What could you achieve if you had access to an even bigger network to support, inspire and motivate you, provide advice and opportunities to support you as an entrepreneur and wedding business owner – right across the UK?
I’m extremely excited to announce a brand new partnership between the B.LOVED Hive and Girl Tribe Gang, an incredible community for #girlbosses building empires in the UK. Catharine Asta-Labbett is the Founder and Director of Girl Tribe Gang and Bringing Sparkle Back; a female only psychotherapist who transforms women to achieving FULL ON Disco Ball Sparkle (and we all need a bit of that!). As an ex-NHS Strategist, Catherine is a BIG thinker, a Do-er (she quit the 9-5, transformed her life and is a #girlboss) which when combined is really powerful stuff. Oh and she’s also a #mumboss of 4!
I’m thrilled to be joined by Catherine on the blog today to tell you a bit more about our partnership, how it will benefit YOU and reveal a very special limited-time membership offer for the GTG and Hive communities!
Read our interview with Catherine and myself below;
Q: Tell us about your tribe! How do you support female entrepreneurs?
C: Here at Girl Tribe Gang we know that being a Girl Boss can be a pretty lonely place and we thought that if we could help to reduce even a tiny bit of that isolation you’re feeling, well then that’s going to have a positive effect on your overall Girl Boss well-being and success.
We’re talking no suits, no hotels, no corporate bullshit, no breakfast meetings, no sticky name labels, no eating in front of strangers, no board tables, no awkward introductions, no men and absolutely no death by power-point presentations – all the things that we know here at Girl Tribe Gang create unnecessary barriers to networking.
Girl Tribe Gang is a space where women can build each other up, where women DO feel connected, where they can feel they can collaborate, where they can be encouraged and empowered to be the Girl Boss they know they can be, where they can grow in confidence and their knowledge – a space where like-minded women can feel part of something special.
Our mission is to create a community for women who might have aspirations to be a #girlboss, who might be in the transition stage of ditching the 9-5 and becoming a #girlboss, who have taken the plunge and become a #girlboss or who are a successful #girlboss in their own right.
We launched in Yorkshire in June 2017 and now have 10 TRIBES across the UK with BIG plans to launch more throughout 2018.
L: The HiveTribe is a place where you can talk to people who just get it and find the support of an entire community of wedding professionals to help you discuss new ideas or help you make decisions. It’s a hub of practical and inspirational resources to help you nail the day-to-day and start building a successful, visible wedding brand.
The first few years of business can be incredibly lonely; working from home alone, feeling overwhelmed with your never-ending to do list, unsure how to make your ideas happen, and caught between the day-to-day and developing your brand, the Hive provides a much-needed network to ask questions or bounce ideas, collaborate and support one another whilst also providing resources, training and information from experienced wedding industry professionals to help you get on the right track.
At the Hive you’ll find a friendly, nurturing and welcoming community to support and encourage you – we’ll never make you feel guilty when you’re feeling off you’re A-game, but we will equip you with the tools, motivation and inspiration you need to build a thriving wedding business.
Q: What did you do before launching your community, and how did this lead you to set up your tribe?
C: I am a Female only Psychotherapist, I set up www.bringingsparkleback.co.uk 2.5 years ago whilst working as a Strategist in the NHS. I help transform women into achieving FULL ON Disco Ball Sparkle in all sorts of areas of their lives.
Whilst it’s been wholly liberating working for myself, it has also been a steep learning curve – I’ve learned that it can be a pretty lonely and isolating place.
There is no ‘team’ behind you, no ‘sounding board’, no-one to share your successes or your challenges with and no Christmas Party! Feeling you are part of something, I’ve discovered, is a big part of reducing that feeling of isolation and contributes hugely to your overall sense of well being.
Let’s face it, when you work for yourself, often juggling other paid employment and a family (which I’ve done and am doing – the youngest 11 months old and the oldest 16!), your time is so incredibly precious, and believe me when I say I’ve wasted A LOT of time networking with groups/people who just aren’t the right fit for what I’m about.
What I have found and have created however, is a solid network of other women, in the same boat as me, predominantly through social media and they are all feeling the same thing – that running your own business and working for yourself can be a lonely and isolating place.
Through my work I’ve also met women who, despite having successful businesses, or great business ideas, are lacking in confidence and knowledge in where to go next and how to get there.
This is where the idea for the Girl Tribe Gang was born – an idea I woke up with one cold December morning in 2016, whilst heavily pregnant with Kristina. I couldn’t find it, so I created it!
L: I am the founder of luxury wedding blog www.blovedblog.com, providing stylish couples with attainable luxury wedding inspiration from some of the best wedding professionals around the world.
Over the past 7 years I have built BLOVED into an internationally recognised wedding brand; creating editorial styled shoots that have been featured in top wedding publications all over the world and hosting workshops in the UK, Netherlands and United Arab Emirates.
Five years into my entrepreneurial journey, newly single, broke and resigned to returning to the corporate world, I turned to my network for advice and support.
