When I started This Renegade Love, all I really wanted was to have a platform to share the stories of ordinary people who were doing extraordinary things with their lives. The people that I meet on the daily, the people that inspire me, the people with amazing stories to tell. And at first, there were loads. I had a stockpile of people I actually knew that were just killing it in life.
But lately, guys, I’ve been lacking that inspiration, that Renegade buzz – those stories that ignite the creative fire inside of me.
After chatting with a few friends who were also struggling to find their creative drive, I realized that if I wanna get my Renegade groove back, I need to grow my circle. Don’t get me wrong, I love the blogging industry most of the time, but I think we can all agree that it’s been lacking as of late. It seems that with more and more platforms to share our stories, we actually seem to have lost the art of storytelling. And bumping into the same people at the same events every week (and watching every single thing they do online on top of that) doesn’t really lend itself to fresh conversation and brilliant new ideas, know what I mean?
So last week in my depths of creative boredom, I poured myself a glass of vino, turned on some Beyonce, and thought long and hard (2 minutes) about what inspires me and what I’m passionate about. Now, it could’ve been Bey singing sweet nothings in my ear, it could’ve been my 10th read of Garance Dore’s Love Style Life book, but there were two things I kept coming back to:
1) The energy of strong women.
2) The connection of people through storytelling.
Boom. Done. And when it came to connecting the two, I remembered reading a post by fellow blogger Autumn Hachey, where she started doing 52 coffee dates a year as a means to expand her network, explore the city and find ways to help other people. There was a sudden flash of clarity, a final swig of sauv blanc, and just like that, #52WOMEN happened.
Inspired by Autumn and going back to my roots of profiling Renegades, I’m launching #52WOMEN, a new project that will showcase 52 amazing, diverse and interesting women over the following year.
Each week I’ll sit down at one of Toronto’s coffeeshops, restaurants or park benches (just waiting on you, spring) with a different woman to simply learn about who they are, what they do and why they do it. There won’t be any phones on the table, no notes being taken, just conversation – listening and learning and connecting.
And although I’m sure there will be some badass bloggers thrown in along the way, I’m hoping to meet women whose lifestyle or industry I actually know little to nothing about – teachers, doctors, mums, entrepreneurs, engineers, chefs, bankers, volunteers, firefighters. The women I hope can teach me something new, open my eyes to different lifestyles and inspire me in ways I don’t yet even know exist.
Where does ‘the connection of people through storytelling’ come in?
Well, I’m not just doing this for me, guys. At the end of the day, it all comes back to how I can help YOU (*insert emoji with heart kisses here*). Besides looking to grow my own network of ladies, I want to help connect women from different walks of life who might not ever cross paths otherwise. I want to hear about one woman’s struggles of balancing motherhood and entrepreneurship, and be able to connect her to another woman I met a few weeks prior who went through the same thing.
Each week after my chat, you’ll find a short Instagram Story of the woman I met, sharing 3 things I learned about her, her life and her career. And at the end of each month, I’ll be posting a round-up on the blog of the amazing women I met each week, sharing a bit more of who they are and how they live.
Soooo…. whaddya think? Are you on board for this?
I hope so, because there’s gonna be a whole lot of lady love happening around these parts over the next year. And I’d love to hear any recommendations for women you think are truly amazing, whether it’s your sister, your grandma or the woman who fuels your caffeine addiction every day. There are no boundaries, no molds to fit – only awesome stories that have yet to be told.
To catch the weekly Insta stories, follow me @thisrenegadelove
and be sure to check out the hashtag #52WOMEN
for all the goods throughout the year.