I think we can all agree that 2020 has proven to be quite a year of stress, heavy hearts and fear of our future. Between our fight for Black lives, the fight against police brutality and injustice…how to navigate an airborne disease that has proven to be quite deadly, as well as tanked our economy. And more importantly, how we plan to save our democracy.

But there’s a fight amongst these that too often has gotten lost in the conversation. Some would say even non existent. – the  lives of Black Trans Women. 37 Black Trans people have been murdered this year alone and the numbers keep climbing. This year has been deemed the deadliest and most violent year for Black Trans Women like myself. However, our pain and suffering isn’t often spoken of, if at all. Yes, misgendering and dead-naming within the media causes a great deal in and with this lack of visibility. But if we are being honest, Trans people have always gotten the short end of the stick.

Take the gay rights movement for instance, started and fought for by brave Black Trans women who sought liberation for everyone. Stonewall, a pivotal moment for the LGBTQIA+ community would change the way the world viewed the LGBTQIA+ community. While yes, there was still and is still a lot of work to be done, Black Trans women are always at the forefront of many of the movements for and in our community. Sadly, we don’t get the same from our cis gay and hetero counterparts. We don’t receive the respect, care, love, or uplifting that we deserve.

Black Trans women face unimaginable hardships, from homelessness, lack of jobs, education, etc and much of that has to do with the stigma around our identities. Many are forced into sex work because of this, which adds another level of danger. Visibility and education around these hardships has been vital in the fight for Black Trans Lives. It is through visibility that people can see us as human beings simply trying to live our lives as our most authentic self. To make it past the age of 35, which is the average life expectancy of Black Trans women.

I urge anyone reading this, to include Black Trans women in your conversations of a better world, better future. Fights for women’s rights. We are deserving. We are here, too.

– Gabrielle Inés

Smart Girls STL
In order to make a positive change in St. Louis, exercising our right to vote is super crucial. Education, healthcare, environmental justice, racial equality – it’s important to inform ourselves about what is going on in the world and vote for elected officials who will create positive change in our neighborhoods. 

One thing to make sure of before it’s time to vote is knowing where your polling place is. If you don’t know your ward or precinct, visit the button below and enter your home address in the search below to find your election and voting information!


Smart Girls STL
Since March, when the COVID-19 pandemic took over our lives in the United States, we’ve been thinking a lot about the healthcare system.  The essential workers and many of the people who are getting hit hard with the virus do not even have health insurance to cover their healthcare. The essential workers are your waitstaff, the guy serving you coffee, the person who is working overnight shifts at the hospital, the people delivering you your groceries… and the list goes on. These are people who are surviving and not thriving in America during times like this. We believe health insurance is a basic human right.

Why is it so hard for people to get access to health insurance? Especially, in such a developed country like the United States, you would assume access to healthcare should be the number one thing we would receive as citizens of this country. Without getting into all the historic systemic oppression minorities and lower-class people experience based on the relationship between insurance companies and the healthcare system, health care should be free and accessible to all. 

What’s unique about this upcoming election in Missouri, and why it’s important to show up with your ballot come August 4th, is that we get to vote on the Medicaid Expansion bill, also known as Amendment 2 on the ballot. Here are the details on the Medicaid Expansion Initiative:


  • expanding Medicaid eligibility in Missouri to adults that are 19 years old or older and younger than 65 whose income is 133% of the federal poverty level or below, which would effectively expand Medicaid to those with incomes at or below 138% of the federal poverty level under the Affordable Care Act;
  • prohibiting any additional restrictions or requirements for the expanded population to qualify for Medicaid coverage than for other populations that qualify for Medicaid coverage; and
  • requiring the state to seek maximum federal funding of Medicaid expansion.

During this still active and deadly pandemic, it’s more important than ever that our elections are fair and safe. Voting on an amendment to help bring accessible insurance to people who need it most is something worth fighting for.

Are you wondering if everyone has to wear a mask at their polling place, they DO!  But if you’re not comfortable voting in person with the virus still in full swing, you have until July 22nd to complete an absentee ballot. 


Brand School

1. Who is your ideal customer?

When you think of your brand identity, who are the customers that you serve best? What are their personalities? What are their likes? Dislikes? If you could give this person a name, what would it be? What clothes do they wear? When you think deeply about your ideal customer and develop their unique personality, you are creating your customer’s personas. 

2. What problems does your company solve?

What are the problems that your customers deal with and how is your company solving those problems? If this answer isn’t clear, you might not have a solid need for your brand. The solution you offer your customers should be embedded in your brand identity. 

3. Who is your competition?

Understanding your competition can help you study and understand how companies in your industry are interacting with their audiences. This also will be a good understanding of how your brand will stand out from the rest.

4. How is your company different? 

One of the important things about understanding your completion is that you will be able to create something different and to stand out from others who offer the same solutions as your brand. Standing out from other companies in your industry will help you build authenticity and trust with your audience.

5. What is your brand personality? 

Your brand personality is defined by your company’s human personalities. What emotions does your brand have? Is your brand a thought leader, activist, funny, or friendly? Understanding your brand’s personality helps define your brand voice and authenticity. 

6. How do you make your customers feel? 

The feeling your give your customers is important because it’s how they start to identify your brand and how it relates to them. The feeling you give your customers by interacting with your products or services should be embedded in your brand’s identity. This will help with customer trust and loyalty. 

7. Why do your customers trust you?

Think back to your brand’s personality and feeling you give your customers. Why do they feel the way they do? How does this help your customers identify your brand as something they can trust?

8. What 5 words describe your brand?

Think of words that best identify with your brand. How would these words relate to how your customers feel? How do these words relate to how you feel?

9. What brands do you admire?

Think about the brands you admire and why you admire them? What about these brands stand out to you? Is it their authenticity? Their transparency? Understand why you follow brands and are loyal to them and learn how you can incorporate characteristics in your brand that can help your customers do the same. 

10. How does your audience talk and what words do they use?

The language that your audience uses is important to understand because it will help in the way your brand voice communicates with your audience. Is there a lingo that your customers use? Is there a way that your brand can interact on a similar level to the way your customers interact with each other? 

11. What is your brand voice? 

Understanding the previous question will help you understand your brand voice. Do you want a voice that is friendly and relatable? How does your brand voice complement its personality? Your brand voice should be the tone of your writing and visual identity. 

12. Is there anything else that comes to mind about your brand when thinking through these questions? 

 Taking a brand exercise can really shed light on how you see your brand. By asking yourself questions that identify your brand, you might begin to think about things beyond what is in this questionnaire. That’s great. Write down everything that comes to mind!

Still interested in learning more about how to define your brand identity? Contact the gals at Girl Louie! We’d love to get to you know you a bit more and learn about ways we can help grow your brand’s story.