Read This: The Book That Will Inspire, Challenge, and Bring Joy

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

You need this book in your life; I could NOT put it down. Tell Her She Can't...Inspiring Stories of Unstoppable Women, by Women's Travel Fest and Damesly founder Kelly Lewis, is an incredibly meaningful read. 

Kelly is a women’s travel industry maven and leader in the area of women’s empowerment. She is most passionate about helping women to tap into their personal power through traveling the world. She’s the founder of Go! Girl Guides, the world’s first series of travel guidebooks for women, as well as the founder of the annual Women’s Travel Fest conference. In 2016, she co-founded the boutique tour company Damesly, which has been featured in the New York Times, CNN, Travel + Leisure, and National Geographic.

Tell Her She Can't...Inspiring Stories of Unstoppable Women shares the life journeys of over two dozen women and how they overcame significant challenges. Sections include stories of changemakers, champions, warriors, trailblazers, adventurers, visionaries, and prevailers. I recognized myself in many of those stories, and read until 3am one's that good. Each section has actionable items to spark change. The last chapter (don't read ahead!!) is, perhaps, the single most important thing you can read to thrive in life. It builds so beautifully on every part of the book, and is a call to action for your own self.

This book will inspire, challenge, bring joy, and give you the tools to hurdle over anything life throws your way. Highly, highly recommended.

book cover on a wooden dock against a blue sky. From Read This: The Book That Will Inspire, Challenge, and Bring Joy

We were lucky enough to catch up with Kelly, and ask about the backstory, challenges, inspiration, writing, and more. Here's what she had to say...

Author Kelly Lewis in a vibrant blue shirt against a natural background. From Read This: The Book That Will Inspire, Challenge, and Bring Joy

Please tell us about your new book, Tell Her She Can't.
Tell Her She Can't: Inspiring Stories of Unstoppable Women shares the true stories of 35 women who refused to listen to other people who told them that they "can't" do things. They can, and they did -- and it's inspiring to watch! 

You had a long journey, full of successes and challenges, to get to where you are now, and this book. What inspired you to collect these powerful stories, and share them?
Such a journey! I wanted to write this book and share these stories, because these stories are my story too. 

I grew up in an abusive environment where I was told day after day that I was worthless, ugly, unloved and unwanted. Still yet, I knew I was destined for more, and that none of that was true, that they were cruel words spoken by cruel men. I knew that I had to dig deep and fight my way out, and once I did, I became determined to be happier and more successful than those who had tried to hold me down. 

I attribute a lot of my success in entrepreneurship to this drive. For a long time, I was creating and building businesses just to prove to myself that I could, perpetually on the hamster's wheel, until a fateful trip in Bhutan where I got a message from the universe that I couldn't deny. 

A few years later, I was taking a bath when I kept hearing "Tell Her She Can't, Tell Her She Can't," over and over in my head. And I said 'that's totally my motto!" It took me from that point to now to make this book happen, but I couldn't be more proud of the result. 

What might readers be surprised to discover about your writing and research process?
None of us ever has any idea of what we're doing -- create anyway! I think that is one of the central themes of the book. Create, even (and especially) in the face of the naysayers, because you can. If you want to. 

One of the questions I get asked most is: how did you find all of the ladies in your book? Most of it was serendipity. Some of them I knew, who introduced me to others. Many I found through a call I put out on HARO (Help a Reporter Out) and got hundreds of emails.

It is amazing the answers you get back when you ask a question like: who said you can't? 

How can people harness that unstoppable force that is within all of us? Why is it so rare for people to actually do this?
I think it's really easy to just go-along with the pushes and pulls of life, and forget that you have personal choice and power. That's partly why I wanted to write this book -- to remind readers that they can do whatever they want, if they want it, even if the world around them tells them they shouldn't. 

I remember the day I realized I had a choice in how life happened for me. I was 11 years old, and it was told to me by my mother. 

When I think of harnessing this unstoppable force, for me, it's like I'm digging down deep into my gut, right to the seat of my emotions and power. 

It's like being a marathon runner, finding the fuel and motivation to push on through those last miles. If it lights you up, or makes you upset, then you can focus on that energy, and transform it into fuel. 

How can people find your work?
I'm everywhere on the internet @gokellylewis or at

What's up next for you?
I'm working on book 2! Sharing the stories of powerful women is my most favorite thing, so I'm turning this work into a series. Tell Her She Can't Choose is next, about women who have made pivotal decisions amidst sticky situations and who put themselves first. Then Tell Her She Can't Travel, Tell Her She Can't Be an Entrepreneur, and so on, and so forth. I want to create the modern, feminist version of Chicken Soup for the Soul

I'm also working on Women's Travel Fest. We're heading into year 9! I can't believe it. March 4-6, 2022 in Portland, OR. 

Is there anything else you'd like to share?
As an independent author, your support means everything to me! Thank you for ordering a copy and for telling your friends about it. Yes we can!