Synopsis: In this episode, I talk about all things community. Nickel & Suede launched our first online community in 2020, and it’s been an incredible learning experience about connection, vulnerability, and stepping out of your comfort zone. We’ll talk about our BFFs and what they have taught me as an introvert, and the importance of finding your people.
If the past year has taught us anything (okay — it’s taught us a lot of things!), it is the power of community. As humans, we are not meant to be alone. We need that connection and cannot thrive without it. Developing a sense of community in 2020 didn’t quite look like what most of us had planned. But we learned to build new communities and engage with our current ones in ways we had never considered. Family zoom nights anyone?
Throughout 2020, people leaned into online communities like never before. They’ve been around for a long time, but they’ve become a lifeline this year. At Nickel & Suede, we decided to go all in on bringing our community together in one place. We had already seen women share their love for our products and mission online, and we wanted to create a place for everyone to connect.
Initially, our online community began as a group of brand ambassadors that lived all over the country. It was a small group of women who were enthusiastic about Nickel & Suede. I loved the connections that these women made with one another. And I knew there was a bigger community out there surrounding our products and our mission that we could bring together. In 2020, we launched the BFF Facebook community with added perks of free shipping and product exclusives. We asked members to answer questions related to our brand values, and I remember being in awe of all the women and their answers of how they had recently stepped out of their comfort zone.
We’ve continued to keep the group going and are up to nearly 9,000 members. It has been so cool to see how the group positively impacts our members daily. Our online community has allowed women from all over the world find each other and connect over shared values, things they love, and provide a support system as they tackle hardships. So many women have told me they’ve found real best friends that they’d spend every day with if they lived closer. Their support of one another has also given confidence to women who normally would never post in a group like this. Every week there’s a new post from someone who has never posted before but felt inspired by another member. The group has been such a lifeline for people, especially during the pandemic.
Seeing what our BFF group has done for others has inspired me to look at what community could do for me. If you’re an introvert like me, maybe you don’t need a huge community or you don’t need constant interactions. But our BFFs have shown me that the best way to find community is to step out of your comfort zone. And it can take time to get the courage to interact or post but when you do, you will be instantly rewarded. The first ingredient is just to be willing to show up and be available.
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