HER Collective’s Next Evolution

I remember sitting in Trinity-Bellwoods park, (a place where any self-respecting Millennial hangs out in the summer) on a weekend afternoon, just over 2 years ago. Hanging with Talya eating what I can only imagine was some roasted marshmallow ice cream from the White Squirrel coffee shop.  There she asked me about my creative interests and told me about her vision for a cross-country and international network of creative women to contribute their talents and help each other. With very little regard to what this project would look like, my gut instinctively said yes. Even though I had a couple of projects on the go, as well as a demanding career in the advertising and marketing world. I remember her telling me to take some time to think or sleep on the idea. I told her I would even though my mind was made up; it was an obvious yes.

 

Two years later, I’ve helped with some creative projects, written blog posts and attended or helped organize some great events. HCM became a platform to help showcase some thoughts and aforementioned projects. We all knew it could be more than that, with 6 members working full time in demanding fields across Canada and the US, HCM sometimes fell on the back burner, creative projects stuttered to get off the ground and some of us struggled to find inspiration.

 

For Mitzi, the relationships built and support network between the group has been so important, despite the speed bumps. On the HER members she’s met, “people who want to see you succeed is rare, just to know that there are some girls who are interested in what you’re doing and what to support you has been the best thing I’ve walked away with.” Mitzi hopes the new members can get the same relationships and support network out of it.

 

When Talya saw everyone come together she was moved because she was taught that women couldn’t get along and work together. “Even with all the bumps I felt like being comfortable with growth and change was something we needed to learn – to go through change – it built trust and loyalty,” she says.

 

All that to say that we are injecting some new blood into the group. Members who felt they couldn’t commit have left. Armed with a robust content calendar, 3 new members and a redesigned site, I feel invigorated and excited about what lies ahead. Talya says about the shift, “we’ve all had times to grow and learn – changes in our personal lives have affected how we manage ourselves in social spaces, so much is in seeing changes in the digital atmosphere and seeing what are brands can be and support women who are where we are.”

 

“We always strived to be a platform for and by womxn to express their ideas, thoughts, creative vision and more,” says founding member Lydia. “This is what we always strived to be. But we lost our step along the way trying to be an agency or trying to get our members to create new things on a too frequent and demanding basis.” By opening HCM to external contributors, Lydia expresses that “we’re breathing new life into this idea.”

 

As for those new members, I know you’ll want to hear what they have to say. Janu has a deadpan sense of humour and shares real and practical magical words in a way that makes you laugh hysterically or pause to ponder. Shemeena has a thoughtful way of expressing ideas in a way that’s backed up by an academic lens, a sense of what’s right, and hours upon hours of reading. Vanessa’s high vibration will uplift you and her social media savvy and presence will want to make you watch her ascent into what is surely to be a star-studded career.
We’re excited to bring you along with us on this journey.

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@KatAndrikop

Kat Andrikopoulos is a Toronto-based digital performance media star and the driving force behind our awesome Twitter feed. She's also the founder of @memoryball, an annual event that raises awareness for Alzheimer's Disease. In the last five years alone, Kat and her team have raised $310,000 for the Alzheimer's Society in Toronto and there's no slowing her down. On top of that, she runs "Filling the Gap," an annual women's empowerment event meant to give women tangible skills. Oh, she also teaches Digital Marketing at @red.academy, NBD. #HERcollective

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