From Sarah Lacy, Chief Mama Bear: Sometimes you meet people, and you’re like, “Oh, f***, I wish I was starting this company with THEM too!” That’s how I felt when I got to know Catherine Connors at the Chairman Mom Flee last year. We are in such a mind-meld: On everything from the power of women telling their own stories to the overlooked feminism of princesses to the power of subscription-based online communities.
Well, dreams do come true in princess stories and in startups. I’m thrilled to announce that Catherine is going to be working with us, specifically helping us figure out ways to give you more ways to be thought leaders and build your own communities in this space. Catherine is one of the world’s leading experts on this kind of thing, going back to her days at Babble, her time at Disney, and of course her own blog.
This is a huge move for us, and I could go on and on about why I’m so excited about it. But I’d rather let you hear from Catherine in her own words below! She’ll be at our meetup next Monday too!
Just over four months ago I stepped out of a minibus into the tiny mountain town of Pulga, ready and excited for the Chairman Mom Flee. I knew the Chairman Mom community — and Sarah — so I expected that I was in for a few days of smart conversation and connection and probably a not insignificant amount of fun (and rosé). What I wasn’t expecting? To come away feeling like I’d become part of something bigger than me. Not just a community — a movement. As I said on an Instagram post that I shared in the afterglow, it was “connection and inspiration and ambition and pure female power. It was epic sisterhood, the kind that shoots straight past ‘kumbaya’ in a rocket-blast aimed directly at ‘come at us, world.’”
I shouldn’t have been surprised, of course. The Chairman Mom community has been all of those things from the very beginning. It’s what makes it so different from other gathering spaces in the online world, woman-focused or otherwise. It has intelligence and humor. Warmth and honesty. Purpose and heart. It makes you believe that together — with peers, allies, friends, collaborators with open ears and supportive hearts to turn to, whenever and however you need to — all things are possible.
Much of that is because Sarah and the Chairman Mom team have created a warm, well-lighted space in which those things can grow. But so much of it, too, is because that warm, well-lighted space has attracted and engaged the kinds of people who are drawn to those things, to heart, intelligence, humor and purpose-driven connection. Which is to say, the community is what it is because of you.
So when Sarah and I started talking about where this community might go, I got really excited. Because, oh — #sorrynotsorry for quoting Dr. Seuss here — the places it could go! This is a community of passionate, authentic, invested, supportive women (and some men) who have already made this community extraordinary, and with whom it can become extraordinary-plus. I’m thrilled to be helping to figure out what that could look like — and figuring it out with you. In the weeks to come, you’ll be hearing from me quite a bit — in this space, in the Chairman Mom community, and in your inboxes — asking you what you think, what you want, and how you want to be part of the rocket blast taking this community to the next level…and beyond.
In the meantime, feel free to reach out to share your thoughts and ideas on what you might want in making this community your own. (More IRL activity? Ambassador-style opportunities? You name it, we’ll consider it.) You can find me at firstname.lastname@example.org — please don’t hesitate to reach out.
I can’t wait to rocket-blast with you.