We are building a new type of community that is mutually beneficial for all; the women looking to be empowered, the businesses that are empowering all whilst supporting female led organisations for women and girls who will not be able to access a community like ours.
This sounds like a big job or even something that sounds too idealistic. I have always been surrounded by women; I attended an all girls school, studied beauty therapy, worked as a beauty therapist, launched the 1st ever beauty box company for women of colour, ran a women’s online blog, started Scarlet Ladies which is now Sonder and Beam. I do not know anything else aside from catering to women’s needs. During my journey, I have made lots of mistakes that have taught me a lot.
Just before launching Scarlet Ladies I was diagnosed with moderate depression and severe anxiety due to perfectionism. This impacted how I ran Scarlet Ladies. Scarlet Ladies is a peoples company which meant that we are all about connecting and taking care of our community. However, I struggled with the community side of things, so I focused on the behind the scenes. Attending events every week or even networking was a serious battle because Tuesdays was mostly the only time I actually stepped out of my home. My anxiety controlled how I managed the community. To deal with this, myself and Sarah decided to have Sarah run the events and community whilst I did all the boring stuff such as marketing, sales, strategy etc. This is just one of my few personal battles with running this community.
Fast forward to last December when Sarah left. The issues that I had been dealing with reached boiling point. I managed to get through events and zombied my way through the year. 6 months in I realised that I wanted to continue with Scarlet Ladies and make it thrive. It was my calling, something that has helped me so much in my personal and professional life. Our community fed me with hope, support, connection and so much more. I wanted to make a change and focus on creating the maximum impact I could. Before SL I felt really isolated with my problems. SL taught me that everyone has their own problems but so many of us feel alone with our them. Hence the new name Sonder.
How does this explain why we are opening our doors to professionals? We have always been about change, previously we focused on individuals personal journey but after several years of building a community to change lives I believe that to truly change the landscape of female sexuality we need to come together as individuals and professionals. Currently, we are taught that business is a lonely world but why do we have to keep encouraging that narrative when so many examples show that groups and communities encourage individuals to thrive and survive. Throughout history and in many cultures women have created communities to thrive in the world. The sexuality industry is no different and to be honest it is needed even more so.
We work with lots of educators, speakers, influencers and women trying to change the world. Some doing great but most struggling. The reality is that being female, running a business, a sexuality business and then focusing on women and marginalised people you are basically fighting the very powerful visible and very often invisible thing we call patriarchy.
As individuals, regardless of whether you are a huge campaigner or a housewife we are riddled with shame. Shame is our biggest enemy in the sexuality industry. As a woman starting/running a sexuality business or campaigning for a change you have to deal with your own shame, judgements and conditioning. I know this because that is my story. I wanted to make a change but avoided content and a direction that would trigger traumas I had gone through in my past. Subconsciously I held the community and myself back. The reality is that the sexuality industry just like many industries are male dominated and as usual women are only in control of a tiny part of this. To change the narrative we have to come together.
I continually hear the battle of educators and campaigners vs parents. Whilst I can see the frustration I can also see the obvious reason. These parents like everyone are dealing with their own sexual shame. If you are not comfortable with your own sexuality how can you be comfortable with your child talking and learning about sex and identity. The same thing goes with period poverty, period shame is real. How can we fight against period poverty together when so many are ashamed about their periods. Shame prevents women from sharing their favourite sex coach or toy to their friends or shout about it on social media. This prevents female sexuality businesses thriving.
Education is key but so is patience and compassion. We can get through this by connecting together, supporting each other and building each other up. Individuals buying and supporting female owned businesses will help sustain and grow businesses. These businesses will continue to services and products to support women on their personal journey. It’s a beautiful ecosystem.
My vision of Sonder & Beam is about change, being compassionate and giving. Members mutually benefiting from each other and not leaving anyone behind. As a community we will aim to be seen through The Directory, provide safe spaces for women to develop and explore with the Calender and real life connections at our events. No-one needs to feel isolated, whether you are a professional or a woman looking to be empowered you can find women on the same journey to build and grow with.
Our professional members will include females and non-binary professionals and businesses across the sex positivity, body positivity and sexual well-being industry. From sex – education charities to parties creating spaces for women to explore, our pro-members believe and showcase values aligned with Sonder & Beam with a mission to empower women and marginalised people everywhere. We want to ensure our community supports a wide range of female-centric brands and businesses across all boards.
Normally, we are taught to focus on one thing at a time but I believe that for this particular industry we have to address a range of things, our own personal issues to continue with the fight to create change and professional support change all women’s life. By coming together we will build a slice of the world that we want to live in and as time goes on the slice will get bigger and bigger. Sonder & Beam is a value based community with an intention to make an impact on women’s lives around the world. Our name encapsulates exactly what we aim to achieve; encouraging women to realise that every person’s life is just as complicated as their own and passing on that message through their daily lives to other women though compassion, communication and support.
We would love to have you join us so we are giving 50% off your 1st month as a pro member. Apply to become a member here
Founder of Sonder & Beam.