Tell us about yourself, Shady Lady!


Hi, Shady Ladies!

I hope you've been having a memory-making summer!

I’ve had some fun — like at our recent Chemistry Club with Dr. Asia Dowtin of Michigan State University (that’s us clowning around!). But mostly I've had my head down in business classes and strategy sessions thinking deeply about the future of Shady Ladies.

As I was visioning that future, I realized I hadn't checked in with you all in a while. 

I’d really love to know more about you and why you’re a Shady Lady.

This short survey will help us get more information about who you are, your current Shady Ladies experience, and what you might want for the future.

Here is why this survey matters. 

I've been really struggling with how to price and grow Shady Ladies.

Each event is a labor of love that takes about 100 hours to produce.

Wonderful friends and volunteers help with the setup, but all the prep (finding locations & authors; logistics; decor; etc.) and clean up (washing & pressing linens; washing dishes; packing it all up into our basement) is handled by myself, my husband, Karl (aka Lovey).

Even beyond our time, we've been subsidizing the events financially. 

That's right: We don't make enough from ticket sales to cover costs even though every event sells out. 

And I knew that couldn't continue.

So I told myself I had to make Shady Ladies into a financially viable business -- or let it go.

I realized very quickly that I absolutely did not want to let it go. In fact, I'm tearing up just writing this.

I 100% love all of you Shady Ladies and the time we get to spend together.

So, I committed to doing what is really hard for me: Being business-minded and asking for help.

(It is funny. I mean, I’ve been a business and economics reporter for most of the past 20 years. As it turns out, writing about business and running a business are two totally different things.)

The easy way to solve this problem is to raise prices and see what the market will bear.

All the advisors say: Raise your prices dramatically.

But I don’t feel good about that. 

Instead, we are going to try and find sponsors to support our mission of elevating women's stories and building community.

Having a bit more information from you all to tell the Shady Ladies story will be immensely helpful.

I do promise that any brands we choose to partner with will have a story to tell that meets our mission and purpose.

It won't just be an attempt to sell you something.

That’s my promise to you.

Thank you in advance for sharing your information with me.

And to show my appreciation, there is a little gift at the end of the survey.

You’ll just have to take it to find out what. 💋

Signing off for now. Can't wait to see your faces and hug your necks!

P.S. Mark your calendars for October 8 and November 2. 

October 8 will feature Rebecca Traister and her book, Good and Mad, and (fingers crossed) Soraya Chemaly and her book Rage Becomes Her. Tickets will go on sale after Labor Day.
P.P.S.: I’m currently reading Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men” by Caroline Criado Perez.

P.P.P.S.:  I’m currently obsessed with the rooftop patio at Gather/Collect on Gratiot. On Sundays, the kitchen is closed so you can bring your own food. Just buy drinks. 

Shady Ladies