On March 26th, Girl Gang Appreciation Day, I took a giant leap out of my comfort zone and invited ten ladies I barely knew or didn’t know at all to join me for an evening of coffee, pastries, and deep conversation about the reality of being a busy woman with a plate full of responsibilities and aspirations. We gathered at Aroma Espresso Bar in the Forest Hill Village, and spent the next couple hours discussing who we are, our challenges, words of advice, and what we are proud of ourselves for. The meet up included Live Jazz musicians playing in the background, as well as sponsored goodies from LuxFlowerBox, The Pur Company, Pombons Shop, Links of London, and Ted Baker, making sure nobody walked away empty-handed.
I was nervous about inviting women from such diverse industries, and even slightly diverse generations. How could I be so sure that they would get along and find value from each other’s stories and experiences. What ended up happening, as each lady went around and opened up about the current challenges she faces, she had nine nodding heads listening to her in agreement. These moments are the ones that bring us women closer together.
One of my challenges, especially as an ambitious woman, is getting along with others. I told my new friends that day that I had a much better response to the event from strangers, than I did from existing acquaintances. We also had an agreement within the group that a lot of women’s first instinct is jealousy and hatefulness, and many fail to take a step back and reevaluate their emotions. I’ve lost a lot of girlfriends from my life, most of them by their choice. Though I’ll never know the true motives behind it, I do hope they took that step to self-reflect and understand why they made that decision.
As a few of the attendees said, we need to be more forgiving, and we need to support each other. It’s heartbreaking that some of the ladies at the table don’t have a female support system in their lives, solely because hormonal instincts have gotten into the way. What the 10 of us did, is we faced this reality, and talked about it in an open table environment. We proved that we as a gender are not horrible human beings, and we have the power to collaborate, be friends, and help each other out.
Most importantly, we realized that each and every one of us faces a challenge. Whether it’s entirely unique, or whether it’s a hardship a woman “copied” from another at the table, the fact in the matter is that no matter what walk of life any of us are on, we all have obstacles. Whether it’s a constant one that is always there, or one that comes back at the end of every school semester, we face challenges, and we have to make the best of them.
One week ago, ten women made a pact. They created new friendships, and they even created potential for new business partnerships and opportunities. Most importantly, they created a support system. That’s what the female entrepreneur does – she befriends likeminded people, and supports them.
Photos by Maryana Shor Photography. Check out more photos from the meet-up by looking up #mynewgirlgang on Twitter and on Instagram.
Disclaimer: The meet-up was the start of my marketing, events, and PR business, and my first formal go at event-planning. White Umbrella Media website coming soon. For more information, please don’t hesitate to reach out.