We sat down with Sonja Hoel Perkins—founder of nonprofit Project Glimmer and angel investment group Broadway Angels and managing director of The Perkins Fund—to find out more about her bold work lifting women up and empowering them to be their best selves. Here, she shares her personal journey, what being bold means to her, and of course, how Birdies help her feel bold, bright, and confident.
What is your definition of bold and how do you incorporate this into your day-to-day?
Living boldly means having a vision for your life, working hard to be ready for your vision to happen, and knowing in your heart it will happen. Living boldly also means not defining yourself through failures but by looking at obstacles as opportunities to learn and grow. Living boldly means not waiting for other people's approval or fearing their judgment. It's making choices based on your life, your values, and not living up to somebody else's definition of success.
Who or what inspires you to be bold?
I feel fortunate because I am surrounded by people who inspire me every single day. I'm inspired by all the women investors of Broadway Angels, who defy convention by investing in businesses that do more than make money—they're making our society a healthier, safer, friendlier place to be. I'm also inspired by the women and girls I have had the opportunity to meet through Project Glimmer—they dare to imagine and realize lives that break social and economic barriers. These women and girls have overcome so many obstacles and have lived through so much hardship that they don't let the small stuff get them down. Their resilience is unmatched.
What advice would you give future generations of women to live boldly and with purpose?
Don't settle. Don't talk yourself into a relationship or a job offer because they look good "on paper." Trust your inner guidance. My best decisions, both personal and professional, defied convention. Before you accept anything, make sure you're getting what you want.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given about being bold and true to yourself?
My dad has been the source of amazing, values-driven advice. He taught me early on in life that hard work is a habit. He encouraged me to work hard at everything because you never know where it's going to lead. He was right. By working hard at what, at the time, seemed like meaningless tasks, I was noticed and doors were opened for me.
How do Birdies make you feel bright, bold, and confident?
Birdies look beautiful, feel comfortable, and are fun to wear! Birdies give me a skip in my step and make me feel beautiful. I love that my Birdies can take me seamlessly from a board meeting to a school conference to a night out. In Birdies, my feet always look and feel great!
Sonja is part of our new “Bright. Bold. Birdies.” campaign, featuring and celebrating women who embody what it means to be bold inside and out. In this series, they share their stories of success and how Birdies help them soar.