Woman Wednesday: Mary Schlegel


This is Mary. I knew her back at school and she recently launched her awesome website www.maryschlegel.com . Yeah, lady bosses are cool and it takes a lot of inner strength to get to where you are. So I present to you, Lady Boss Mary.

"The woman I am today was unfathomable a few years ago. Back then, I was still waiting for someone to define me—to deem me worthy as a friend, girlfriend, Catholic, student, etc. I never felt I had the courage (or even the right) to define myself.

That is not to say I was a timid individual. I’ve always loved to laugh loudly and often, make new friends, and glide onto the dancefloor.

Yet I felt increasingly confined by the social/political/religious norms of each group I ‘belonged to’. I grew up believing ‘feminist’ and ‘liberal’ were labels to be feared rather than understood and that a woman’s primary concern was to marry and raise a family. It took years of opening my heart and mind and questioning my assumptions to even realize the beliefs I’d internalized about myself and who I was supposed to be as well as what I could or could not accomplish.

Through friends who have supported me, an assault that almost broke me, and a startup that challenged me, I repeatedly lost, questioned, and found myself. I learned what I was capable of. I grew enamored by the potential and resilience within each person I met. I transformed from the girl afraid to raise her hand in class to the woman pitching her startup to CEOs.

And now, I’ve moved to a country I do not know with a language I cannot yet speak to start a new business and explore more possibilities.

My life is a constant evolution: a beautiful exchange of opportunities, struggles, learning, and growth. Defining myself seems premature and unnecessary, but you best believe nobody is going to do it for me. After all, why use someone else’s yardstick when you can make your own in lightyears?"