The team at Flax Sleep has a passionate commitment to supporting other womxn entrepreneurs. Being part of a community of people who are doing amazing things is one of the best parts of entrepreneurship. This ongoing Journal series will feature the womxn we admire who are kicking ass and taking names across the country.
We are thrilled to have Amanda Kao, founder of The Bad Academy as the first interview in our series. We have been sharing her amazingly relatable Insta posts with each other since the moment we found them. After getting to know Amanda a little better our admiration from afar has turned into full-on crush.
Tell us briefly what your business does.
The Bad Academy seeks out bad womxn in our community that have made it happen for themselves (business owners, self or school taught experts, and professionals) that want to share their skills and craft with other womxn who want to learn and have fun. We aim to create safe spaces for non-traditional workshops.
What inspired you to make this happen?
Honestly, I love to learn and take workshops, but I was disappointed at the variety of workshops offered to me. I specifically love learning from women, and alongside women, but it seemed I could only do that if I wanted to learn how to embroider, or flower-arrange, or <insert another stereo-typical feminine hobby>. I love all those things, don't get me wrong, but I'm a grown-ass woman and I want to know how to change a tire. I want to learn how to drink whiskey. I want to learn how to sharpen my own knives. So I thought, wouldn't it be great if there was one place that offered all these cool skills to learn, AND it was only for womxn?!
What keeps you inspired to keep doing this?
Coordinating and planning all our workshops is a lot of work, and I have no shortage of online trolls who think making space for womxn is dumb and unnecessary. At times it can be exhausting, but what keeps me going is seeing the impact it's having on not only the womxn attending our workshops, but also the businesses/individuals we partner with to produce the workshops. One of my favorite local shops, Knifewear, that offers our Knife Sharpening 101 workshop has several locations across Canada and as a male-dominated company, they were thrilled to tell me they are now going to offer women-only workshops at ALL their locations moving forward because of The Bad Academy. It really brought me to tears knowing I was making a difference not only in my community, but across the country.
What’s your biggest learning in 2019?
Well we launched this year, so I suppose the biggest learning is to just put your ideas out there. Don't worry about making it perfect, and don't worry about what people might think. Live your truth, and the right people will recognize and resonate with it.
Who is your biggest #WCW right now?
Oh wow. I mean it's always and forever Beyonce, but most recently: Gloria Steinem. I read her book My Life on the Road and it's just so goddamn inspiring. She is one of the original organizers and mobilizers and without her, we'd likely be even more behind in feminism today. She's still killing it at the age of 85 and I aspire to 1/100th as brave as she was and is - What a legend.
Photo Credit - Sabrina Miso Creative
Do you have a womxn crush who we need to get to know better? Let us know in the comments below!