Whether you're 8 years old, like my daughter Emily, or, like me, somewhat older than 8 years old, girlfriends really matter. The problem is, when mom's not planning your playdates anymore, and your college years are behind you, it's tough to keep that girlfriend-time sacred.
That's the inspiration behind Thursdays, a smart, fun blog that's all about making the most of your connections - getting together on Thursday evenings with your friends for a meal, a laugh, crafting, swapping recipes, and just about anything else that gets you through the week.
I was fortunate to get to know the founders of Thursdays, Stephania and Colleen, when they won DailyCandy's "Start Small - Go Big" contest. The contest was part of DailyCandy's 10-year celebration (Happy Birthday guys!), and celebrates entrepreneurs in 3 categories: Fun, Food and Fashion. Since Daily Grommet is all about celebrating entrepreneurs, DailyCandy asked us to be mentors to their "Fun" winners: Thursdays.
So I hopped on a train down to NYC and met up with Stephania and Colleen at the Daily Candy Academy to take part in a day-long boot-camp. You can check out some of the fun in this DailyCandy video -- then get to know more about them in our Q&A below.
What inspired you to create Thursdays?
The inspiration to create Thursdays as a website came from the desire to share with others the Thursday night dinner tradition that has been so important to us. We've been having dinner every Thursday night with our girlfriends for the last seven years and it has truly been the glue that has held us together as friends through all the various life transformations we've experienced-- graduating, moving, getting married, etc. Thursdays have long-served as a dependable girls’ night in our otherwise undependable schedules, giving us a chance to reconnect with each other on a weekly basis. By connecting in a real way with our girlfriends weekly, we have become closer and introduced new friends into the mix. In an era where Facebook and text messaging serve as the main mode of communication, Thursday night dinners have kept us grounded and offered us a space for making genuine girl-time connections. By creating this website, it has been our hope to create a platform to connect with a wide range of women and to inspire them to begin and maintain their own regular, low-maintenance traditions with their friends.
What are some of your favorite blogs...or bloggers who've inspired you?
Jessica Valenti, the mind behind feministing.com, has always inspired us. We've both read the blog for years and have loved watching how it has grown and adapted. It is smart, witty, controversial and open-minded. We greatly admire the dynamic sense of community the editors of feministing.com have created.
To keep us up to date on current events and celebrity news, we never miss salon.com, bust.com and jezebel.com. And to keep us inspired in the kitchen we love sundaysuppers.com and smittenkitchen.com. Crafting sites we can't do without are designsponge.com, psimadethis.com and DIYnetwork.com
What was the most important lesson you learned (or some of the most important lessons?) you learned at the DailyCandy Academy?
I think that we are still digesting everything that we learned at the DailyCandy Academy. The majority of the feedback we received all went back to utilizing social media to propel Thursdays forward. Even though we are children of the technological generation, we are still finding that there is a lot we don't know and that it takes lots of work to keep up. We felt so old having to watch the Twitter tutorial a few months ago, but we know that it is an entirely necessary tool to stay connected. We are learning that we have a lot to learn, but we're having fun!
Where will Thursdays be in 5 years?
We have big plans for Thursdays! In five years we plan to give up our day jobs, be working on our second book, have a TV show, and have inspired Thursday groups all over the country. We hope to help women jump-start their own traditions that fit into their lives and we hope to continue sharing about our own Thursday groups and hearing about other people's.