the origin of WE
I remember setting foot in the arts district of Downtown Los Angeles in early 2016. I was struck by the energy and the creative environment, and blown away by the incredible women I immediately(!) met in the neighborhood. Each woman was a visionary, ambitious, and generous. I aspired to be like them and I felt inspired by their entrepreneurial mindsets.
I soaked in every moment with these women and saw the benefits of their wisdom and support in my life. It reiterated a personal belief of mine, women need other women to achieve their highest potential. I had personally witnessed the positive impact of women-for-women support groups, so I resolved to act - to connect women across all stages of their personal and professional development. We, individually and collaboratively, are our own best resource that we most often ignore/underutilize.
I understood this lesson/theory/insight firsthand - 10 years prior, I was a fledgling artist saddled with massive debt, battling (debilitating) health issues, and staring down the endless issues that I faced as a young mom of a child with special needs. I had no real tools to move forward and I wanted/needed/required something more than a quick fix. So I decided to act and developed a curriculum for women-for-women support groups based on the 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. What’s more, as a mother I had limited time and energy so I designed a model of effective experiences that resulted in creative and transformative learning techniques. The content 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 about in a podcast. I tested and refined my approaches and facilitated processes with over 2,000 women all over the country, while working as a visual artist showing in galleries and creating commission pieces.
Which brings me back to DTLA in 2016 where I met the thriving, successful female entrepreneurs, and I knew that I had more to achieve/my work was unfinished. I felt called/compelled to create women-for-women support groups that addressed the hectic schedules and the emotional drain experienced on a daily basis by women. 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 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 inspire them to invest more in their relationship with their self and with 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.
Reading and hearing the myriad 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, just 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”.
Brigit Richie, Founder and CEO