I was that girl who learned to throw a football before I could paint my own nails, got in trouble for picking a fight on the playground, and played kickball during recess instead of braiding hair with the teachers. My brother and his friends taught me to “never be dramatic”, and I learned to pull myself up by my bootstraps, without a tear in sight. Frankly, girls and their winey, dramatic attitudes annoyed me, and boys were just direct and carefree.
But, as the years went on, I started to depreciate the scraps on my knees and appreciate my all-too-natural, "girlie girl" tendencies. Girls understood me, myself and I's dramatic emotions, while my boy friends just gave me confused looks when I had tears in my eyes.
So before I knew it, the drama came flooding in from all angles and I transformed into another bubbly girl sneaking in my Mom’s bathroom for a spritz of perfume, laying out my matching dresses and bows the night before school, and crushing hard on my best "guy friends". Boy friends became "boyfriends", and soon enough, I joined all the girls blushing and giggling playing M.A.S.H and Z.A.P on the bus rides home.
Twenty-something years down the road, I have learned a deep sense of gratitude for these friendships, and what it means to truly encourage and help others become the best versions of themselves. My best friends are the ones who listen when I vent about my ridiculous dating life, always have a bottle of red wine in hand, and take me to get my nails done when I've had a crummy day. I've realized how no one, not one, is meant to be alone...and we need each other on the good days, and bad.
"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone, when he falls and has not another to life." Ecc. 4:9-10
Recently, on one of those good days, I met one of my favorite, new girl friends, Kayla, for coffee. We bonded over telling stories of our lives, empathizing with one another, and sharing a common desire to encourage women all over the world. I learned she started a movement, "The Her Initiative", in order to inspire and connect women around the world with affluent women in America. While I shared about starting my own business, Jennie Lou Art, with a similar motive – "an art service giving permission to women to pursue their own gifts and talents."
Motivated by our shared passions, we set out to plan a small "fall party" in Denver connecting incredible women in the area...
"In great company dreams come to life, and things happen! We want to encourage the women around us to see in brighter colors than ordinary, and give permission for you to dream big so we are throwing a shindig." -Mix and Mingle Invite
Within a few hours of creating a Facebook Event, and a throwing together a quick Photoshop poster, we were looking at throwing a legit event, rather than just a small backyard party. The venue was Kayla's house, and then another amazing dreamer, Jessie Matteson, opened up a beautiful co-working space in downtown Denver, The Hive on 16th. A list of 25 invites turned into 80 invites, and BYOB turned into a two page shopping list. Needless to say, the event turned out perfect and sparked some creative conversation to dream up making this a reoccurring event!
Women gather around women with a common purpose. Our so-called "Mix and Mingle" was just a few amazing girls coming together around a table of cheese boards and bottles of wine, to have "girl talk", encouraging each other to believe in our abilities to change the world. But, most importantly, to share and listen to stories of women already changing the world around them despite all the drama, all the laughter and all the tears...
P.S. Creative talk and planning is underway...be on the look-out for the next event in Denver, we want to hear from you if you have ideas to contribute!