Women’s group fosters business connections
Kassmin Williams | 3/26/2014, 11:17 a.m.
The decision to close the brick and mortar accessory boutique for Fleur De Lis and launch an online store didn’t come easy for Boston resident Anna Foster.
However, the experience created a yearning to help others keep their small businesses afloat and led to the launch of the Women We Made It Events, a network that celebrates the personal and professional achievements of women.
“The literal meaning [of WWMI Events] is that the events we do are done to enhance and promote the growth, personally and professionally, of women,” Foster said. “The figurative meaning is a definitive statement of sisterhood.”
WWMI has an empowerment group of about 200 women, Foster said.
Foster founded Women We Made It Events as a way to bring entrepreneurs and potential customers together in one room through quarterly “Girl’s Day Out” shopping events starting in 2010.
“Because the economy has changed so much, you’re consumed with running the business and staying afloat,” Foster said. “The economy doesn’t allow for business owners to get out and network. With WWMI Events, it kind of brought you to the forefront of your prospective customer base.”
This year, WWMI has taken it a step further with the launch of its “Empowerment Series,” monthly events meant to “strengthen business practices and add value to the women’s professional and personal lives through professional and social events,” Foster said.
The events alternate month-to-month between a professional and social event.
The upcoming event in the yearlong series is a single’s mixer to bring together single Boston professionals.
The mixer is on April 13 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at City Limits in Randolph.
The series kicked off in January with a New Year’s brunch at Skye Lounge in Newton.
The event featured Monica Cost, author of “The Things I Used to do to Sneeze!: How to Live an Authentic Life with Awesome Sensations,” which documents her journey to a more genuine life, which followed a career switch and confronting emotional woes.
The talk resonated with attendee Katia Powell who runs nonprofit Strive 2020, which aims to create healthier generations by promoting a healthy and active lifestyle.
Powell’s mission to create healthier generations pushed her to change directions in her advanced education, something she felt comfortable sharing after hearing Cost speak.
“Before I never said [I switched my Ph.D. program] out loud,” Powell said. “I said it in my head, but never out loud.”
Known as the “health guru,” Powell also works as a holistic health practitioner running fitness camps and educating individuals on healthy eating.
Powell participated in WWMI’s Holiday Bazaar last December where she had a table to market her services and said the exposure has made her more visible in the Boston.
The network has helped to keep Powell grounded and focused on her goal to prevent obesity and end health disparities in urban communities, she said.
“WWMI empowers me to keep on doing what I’m doing because I’ve been on this entrepreneur journey for more than a year and you get tired,” Powell said.
In February, WWMI invited women to a photo-shoot that could be used as a confidence builder or an opportunity to get professional shots of products or new headshots. The March event brought the women together to participate in a financial workshop.
In the course of four years, WWMI has grown to not only hold its own events, but to also partner with other groups as an event organizer and consultant.
Tickets for the single’s mixer can be purchased on eventbrite.com by typing “WWMI single’s mixer” in the search bar.