I encourage you to watch the video that I hastily taped and posted to YouTube. My make up looks like shit, I filmed it all in one take, and I can't edit video software so theres nothing fancy, but it does explain this new project and why I have taken it on. Here is a written explanation on why I have decided to go out on a limb and try something new.
I have always known that I wanted to be a photographer AND something else. I hate when people say JUST a photographer because I am not JUST a photographer, I am an editor, a best friend, a wedding coordinator, a marketing agent, a business woman, somehow I am going to be a tax something-or-other, but bottom line is, I wear a lot of hats. And I always knew I wanted one more but I could never really peg it down. So when I started thinking I have always been drawn to a few things. Public speaking (I was a debater in high school), Women's theory (because feminism that's why), and Power (uhm hello political science Major?). Now that I am an entrepreneur I have found all of those things in the business world, which is one that I never thought I would be in. I also started to listen to podcasts that feature girl bosses doing their damn thing, and killing the game, and I thought "Well shit, I can do that can't I?" So I started to form this idea in my head. In the grandest version, this idea looks like a leadership summit. A neat venue, with an amazing girl boss speaker, we would sell tickets and drink wine, and learn from some of the best in the industry in our specific locations. I realize that is kind of big, so I decided to down scale to an interview series published on my blog. Eventually I want to get to the Summit. Think Ted Talks but for women in KC that want to empower one another and help everyone be successful while still being genuine. But in the more near future it may be a podcast. Still trying to figure out how to technology. Now that I had the "What" figured out I moved on to the "Who."
I started to think of all the female owned businesses in Kansas City that have inspired me in some way. I narrowed it down to a few that I knew I had specific questions for, that I thought could benefit a girl like me in Kansas City. I spent days writing up this long email that explained why it would help young female entrepreneurs, it would attract good publicity in our geographic locations, and it would be an amazing line up of women who are influencers in their own fields. I had expected a lot of no's, but what I wasn't expecting was all the yes's I got. Not one person has turned me down. So currently, my first interview will be with one of the biggest local photographers I know, with one of the biggest followings. I then have owners of large event planning businesses, a style influencer and an organizer for KC fashion week, owners of two stores in Kansas City that have amazing missions, an influencer in the health and fitness world, and lots of others. I literally can not believe that the women said yes and that my line up looks THIS DAMN GOOD.
So the next "W" themed question would be the "Why" and that is something I touch on in the video. I belong to forums and groups that are meant to build up entrepreneurs in KC and I was noticing a few things.
1.) All the men, and how vocal they were on the forums. A lot of them hide behind "honesty" when really they can just be assholes that like to be right. So when someone has a genuine question, a lot of the time they are met with high-and-mighty attitudes and are cast down. I am even too scared to post for fear of being wrong and being painted with a metaphorical scarlet letter (except mine would "I" for idiot instead of "A" for adulterer).
2.) When women did speak up, they usually were posting the final product of their work. Like so many beautiful images and sometimes there was a lot of support, but to me it was missing something. When I say something I mean the "how the hell did you get here?" part. There was no process, no one inviting each other in on what it took to get there. I also started to notice this on the podcasts that I was listening to and being inspired by. While there were amazing stories and super successful women sharing them, there was no hurt, no struggle, no reality. Everyone just kind of ended up successful after a super compressed story of their journey. That to me, doesn't help a damn person. I want to know your lowest point, I want to know what it freaking took to get where you are today. That is the growth, that is the struggle, and it is truly beautiful because it led to their success. I think other women can help each other by being vulnerable in this manner, sharing it with other women, and then describing how it influenced their success. The struggle can be hard but it can also still be beautiful.
Okay so "When" is our last "W" and that is easy. I will post one girl boss a month because I want to have time to properly prepare their interviews and devote as much time as I need to, to their story. The first one will be released on Feb 19th.
One day I hope I get to walk on a stage, wave at all you beautiful people, and describe what I have just explained here. But for now I hope you give the interview on the 19th a read. Please tell your friends, share on social media, do all the things, because I whole heartedly believe that this type of community and these types of women are missing in our area. My biggest hope is that it reaches the ears of a young woman who is just starting out and they can be comforted knowing that the struggle is a lot of things, hard, testing, time consuming, but it can be so so beautiful.
Thanks I love you guys. I hope you love this as much as I do.
ALSO LOL WITH ME AT MY THUMB NAIL FOR THE VIDEO
Until next time,