On a typical frigid day in Indiana, I began to feel the warmth of a dream spread through me. The chill of a wintery day, the frost bitten air, the crunch of snow, it all created the perfect foundation for my mind and heart to begin wondering. How could I bring all of who I was together into one cause? I was very happy in my work at the University.
Actually, February is a very busy season in my job as we are working through the hiring process, yet something underneath the business was stirring. It was a sense of a need for further challenge, further dreams. That is when I pulled out my mustard colored journal, with no lines of course, and started to sketch out thoughts and circle ideas, draw arrows of connection between my words. They were exciting days as I continued to ask the question, “what if?” and thought into the future of possibilities. Then, of course, I talked a lot. Being a verbal processor, I had to run my ideas, my journal scratches, my ramblings, across the ears of many people that support my dreaming and challenge me to think bigger.
It was on the foundation of my dreams and others spurring me on and adding to the vision that Bridging HerStory was born. Just as the whole movement implies, connection makes us stronger. Shannon, my sister, soon became a huge part of the vision, as creating a beautiful landscape of a story through words is her niche. She is the main editor of the blog and one of the sweetest souls you may ever meet. We do this together.
Women inspiring women. That is the hope. The dream behind Bridging HerStory is stated in its name. We seek to Bridge women together from all different parts of the country, all different beliefs systems, and all different ways of seeing the world, using different strengths, expertise, and experience into one movement of unity. One that says, “We are women, learning from and inspiring one another as we work to make this world a more beautiful place!” If we are honest, in this world too often we are pushed towards competition and comparison. Instead, we come asking, “What can I learn?” or “How can I celebrate you?” We make history when we do it together. We create a culture of HerStories from which we can gain even more knowledge and inspiration. This is each women’s story and how it is making its mark on history.
Women who are featured are either entrepreneurs, influencers, or creators in all different niches. Through their experiences, hard work, successes, journeys, and even their failures they offer us something. Whether it be a Nashville interior artist who shares tips and tricks of decorating a space; or a sustainable, fair-trade clothing designer that shows us into the world of fashion and how to buy sustainably, they have something incredible to teach us.
The hope is to pull back the curtain; to know them as a person and not just as their success stories. We want to share their favorite thing do to on a free Saturday, or what tasty beverage they would cup with comfort. Gaining from this personal knowledge, a sense of reliability and familiarity is generated. The stories throughout this blog will be filled with color and imagery. As a wedding photographer, I wanted to tell women’s stories, not just with words, but with personal and powerful photos. Photos and words work together to paint a more complete and raw picture of each woman’s story. Sometimes the back drop for these photos is the living room where they create their art, or a farmhouse where they do their sketches and sewing. The pictures show you the process, the spaces, the details and realness of their lives.
A common language is threaded throughout the blog to help keep continuity. That “thread” is Strengths; specifically the Strengths found in StrengthsFinder. For years I have found StrengthsFinder to be an affective assessment tool. Too often we focus on areas of struggle. Then, we try to shove ourselves in a space that just was not designed for us. This assessment is all about celebrating and knowing who you are, how to live more fully into your natural, raw talent and claim your unique set of Strengths. Each woman featured not only takes the assessment, but also enjoys a coaching session that speaks directly into how their natural gifts play into the work they do impacting world. When we lead life with our Strengths we are most effective as women and people.
You will have the amazing opportunity to meet a variety of women through this blog! They are truly incredible. As you read and experience their stories, I hope wonder and excitement boil up inside of you and cultivate your spirit into dreaming and celebrating the places to which you are called. I hope that as you go on this adventure with us, you are made to feel more beautiful and alive. You are an integral part of this bridge, this community. As you read and follow, you become part of the movement of learning and growing, of celebrating and being inspired. We are stronger, and life is more beautiful, when we do it together.
We believe in Women. We believe we will make an even greater mark on history if we do it together. Bridging HerStory.
Every first feature you get to ask women questions. This week, for our debut, we want to hear what you’re excited about and what kinds of women you want to hear from. Comment below!