Real Women Doing Real Things: Emily Kate Warren of boxcar+muse

Emily Kate Warren is, quite frankly, the epitome of female empowerment and when I first found out about boxcar+muse, I knew I had to feature on #RWDRT! She started the group, along with her business partner Ariel (both above), to be an indulgent and imaginative play and work space, a connector of diverse women, and a platform for fun and meaningful experiences.  boxcar+muse is a women’s club which exists to meet a woman’s needs for belonging, challenge, accomplishment, and self-actualization.

Tell us a little about boxcar+muse and its mission.

boxcar+muse is a women’s club which exists to meet women’s needs for belonging, challenge, accomplishment, and self-actualization. We aim to welcome women into an imaginative and safe space in which to work and play, to provide creative tools and programming, to grow a diverse and inclusive community—and to populate the world with the ideas, projects, businesses, relationships, and magical anecdotes that grow from it.


 What inspired you to start boxcar+muse?

boxcar+muse was born out of the desire to make a difference in the world for women. I found myself in my early 30’s, wondering why the hell we were STILL having these conversations about women making less money than men in the career world, representing less in government, having a barely-doable amount of maternity leave…I also found it hard to make meaningful and lasting female friendships after relocating to a new city (San Francisco). My first two friends were the oyster-shucker at the local happy hour joint—even though I hated oysters at first!–and the waiter at the diner on the corner! It took a long while for me to find the local camaraderie that I had built for so many years in New York City, Louisiana and Texas. And when I finally did, it was time to move again—this time to Los Angeles. I took a vision-boarding seminar and after seeing the imagery all laid out in front of me, I knew that what I really wanted, was something I had been building my entire life in my mind: a cooperative community of women FOR women. Where we could be together, learn from each other, be inspired by each other and stick up for one another…a place to learn new things, grow as a person and gather together. I always agreed that “the future was female!”

If you could accomplish one thing for boxcar+muse 2017, what would it be?

We would love to move from our pop-up location into our permanent space. We have so much more to offer the women’s community than is allowable now in our temporary space! Of course there are a million other things I would wish for this year, but that’s the main one! :)

If you could have dinner with anyone (dead or alive), who would it be and why?

We keep a journal of inspiring women and ask all our new members to jot down a name in it. The first name I wrote down was my grandmother’s name, Helen Honea. After all, she was the inspiration for the name of the business (because she lived in a boxcar in the depression, and she’s always been my muse). I’m lucky she lives near my parents and I can see her when I am in town. But I’d like to add that Ariel and I are constantly reading books to our daughters (and trading them) about inspiring practices and inspiring women. I was recently moved to tears after reading a book about Amelia Earhart’s life story and all she accomplished. There are a lot of women (and people!) I would be eager to dine with, but because of her determination and courage, I would enjoy talking with her. Oh! And also Betty Friedan, who wrote the Feminine Mystique and was so ahead of her time!! There are too many to list! This is the hardest question!!! Martin Luther King, Jr. of course, and Anne Shirley (Anne with an E! Anne of Green Gables!!!).


What advice do you have for other women who want to start a similar organization for women?

I always loved the saying “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” My personal advice for women starting something like this is two fold A) JUST START IT…you don’t have to know all the answers, you don’t have to a business plan or attorneys (yet), you don’t have to have a clue really, so just BEGIN. The universe will provide you with breadcrumbs along the way! B) BE ENCOURAGED by the fact that similar ideas exist…there’s enough room for us all and there are a LOT of women in the world. Too many for one business to reach every single one. We NEED more offerings for women. The more, the merrier!


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