Cristina Cala
Writer, editor and content director with 10 years of experience inside the content studios of New York media brands.
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The Daily Beast

The executive business development team at The Daily Beast tapped me to plan and produce content that would support the editorial brand’s ecommerce vertical and business goals. I proposed the content strategy for the months of February and March and delivered it in a content package of five stories timed to key shopping moments in the editorial calendar, and targeted to female readers who might convert to consumers.

The Scathing Side Eye of Politics’ Most Galvanized Women

The Scathing Side Eye of Politics’ Most Galvanized Women

By Cristina Cala

Something visceral keeps happening in the visual reportage of women in the Trump era. Watch any footage of women responding to policy that routinely hurts the most vulnerable Americans, and you’ll catch a soul-piercing glint of hell in their eyes. Baffled brows, narrowed, incredulous squints, and gapes wide with alarm—the reaction shots of these more-than-blunt political players are searing, their truest thoughts on their faces as they prepare for rebuttal. We couldn’t be more here for the look. To kickoff Women’s History Month, which is in March, with proper vigor and protective eyewear, here are some of the strongest shade moments.

LONNIE TAGUE FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, WARBY PARKER

The Look: California Sen. Kamala Harris’ entire face during the State of the Union Address when President Donald Trump took credit for black unemployment being at a low.

Best Shade: According to no official medical source, if you look directly into the glare of a nasty woman, you can damage your retinas permanently. Get 100% UV protection from facts taken out of context with the totally transparent Warby Parker Ormsby frame.

The Look: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s open-mouthed, mystified chortle on the topic of immigration at a joint session last year.

Best Shade: The inching majority-speaker candidate’s rich collection of eye daggers captured on camera runs deep, but Pelosi’s unrelenting game face in support of Dreamers gets her into the top three. With the March 5 DACA deadline approaching, she set the record for the House’s longest speech ever on February 8 with eight hours on the floor. Fully commit to your agenda with the biggest pair of oversize frames you can find.

The Look: Rep. Maxine Waters’ soul-haunting deadpan when pressing Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson about Trump suggesting Puerto Rico’s infrastructure was flawed before the 2017 hurricanes.

Best Shade: Address weak arguments as pointedly as the California Congresswoman with a cat-eye by Le Specs or get out of the way.


3 Feminist Retailers to Buy From on International Women’s Day and Beyond

3 Feminist Retailers to Buy From on International Women’s Day and Beyond

By Cristina Cala

As consumers with serious spending authority, gaining breadwinner status and 51 percent control of wealth in 2015, women drive economies that do little to support them in return. Before you make a purchase on March 8 (International Women’s Day) and the rest of the year, think about your how your decision affects women economically. In virtually all industries, women earn at least 20 percent less than men, a structure that imposes limits in many forms, from (the obvious) lower socioeconomic status to the imbalanced workplace dynamics that cued a global chorus of #metoo and #timesup. In rural economies, pay gap and power affect women even more. This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #PressforProgress, and you can contribute to the fight for gender parity in how you spend—or don’t. When you open your wallet, know your purchasing clout and choose vendors who support a female economy. To get you started, we found retailers that do work for women as leaders, owners and creators.

Bulletin.co and Its Female-Run Retailers

Choose women-led businesses. Carry the weight of the patriarchy in a canvas bag that talks back, like the “Stop Taxing My Vagina” screen-printed tote by alternative tampon and condom brand Sustain Natural. Women-fronted feminist shop Bulletin stocks this and hundreds of gloriously girl-powered products every femme will want to pin to her lapel, stock in her office or stow in her nightstand’s sexy drawer. The defiant dot-com and feminist fleapartners with small, harder-to-find, female-run vendors to sell quotable apparel, accessories (“I Believe in Science,” “No Means No”) and sex toys online as well as in Manhattan and Brooklyn brick-and-mortar locations. The best part (besides store décor that looks like it could be the sparkly pink universe inside a well-insured cervix)? This budding ecomm business donates 10 percent of proceeds to causes like Planned Parenthood. Check their Hot List for product specials and promos, like their International Women’s Day collab with non-profit Dress for Success through March 9: Drop your gently worn workwear at Bulletin’s Williamsburg or Nolita location and shop the Working Girl crewneck: 10 percent of your purchase will go back to Dress for Success and you’ll take home a freebie feminist keychain.

Akola

Support working women—and their access to fair wages. Named by its Ugandan work force, this non-profit jeweler translates to “she works” and calls its geometrically pleasing pieces 100 percent socially re-invested because profits go entirely to empowering women and families in poverty. Purchasing Akola stacked bone-and-horn earrings, multi-strand beaded necklaces or raffia tassel bracelets contributes to quadrupling the wages of 450 Ugandan women who source, carve and hand-roll the materials (and earn four times the local minimum wage for the work).

