You may have noticed I have been a little quiet in the blog world lately! Thanks to my sister Amanda and her Find It Make It series my blog hasn’t been completely void of posts!
#ARWB was founded by Stephanie shortly after Ree Drummond (the Pioneer Women) came to Little Rock for a book signing. Stephanie, whom I had never met, stood somewhere behind me in the hours long line in a Walmart in Little Rock waiting to get her book signed. My silly, goofy husband stood with me in line and began to leave little notes of encouragement to the people behind us in the line. We had a good laugh over them and moved on not really thinking anymore about them.
Several days later Ree posted a wrap-up of the latest leg of her book signing tour on her blog. I was shocked to see several pictures of my husbands Post-it notes on THE Pioneer Womens Blog! I was beyond excited! Apparently Stephanie had spied the notes and posted about them on her blog. Ree linked to her post on her site! (I know it is a tangled web and I am sure Kevin Bacon is wrapped up in their somewhere!)
Anyway…long story short…I posted a comment about the post-its on Stephanie’s blog thanking her for including the pictures and went about my business. The whole incident apparently sparked some ideas in Stephanie because it wasn’t much after when she contacted me, pitched her idea about Arkansas Women Bloggers and asked for my help. OF COURSE I was willing to help and shortly after Arkansas Women Bloggers was born.
On our original site, launched in early 2010, provided a place for women to “join” us and leave links to their blogs so other women in the group could check out what they were writing and be inspired. We watched as membership grew from a handful of women to 86 in June. By December of 2010 when we had our first meet-up, held in Little Rock and attended by 45 bloggers, we had over 200 online members. Membership continued to grow and we hosted our first conference at the Ozark Natural Science Center in June of 2011. 45 members, most of which had NOT been to the Little Rock meetup, attended the three day conference. Today, membership has soard to over 430 women bloggers from around Arkansas!
When the four of us met for our annual meeting in July it became clear that it was time to “Go Big or Go Home!” We were being approached by individuals and companies that wanted to tap into our group of women as a resource for giving and receiving information. We needed a more streamlined place for our women to meet up and connect with each other and with businesses. We knew a new site was in order and as we discussed ideas the term Gather, Grow, Connect was born as a tagline for what we were trying to acheieve. The last several months have been spent developing content, rebuilding and migrating our site and connecting with businesses and individuals that could bring really cool oportunities to our bloggers.
All our hard work culminated last night with a Twitter Party and the re-birth and launch of our NEW Arkansas Women Bloggers website.
To be an Arkansas-based blogger community dedicated to growing women by gathering them into a common space with common objectives and by connecting and empowering them for the greater good.
In summary: Gather. Grow. Connect.
If you are a blogger here in Arkansas or the surrounding area and have not yet joined Arkansas Women Bloggers, I highly encourage you to do so. If you were a member on our old site, you will need to rejoin us in order to get all of the wonderful benefits of our community. Thanks for listening to my schpeil about something I am very passionate about!