Asia’s First Women-Led Festival
Empowering women is my “why” in life. It’s why I wake up in the morning and it’s the last thing I think about when I’m falling asleep at night. This is because I know what it feels like to lack the tools and support to go after the things I wanted in life.
I started my career working at a law firm in New York City for six years. But I knew I always wanted to start my own company and travel the world with it. Through the support of mentors and accelerator programs, I’ve started 3 companies, 2 of which are still operating.
As I’ve travelled through over 30 countries, my main question was: how best can I empower the women around me?
Why am I organizing the Bond Women’s Festival?
I’ve launched and hosted women entrepreneurship meetups, workshops accelerator programs all over the world to give women the tools and environment they need to thrive.
I wasn’t born a bold, fearless and outspoken woman. I’ve had lots of help and support.
I’ve had support groups, mentors and programs that have provided the safe space for me to clarify what I want and who I want to be. These spaces empowered me to figure out what I wanted in life and emboldened me to go after it. I shifted from surviving to thriving in my life.
This process wasn’t simple. It took a lot of pain, reflection, growing. But it’s so worth it.
I want to share this with other women.
I want to create a space where men can come and support women and learn how they can be allies for empowering women.
What are “Safe Spaces”?
Safe spaces for women give us an opportunity to discuss the reality we face: our experience in life is different than men’s and it’s helpful to have open and emotionally supportive spaces to discuss, explore and celebrate this.
Safe spaces are environments where women feel they can learn new skills without judgement, where they have a platform to speak their opinions openly, and teach their skill sets to others. Where women are heard and respected, and where they can connect with people who are supportive.
Safe spaces for women do not have to be women-only spaces: I believe men can be great allies in helping create these safe spaces for women, and we have more to gain by sharing, listening and collaborating than we do by excluding each other.
The Bond Women’s Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand on January 19th, 2019 will be this space.
An entirely women-led festival is a huge statement and step forward for women’s empowerment. This will be Asia’s first women-led festival to celebrate women’s empowerment, entrepreneurship and expression.
Imagine the broader impact of an entire day where women were celebrated: imagine spreading the message across the world that women are important, that we matter, and that we are worth supporting.
This will have a huge impact not only on the women who attend, but for the ones who hear about it. What if it became the new normal to celebrate women — we can move from one day a year of celebrating women to celebrating us on a daily basis.
I’ve been launching and running events all over the world for the past seven years. In 2017, I launched and spoke at women’s entrepreneurship and empowerment events in Portugal, Italy, Croatia, London, Bulgaria, Copenhagen, Thailand, and Bali.
Earlier this year, I organized and launched a startup bootcamp for women and it was a huge success. The fifteen women who attended left with not just business plans and a clear path for moving forward, but greater confidence and a network of support.
My events aren’t just limited to entrepreneurship, I also like to bring people together to dance and have a good time. My New Year’s party last year was a sold out event, and I suspect some gatecrashers pushed us over our 350 person capacity. Most of the events I organize and help promote hit max capacity, and I’m lucky to have a great network of people who help me pull off these events.
The next step is to spin these successes into something even bigger and better. The next step is to channel this energy for women’s empowerment.
Obstacles I’m facing
- I’m funding this whole project by myself. I want it to be the best experience possible and all of the little things that will make it an enjoyable experience (permits, cleaning crews, signage…) adds up faster than I can keep up with.
- I’m doing all of this while also holding down a full time job and keeping up with the other events and workshops I’m committed to.
- I’m putting on a large scale event in Thailand as a foreigner. The reality is that I am often asked to pay a higher rate for most things, jump through extra hoops, and pay more “fees” in order to organize this event legally.
Whatever the obstacles though, I’m stubborn, bold and driven to make this a success, no matter how much work it is or what the financial cost ensued.
I also have the most incredible team of volunteers who are also pouring their souls into this.
We have over 30 qualified power women who are volunteering to make this event a success. We have women who have led festivals, women who are graphic designers, facilitators, organizers, business leaders, DJs and dance teachers.
Everyone is pulling together their unique talents and pouring their hearts into this event.
We’ve got the passion, the know-how and the tenacity, but we need your help clearing the financial hurdles.
How you can help
As with all big things, we can’t do this alone. We need your help to create this safe space. You can be part of creating this story. Imagine women and men coming from all over the world and connecting for a day long festival of workshops, music, and dance.
Your help will ensure this space can happen.
I’ve launched an Indiegogo campaign here. Contributions will go towards renting the venue, setting up the space, and creating the environment in which women can thrive.
You can also help by spreading the word about this campaign and sharing the Bond Women’s Festival with your family and friends via word of mouth and social media.
Share the event on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, billboards, messages in bottles, and whispers to people sitting next to you on the train — whatever!
Ok, maybe don’t do that last one, but every bit counts.
Make some noise about why empowering women is important and how we can all help by speaking up.