Swirly and Andrea, Lake Anza, Berkeley, CA Canon Rebel Xti
Disco woods, Christine and Andrea, Canon Rebel Xti
When I started Superhero Designs eight years ago, I decided to interview several different women that I admired who were running successful businesses. Swirly, who was running a greeting card and paper products company then, was at the top of my list. We didn’t know each other well at the time, but I knew intuitively that I had a lot to learn from her and that she would be generous with me. I was right on both accounts. In fact, all of the women I interviewed were incredibly open and encouraging and supportive. After these interviews I felt like I had built a sort of board of directors, people I could look to for guidance through the coming years and people who truly stood for my success.
I think this was the beginning of relying on my tribe of women for support (both professionally and personally) For a long time, a group of friends and I met each week for what we called “in Progress.” This was a place where each of us could share what we were up to creatively, celebrate what we had accomplished and get input and feedback on where we were stuck or stopped. At the end of each meeting we would commit to taking one more step before the next meeting. We learned so much from each other! But most importantly, I learned that women helping women is a truly sacred thing.
In writing this, I remembered that we played the game Cowgirls at our first meeting. This is one of those games with a stack of cards with questions and everyone goes around the room and responds. One of the questions that came up was, “What part of your body do you dislike?” The woman who got the question (someone I didn’t know before that night) looked perplexed. “Honestly, I can’t think of any parts of my body that I dislike.” I have never forgotten that moment because I had never met anyone before that day who accepted her body just as it was. Again, there is so much to learn from other women.
My creative girl posse has grown and morphed over the years and is a hugely important part of my life. I appreciate how loving and admiring we are with one another, how there is a culture of generosity in these relationships and an authentic desire for one another’s success. I also love how much we play dance, laugh and cry with each other.
Swirly was here for the last few days and I miss her already. We hiked in the woods, went to a dance class, had a photoshoot at my studio, made a beautiful meal, drank way too much wine, and had slumber party giggle fits. We also had “business” meetings about our respective projects and gave each other lots of great feedback.
Have you seen your girl tribe lately?
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