Gender equality is an issue that has been intertwined in all aspects of our lives. Just remember how many times you’ve heard about the situation where your female friend or member of your family spoke about the unjust work conditions. That injustice comes in all shapes and sizes like proving professional competence, or different salary for the same work, to name a few. This is why many of the ladies seek out help and support from one another. Famous American actress Phylicia Rashad once said:
“Any time women come together with a collective intention, it’s a powerful thing. Whether it’s sitting down making a quilt, in a kitchen preparing a meal, in a club reading the same book, or around the table playing cards, or planning a birthday party, when women come together with a collective intention, magic happens.”
The quote illustrates what can happen when women unite and it makes a great intro to what the incredible (in)courage team from the incourage.ME are doing. The platform helps women share lessons and experiences with each other on overcoming adversity and perseverance, and share stories about their everyday lives.
How (in)Couragement was Ignited
The idea of encouraging women was created in the minds and hearts of Holley Gerth and Stephanie Bryant while they were working at DaySpring, a subsidiary of Hallmark Cards. The two decided to create an empowering online home for women to gather and share their stories and life experiences.
This led to the foundation of (in)courage in 2009 followed by the introduction of the online community for the first time at the She Speaks conference the same year.
First contributors were invited to write about their experiences, and over the years the number of posts grew, conversations were started and a magnificent community was born, which stands as a source of inspiration and motivation to all the women regardless of where they are.
The Strength of the Wolf is the Pack – Community Growing Strong
Maybe it is due to the genuineity and the safe space which was created, maybe it was not, but the online community continued its growth ever since. Everyone is welcome – just the way they are.
The (in)couraging community invites and celebrates the voices of “women in all ages and stages of life, living in different areas of the world” and “married, single, working full-time in or out of the home, stay-at-home moms, empty nesters, young adults, city dwellers, rural farm gals, and everyone in between.”
(In)courage has also recognized the importance of giving women a voice. Whether it is through social media channels, which thrive with powerful stories and advice, the team behind (in)courage.me are also dialogue starters with an aim to uplift the community and give them space to do marvelous things on their own.
In numbers that would be 423k followers across the platforms and around 856k of total views of their content on Pinterest and YouTube who are inspired daily by what (in)courage does.
Of course, none of this would be possible without the hard-working behind-the-scenes team who are doing the best they can to lead the community, by working on creating and curating digital content, engaging on social media, developing strategic relationships, and managing their community of 27 contributing writers on the platform. These inspiring women who come from different continents, cultures and walks of life dedicate their time and give support, great resources and share their me-too stories – all to encourage women across the globe.
How They Connect
As a community, that values connection and relationships, the (in)courage team prompts different ways of creating meaningful connections with the world other than their online hub and social media.
They host many live events such as conferences and meetups, both online and local, and Book Clubs where members get together and discuss their recommended reads. The team had gone a step further and created the (in)courage selection of inspirational and encouraging gifts – including calendars, note cards, coffee mugs, cosmetic cases, jewelry, and many more. Thanks to their partnership with LifeWay/B&H Publishing, they have been able to create these gifts, write and publish inspirational books. Truly inspiring!
(in)courage.me is all about creating the empowering atmosphere for all the women out there so they are eager to collaborate with various companies, organizations, handmade product creators that encourage women locally and globally and speak to their community. Also, they love expanding their network of writers and content creators so everybody interested can contribute a post to their blog and partnering websites. Besides, bloggers can join the DaySpring affiliate program – an incredible opportunity!
The (in)Courage Library
A very special part of the (in)courage mission are the published works by their members. Their Library consists of books most of which focus on the topics of encouragement, faith, and friendship. Women write about their experiences, about kindness, generosity, and hospitality.
Beautifully designed and printed, their books make a great gift for both the gift-givers and gift-receivers. This is yet another thoughtful idea of how the (in)courage brand finds a way into the lives of the members of their community and beyond.
The Strength of the Pack is the Wolf – Make it Personal
The (in)courage team is working hard on delivering a message that every member of their online sisterhood is important and that it’s all about THEIR stories and experiences. Each blog post and piece of content speaks directly to the person reading it and it’s written by ME – a real person who is either going through or has gone through the same rough patch as YOU.
This way users can easily connect with the brand and are also able to memorize the online address of this powerhouse of support and encouragement with ease.
And since .ME carries a personal meaning in many languages, women from all corners of the world can recognize the unique message behind (in)courage me.
Let’s Sum It Up
The (in)courage brand and community are great examples of how the collective power of women can create a positive lasting change starting from small steps in everyday lives to changing the world for the better. Also, they set a great example of how technology is used to make a supportive online community of women from across the world. Together, they strive to become women of courage and encourage everyone to invest their time, love, and kindness to create meaningful existences and relationships.