Football For Her+

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My name is Shawna Palmer (maiden name: Gordon!) and I’m a former professional soccer player, now founder and executive director of the LA-based non-profit Football for Her+.

Born and raised in California, I've been playing soccer since I was 4 years old. As a kid, I played up an age group on Arsenal FC (a club team in Alta Loma, CA) and then I closed out my youth days with OJSC Barcelona. Through the game, I was able to secure a scholarship to Cal State Long Beach. I played professionally here in the NWSL, in Australia’s W-League, and also in Sweden’s first division for Umea IKFF. Throughout my life, I've seen and experienced a significant lack of representation within the sport of soccer, and have made it my mission to bring visibility to youth athletes of color—ultimately providing an opportunity for them to experience how sport can change their life, just like it changed mine.

I started Football For Her+ in 2019 with a goal to educate, motivate, and develop confidence in players on and off the pitch; helping them reach their goals regardless of their economic standing. I wanted to create a space where those who identify as female or non-binary can feel safe and welcome. Within less than 3 years (2 of which were in the height of the pandemic) I’ve been able to build a program that will now serve 600+ young athletes!

Now, the fun part: We have designed a limited-edition jewelry collection to help us raise money for the organization! Here's my story of inspiration regarding the aesthetic of this collab; I hope you love the design as much as I do! 

My Vietnamese grandmother gave my mom (her daughter) a beautiful jade necklace while they were still both living in Vietnam—an accessory I always remember her wearing. My mom very recently passed it down to me, and it has become my own little symbol of my Vietnamese heritage. I take pride in my roots, and the culture that made me. I’ve idolized my strong, independent, compassionate, hard-working mother since birth, and being raised by such an incredible example has undoubtedly led me to my success as a professional athlete and now business owner. I’m so grateful for my mother.

For the SGP x OXB collab, the circle that encloses the jade stone signifies both unity & safety for my girls at Football For Her. I built this organization with an unwavering intent to provide girls of all ages, backgrounds & skill levels with a safe space to realize their potential on and off the pitch. These jade jewelry pieces are a thoughtful representation of my past & present—and the future of all the girls of Football For Her.

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