It was the realisation that there was no formal community or hub for advice and support for wedding industry professionals as a whole that led me to launch the B.LOVED Hive in Autumn 2016.
Q: How important is it to have a support network around you when building a business?
C: It’s absolutely essential! Women need to support women, because when we do, we unleash that super power we all possess. It’s a really lonely place being a #girlboss. We tend to overthink things, sabotage our own dreams and aspirations, let our barriers get in the way of our creativity and stop ourselves from moving forwards, for fear of not being good enough.
We feel guilty for being successful, we don’t often shout about our successes or have people cheerleading us on.
But we don’t need to compete. We need to come together. We need to connect and collaborate and inspire each other. Everything we need, we have, or someone has, or knows someone who has.
L: I truly believe a strong support network is the key to success. I’ve been lucky to have built an amazing network over the past six years – I certainly wouldn’t be here without mine.
Whether you need some hand-holding at your first networking event or someone to be a sound board for you ideas, a fellow business owner to navigate the rollercoaster ride of entrepreneurship with you, or creatives to collaborate with, your fellow #girlbosses can provide this and so much more!
They’ll boost your confidence when you’re feeling low, celebrate your successes without jealousy and lift you up when you’re feeling defeated. But most of all they absolutely, completely and utterly ‘get it’.
Q: What challenges and judgements do you think female entrepreneurs face that their male counterparts do not?
C: This is a question I get asked so often and one I was asked LIVE on BBC Radio 5!
I think that women who work for themselves or aspire to quit the 9-5 one day, face distinct challenges when it comes to business.
We don’t always have access to the right networks of people, we lack confidence, a lot of us work from home (alongside full-time jobs), we’re spinning lots of plates and where there are networking opportunities, there are too many barriers that prevent us from participating.
It’s about creating a level playing field which facilitates access to the things we know women need and enables women to participate. Women always have, and always will, be a much stronger voice together.
L: There’s a reason the majority of our members started their own businesses while pregnant or on maternity leave! I see so many women struggling to make their business bigger, better and more profitable while their family life suffers, that I question whether ‘having it all’ is really going to make you happy?
There is little to no support or flexibility in the corporate world to balance a career and family life and unfortunately, many still see self-employed women as ‘playing’ at business; filling their time between school runs or just earning some extra pocket money. The flexibility and independence running your own business can bring women, and especially mothers, is obviously a huge attraction. In the wedding industry especially, I’m proud to see so many intelligent and talented women create their own version of success.
This new wave of female entrepreneurs is proving everyone wrong – building financial security, bringing flexibility to working hours, creating time for family and providing a positive role-model for their children. I certainly feel lucky to have found the balance to run the Hive around spending time with my partner and bonus-kids, whilst doing something I love!
Q: What does bringing your tribes together in this new partnership mean to you?
C: I am SO excited about our partnership. Louise and I are on a very similar journey and I’m always advocating collaboration and this seemed like a perfect fit. On a personal level, it’s refreshing to have found a like minded woman who understands and totally gets the challenges of creating a membership collective. There’s a lot I can learn from Louise and vice versa and our members benefit too.
L: My word for 2017 was ‘collaboration’ so it seems fitting to have ended the year discovering Catherine and the Girl Tribe Gang and finding new ways to support each other and our communities.
I’m personally excited to have found a like-minded tribe boss to bounce ideas off and discuss the challenges of running a membership community as well brainstorming new ideas and projects to work on together over the next 12 months.
Our members will benefit from event more support and opportunities across the UK, as well as access to a larger network of experts, coaches and business women from outside the wedding industry to share their expertise and knowledge with us.
Q: How will working together benefit and support your members?
C: Our existing Girl Tribe Gang members and new members from 5th January can benefit from our partnership with the following…
- £5 off Hive Membership (usually £30/month)
- Early bird access to event and workshop tickets, 48 hours before launch
- Louise will share her knowledge at our events
- 10% off mentoring & coaching programmes at the Hive
L: Our existing HiveTribe members and new members from 5th January will benefit from:
- 10% off GTG membership (usually £150/year)
- Early bird access to event and workshop tickets, 48 hours before launch
- Access to the GTG Coaching Hub experts
- Catherine will share her expertise at our events
Q: What happens next?
C: We’ll be including a monthly round up of the B.LOVED HIVE in our newsletter which goes out to our members and subscribers. Louise is a member of our Facebook Group so pop by and say hello.
L: HiveTribe members can meet Catherine her Tribe Bosses and Coaching Hub experts over in our Facebook Group, and get a round up of the latest GTG events and meet-ups in our monthly member newsletter.
Q: How can we get involved?
Check out our Instagram feeds today www.instagram.com/blovedhive & www.instagram.com/girltribegang for a our special 24-hour only membership offer! Get 12 months membership to the HiveTribe AND GirlTribe Gang for £350 (that’s a saving of over £150!!) when you sign up at bit.ly/hivetribeGTG before midnight tonight (5th January 2018).
After this HiveTribe members will receive their GTG membership discount code in their welcome email or find it in the Facebook Group