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Every year, on 8th March the fairer sex of all ages, colours-&-creeds celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD). It’s a day that’s been observed since the early 1900’s. That was a time of great expansion in the industrialised world. It was an era that witnessed a population boom (something in the water perhaps) and the rise of radical ideologies, instigated by daring sorts, with an all consuming passion for challenging the status quo & inspiring change (this year’s theme for IWD). Many of these radical thinkers (and doers) were wonderful women who’ve left a lingering legacy worth celebrating. So get the bunting out. Pop the cork & raise a glass to wonder women, past-present-&-future.

Today’s wonder women
Forbes magazine has released the results of its annual survey of the 100 most powerful women on the planet who’ve made their mark on the landscape in one way or another. It ranks women according to influence, wealth and media presence. All these women, in their own various ways, have committed to change – be it political, economic, social or technological – and often in the face of adversity.

Who’s who in the hall of fame?
The top spot, for the second year running, goes to German chancellor Angela Merkel. Well she’s got a pretty big challenge as she continues to battle the Eurozone crisis – which in turn, threatens to overspill to global market economies (don’t envy her – do you?). New entries on the list include Jennifer Lopez and philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple founder Steve Jobs. Queen Elizabeth II comes in 26th place as the oldest entry, aged 87. Still a way to go before she gets to send herself a telegram. Or to be as old as Misao Okawa, who was born on 5th March 1898 in the land of the rising sun & cherry blossom. She celebrated her 116th birthday on 5th March, making her the oldest person in the world. Wonder if she managed to blow out all her candles?

The biggest celebration on the planet
Thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate their achievements on or around IWD. These range from hard-core political rallies, business conferences, government activities through to craft markets, theatrical performances & fabulous fashion shows. Some are international, national or virtual (like the Google Doodle) or potentially viral (like the hundreds of compelling video stories of trailblazing women on www.makers.com). Others are global or held in the capital. And others are doorstep local. Such as the relaunch (or rebirth even) of The Wonder Women Network.

The doors Google opens
Sister Snog stumbled upon The Wonder Women Network quite by accident. That’s what happens when you Google ‘Wonder Woman’. Front page. Just below all the hoo-ha about the latest Batman vs Superman flick and what Wonder Woman is likely to be wearing. Word on the street is that it’s likely to be gladiator style (goodbye Linda Carter’s stars-&-stripes-basque-&-kinky-red-boots).

Rachael, Ruth, Ruby & Norm
Always curious, on further investigation it transpired ‘Wonder Women’ was run by two sisters (prick up your ears Sister Snog!). Rachael-&-Ruth. And they were relaunching something that had been around for a while, fizzled out and was in need of a boost of Berocca. Actually – more a complete make-over. And a home. Which is where Ruby & Norm comes into the equation. It proved to be the perfect base for Rachael-&-Ruth’s empire. And the owner, a smart-sassy business woman in her own right, Kate Jagger (no relation to Mick) opened the door and said ‘come on in.’

Lifestyle meets retail and supports local
Ruby & Norm aims to reflect a new generation of consumers and their local lifestyle needs. It combines retail with culture, fashion with entertainment and business with pleasure.  It’s sort of a curiosity shop inside, and the Tardis from the outside. Based over four floors the store includes everything from vintage fashion to new music and the best locally made preserves on the freshest scones from the kitchen. It’s a heavenly hot-potch of fashion-&-furniture, stuff for the home-&-the-kids, vintage ephermea, music, and locally produced goods for sale. The store also includes a cafe, exercise studio and gallery. Oh yes! It’s also a pop-up eatery, evening hang-out and place where you can have your wedding reception!

Wonder Women celebrate International Women’s Day
The relaunch of The Wonder Women Network was on Thursday 6th March between 10am – 12 noon. The timing tied in perfectly with International Women’s Day. The turn out was terrific. The buzz electric. The feedback fantastic. So guess where Sister Snog will be on the first Thursday of the month from now on?