The SheHive is an intentional community where women who want to live to the fullest expression of their authentic selves can gather to connect and grow.
So, the SheHive.
I’ve mentioned this SheHive "idea" a few times in the past two months but have been purposefully elusive. I didn’t want to say too much until I knew it was going to be an actual thing.
It’s a thing now.
The SheHive was an idea that started formulating in grad school when one of my classmates, Barbara, shared a plan she had to create a women-only leadership development program on the east coast. I couldn’t get the idea out of my head - particularly because so much of my ah-mazing grad school experience has been centered around learning within a group of spectacularly smart, witty and brave women. I didn’t want to lose that after grad school ended. I wanted what Barbara was going to create out on the east coast.
So I decided to create it here too. Or, rather, I decided to start thinking about creating it here too.
Since leaving United Way that “thinking” has swung into high gear and I started talking about the idea with a few trusted friends. Eventually, Adam and Mike from Civilla offered to meet with me to help solidify my thinking - but only if I created a physical prototype first. So one night I ran to the drugstore, bought a $1.69 sketch book and started drawing a 2-D SheHive prototype - an old Victorian house where women could gather to have brave and important conversations with each other, with coaches, with counselors and with themselves. I finished at 2 a.m. - my last sketch a group of women drinking wine and dancing on the railing of what will eventually be the back deck of the SheHive. (Dancing will be a must in the SheHive.)
I then met with Adam and Mike and armed with their feedback - and most importantly, their encouragement - I went out and started talking about the SheHive to anyone else who would listen. And now my spiel came with pictures!
The first person, besides Adam and Mike, to see the sketchbook was Cindy. Cindy offered me a free space to try out the SheHive. So I pulled a group of some of my favorite women together in Cindy’s space and took them through the sketchbook. The SheHive had legs!
Soon after that I met Andrea. She’s been running women’s learning circles for years and a mutual friend introduced us because she thought Andrea might be a good fit to teach in the SheHive. Andrea quickly became one of my biggest cheerleaders. One Sunday afternoon, after I had cried myself to sleep - convinced that the SheHive concept had stalled, I woke up to find an email from Andrea that read, “I know SheHive is your baby, but would you possibly want a partner?”
It was exactly the message I needed to hear to keep going. Someone else believed in the idea as much as I did. That’s exactly what the SheHive is all about - women speaking their true desires out loud without shame and other women helping to make them a reality.
Fast forward less than a month later and Andrea and I have a business plan, a mission statement, the start of our core values, a lawyer working on the legal entity, branding and a website in development, a lease for our office/meeting space and an advisory board. I’m still out nearly every day talking to people about the SheHive while Andrea works on programming.
We’re not exactly in the grand old Victorian home I had originally envisioned. We’re in a three room office at 9 Mile and Hilton in Ferndale with industrial carpet, a drop ceiling and a vine growing out of a wall socket that, obviously, shouldn’t be there but neither of us has had the heart to pull yet. It’s a good start - that vine is going to have it’s own chapter in the book I write one day about the SheHive phenomena.
Sometime in October, after the walls are painted and the carpet is replaced and maybe the vine in the wall socket is no more, we’ll open our doors to women who are craving individual growth and a tribe to support them. We’ll be offering a series of personal and professional development workshops, coaching, weekly facilitated conversations on topics chosen by the SheHive membership and a monthly potluck called the Badass Ladies Supper Club where women share their bucket lists over dinner. Though we’re going in with a full three months of programming built out our plan is to let the SheHive members decide what future programming looks like.
So that, my gentle snowflakes, is the SheHive. In a nutshell, a place for women to grow and to connect. And I SO can’t wait to share it with you!