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A girls self-esteem peaks at the age of 9. In middle school, she starts comparing herself to the “perfect” photos she sees on online and feels bad about herself. Teen anxiety has skyrocketed because of the pressure to fit in BOTH in real life AND on social media. When teen girls have low self-esteem they are less likely to speak up or try new things in fear of failing. As parents, we feel helpless, wanting to figure out a way to help our daughters not coward in self doubt but instead be confident young women.
For the last 11 years, my company, Pincurl Girls, has been creating products that strengthen girls self-esteem and improve the way they see themselves. We’ve been creating calendars, planners, phone covers and apparel.
No other company is connecting with teens in an emotionally supportive way like we are with the Pincurl Girls. Our best selling products are the calendars. Each calendar month has a Pincurl Girl drawing with a positive saying like, “Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful”. In addition to the calendars, teens are also using our planners to journal and plan for the upcoming week.
We are scaling the brand by giving each Pincurl Girl’s a name and personality. The Pincurl Girl are diverse, including different races, cultures and body sizes. Product lines will be made for each of the Pincurl Girl characters...this is Sofia, she plays roller derby player, girls who relate to her will be able to go to Sofia’s page on the website and see all the products with her on it, like planners, pencil cases, t-shirts and more. The Pincurl Girl brand will be as iconic Hello Kitty and more global than American Girls.
Did you know on average, 13-year-old girls, check Instagram 100 times a day looking for connection and validation? I am excited to introduce our newest product, BFFtexts, that connects with girls where they are most...on their phone! BFFtexts deliver daily texts that boost their self-esteem by reminding them to think positively about themselves. Our texts are sent at different times each day to induce a sense of surprise and delight.
The texts also come packaged with a downloadable worksheet and digital wallpaper for her smartphone. We have sent more than 12,000 text messages to teens since our launch in July. Teens who get the texts have told us they rely on them for daily emotional support. The texts make them smile and feel better about themselves. One mother told us she wished she would have recorded her daughter’s face when she got her first text, she was smiling for ear to ear! The mother almost cried!
I am the founder of Pincurl Girls. This year I was recognized by Lincoln’s Inspire Award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship for my work with the Nelson Mandela Elementary School on positive self-talk.
My co-founder, Sarah McCurely, is a board member at Prairie Hill and mentor for Team Mates. We both have daughters entering their teen years and we see a massive opportunity, to solve the growing problem of anxiety and insecurity in teen girls.
Why does this matter to ME? Because I WAS that girl struggling to overcome my lack of self-confidence. When I was getting my masters degree in art, a time in my life that should have been the proudest, instead….my insecurities set in. For my graduate thesis art show, I drew myself small...hunched in a ball with sayings written alongside like “I wish I was good enough.”
After grad school, I used positive affirmations to help improve my self-esteem. I still draw my girls but now they stand tall, with confidence and the messages next to them are positive and inspirational. I named these drawings, the Pincurl Girls after the pincurls my mom put in my hair when I was little.
Parents don’t have to feel helpless any more. We are here to help their daughters get through the hard times, like Sunday nights when anxiety sets in about school on Monday. We are here if she needs an encouraging text message that arrives in the middle of a stressful day that says “you are doing great” We are here to help teens feel more confident about themselves and encourage them to step past self-doubt and take steps toward increased self-confidence!