Updated: Apr 3, 2019
As we approach our two year birthday, founder Emma Tattersall looks back on the two year journey this platform has taken and the exciting road ahead.
Whoever came up with this phrase definitely wasn’t referring to two years of running a platform like this. These last 24 months have been anything but terrible.
When I started a blog back in April 2017, I thought that I would be able to shed some light on the achievements of the women I was meeting through work and friends. The goal was really to celebrate the people I felt were under-celebrated and to start championing and spotlighting more tangible and accessible versions of success. I wanted to encourage the women around me to start talking more about what motivates them, what drives them and most importantly what they do every day.
When I look at where we are now, I am so happy that we have managed to feature such a huge range of stories and discovered so many new people that we have been able to champion. What started off as a simple online space has grown far beyond that into a networking platform, an event series, a media shelf and an editorial.
It is a place for making empowered connections in all areas of our lives – be that growing your professional network, seeking out people who share a passion or interest or simply making new friends. It is a space to feel supported.
As we approach our second birthday (14.04.2019 to be exact), I’ve taken some time to reflect on the journey thus far and the exciting new chapters ahead (almost wish I was scribbling this into my Bridget Jones diary rather than tapping away on my Dell.)
These twos certainly haven’t been terrible, but they also haven’t been easy. For any of you out there thinking that this is what having it “together” looks like then spoiler alert – I really don’t. This platform is my passion, but it is not what pays my bills. Sunday evenings are spent curled up in an armchair writing, ignoring the ever growing pile of ironing in the corner, focusing my energy on responding to emails and trying to source and tailor content. I need this time to process the requests we get each week and keep up pace with the conversation that is constantly buzzing around all that we do - and if ever that is missed, the whole week gets a new slightly frantic edge to it. Most morning and evening commutes then involve some crazy caption creation or awkward conference calls as I stand uncomfortably close to the suit next to me chatting about #freeingthefeed or clitoris campaigns. Then there are the semi sleepless nights in the dark, staring into the glow of this screen trying to fix whatever bug or glitch has decided to take down the site that given day, while my partner snores away next to me.
And on top of that I’m holding down a “day job”, planning a wedding, renovating our flat and maintaining some kind of social life. It is not easy, it is not as ordered as I would like it to be, it is not hurdle free and it involves a lot of Excels – but it’s so bloody worth it.
As we open this new chapter I am learning more and more to rely on the incredible people around me offering to help ease the load. I am hugely grateful for that all that Phoebe Muchmore has done to support me personally, on top of growing and curating the LWLshelf - all why juggling a house a move and an exciting new personal chapter. And more recently we have welcomed Arti Kashyap-Aynsley into HQ, our new resident Sunday columnist and coach. Arti will be looking at Transformation, answering your questions and helping to shed light on our anxieties, bringing an infectious enthusiasm and energy to the team.
As I look forward into the next few months of 2019 we have an exciting line up of events taking shape, where the likes of Syreeta Challinger from Moments of Sense & Style will take to the stage to bring her story directly to you in her own words. We have a new LWLEdit in gestation with our wonderful friend and talented supporter Eleanor O’Leary – aka The Better Brand Consultant. Eleanor will be helping us all to make better choices with the brands we support, and helping us combine all things stylish with all things sustainable economy. We are also investing in a free members space for the site and looking at how we can help you all connect more directly.
And last but not least, there is the P word, we’re thinking of christening the LWLPod (name in progress, suggestions welcome). As avid podcast listeners we have decided to venture into the iTunes library ourselves with our first series launching in the next few months. This is scary territory and is all hugely dependent on me being able to order an appropriate sized mic on Amazon -the full-scale boom that arrived yesterday isn’t really a great handbag fit.
As we head into the next chapters of LWL we have taken some time to reflect, to enhance, to improve and to dare ourselves to be better. We would love to know what you love about what we are doing, but it also so valuable when you let us know when we get something wrong. We are a small team, albeit punching above our weight with enthusiasm, but we rely on the feedback and input from the community to help keep us on course. And we are so grateful for the many hands on deck (too far with my pirate motif?).
If the last two years have taught me anything, it’s that we can all have an impact and make a difference. We can all speak up and speak out, and those small ripples come together to build a powerful wave.
Here is to our thunderous threes.