The origin of WE
TOLD BY BRIGIT RITCHIE
I started facilitating groups to support women over ten years ago when I found myself depressed, broke, and desperately needing support. I was a fledgling artist with massive debt, health issues, and a young mom of a child with special needs. These were very real hurdles and I had no real tools to move forward - I wanted something more than a quick fix.
The women in my life - friends, peers, or mentors - were all pursuing growth and advancement but didn’t intentionally lean on each other for support or help. I noticed this pattern and felt it was a major resource going untapped. I developed a curriculum based on this simple concept of practical support because I was tired of stale ideas. Instead, I wanted an inclusive “primal” type of camaraderie that takes place when women partner with other women to see each other more richly enjoy their lives.
Being a mother and entrepreneur I had limited time and energy, so I started to explore a model of affective experiences that could be transformative for myself and other women. As a creative facilitator, I had learned that when women create it results in growth beyond outdated models of “passive” learning. All the content I tested with women was founded on active participation in order to truly embody important concepts rather than just resonate with an idea they could read about or learn in a podcast.
Over the course of the next 10 years I tested approaches and facilitated processes with over 2,000 women all over the country, while working as a visual artist showing in galleries and doing commissions.
I remember when I set foot in the arts district of Downtown Los Angeles in early 2016, I was struck by the energy and the creative environment. I immediately started meeting women who were visionary, ambitious and generous. These were women who I hoped to be like and I felt inspired by their entrepreneurial mindsets.
I wanted to contribute my experiences of working with women to create support in a way that could fit their hectic schedules. I partnered with a close friend (Kara Dykert) who had a professional history of event planning, hosting, and private chef'ing to combine my vision for curriculum with curated hosting.
We launched a twelve week WE program for a select group of twelve women leaders in Downtown Los Angeles as a focus group to find out what women were looking for and to test if the curriculum could actually integrate into their lives. These women were founders, executive leaders and creatives, and the intention was to invest more in your relationship with yourself and other women in the context of this city that we loved.
We weren’t interested in just warm and fuzzy feelings - the result had to be a ripple effect in their lives and communities as a result of dedicating their time to WE for 12 weeks. WE has been continued since that time and grown into a resource for women throughout LA and now in companies across the nation.
The wide range of testimonials has been one of the most fun and interesting outcomes of WE. We’ve had women give us a wide range of stories of WE impacting their salaries, sex life, promotions, health, and public speaking abilities to name a few. It has been proven over and over that when women commit to the process they receive the type of support that is: “We Are All We Need”. It is our mission to create a process and space for every women to embody lasting well-being through investing in themselves, other women, and their community with WE.