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Lady Bosses Party - Upstairs Break-out Session. Image: Janette Casolary, www.janettecasolary.com
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Lady Bosses: A not-so-secret group for women in business

If you’re a female entrepreneur looking for inspiration and community, Lady Bosses is for you. If you're thinking about selling or starting a business and need some encouragement, Lady Bosses is for you. And if you just want to connect with awesome women and share your journey, you guessed it - you’ve got to check out Lady Bosses! We sat down with founder, Alysondra Duke to find out more about this community of badass women she's created and how you can get involved!

Seattle Refined: What exactly is Lady Bosses and how did you come up with the concept?
AD: Lady Bosses is designed for women entrepreneurs, small business owners, and side hustlers who would like to be in business/community in a way that is meaningful, authentic, and positively impacts others. We offer community gatherings for women at all stages of the entrepreneurial journey, as well as workshops, retreats, and mastermind groups for accelerated growth personally + professionally.

Lady Bosses was born from a sincere desire to connect with other women in business in order to feel less alone, and I figured we could answer a lot of “the questions” of how to run a successful + meaningful business by leaning on one another and learning in community. I was never comfortable at typical networking events, so sought to create an environment where women could connect in more meaningful ways— I also like a bit of woo and some killer ambiance, so wanted women who would be willing to talk about the entrepreneurial hustle AND the universe AND have an appreciation for wine and snacks with some candlelight (a personal fave).

What’s your background and what brought you here? What are you most passionate about?
I am trained as a Psychologist, and earned a PhD in Counseling Psychology, and a Masters and Bachelors in Women’s Studies. I love the work of empowering women to believe in self, step into power, and to shake off expectations that no longer fit. It has been amazing to fuse my love for women's empowerment, personal growth, group leadership and facilitation, and helping humans live more awesome lives through an offering like Lady Bosses.

Who makes up Seattle Lady Bosses and what’s the coolest thing you’ve seen happen within this community of women?
Lady Bosses is comprised of over 2,000 women at all stages of the entrepreneurial journey. Some have been in business for over 20 years, and some are just at the beginning stages of forming their big beautiful idea. One of the best things I have seen happen in this community has been the connections and friendships formed through Lady Bosses. I have seen so many women become more empowered to work through fears, take risks, and walk toward the life they want for themselves with the support of other women who believe + support them rather than compete + compare. We watch women sell businesses, triple their incomes, open new locations, while also working through life stuff like relationship issues, navigating a pregnancy, or grappling with family concerns. It’s a very cool experience to be able to support + celebrate the whole person even in the context of a gathering for business.

What makes the Seattle-based community unique/different from others you’ve seen? Or is it?
Something that stands out about Lady Bosses is that we connect + come together as people first, and business owners second. I often will refer to it as a "non-networking networking event." I am professionally trained as a group facilitator, and really value people feeling like they are seen, heard, valued and that they belong. I have been to way too many women’s business events where I feel like I don't fit in, or that there is this sort of forced connection with other business owners--nothing felt organic about it. I wanted to create a space where people really felt welcomed, and could delight in connections with others, and in some of the common ground we all have as women. We discuss what’s going well, where the struggle is, how we've fumbled and failed along the way. There’s no attempting to convince others that we have it all together. The transparency among women who attend is what sets Lady Bosses apart.

A lot of the feedback I receive centers around women feeling as though they’ve found a “home” in Lady Bosses, and that they’ve not only made new connections with others, but were able to learn something about themselves in the process and are feeling inspired to create positive change in their lives.

What can someone expect that would like to get involved? How do they get involved?
AD: Women can expect to be welcomed, find community and potential for new friendships and business relationships, and to leave feeling inspired and empowered any time they attend one of our events. Lady Bosses has experienced massive growth in a short amount of time, so in the upcoming year there will be a few different ways to get involved. We will be offering some smaller group options, like masterminds and workshop intensives, and also the larger group social gatherings on a semi-quarterly basis. Anyone interested can check us out on www.seattleladybosses.com, or follow my work on www.alysondraduke.com, and sign up for our newsletter to keep tabs on what we’re up to!

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