About a week ago, Wife HER Ministry held their first Galentine’s Day Self-Care and Networking Event, and I’m still swooning.
To be honest, I knew from the moment the social media marketing started rolling out that this event was going to be engaging and helpful, but also an example of excellence and thoughtful execution.
Wife HER: Healed, Empowered, Restored, is a ministry and community of singles, wives, and wives-to-be committed to self-work and personal development. It’s founder Zemi Stewart, is the epitome of passion and grace. She’s a corporate babe by day, and a ministry leader, entrepreneur, life and business coach every other time. She embodies and exemplifies the truth that we do not have to choose between the analytical and the ‘traditionally’ creative parts of ourselves – they can work together. Human beings are complex, with varied interests and abilities. It is important to know while you’re determining which passions and skills to invest in, that you can be ‘Both/And’. There is a way to thrive within the intersection of logic and art, and it is all creative. Zemi is a beautiful example of this. And she slays.
Let me first state that I love a theme. Event planning is both a skill and an art form, and it was clear from the very beginning that a great deal of organization and planning went into this event. On the social media side, the attention to detail was impressive to say the least. Each graphic was color-coordinated and completely on-brand. New information was consistently posted across all social media platforms, and the registration link was always easily accessible.
Leading up the event, we were told that the dress code was “cute and comfortable” and the color scheme was shades of pink and white.
As a girly-girl who loves cute things, I was here for this.
By the time February 13th arrived, I was beside myself with excitement, but also a bit nervous. No matter how many times I’ve attended networking events, conferences, happy hours, or even approached a presenter at a talk after their closing remarks to ask a question, I get pretty nervous. I think about how I will be perceived or received, and while I know that authenticity is always the way to go, I’m still a bit nervous. The apprehension was present, but short-lived in this case. The moment I walked through the doors I knew I had nothing to worry about.
The purpose of this event was to create a space where women could gather to celebrate Galentine’s Day, but also network with like-minded business owners, professionals, and potential friends – all while wearing very cute outfits (which we’re always here for).
At the event, immediately following registration was a vendor space for Bahamian businesses to showcase their goods and services.
I am a huge supporter of Bahamian business ownership, and I’m excited every time I am in rooms where the message is clear: buy Bahamian, support Bahamian businesses, and build Bahamian wealth. I was so inspired as I interacted with vendors who specialize in custom cupcakes, Bahamian- themed jewelry and accessories, and hand-made candles and scents. I applaud Zemi for creating a space where local businesses can gain exposure and further promote the beauty of Bahamian culture.
As I shouldered my WifeHER Galentine’s Day tote and climbed the stairs to the main event space, the sounds of laughter and music began to greet me. I walked through the doors and literally gasped.
Everything was so pretty.
You may not think this matters, but again, I love a theme, and EVERYTHING fit the theme perfectly. The floral arrangements and table cloths, the pastries and desserts, flatware and cutlery, the drink station and all the lighting were vibrant and varied shades of pink. I died.
The atmosphere was social and inviting. Women were standing, casually chatting and getting to know one another. We were encouraged to mix, and mingle, but also speak boldly about who we are and what our aspirations are. There was no pressure to pretend, and no reason to compare. I found all of the women were open and real – conversations about motherhood, work/life balance, pursuit of purpose, romantic relationships and authentic friendship framed my night. I loved getting to know a bit about each of these women.
Subject matter experts for Small Business Development, Law, Financial Planning, and Mental Health were on-site offering professional feedback in pre-scheduled sessions. These ladies knew their stuff, and were so willing to share their knowledge and experiences with us as we sat at their tables to talk through our various goals and plans.
The event also included on-site health screenings by registered nurses. I was happy to see how many women took advantage of this feature as health and wellness are often considered overlooked in our culture.
Beyond the stunning décor and obvious appeal of the event’s appearance, the thing that has struck me most is the level of collaboration and sense of community that has stuck with me in the days after its conclusion.
We live in a self-centered world, and trust can be difficult for some of us. The idea of working together with someone else on something as precious as your business can be daunting, or even downright ridiculous. But I personally believe that collaboration is the way forward. We all have inherent strengths and weaknesses, and while we can expose ourselves and work to fill our own gaps, I believe the reason why we were created with these deficiencies is so that we can learn to serve and be served in the context of community.
We will never know it all, or be able to do it all, but in community we learn to collaborate and model holistic excellence. We learn to celebrate and cultivate the gifts we have while respecting and honoring the gifts in others. There is so much beauty in identifying your lane and running in it, but not being limited by your own ignorance or fear. We were never meant to build alone, we need one another. And this event was such a timely and beautiful reminder of what we can do and become collectively if we work together.
The conversations about branding and business models, financial planning, healthy spending and saving, maintaining mental health in the workplace and at home reminded me that our lives are staffed. I may not know the answer, but the answer is probably only a few personal connections away. Either way, we have everything we need to succeed, one way or another. It may require leaving your comfort zone (like attending a networking event even though they make you nervous), but the wisdom and relationships you need to prosper are near.
This collaborative take on networking was a breath of fresh air for me, and a wonderful reminder that I have nothing to be afraid of and authentic community is a beautiful thing.
Congratulations to the WifeHER Ministry team on a beautiful and excellent event. I’ll be there next year!