Gowanus Girls: Building a Future Through Design

The premise behind Curious Jane, a summer camp and after-school program, is simple—give girls a chance to explore their creative, design-oriented side and watch them flourish. Samantha Razook Murphy, founder of Curious Jane, tells us, “My background is in industrial design and I tend to apply this way of thinking and working to everything I do—I love creating, tinkering and figuring things out. I was inspired to create Curious Jane to give my girls—and all girls—a chance to be creative and inventive in a high-energy, collaborative, and gender-affirming space.”

Although Curious Jane now has programs in cities all over the country, its base is right here in Brooklyn because the women who run the program “love the energy of the neighborhood and the influx of creativity and new businesses to the area.” In fact, this love of the neighborhood is what propelled the women behind Curious Jane to launch the new, indie design and food market Gowanus Girls.

Melisa Coburn came up with the idea as a way to extend the Curious Jane brand beyond the camp and further into the community. Gowanus Girls not only benefits Curious Jane but also, as Coburn tells us, includes “a giving-back element to help support efforts to revitalize the area around the Gowanus Canal, a designated Superfund site.” Basically, these women at Curious Jane invest both by building up the environment of the neighborhood they are located in and the young women who will one day be the future of the community. This is how you build a future.

Photo Matt Feddersen


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