Brunch Recap: Made For Connection
by Valerie Cabadonga
“When’s the date for your brunch or coffee date? I’m so keen. I just need to take a day off first [for it].”
Whoa was the only word I could utter as I read this message sent by a friend who lives outside of Wellington. Ever since we have rebranded into HER, this event has always been in my heart - to gather the women in this community and connect with them personally - and this message was the push I needed to follow through.
It took less than five minutes to set the date and *boom* it was happening!
I created the event page the very next day and once I clicked published, I prayed, “God, whatever the number you will place, I am grateful for it. Whether it is five or twelve, I am happy to be with a crowd of your women.”
As the RSVP date came to a close, I was surprised by the number. 18. 18 women wanted to come. 18 was God’s magic number for HER which was above and beyond what my heart asked for.
What do I do with 18 women? So, I brainstormed on the activities we could do, designed a worksheet, collaborated with other creatives, booked the cafe and packed the goodies. A plan was set out.
Finally, Saturday arrived. Excitement and nervousness came rushing all at once the moment I woke up. Everything is going to be fine, said the spirit in me. I drove all the way to the venue calming my nerves.
It was only 10:45 am and just as I was about to sit down when women started coming in one by one and in groups. It felt like it wasn’t our first event but something that has happened long before. Women started to introduce themselves, connected with each other and dove deeper into conversations. It was a beautiful sight that my heart was continually praising God as He continues to unfold a dream right before my eyes.
I was all set to start the plan with a theme in mind (I will be writing a post about our theme Celebrate and Collaborate soon - watch this space!), yet God always seems to turn things around for the better. Instead of guiding the women an in-depth exercise, God allowed every woman to get intimate with each other in the most organic, raw and real way possible - a conversation. Women shared their lives, plans and dreams to each other in their own beautiful ways. It was a sight to behold. A union of differences and similarities that doesn’t command an effort.
When I had the chance to thank each one for their time and support for HER, I genuinely felt how God worked the spirit of celebration and collaboration in the most natural way. My heart was screaming to do more gatherings and my soul was satisfied with the company.
As I recall on the heartwarming energy of the room and halted plans, there was one thing in certain - we are built for connection. God yearns for a connected community of women to stay strong, not only through our digital worlds, but more importantly in our real worlds. I could have never asked for a more raw, real and celebrating vibe to start our very first HER event.
I can't wait to have more gatherings with you all! xo
Here are some testimonials from the women who came to the brunch:
“On Saturday I attended HER Brunch. I was so excited to meet all the women supporting HER Progress’ vision but also did not know what to expect. The event was a success! Besides the yummy and aesthetically pleasing food, this event really helped me to be more connected with women who have the similar passion and vision as me. It’s nice to always be given a reminder that we are not alone, that we should utilise all our skills to collaborate with each other and never ever forget to celebrate one another. The event really lifted me up and left empowered! Thank you HER Progress for creating a hub and a platform for women who are looking to connect with each other and to support one another! I cannot wait for the next one!” - Ayana, Upper Hutt
“We live in a society that thoroughly encourages competition, especially between women. We see it in regards to looks, success, talent, anything you can imagine, and all it does is build a feeling of sadness and insecurity. I’m so utterly grateful and blessed to be part of a community that doesn’t only celebrate other women’s progress but also encourages to embrace the power of self-celebration. And that is #HerProgress.
Last saturday, #HerProgress just had its first event and as expected, I had an amazing time. I’ve always loved meeting new people, catching up with old friends and of course sharing good food so even just the idea of brunch got me very excited. The food was great but the company was even greater - women who have started making a wildfire and actively participating in boosting other women and cheering them on. Women who also encourage you and guide you in Christ. Can’t thank #HerProgress (Valerie) enough for being such a girlboss and organising the event. I’m already looking forward to the next one!” - Pauline, Paraparaumu
“I had the loveliest time at HER brunch. It was such a safe space to just be myself and meet new friends in the process. We were all women coming from different backgrounds but we all shared the same grit which brought us to sit, talk and collaborate with each other. It was heartwarming. I got to see and meet women who have the same passion and faith as me.” - Zarah, Wellington
“The brunch was amazing! It was a real delight to meet other women and find out what they do in their life Their passions and dreams. The journey that they are going through. It was really inspiring. Though the food was served in batches and we didn’t get the chance to eat altogether, it definitely gave us more time to converse and get to know each other. I can’t wait for the next event and meeting more ladies. It’s fun to meet women who encourage you rather than put you down.” - Joy, Palmerston North
I would also like to extend my deepest gratitude to the following people who helped make this event happen: