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May 10, 2017

Badass Ladies You Should Know: Gauthami Vemula and Renae Virata

Kate Hart
Gauthami and Renae
Badass Ladies You Should Know is (thankfully) not a unique series. There are lots of online projects featuring noteworthy women, and today I'm happy to profile Gauthami Vemula and Renae Virata of, a site where #ModernMuse posts highlight all sorts of women doing all sorts of amazing things, and important women and words of wisdom are featured on wearable inspiration.

As if that's not enough, Gauthami has Master’s Degrees in both Psychology and Counseling, holds leadership positions in several organizations, and is a Dallas Women’s Foundation 2014 Maura Helping Women Award recipient and a 2015 Dallas Business Journal Women in Business Award winner. Renae holds a degree in the Communication of Science, Engineering and Technology from Vanderbilt University, sits on the board of Dallas nonprofit Against The Grain Productions, and appeared on the 2012 season of NBC reality TV show “Ready for Love.” Read on to find out how they do it all, and why.


female doctor models a shirt from the UGauGrrl lineKate: Describe your career(s) and/or current projects. What path(s) and passions led you there?

Gauthami and Renae: UGauGrrl is a movement that we created to inspire, empower and impact women. We do this in two ways. The first is through our Modern Muse campaign where we highlight women and girls around the world who embody our mission on our blog and social media platforms. The second is through our collection of stylish t-shirts featuring iconic, and oft-forgotten, women of the past and today along with inspirational messages.

With all of the negativity in the world and being women, we wanted to promote conversation around positive messages and bring women’s history to life in a unique way. We like to think that we are a vehicle to carry on the legacy of awesome women before us.

Kate: What's your biggest challenge?

Gauthami and Renae: Our biggest challenge is being a new startup. However, we face something new every day about teamwork, finance and running a business, among other things, that make entrepreneurship a fun learning experience.

mother and two young daughters model shirts from the UGauGrrl lineKate: Tell us about a time that you bounced back from failure.

Gauthami and Renae: We don’t look at the challenges we’ve faces as failures but more as opportunities to grow! While we’ve only been in business for five months, our first attempt at Facebook ads was a flop. But we quickly bounced back and took a different direction, which worked!

Kate: Tell us something that makes you proud.

Gauthami and Renae: We are so excited every time we hear how much people (women AND men) love our shirts. They not only love the designs but, more importantly, the spirit and messages behind them.

Kate: Lightning round. Tell us what you’re…    

reading: Gau – The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander/Benjamin Zander; Renae – He Named Me Malala by Malala Yousafzai
watching: Gau – “The Young Pope” and “Fuller House”; Renae – “This is Us”
listening to: everything except the news
doing: Gau – taking care of Gau; Renae – preparing for my baby’s arrival
wishing for: Gau – love; Renae – a break
wanting: travel the rest of the world
loving: life!

Kate: Who are some other badass ladies we need to know & why? 

Gauthami and Renae:

Kate: What are the best ways to support other women?

Gauthami and Renae: The best way to support other women is to lift each other up instead of tearing each other down. We hope that UGauGrrl is one way that we can personally support our fellow ladies and their aspirations.

Kate: What is your advice to aspiring badasses?

Gauthami and Renae: Quit trying to be, just be. Do you!


Badass Ladies You Should Know logo
Gauthami Vemula and Renae Virata are two friends who believe in being the change they want to see in the world! Gauthami is a first-generation Indian American while Renae is a first-generation Filipino American. They both live in Dallas and have full-time jobs in addition to living out their passion to move UGauGrrl’s mission and vision forward.

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  1. Gauthami, I did not know you had won a Maura Award! That's huge! Congratulations!


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