Name: Beth Brownlee
Location: Reno, Nevada
Occupation: Founder -Trust Your Journey
Name: Ruth Nichols
Location: Reno, Nevada
Occupation: Co-Founder of Trust Your Journey
Beth Brownlee and Ruth Nichols have made it their mission to give all women a voice. As Beth battled breast cancer, a friend gave her a gift that displayed the words “Trust Your Journey.” It was then that she realized that she could use her survival to bestow the same inspiration and motivation for women across the globe to share their tales of sadness and triumph with one another. She envisioned an online community where women could draw strength from one another and where they could obtain clothes, jewelry, and other goods that could serve as reminders of this message.
Beth teamed up with her colleague Ruth, who worked with her at Columbia Sportswear as a fellow sales manager. As Beth explains, “It just so happens that the greatest challenges of our lives happened while we were at Columbia.” Ruth had been through tough times as well, she was raising her young son after losing her husband to chronic health problems. So the two women, united in their strength and resilience, founded Trust Your Journey, an company that works to bring women together to honor their courage and to revel in life’s triumphs.
“Life’s challenges come in all sizes, shapes and colors,” Beth says. “You already possess the inner strength to deal with any situation. We want to make sure all women honor that strength.” All of Trust Your Journey’s products are deeply linked to this mission, while also relying on socially and environmentally responsible practices.
With a message board, a newsletter, a store, and a vibrant community of women who reveal events that have tested and influenced them, no two days are alike…but all are busy! “We wear a lot of hats, but each day we are juggling account management, social media (we love Facebook), product development, finances,” she explains. “You name it, we do it.”
The interaction with the women who join in the kinship of Trust Your Journey is what truly moves both women. It’s also been a revelatory process. “We get constant emails and postcards from women sharing their journeys with us,” she says. “We’ve learned that no one is ever alone, someone else has already traveled that road. The other thing we’ve learned is how much we can do as owners of our own business. We have strengths, and a weakness here or there, that have come to the surface of our lives because we had to do the job.”
With patience and a vision of their continued success, Beth and Ruth help to facilitate women communicating with one another across miles and differences, fortifying and comforting one another in times of need. “We try to always let others know, no matter what the struggle, it is just a part of their journey and not their entire journey. Our greatest challenges provide us with our greatest opportunities.”
When asked about organizations that Trust Your Journey admires, Beth doesn’t hesitate. “We love what Dr. Susan Love is doing to prevent and ultimately eradicate breast cancer. We donate to that foundation through several of our Share® Jewelry Items. Share® is a special set of two for sharing the journey with others,” she explains. “You give one and keep one. It let’s the other person you know you are there for them.”
For their work connecting women and giving them a platform to share their stories, and for promoting cancer awareness along with the strength to surmount all of life’s various struggles, we think that Beth and Ruth – and the entire community of Trust Your Journey – are very Cool Girls!
Follow them on Twitter @TrustUrJourney or find them on Facebook and share your journey with others.