So here's the thing - I was a complete social media naysayer back in the day. I deliberately ignored Facebook when it first came to the UK (jeeeeeze, that makes me feel OLD), castigating friends and acquaintances for being on what I may or may not have referred to as a weird stalking platform that invited people you'd presumably lost touch with for a reason back into your life. Not completely inaccurate, but perhaps a little one-sided.
Then I started working in digital communications, argued the case for and set up my then employers' first corporate social media profiles, and turned into a complete addict. So far, so predictable. And while I still have my reservations about how much personal information and data it has become eerily commonplace to share online, I'll say this in firm support of using social media for work - the camaraderie amongst small businesses like mine is second to none.
And the women! Inspirational, fiercely loyal, hard-grafting, no-nonsense women, many of whom I have never met, but so many of whom I have come to rely on for pep, solidarity and hard truths.
Women who hold down full time jobs and pursue their business passions at night - like my fellow Londoner and incredible baker CakeFace. Women who have created their own products from scratch after never finding what they wanted for their kids - like champion foodie and condiment queen Milly's Kidchup, and my dear friend since our school days, Scrummy U. Women whose friendship, opinions and critiques I prize like the finest Jamaican black cake in the land, like Ruth Grearson and Linzi Fidelin. Women campaigning for all the stuff we still desperately need to make more progress on, like Candice Braithwaite for diverse representations of motherhood, the Vitamin D Project for open conversations about post-natal depression, Mother Pukka for flexible working, and many, many more.
Women who are makers, designers, writers and CEOs: the women behind incredible small businesses like:
- Dusty Rose Vintage,
- The Discoveries Of,
- Orwell + Austen,
- Kensal Studio,
- The Nutritional Bean,
- Caked by Catherine,
- Mère Soeur,
- Crumbs & Doilies,
- Ermioni's Bakeshop,
- Don't Tell Charles
and so, so many others, not to mention the umpteen different women-led networks that support mothers who also happen to be entrepreneurs.
Women! I see you. I thank you. Please keep doing you. You help me keep doing me.
UPDATED: Because I managed to forget to include the two women I was thinking of whose general fabulosity compelled me to write this thing in the first place.