When I first stumbled across, HerStory, a website dedicated to telling women's stories, I knew I had to talk to the creator. And when I found out that were practically neighbors, I got even more excited to tell her story.
Last week, Julia Nusbaum and I sat down for coffee (along with a torrential downpour) to discuss HerStory and what inspires her.
Julia was inspired to start HerStory after her work with the non-profit, Thistle Farms. Thistle Farms is a non-profit that helps women who have been sex-trafficked and provides them shelter and helps them build business skills. Julia ran a writing workshop with the women at Thistle Farms and discovered the power of healing and understanding that can be made through storytelling. Not only did Julia see this in other women, but she saw this within herself as well.
"By learning your own story, you learn so much about how you see the world," Julia said.
After her work at Thistle Farms, Julia was inspired to create HerStory in 2015. HerStory is a platform that tells women's stories through interviews, fiction, and poetry.
The name, HerStory, was inspired by Julia's experience as a history major. As a self-proclaimed "stubborn feminist", Julia took as many women's history courses as she could, but found it ridiculous that she had to take specialty courses in order to hear about women in history.
While in standard history courses, Julia was always left wondering, "Well what was happening to women? We have our own stories that you don't hear about unless you go digging."
Julia wanted to create a place to house women's stories from history and from the present. Even the name itself, HerStory, was a play on the word "history".
Julia said that the most rewarding part of this whole experience has been hearing from other women who have never had a place to share their stories before. It reminds her that all of her hard work is worth it. People being able to tell their stories makes them feel less alienated.
"Nobody's alone in a situation," Julia said.
Each month, HerStory focuses on a theme and Julia specifically remembers women coming together in a powerful way after one month's theme of pregnancy loss.
"Women were so open and raw," Julia said. "And they were so appreciative of having a place to tell their stories."
In the future, Julia hopes to conduct more interviews an include stories from a wider population to create a wider and diverse audience.
If you would like to tell your story, email Julia at email@example.com.