Hi, I'm Jen.
I live in Oxfordshire in the UK with my husband Ed, our daughter Rosie and our dog Leo. I started Not Just a Princess when my eyes opened to gender stereotyping for babies and children. I wanted to create a business that addressed that imbalance.
Rosie has a dinner plate set with a fairy princess on it. Over breakfast one morning, I wondered why she didn’t have a plate with a scientist, surgeon or plumber on it. Research showed me that those visuals don’t exist in mainstream merchandise, and if they do, they usually show a man doing the job.
Next came the clothing. It’s all too easy to find messages like “When I grow up I want to be a mermaid” or “Princess” – but what about an architect, or a doctor? Messaging on girls’ clothing needs to be directly challenged and that’s what we’re doing with our Not Just A Princess (NJAP) merchandise. We aim to expand our range with more aspirational messages, characters, careers and symbols that challenge gender stereotyping.
I want my daughter to know that when she grows up, her gender won’t impact her career choice. More importantly, I want her to understand that she doesn't have to be ‘cute’ or ‘sweet’ – she can be brave and ambitious.
I am lucky enough to know many successful women in ‘traditionally’ male careers, so I knew Rosie would have lots of women available to her as inspiration. Not everyone does. So, I created a place where the women I know could share their stories so that other young women could also be inspired. We hope this site grows as more women share their stories.
Not Just A Princess is about raising the profiles of women who are already #notjustaprincess - they are pilots, firefighters, surgeons and often mothers too. We hope that girls, boys, parents and society understand that there are plenty of alternatives to being a pretty pink princess.
If you want to support us or get involved, please contact us.