[EDITOR'S NOTE — Each week, this feature section, “Movers and Makers,” will feature the stories of the movers, launchers, entrepreneurs and makers who contribute to the vitality of the Mahoning Valley. This section is supported by our first community partner, Farmers National Bank.]
YOUNGSTOWN — Nasty Woman Earrings is donating 100 percent of proceeds to Black Lives Matter organizations from now until July 5, including Black Lives Matter Foundation, The Innocence Project, The Bail Project, and National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls.
Grace Offerdahl, owner of Nasty Woman Earrings, began making polymer clay earrings last July as a creative outlet to relieve stress from school work. Offerdahl, who is a senior at Point Park University, said she started by making earrings for herself and her friends.
“I would wear them to class and people would say, ‘Oh those are so cool, where'd you get those?’ and it was like ‘Hey, maybe I have something here,’” she said.
Nasty Woman Earrings come in a variety of bright colors and shapes and retail between $5 to $25 depending on the size of the earrings and the technique used to make them. Offerdahl said some of June’s designs include rainbow stripes for Pride Month.
“I tend to make things that I would want to wear. I am attracted to bright colors and fun styles and more like circular shapes,” she added.
Offerdahl is native to Youngstown. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and institutions closed down, she returned home from Point Park. When she isn’t creating earrings for Nasty Woman Earrings, she helps her parents with their bowling alley and music venue, Westside Bowl.
According to Offerdahl, female empowerment is at the core of Nasty Woman Earrings.
The brand name was inspired by President Donald Trump referring to Hillary Clinton as a “nasty woman” in the final 2016 presidential debate. The insult started a feminist movement, with the Twitter hashtag #IAmANastyWomanBecause.
“He of course meant it as an insult, but a bunch of women sort of just took the name and reclaimed it back and they were like, ‘You know what, if being a strong, independent woman makes me nasty then so be it.’ So it kind of just came from that,” she said.
She is now striving to use the brand to empower the Black community. Since June 5, Nasty Woman Earrings has raised $900 for Black Lives Matter organizations.
Offerdahl said she has recently attended rallies, signed various petitions and donated money in support of Black Lives Matter movement, as well as sharing Black created content on social media.
“It's important to highlight those voices right now, but I wanted to do more,” she said. “Within the first day [of donating Nasty Woman Earring Proceeds], like the first 24 hours, I raised $400.”
Offerdahl is a self-described ally for the Black community and said she hopes others see her as one, too.
“I just think that the most important thing that people can be doing right now is educating themselves, paying attention to what black voices are saying. Instead of using your voice to try to drown them out, use it to amplify them. I just think that there’s nothing more important than equality,” she said.
“I think if you care about basic human rights, then this is an issue that you should be fighting for,” she added.