News & Press

This catchy song might help your child cross the street safely
"After many conversations with her own young sons — Micah, 12, Asa, 10, and Ezra, 8 — about crossing the street safely in their New York City neighborhood, Kittay and her business partner, Dawn Nadeau, decided to create a video to help teach children that the only way to ensure their safety when crossing the street, even in a crosswalk, is to catch “the eye of the driver.”
 
The 25 Best Inventions of 2014
 "Studies have shown that girls’ career ambitions can be heavily influenced by their playthings. But when moms Dawn Nadeau and Julie Kerwin started searching for female action figures that were athletic and empowering—as opposed to dolls like Barbie, most of which cannot even bend their limbs—they were dismayed to find … none. (Well, aside from “hypersexualized figures for adult male collectors,” says Nadeau.) So using funds they raised on Kickstarter—$162,906 to be exact, more than quadruple their goal—they designed and commissioned a firm to build their IAmElemental series of action figures, meant to portray women as heroes with strong personalities. Each figure embodies a different “element” of heroism, like persistence or honesty. “The idea that girls could save the world—that’s a very powerful fantasy,” says Nadeau." 
Badass Female Action Figures That Have Strong Quads, Not Big Busts
"Play is powerful. And the toys you play with impact the story you tell."
9 Mind-Blowing Things Invented by Women This Year
"From creating new superheroes to making customizable printable makeup, women have been seriously busy this year transforming the way we live... Most of the female action heroes dominating the toy market seem to emphasize physique as opposed to character (if you don't know what we're talking about, take another look at Wonder Woman, Ms. Marvel, and Storm). That was the concern that inspired two mothers, Dawn Nadeau and Julie Kerwin, to create I Am Elemental, a new collection of female superheroes all about what makes women actually successful, like Honesty, Bravery, and Enthusiasm."
Want Greatness? Be a Warrior, Not a Worrier
"There is a fundamental approach to life for those with a warrior mentality: Don’t get conditioned to accepting the status quo and do consistently seek the next level. I spent some time recently speaking with Dawn Nadeau, a business warrior of the first degree. Dawn is a team member for Women Moving Millions, an international community of philanthropists who seek to instill “a thread that runs through projects for women to inspire giving at the million-dollar level.” She was part of the originalFast Company team, served as a director at Fortune, and was a vice president at Goldman Sachs. She knows a little about how to take herself — and the people around her — to the next level."
Girls' Action Figures With A Realistic Breast-To-Hip Ratio
 "Anyone who  pays attention to toys must have noticed that, while there are zillions of action figures aimed at boys, there are very few for girls.  And the female figurines tend to have uber Barbie-like proportions. New York City neighbors and fellow mothers Dawn Nadeau and Julie Kerwin noticed that too. And they decided to do something about it." 
Check Out These Badass Lady Action Figures Made By Moms
 "Julie Kerwin and Dawn Nadeau got tired of sorting through all the hyper-sexualized action figures in the toy aisle and decided to try making their own." 
Finally, An Action Figure that Won't Make Girls Hate Themselves
 "In March, the academic journal Sex Roles published a study suggesting that young girls who played with Barbie dolls ended the play session thinking that when they grow up, they won't be as capable of doing the same jobs that boys can do—even if their Barbie was dressed like a doctor. Girls who played with a formless Mrs. Potato Head figure, on the other hand, were much less likely to count themselves out. Now, New York City moms Dawn Nadeau and Julie Kerwin are teaming up to offer boys and girls a play alternative that looks like a woman but not an object. Last month, they launched their own action figure company, IAmElemental, and have since raised over $160,000 on Kickstarter to jump-start a line of female action figures inspired by everyday “superpowers” like bravery, honesty, persistence, and fear. I talked with Nadeau (who has two girls, ages 6 and 8) and Kerwin (two boys, 8 and 16) about taking on Mattel, how to get boys to pick up female action figures, and the challenges of molding a plastic butt." 
Kickstarting The Way We Look At Women

"IAmElemental Action Figures for Girls, which describes its toys as “more heroines, less hooters,” has already blown past its funding goal. After researching action figures, the creators noticed that the typical female action figure was designed not for a girl or a boy but for an adult male collector. So they made sure their toys had “healthier breast, waist and hip ratios” and made sure to feature “fierce, strong females worthy of an active, save-the-world storyline that fosters creativity in kids.” Most important, instead of receiving their super powers externally (e.g., from a spider bite), these girls have their powers within."

Help Girls Play With Power: I Am Elemental Wants To Put These Badass Action Figures On The Shelf
 "I was always confused about my limited choices as a kid. Growing up with boy cousins, I remember wondering why I always had to be the pink Power Ranger, or the human girl from Ninja Turtles when we played with action figures. The only playscape I felt included in was Legos, and even still the main characters were mostly male, and they have become gendered in a way that limits the stories girls can tell during imaginative playtime.  Where are the super powers? Where are the ass-kicking female action figures for young girls to play with, to create their own versions of stories, so they can be their own heroes? That is the exact dilemma I Am Elemental is aiming to satisfy. Started by two powerhouse NYC ladies, Julie Kerwin and Dawn Nadeau--both terribly intelligent and successful Wellesley college grads with a myriad of accolades under their belts--the women were fed up with the lack of choices in the toy aisle for girls, and they decided to use their own superpowers and do something about it." 
Barbie, You've Had Your Day
 " ... When there are so many other action figures and dolls on sale, why choose Barbie? Two American businesswomen are planning to manufacture IAmElemental, a collection of strong female characters with names such as Bravery and Persistence. When IAmElemental - which should be on sale at the end of the year - launched on crowdfunding site Kickstarter last month, the project was fully funded within two days – more than 2,500 people have pledged about £100,000 between them, almost five times the original target total. Sorry Barbie, but you’ve had your day."
The Best Kids Toys, Games and Dolls: Editors' Best of 2014
 "From amazing dolls to cool new games and imaginative toys, there have been so many fantastic options out for kids at play this year that encourage things we love, like creativity, imagination, building, interest in STEM pursuits, defiance of gender stereotypes and more. Wow, what a year! Plus so many toys are starting to incorporate tech now, that we included some favorites from Cool Mom Tech as well. We hope our list of the coolest kids’ toys of the year includes some new favorites of your own." 
Two Moms Go On A Mission To Give Girls A New Way To Play
 "Dawn Nadeau and Julie Kerwin noticed that outside of princesses and dolls, there was a drought of decent toy figures for girls to play with. With all the superheros available in stores, most of the female figurines were designed, shockingly enough, with adult men in mind. (Creepy, right?) Well, the toy game may never be the same, now that these two moms are unleashing IAmElemental on the market!" 
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