Provo Cottage Industry: Women of Wisdom Finding and Sharing Wisdom
Grace Garn, a young adult member and one of the leaders for the combined Provo Student and Provo Cottage, described how the cottage works to create generative solutions with their global sisters. Grace took a world civics high school course from Carolina Allen, Big Ocean CEO. As she and other class members discussed solutions and tenets together, Grace took time to study and define her own positions on key world issues. That summer they formed a Big Ocean youth cottage of their own. In the fall, she joined the Provo Student College.
Grace believes it was Sasha Smith who first organized the student college which attracted many young adults. This allowed them to focus specifically on applying maternal feminism to their current and future roles as women and global sisters.
This group of bright women are truth seekers. When asked how they have shared the truths of maternal feminism, Grace said, “I think that for a lot of cottage members, the Big Ocean Women philosophies give them answers to their questions and help them find a group of like-minded women. People ask me about Big Ocean’s stance on social issues all the time. When I share with them what we believe, why, and how they can find more resources, they say they feel peace in the balanced and inclusive responses they hear. Our cottage, through events and regular meetings, has brought this peace to many women in our area by helping them find answers.”
A unifying strength of their cottage is activities. They organized service projects, awareness events, and fundraisers. They found such events teach others about Big Ocean Women and include them in the work in a meaningful and convenient manner. Gaining knowledge and wisdom from other global sisters was a centerpiece of an activity last spring. Partnering with Y’Ngoma African Cultural Center, African immigrants and Provo cottage members invited members of their community to participate in learning about African culture and making new friends. The event held at Brigham Young University featured cultural food, dancing, and speakers to teach participants about Africa. Friendships formed there continue today.
True to the ideals of Big Ocean, the student cottage combined with the Provo Cottage in order to grow the cottage and use the talents and experiences of both groups to create generative solutions for women of all ages globally. The combined cottage is a diverse group who have prepared and sent feminine hygiene care supplies to India and learned from immigrant businesswomen such as Vivien Bohme. Their motivation and work are indeed globally minded.
Grace concludes, “I personally love that our cottage is centered this way because it helps women find a place of community and belonging as well as gives those who are eager to do service a tangible and direct way to get involved.”