Women were heard loud and clear at Women2Women's ( W2W ) launch party at EvolveHer on April 14.
Women2Women is a place where women can share their evolving journeys as women who love women.
It sets out to help people break down each other's barriers and share all of a person's components including "our desires, our tears, our fears and blocks towards more meaningful relationship and alliances." As the site states, "we believe in the power of understanding, collaboration, and love to spread equality."
Brissa Del Mar is the creative mind who founded W2W and a self-described human connector. She is also the owner and CEO of Breeze Art Creatives, a creative director and photographer. She started engaging in the LGBTQ community by connecting with different kind of women in the community in 2016.
"My passion for human connection, learning the gap that exists in the LGBTQ community, where there is not a specific place for women to get together, share their journeys, a space that is safe to have raw conversations, share things that we are passionate about to lead a support system, collaborations, to support one another to be the best we can be as we celebrate each other and grow together," said Del Mar of what inspired her to create W2W. "It is an invitation to connect with one another and support our individual and collective goals."
Del Mar said that W2W will have five to seven videos weekly featuring women who have shared their journey with her.
"There will be different topics as labels, sexuality, relationships [and] career," she said. "The content, it is very intentional, meaning that it will be engaging in the way the viewers will connect with that woman's journey and maybe it will inspire, empower and motivate them in their life by taking action to go create something they are passionate about, or feel that they are not alone, that there is support out there, or inspire them to share their journeys."
"It's different, it's unique and it's going to take time, but give it an opportunity, give it a chance, give yourself a chance to tell your story and to know that your story matter and you matter," said W2W's Tamara Allen.
W2W will officially launch online on April 19 with an additional social-media presence. Del Mar said W2W will also be hosting more events in the future.
The event was held at the creative workspace EvolveHer, which launched in January. EvolveHer Founder Alicia Driskill said she felt like there were so many great women's groups, but no place for women to come together. Looking to cover everything across the board, closing the gap between business and wellness, Driskill elaborated, saying she wants to support women and the next generation of leaders. The space welcomes a wide-range of members, businesses, groups, and events.
"I'm very excited about it," said Driskill of hosting the W2W launch party at EvolveHer. "I'm an ally and want to support Brissa and Women2Women. I think it's really important for us to come together and to give women a place to be able to talk and make connections and build future relationships, so I hope this night allows people to connect and just feel comfortable and really having great and building relationships that'll stick around for a long time."
The April 14 event kicked off with an opportunity for women to have conversations and network. Then Chicago singer/songwriter Elisa Latrice performed, which led into an introduction of W2W, including a video teaser. Rena McDaniel, Angela Wang and Teresa Sandoval, who will be featured on W2W and were seen in the video teaser, spoke to the group in attendance. The event also held an engaging speed conversations activity.
"I don't think there's a lot of spaces where queer folks, specifically women, can share vulnerable stories like this," said McDaniel, a gender and sex therapist and owner of Practical Audacity. "I think most of the time and socializing in queer circles, it's very bar-focused, it's very alcohol-focused, which great, fun and good, but there's not often an opportunity to really get down and dirty with where people are coming from and what their journeys have been."
When sharing her own journey on W2W, McDaniel said Del Mar has an ability to get in and ask the hard stuff.
"It was a unique experience and really vulnerable and I'm glad I had the opportunity to do it," McDaniel added.
Sandoval added that it is important to share personal stories. Women and women who love women are a minority, she explained, and being heard is the only way to make progress as well as provide support along the way.
"I think the more women who share their stories and the more views of different journeys that people have, it just only helps our community because it shows that there's no one correct journey," said Sandoval, an event producer at General Assembly. "We all have our different stories and there's so many women who are out there, who maybe have gone through something similar and they can help you and support you. It's just about building those connections."
To learn more about W2W, visit Women2Women.space and Facebook.com/WEwomen2women/.