Now when you hear that familiar dancey beat of Robyn’s, “Call Your Girlfriend” the lyrics of the song shape a new meaning for listeners of gal pals Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow’s podcast with the same name. The CYG (Call Your Girlfriend) podcast began in 2014 with the idea that you could listen in each week on the conversations of two “long-distance besties.” Every week these smart ladies discuss a gambit of topics from politics, personal shopping habits, dissections of workplace dynamics, interviews with their driven besties, to one of the most popular themes: Shine Theory. The CYG podcast now has an online store where you can show your support for the show and for the glowing ideology with appropriate sparkle, “Shine Theory” button pins.
Listening to the collective experiences from both Ann and Aminatou on the podcast, you can start to understand that the Shine Theory road is the better road to travel on. Shine Theory is the idea that women should befriend one another rather than compete against each other— that surrounding yourself with great people makes you look better, not worse.
The Call Your Girlfriend online store opened in mid-August with gifts for your best friend…or for yourself! Besides the necessities like a tote bag and portable wine tumbler (which features illustrations by Kenesha Sneed) the Call Your Girlfriend store offers a variety of custom pinbacks you can wear to show your support of the podcast and ladies everywhere.
When we saw the Call Your Girlfriend buttons come through Busy Beaver, we wanted to reach out to Ann and Caroline Knowles, Co-Editor at Women Artists and CYG merch maven, to talk more about the Shine Theory pin backs and the other items that can be found in the online store.
BB: Why make your own buttons and pins?
CK: On top of just being fun and affordable for our customers, we had a few ideas we wanted to play with (like sparkle paper buttons!) and loved how the price and small size of buttons let us test them all out.
BB: How were the designs/inside jokes/artwork/messages decided on to make into the personalized pins?
AF: We knew we wanted to do a Shine Theory button as a way for women to advertise their solidarity with other ladies! And the CYG logo just seemed like a no-brainer.
BB: Busy Beaver believes in following your passions and using the tools to make your own pins are like the original tweet— that with just a few words you can let the world know exactly what you believe. Is that your idea behind the Shine Theory pinback?
AF: Yes, precisely! It’s sort of like advertising that you’re committed to it as an ideology.
BB: What’s a one-line piece of advice for a woman beginning a creative endeavor?
CK: Get started! Even if it’s just brainstorming with your besties and / or jotting down your ideas in fresh Google Doc. It’s okay to take a few small steps to get yourself moving forward.
BB: And of course, what custom button are you wearing right now?
Wearing a 1 inch round button on your person may seem like a small gesture that can’t shape the world, but the act of wearing badges of what you believe in actually works to gravitate like-minded people around you. By sporting a Shine Theory button not only will you be educating people about the phrase, but you’ll be able to find your fellow Call Your Girlfriend listeners out in the world. Keep that sparkle button close and you’ll never know who you may run into that you can befriend.
Feeling inspired or want to inspire someone else? Order buttons today so you can tell the world your ideas tomorrow.