We are so pumped for this week's podcast episode and blog post!
Today, we have Amanda Cowan, the founder of A.Faye PR, and GRLPWR Projects.
GRLPWR Projects an inclusive community for gals seeking growth. GRLPWR Projects is meant for you to network, collaborate, get inspired + share your story
One of Voices of Hope's values is community and we understand the importance of community. Not only is Amanda one amazing and inspiring woman but she saw a change she wanted to make and in turn GRL PWR Projects was born.
Amanda is a dear friend of ours and we are honored to feature her.
We hope you enjoy this blog post and check out the corresponding podcast episode here.
Tell us a little about you....
I'm Amanda! Founder of glrpwrprojects, Owner of A.FAYE PR, mama to Willow Mae.
What was the problem or challenge you saw and how did you want to make a change?
When searching for a community of women in Pittsburgh to get involved with after feeling stuck as a work-from-home stay-at-home mama with a new baby + a new biz, I couldn't find anything that wasn't so nichey or snooty. I wasn't looking for a place to slap on nametags, exchange biz cards and shake hands. I was looking for real, genuine connection with women of all walks of life. All ages, all races + ethnicities, all societal backgrounds, all career backgrounds. Couldn't find it, so I made it.
When you were starting out Grlpwrprojects how did you even begin? What steps did you take?
Oh boy! I honestly just went for it and kept my fingers crossed. I have an amazing list of contacts in the food + bev industry here in Pittsburgh, many being past or present clients, and that really helped with kicking off the monthly happy hours, which is how we started. I used social media to get people interested, a Facebook group + word of mouth. I also made sure I had my brand values set, with a strong focus on inclusivity and community.
What were some of challenges starting grlpwrpojects?
Not everyone is going to like you, and not everyone is going to get what you are trying to do. I ran into groups of women who came to events and just expected an Instagrammable backdrop, and wasn't interested in making genuine connections. For some people, it's all about who you're seen with, where you're seen + snapping that photo for the gram. Don't get me wrong, I put on some beautiful events, but it's not always about that. Through the years, I think I've really been able to develop a strong community who VALUE community, connection and being accepting of all.
What are some of your successes with grlpwrprojects?
SO many that I am proud of, but most of all, the connections that these women have been able to make. I have groups of women in our collectives, that met through our collectives, and now formed a best friend circle. Making friends as an adult is hard, let alone real + honest female friends. Seeing these friendships brings me SO much joy. Creating a safe + comfortable space is the most important thing to me.
What impact do you hope to make?
I just hope every woman knows that there is a place for them - no matter where they come from, where they work, how much money they make, what their sexual orientation is, or the color of their skin. grlpwrprojects is a safe space, an open space, an inclusive space.
So we have all been through so much with COVID-19, when this hit, you took it with stride and rethought your community and created GrlPwrBloom. What is GrlPwrBloom and What made you realize you need to create this platform?
grlpwrbloom is a virtual program centered around growth + wellness during uncertain times. To be honest, I was so hesitant on launching a virtual program at the start of Covid. I was so overwhelmed with needing to cancel or postpone over 30+ events across our collectives, new city launches, our yearly conference, three Self-Love Sunday festivals. It was heartwrenching, and I cried for days (all while on vacation in Mexico, wondering if I would make it back to the States LOL). But, I figured if not this, how would I continue to keep my community engaged and connected through this time, which we had no idea how long it would last (and here we are, it's still going). I am so thankful I just put it out there, and it stuck. Women have been loving the online community, and the ability to engage + learn from their own home.
You have had many events in the 2 and a half years the Grlpwrprojects has been running, what are some of your favorite events and why?
Self-Love Sundays are some of my favorite events. In Pittsburgh, we host them alongside Ta'lor Pinkston of The Heart Advocate, and she truly is just a light. She has the ability to make any woman feel like they are worthy, beautiful, strong and fierce. Hearing women talk about their experiences after these events is so incredible. I also am obviously a huge fan of our yearly conference, Conquer Your Queendom Conference. It's not a conference where you go to learn ins and outs of biz, but where you go to dig deep + honor your truest and most authentic self. That, is what we consider #queendom.
Tell us about the ambassador program and how can one get involved.
We love our ambassadors, they are such a huge part of the team! We have ambassadors for each city collective, and these women help us spread the word about what's going on with grlpwrprojects - both as a whole and in their city. These women value community, connection + kindness, and have an honest voice through social media. You can apply for our ambassador program here!
What can one do to establish a collective in their city?
Apply to bring us to your city! We are launching in SO many new cities this July, but we are always accepting applications for new city collectives. You can apply here!
One thing that I truly love about Grlpwrprojects is you and also the ability to share pieces of life with the community. Why do you feel it’s important to at times be vulnerable and open to a community/your community?
I have to be real. I'm a real person, and it might look like I have my shit together on social media, but grl - my ideas are an organized mess. I often struggle with my mental health, being diagnosed with OCD, Generalized Anxiety and Depression. When things are good, I am on top of it, but when I am in my dark seasons, sometimes I go MIA on social media, or have another team members host events for me. I am also really just one person running this business as a whole, so when I am not at my best, I feel the need to share. Because everyone goes through it. We are all human. And I want to be relatable to my followers and members of the community.
What are your social media handles?
Instagram: @grlpwr_projects // @grlpwrsupper club
Facebook group: facebook.com/groups/grlpwrprojects
How can one get in touch with GRLPWR Projects?
Drop me an email -firstname.lastname@example.org follow us on Instagram! @grlpwr_projects