For more than 500 women nationwide this summer, an everyday trip to T.J.Maxx turned into so much more: the opportunity to share their stories. In a survey of the women who told their stories, more than half (62 percent) said they always see stories of celebrities doing inspirational things, yet 93 percent agree it is other everyday women like themselves that truly inspire. So T.J.Maxx, along with best-selling author and blogger Katherine Schwarzenegger, embarked on the Road to Real tour — not only to uncover some of the most compelling stories nationwide, but to provide a forum for them to be shared and heard.
“I share in the T.J.Maxx belief that oftentimes, the most inspiring stories are the ones right in front of us — and it’s true that one of the greatest gifts you can give someone is to listen to them,” said Schwarzenegger. “I’ve walked away from this journey moved by hundreds of women who are defying stereotypes and living multidimensional lives on their own terms.”
To shine a much needed light on the untold tales of women from the road, T.J.Maxx is unveiling the Road to Real Gallery Exhibit in New York City, displaying a collection of stories, words of wisdom and photographs, curated by interviewer Katherine Schwarzenegger and photographer Andrea Chu. The gallery will be open to public onSept. 27 and Sept. 28 at the Sky Gallery in the Meatpacking District.
Learnings from the Road
When speaking with women, Schwarzenegger asked each about her hopes and dreams, successes, and about what inspires them.
Four key themes emerged:
- Lives Life on Her Own Terms– While women can feel stereotyped by others into specific roles or expectations (80 percent), they refuse to allow these social norms or stereotypes to define them (79 percent). Rather, most (89 percent) agree that they live life in their own unique way.
- Inherent Altruism – No matter what challenges they face themselves, women are driven to help others in their own lives and communities, and consider that virtue to be important in others. In fact, nearly 70 percent of women consider being “selfless” one of the qualities they find most inspirational in others.
- Perseverance – Women are beacons of strength, positivity and courage in the face of life’s obstacles, no matter how big or small. “Hardworking,” “strong” and “determined” are three of the top qualities that women find inspirational in others.
- Everyday Inspiration – Women gather inspiration from the people in their lives, and have their own wisdom to share with the world. In fact, 95 percent of women are more inspired by women that they feel are real, not by women who pretend everything is perfect, and 86% of women feel they inspire themselves and hope to be able to inspire others.
“We believe in the incredible women who visit our stores every day, and knew amazing things would happen if we turned the camera on them for once,” said Gina Bollus, Manager of Marketing for T.J.Maxx. “This is just the beginning of how we’ll continue to spotlight all the ways they inspire us and those around them.”
The Road to Real Gallery Exhibit
September 27, 12pm-7pm
September 28, 10am-7pm
12 Little West 12th Street,
New York, NY 10012
The Road to Real tour and gallery exhibit is rooted in the T.J.Maxx dedication to spotlight and share all the ways women are inspiring the world around them, as also seen in new TV spots this fall, that continue to use everyday women to share their inspiration and words of wisdom.
To hear more inspirational stories from the Road to Real Tour, visit YouTube.com/TJMaxx to view a video highlighting stories from select women from the road, and visit Katherine Schwarzenegger’s Instagram (@katherineschwarzenegger), Facebook and Twitter (@KSchwarzenegger) to see posts from the tour, tagged with #RoadToReal.
T.J.Maxx believes that real inspiration comes from real women, and knows you have the power to inspire, too. Beginning this week, the brand will be featuring women on Twitter who could use support and encouragement. Tweet wisdom, advice or inspiration with #MaxxLifeLessons in response to each woman’s story, and T.J.Maxx will gift $1 for every tweet to support her.