am ashamed I did – because its not like me. For that I apologize and take responsibility for my actions.

For me to post the email in it’s entirety is not an option. Those that have truly done business with me, know me. The truth has always been documented in writings and photos, though I’ve always felt that to make that information public would be unethical as protecting my brand could not come at the cost of disclosing my customers private business communications.

And now, goodbye to an elephant!

It’s important for me to share with you that in the midst of reeling from the smear campaign mentioned above, personally we tragically suffered more than one loss to our family. The road to healing continues to be a long one. More than ever I believe and embrace what is stated so simply:
LIVE well, LAUGH often, LOVE much.

A sincere and warm thank you to those of you that have continued to reach out, appreciate and support SC.



Be Happy!

October 3, 2009

For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.

This perspective has helped me to see that there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. So, treasure every moment that you have. And treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time… and remember that time waits for no one…

So stop waiting until you finish school, until you go back to school, until you lose ten pounds, until you gain ten pounds, until you have kids, until your kids leave the house, until you start work, until you retire, until you get married, until you get divorced, until Friday night, until Sunday morning, until you get a new car or home, until your car or home is paid off, until spring, until summer, until fall, until winter, until you are off benefits, until the first or fifteenth, until your song comes on, until you’ve had a drink, until you’ve sobered up, until you die, until you are born again to decide that there is no better time than right now to be happy… Happiness is a journey, not a destination.

~ Father Alfred D Souza



I turn the other cheek to “you”. The “you” that finds comfort in being malicious and unkind. The “you” who finds joy in spreading falsities. My response to “you” is this:

When we are faced with such hostility we can choose to react on instinct, to defend, to justify, to attack and ultimately to feed the ugliness of this dysfunctional theater, but in doing so we allow it to become a part of us. Eckhart Tolle¹ describes much of this beautifully, and may summarize it best in his words: “Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”

-Today’s World – Karma, Reflection and Kindness.

It is disappointing that there are those few of you who find my success to be threatening. That feel you need to have your presence known with each degree of success I earn and that seem to feel that attempting to tear others down is a way to build yourself up. My success is based on a true and honest heart and most importantly it is based on integrity. Integrity is defined as an adherence to moral and ethical principles. For me this holds true in every detail as well as holistically. Any one of you have the potential to be as successful – but your first goal should be to apply the energy you use to attack me to improve your own life skills. I am well aware that some of “you” are individuals that are known in the WAHM community yet hide behind anonymity and innuendo. Sadly, there are also those few that are simply wanting to “belong” to something regardless of the ill intent, the falsehood or those it injures. As women, we should stand up for and encourage the success and empowerment of our gender. I will forever strive to be a champion for us as women; women who not only want to do meaningful work, but who also find great meaning and success in being wives, partners and mothers.



A big new world!

February 6, 2009

Many of you are aware that my niece was born prematurely last Fall. Pictured above is wee Felicity weighing just 14.7 ounces. The update we had hoped to be able to share is here! No longer confined to her world of many months, a plastic bubble, Felicity is now home and weighing close to 4 1/2 pounds. The pictures below show that the big new world, though exciting, can be tiring for one so small.



There has always been a thread of discord, disharmony and maliciousness in our world. Some inner human ego, fed by self-doubt and unhappiness, that needs conflict in order to identify ourself as a conquering hero and feed our sense of self worth. Unfortunately, left unchecked, this can drive us to overlook our conscience and compassion for fellow man and justify lies, half-truths and innuendo to create the drama and outrage needed to glorify ones’ victories.

When we are faced with such hostility we can choose to react on instinct, to defend, to justify, to attack and ultimately to feed the ugliness of this dysfunctional theater, but in doing so we allow it to become a part of us. Eckhart Tolle¹ describes much of this beautifully, and may summarize it best in his words: “Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”

Taking such words to heart, and in this season especially, I’d like to continue focusing on the good, the compassion, the caring and the love of those in my life. Building a business as a mother, wife and career woman has required investment, persistence and the sacrifice of precious time with loved ones. I could not make it through the trying times without the love and repeated support of those around me. I’d like to thank the many of you, customers and friends, that take the time to write, call and visit to express kindness and encouragement. It’s you that provide me motivation to continue when things are tough, and remind me of the rewards in pursuing my passion and dreams. The truth and light in each of you give back so much more to the world than you may ever know.

¹ Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth



BRRRR…and the snow came.

October 19, 2008

The view from my sewing studio window.

The week before last brought our first snow here in the Rockies. Though beautiful, I shiver at the thought of days ahead when the temperature is well below zero and the power routinely goes out. That said, I relish in the thought of pulling out the family ski gear, as well toasting marshmallows over the fire pit.



Is who we are defined as a collage of the people in our life? In some ways I think this is true. If we consciously, even subconsciously, pull from others; can it be only the good that we emulate? If that were true then wouldn’t we be free of bad habits or annoying idiosyncrasies? The truth is that each of us have our own moral compass and typically are drawn to people of like minded thinking; which may very well be why at times we pull from the people in our lives so easily and at times, even unknowingly.

So then, is imitation the best form form of flattery? With the emotional possession of an idea removed, yes. It confirms the idea was successful. Why are we not flattered then? That is where the concept of ownership comes in. It’s human nature when we create something that we feel we have certain rights to it, whether that be something tangible, or whether it be a unique idea. Most people are unable to separate the emotion. Regardless, it is commonplace for successful ideas to be emulated, and as an individual one must step back from the emotion and accept the flattery. On an AJ blog, Life’s a pitch, the subject was addressed and is a suggested read for any artist or idealist that may be taking things too much to heart.



A spiritual rambling…

June 20, 2008

I do believe that people often search for inner peace and spirituality within the comfort zone that they know. I have found that there are no boundaries to which one should feel confined. There is a vast amount of knowledge to be shared and benefit from, though often the label of one religion or another seems to discourage us from being open to other’s ideas or beliefs. Recently I was made aware of the belief system of Deepak Chopra, which I found interesting. I have found that many of his teachings are what I already practice in my life.

Chopra teaches a lifestyle that includes meditation, yoga, mindfulness in daily life, proper nutrition based on whole foods, detoxing through fasting, enemas, and massage, and abstinence from drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and junk food.

Chopra’s “Ten Keys to Happiness” are:

1. Listen to your body’s wisdom.
2. Live in the present, for it is the only moment you have.
3. Take time to be silent, to meditate.
4. Relinquish your need for external approval.
5. When you find yourself reacting with anger or opposition to any person or circumstance, realize that you are only struggling with yourself.
6. Know that the world “out there” reflects your reality “in here.”
7. Shed the burden of judgement.
8. Don’t contaminate your body with toxins, either food, drink, or toxic emotions.
9. Replace fear-motivated behavior with love-motivated behavior.
10. Understand that the physical world is just a mirror of a deeper intelligence.

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