Claudette

Applaud inclusive brands. Shop a body-posi, woman-owned lingerie brand designed for women with a full cup. Some lacey and all lovely, Claudette’s varied range of bra styles come in cup sizes D, F and G, like this sheer lilac scoop-neck cut, delicately shaped and reinforced with mesh layers for support. The LA-based, UK-manufactured line’s founder Robin Levitt created the line for consumers who want pretty lingerie that actually fits.

Beyond these retailers, don’t forget to check the C-suite. How visible are women on your favorite brands’ executive roster? A quick of search of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women list before you swipe your credit card can hint at how well companies represent women in strategic leadership—and affect company culture.

Practical Picks For Dominating Life Like An Industry Heroine

Practical Picks For Dominating Life Like An Industry Heroine

By Cristina Cala

If Women’s History Month-from-the-future is taking submissions, these industry queens are candidates. Find out what makes four female trailblazers ahead-of-the-fray in their fields, and what we’ve scouted to help you bite back in your next political debate, get educated in comedic genius and schooled in sex ed.

Kirsten Gillibrand, Senator-in-Chief

“If we’re not helping people, we should go the f*** home.” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has made as much a name for herself dropping expletives (on more than one occasion) as she has advocating for women’s health care, DREAMERS and #metoo survivors. The New York Democrat’s rising voice challenges what it means to be a woman in politics. Like many women competing with fragile men in this tenuous moment, Gillibrand is doing the better job of showing up. An example of the Women’s March voter registration campaign #WomenPowertothePolls in action, Gillibrand’s Off The Sidelines PAC has endorsed over 50 women candidates running for office, with results (the seven female candidates the junior senator endorsed in Texas in early March all advanced in their election campaigns). For your own activism inspiration, journalist Emma Gray’s "A Girl’s Guide to Joining the Resistance: A Feminist Handbook on Fighting For Good" is a smart read for Women’s History Month—or really any time. Through the perspective of a member of the media covering the movement, get instructions for first-time activists and interviews from long-time pros, from Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Women’s March Co-Chair Carmen Perez to celebrity activists like Marlo Thomas.

Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson, Comedy Queens

In a four-episode HBO production of their hilarious hit podcast "2 Dope Queens,"former Daily Show correspondent Jessica Williams and “Sooo Many White Guys” podcaster and “You Can’t Touch My Hair” author Phoebe Robinson offer viewers a chance to feel human again. After a tidal wave of powerful Hollywood heads rolling, the podcast is a necessary mic pass to fresh female voices who women will actually want to listen to. While the Academy was disappointing us by not asking a woman to host the Oscars this year, the duo was busy promoting the unguarded, celebrity-dotted series, which covers “Hair” with Sarah Jessica Parker, “Hot Peen” with Tituss Burgess and “Black Nerds” with Uzo Aduba. Whether you’re streaming the HBO series or just listening to the next season of the podcast, sync up to the Jawbone Mini Jambox Wireless Bluetooth Speaker. It’s only $32, small enough to fit in your pocket, and delivers crisp, powerful audio of your favorite comedy queens.

Polly Rodriguez, Sex-Tech Entrepreneur

In the tech corner, we have a double hitter in entrepreneur Polly Rodriguez, who’s plunged forth in not one but two male-dominated industries. Besides tech, she’s making vibrations in the adult industry with her subscription-based sex wellness company, Unbound. The feminist retailer’s conversational brand voice sounds like you’re in a group text thread comparing sex-toy notes with your best friends, which is exactly the safe space you want to be when you’re deciding between the pressure-controlled pulsation power of the Squish vibrator or the remote-controlled (by you or your partner) kink factor of these B Vibe beads. Rodriguez is an entrepreneur on the VC scene in New York: In addition to co-founding Unbound, she met her female investor and mentor through women’s start-up accelerator Monarq Incubator before spreading her wings, founding Women of Sex Tech for industry entrepreneurs and raising $2.7 million for women’s sexual health and wellness. If you have entrepreneurial dreams of your own, add this book to your Amazon Prime cart for $17 or your Kindle for $10: “Dear Female Founders: 66 Letters of Advice from Women Entrepreneurs Who Have Made $1 Billion in Revenue.” While you can get your tactical startup advice from plenty of books for business owners, there’s not enough out there targeted specifically to women founders, who make up 40 percent of entrepreneurs according to Forbes. These letters from women with diverse industry experience and global perspectives are designed to inspire.