It’s women’s month, and what better time to let you in on this empowering movement? Previously the domain of book clubs, the gathering of working women to inspire and empower one another is being formalised, with women across the globe coming together at regular events held to foster development, whether in business or the arts. In order to share in that magic, we’ve rounded up the most enticing women’s groups in the creative sector…

BLOOM

“Like most of my endeavours Bloom was inspired by the resolve to create the things I wish existed,” says Nandi Dlepu a creative entrepreneur of note who, together with Farai Simoyi, co-founded the female conversation platform just over a year ago. In attempting to inspire and empower creative women, Bloom offers workshops, events and a monthly meetup called Women in Bloom, which profiles creative women doing amazing work… women who are in bloom.

“Imagine being in a room with someone who is doing what you would like to be doing next year, or is where you would like to be in three to ten years’ time,” says Nandi. Of the powerful women who have been profiled through Women in Bloom, she cites the Mail & Guardian’s Millisuthando Bongela, Pichulik’s Katherine Pichulick and Helen and Gugu Nkabinde of Gugu Intimates.

Follow them on Instagram and on Nandi’s website for news of upcoming gatherings.


LADIES DRINK & DRAW

This gathering of women is aimed at artists both professional and amateur and hosts monthly drawing events featuring prominent female artists across the spectrum. Through a night of creative expression and connection, founder Larissa Elliott- also the co-founder of Bloom and a creative director for an ad agency by day- hopes to provide “a space or moment where women feel greatly relaxed and confident to be themselves, and indulge in age-old freedom of expression”.

In its infancy, Ladies Drink & Draw has already featured trailblazers Lady Skollie and Karabo “Poppy” Moletsane and there’s a printmaker in the pipeline for August too. “Bloom wants to create occasions and spaces where women feel uninhibited; and I wanted to carry that over into what we do at Ladies Drink & Draw,” Larissa explains.

Follow them on Facebook or Instagram to get in on the next session.


HELLO BOSS CREATIVE

Begun by Ashley Knight, a Durban based online business strategist and coach, as a Facebook community for creative businesswomen two years ago, Hello Boss Creative also hosts quarterly members meetings. “None of that fake ‘I'm perfect’ BS here,” says Ashley, who adds that she has been intentional in making sure she keeps it real and a place where community outweighs competition.

The Ashley Knight Company offers online resources for creative entrepreneurs, bloggers and small business owners, assisting them with the tools needed to grow their businesses. On her learnings as a female creative in the working world, Ashley says: “focus on your own patch, what people are doing in their business is their business! And choose wisely who you surround yourself with.”

Once part of the community you get access to her free and paid online courses on topics like branding and social media, productivity, systems and the how-to’s of online marketing. “I want the community to be a space where women no longer feel like they need to figure out this whole entrepreneur thing alone,” she concludes.

Ashley Knight
Ashley Knight
Image: Rene Jordaan

LADIES WINE DESIGN

Designer Kirsten Townsend is no stranger to the design scene, she’s the creative director of Fabrica and the Joburg partner for global platform Ladies, Wine Design (originally begun in New York by Jessica Walsh. “I started the Johannesburg evening as one of the first cities to join the network which now consists of over 100 cities,” she says. Upon moving to Joburg three and a half years ago Kirsten was looking to connect with other female creatives.

Ladies Wine Design Joburg features informative and inspiring talks with varied speakers from Sisana Nxumalo on social media etiquette to Catherine Bradley on finance and tax. “Not only are we working towards building a community of ladies who support and uplift each other, but a community that challenges male dominated industries, especially the creative industry.” Kirsten’s creative superwoman? Alex Proba from Studio Proba, New York. Don’t fret, there’s a Cape Town chapter too….

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