Eileen Fisher Inspiring Women event 2012As a recent recipient of the Eileen Fisher women entrepreneurs grant for the HadleyStilwell breastfeeding clothing line, I had the honor last week of participating in their Inspiring Women event in Seattle.  It turns out the themes we talked about apply directly to motherhood, so I wanted to share the discussion with you.

Reason #1: Community  (aka Raised By A Village)

Don't go it alone! Neither moms nor entrepreneurs (and definitely not mom entrepreneurs!) are meant to go it alone. Not only do we help each other solve common issues, we all thrive in doing so.  

Holli Harris (me!) of HadleyStilwell, Kari Erickson of Play Clay and Christina Pezzner of Ricicli at the Eileen Fisher Inspiring Women event discussing the challenges and joys of being a mom entrepreneurPicture local communities sharing resources and information in person, say a mother’s support group or a small business networking group. Then layer on the virtual communities congregating around common interests and broadcasting each other’s tweets and Facebook posts  Now we have global communities supporting each other. 

It’s a powerful experience. As both a mom and an entrepreneur, I have developed extraordinary friendships and partnerships with other women whom I’ve never met in person. Whether it’s a Twitter chat about breastfeeding issues (http://tweetchat.com/room/bfcafe) or a chat about small business use of social media, (http://tweetchat.com/room/efcsrchat) the participants race to offer advice and new bonds are formed. 

HadleyStilwell believes that business women can work together - no need to go it alone.The Eileen Fisher  (EF) grant program is a catalyst for growing such multi-layered communities and a role model for how everyone benefits from lifting each other up. Be it entrepreneurs, moms or women in general, we are on  the wave of the future, or should I say, back to the future….

I encourage everyone to tap into these communities - guaranteed there's one for whatever subject matter you are seeking out. The HadleyStilwell twitter stream is a great starting point, and see where it takes you...