Surprising myself, feminist undies, and keeping those disgruntled exes in check

LisaI’m sitting in a co-working space in NYC as I write this, waiting for our event this evening. The bustle of Chinatown outside the window is a nice distraction from my usual office at home. The beeping taxis and drills off in the distance are almost calming compared to my Jack Russell, Charlie, who regularly howls until he is reminded that I am home too and he’s not alone. Charlie – and feeling isolated in my home office – is also a reason why I started working out of a new co-working space two days per week in DC, that and the fact that I love being around like-minded women starting or growing their businesses (Hera Hub caters mostly to women). It doesn’t hurt either that I’m very fond of the owner, Julia Westfall who we profiled this week. She’s like the mother hen (please don’t take that the wrong way Julia), caring for her chicks, encouraging them along, supporting them.

But I digress … back to NY. The Women Motivating Women panel is the first we’ve hosted and someone (cough cough Carrie McIndoe) had the great idea to do it in NYC, 226 miles up the NJ Turnpike. I mention this because it’s not easy to organize an event when you’re not actually in the place it will be held. It’s kind of a scary thing to do, especially in a place like NYC where everyone is a big shot and frankly no one has heard of Career 2.0. And it’s absolutely terrifying when you manage to get a great panel and moderator (thanks Susan Naci) and build everyone’s expectations and then need to deliver. But here I am and it’s all coming together. If I had known 3 weeks ago, when the registrations were trickling in, that so many people would sign up in the last two days, I wouldn’t haven’t lost so much sleep or yelled at Charlie a little bit louder than I needed to (sorry Charlie). I should have listened to all that great advice I hear when interviewing for our stories, “you’ve got to be willing to put yourself out there,” “don’t be afraid to take risks,” and my favorite, “sometimes you’ve just got to jump!” My point here is that one year ago if you had told me I’d be hosting a power panel of 5 female founders sharing their start-up stories before an audience of +70 people in Chinatown, I would have laughed in your face. But I’m not laughing. I’m quite chuffed really. And yes, I plan to do more, much, much more.

Baylis and Toledano doing a belfie (selfie from behind) in their feminist undies

Before I run, I want to share a couple of other things that grabbed my attention. I thoroughly enjoyed this piece in the NY Times about the new craze in women’s underwear.  It featured three great women-owned businesses that are ringing the death-knell to thongs (thanks be to god). Daphne Javitch’s Ten Undies, Julia Baylis’ and Mayan Toledano’s Me and You, and Greer Simpkins of Hello Beautiful are finally giving women underwear that is for them, not for someone else. Underwear that is basic but, as the author puts it, “makes them look and feel good,” something lingerie companies have been slow to do. Once again ladies, see a gap and fill it! So hooray for that and hooray for Baylis and Toledano for starting the feminist “belfie” craze.

And while I’m on the topic of underwear, I definitely want to mention THINX, an innovative new company that that has designed “period-proof underwear that protects you from leaks and keeps you feeling dry.” I have no idea why it took so long to invent this but a big shout out to (the incredibly young looking) Miki Agrawal and her efforts in “breaking the taboo surrounding menstruation.” It’s timely that I mention this because I just got some photos from Hyasintha Ntuyeko from her march in Dar el Salaam, Tanzania, on Menstrual Hygiene Day (to show that periods are normal and women and girls have a right to continue going to school, working and maintaining their health and safety during menstruation in developing economies). The authorities tried to deny her permit but at the 11th hour she got the green light. Hyasintha rocks!

And finally, before I shut shop and get ready for the soon-to-be-arriving guests, I want to say thank you to the three disgruntled former husbands who recently emailed me about the features I posted on their exes. First of all, have the grace to sign your emails when you are threatening to sue me. Second, don’t bother using fake names because your ex-wife has you sussed. And third, move on (your ex has)!


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