Written by Maria Locker
Well it’s certainly been a year to write about… we’ve had an incredible journey over the last 12 months, and we owe it to each of you, our incredible members, supporters and partners for coming along on the ride and supporting us along the way! Here are our top memories of this past year:
Chatting with Dolly Parton
I mean, it doesn’t get better than Dolly, right?! We were so honoured to interview THE Dolly Parton for Women’s History Month, alongside the incredibly talented James Patterson, in line with the release of the co-authored novel Run, Rose, Run. We will forever remember her giggle and the first words she said when we met virtually face-to-face: “Hi, girls!”. Sharing that moment with thousands of our community members virtually was a true once in a lifetime moment for us. On top of it all, Dolly and James were without a doubt the most humble and gracious of interviewees… Grace and I were smiling like crazy the entire time, clearly starstruck. We will always be grateful for their generosity of time, wisdom and humility, traits that we could all do with witnessing more of these days from celebrities we admire.
Back In Person With The Birds Papaya
Some of you may or may not know, but Sarah Nicole Landry, aka The Birds Papaya, holds a very special place in our evolution as a company. I first met Sarah in 2019, having arranged to feature her as a speaker for one of our key events in Vancouver. Back then our company was called Mompreneurs, however I was in the midst of planning our rebrand, something I was keeping very hush hush. Grace and I were having lunch with Sarah, and I shared with her what we were planning with the rebrand, also sharing that I was struggling with a new name… the one I really wanted was taken, and I just couldn’t see past the fact that the two words were so perfect for what I was envisioning. Sarah took a bite and said, “why not just flip the words?”, and that my friends is how we landed on “RevolutionHER”… now you know! When we finally got back together this year for our first in-person event post-covid, I knew Sarah had to be there. She will forever be a part of our history, and we couldn’t be more thankful for her friendship and support.
Back In Person… At All
When everything shut down in 2020, we honestly weren’t sure what the future would look like for our events-based company. So many questions continuously floated in our minds: Were we ever going to host an in-person event again? If we did, would people come? When would people actually be ready? Truth be told, we weren’t even sure WE were ready, but we knew this year it was time… and what an incredible time it was at The 2022 RevolutionHer Summit! Different for sure, and time will tell if we will ever get back to that pre-Covid way of life. We especially loved bringing some of our OG’s together – looking at you Amber Mac and Erica Ehm (we missed you, Julie Cole!), and finally meeting some of our long-time supporters IRL like Makini Smith and Vivian Kaye. One thing we know for sure, there is still a need for real-life, face-to-face (with physical hugging!) get togethers, and we’re so thankful to those who joined in, supported, volunteered, took part, went all in and made the most of it. A special thank you to old friends that we got to catch up with in person after so many years on hiatus – we had a blast with all of you!
Our First Ever Retail Store
This was something on a whim that came to life so beautifully and seamlessly… we knew it was meant to be! The idea that came to me through Reese Witherspoon; she had opened up a pop-up location in the U.S. for Reese’s Book Club, and Grace and I both thought how cool it would be to do something like that and feature all our amazing members’ products. We agreed it was something to explore in our 5-year plan, and left it at that. A few days later, RevolutionHer HQ got a call from someone who worked at Morguard Leasing, in the “Pop-Up Project” division; a colleague in Calgary had told them about our organization, and she thought there could be great potential to explore working together. Even stranger, it turned out we all lived in the same town (even though she’d heard about us from someone out West)… in our minds, it was meant to be! This is how the wheels were set in motion for The RevolutionHer Store: A Women-Owned Shopping Experience, and we loved every minute. Special shout out to Jen and Sarah from Morguard for holding our hands through the entire process and making it all a reality; our women-owned shopping experience was a massive success this holiday season, featuring over 40 women-owned brands and over 250 products in our first ever shop! Special thanks also to the many incredible customers we were honoured to meet and get to know over the weeks in our store. We can’t wait to do it all again (hopefully soon!) and appreciate all your support!
Our Magazines Available Across Canada
This has been a huge goal of ours for almost 10 years! We absolutely pour our hearts into each issue of RevolutionHer Magazine, and to finally see our publication sold in 118 Indigo, Chapters and independent bookstores across Canada was a huge bucket list item fulfilled. What’s really special for us is that we know the women featured on every page of each issue, and it thrills us that others across the country now get to know more about the products, stories and expertise shared on our pages as well. Special thank you to Meena Harris and the team at Phenomenal for helping us share such a compelling cover story with our community, and huge thanks to Alison and the team at JONA Group for making it happen and putting everything together so beautifully.
Inaugural Year of AMPLIFY: The RevolutionHer Podcast
Believe it or not, Grace and I started a podcast 10 years ago, way before it was cool and trendy… back then we would get together in Grace’s office and just chat about what we loved and things we wanted to do, with really no plan, just two friends having fun and talking away. We had a great laugh back then, but it was a lot of work, which is likely why it fell to the wayside. This year, Grace took the project under her wing and made it as easy as possible for me to dive back in, and wow did we ever have a blast launching AMPLIFY: The RevolutionHer Podcast! We proudly interviewed 22 incredible women, each of whom brought their expertise, authenticity, humour, wit and wisdom to the table. Not only that, we were pleasantly surprised to learn that within a few months, our podcast had hit the Top 100 Podcasts List in the careers category… a fun bonus we weren’t expecting! Thank you to the amazing women who took the time to join us in 2022, and to all of our supporters who listened, downloaded, rated and reviewed – it means the world to us!
Our 2022 Awards Nominees, Finalists & Winners
We’re continually blown away by the amount of talent that is out there; so many creative women and girls doing incredible things, and we get to highlight so many of them! It’s one of the best parts of our year, hosting our annual Awards, and this year did not hold back. We saw our most diverse collective of nominees and finalists, and a wide variety of entrants from just about every industry and from across all of North America. Our heartfelt congratulations goes out to all who put themselves out there, and to our esteemed finalists; we can’t wait to continue working with you in the years ahead! To our 5 winners Shontay Lundy, Larissa Vingilis-Jaremko, Angie Tran, Mikayla Zazon and Paola Ochoa, there is still so much in store in 2023, and we are thrilled to be able to continue shining a light on all that incredible things you are each doing! Here’s to many continued successes ahead…
So Many Amazing Partnerships
Every year we acknowledge that we truly could not do what we do without the support of so many amazing partners; this year was particularly incredible for us as an organization, as we welcomed some new partners who helped us support more women and girls around the world, and we also celebrated long-standing relationships that we’ve been fortunate to have over the years. Special thanks to Rebel Girls, Room to Read, MudGirl, Wedo, Morguard Leasing and American Express for joining us this year in working together in support of women and girls everywhere. Also a sincere thank you to returning partners and sponsors at UPS Canada, Export Development Canada, Direct Sellers Association of Canada, GoDaddy Canada, Front Door PR, ParentsCanada, GavCom Media Productions and FedDev Ontario. Your support allows us to do the work we love to do, and we are forever grateful for your trust and partnership! Of special note, this year marked our 8th consecutive year working with UPS Canada and their incredible team; special shout out to Steve, Paul, Felipe, Julie and the entire staff at UPS Canada for support our small business and the businesses of so many of our members over the years – we appreciate you!
When you’re able to look back and reflect, it’s a gift to be able to celebrate the wins and learn from the ups and downs. We never take that gift for granted, and appreciate all of your support every step of the way… wishing everyone an incredible 2023 ahead, we can’t wait to see what’s in store!