For the past year, Dames Collective Detroit has been bringing together women from all ages and backgrounds for one reason: to grow, personally and entrepreneurially.
Dames is a national networking group with chapters across the country. The fact that Detroit boasts the largest chapter is special. It’s a gift for which we can thank Main Dames, as Collective leaders are called, Candice Simons and Samantha Schmuck.
Every month Simons, founder of J’adore and Brooklyn Outdoor, opens her loft to host Morning Mindfuel, one of two Dames’ regularly scheduled events. For these Friday morning sessions, Simon and Schmuck gather a group of their peers to lend expert advice, topics range from marketing to selfcare.
Their mission is to provide Dames with the tools they need to succeed in a fun and engaging way at all levels of the process. From established boss dames to women with the thought of an idea that could be nurtured into a great idea someday, all are welcome into this fold’s collective.
We caught up with Schmuck to talk origin, inspiration, and, most importantly, their One Year Anniversary Bash happening at J’Adore’s Eastern Market loft, this Thursday, December 19th . And, yes, you’re all invited!
CV HENRIETTE: LET’S START FROM THE BEGINNING. TELL ME ABOUT YOU.
CAND: I’m a jack of all trades. I own an advertising company, event venue, Mexican restaurant and connect communities and ideas.
CVh: HOW’D YOU MEET?
SS: Even though I’m from Michigan, I’ve spent my adult life developing relationships outside of Michigan. When I moved back and quit my job to pursue business full-time, I realized I didn’t really know anyone in my home state so I reached out to Candice through Instagram!
CVh: HOW’D YOU BECOME MAIN DAMES?
SS: I used to live in San Diego, which is where I became friends with one of the co-founders of Dames Collective. At the time, I was working 60-100 hours at my previous job and didn’t have the space to pursue my own business—let alone networking. I always wanted to be a part of the chapter. When I moved back to Detroit and quit my job, I knew I could awkwardly attend other events—or create my own and make sure everyone felt welcomed as soon as they walked in.
CVh: BUT WHAT IS DAMES COLLECTIVE DETROIT?
SS: We’re a group of women who believe in getting shit done while having fun and taking care of ourselves in the process. We’re a pretty no-nonsense group that welcomes female entrepreneurs at various stages of their business, who want to learn the tools, systems, mindsets, etc. that will help them move forward.
CVh: HOW’S IT CONNECTED TO THE OTHER COLLECTIVES?
SS: It’s a national organization that originated in San Diego. Detroit is the third—and biggest—chapter to date. There are so many new chapters launching in 2020! Which is exciting as for our local members, as they are now able to network and collaborate with bosses all across the US.
Many new opportunities have been created for our members this year simply through conversation and sparking collaborate. I can’t wait to see how it expands in the New Year.
CVh: WHO’S A MEMBER? HOW CAN I BECOME A MEMBER?
SS: We have such a wide variety of women who’ve been attracted to our chapter, from women in their early twenties to fifties and sixties. Our members range from the seasoned entrepreneurs to brand new entrepreneurs to budding to working for a company but could benefit from the knowledge shared, comradery and establishing local relationships.
CVh: HOW HAS THE ORGANIZATION GROWN OVER THE PAST YEAR?
SS: It’s grown a ton! Our chapter alone has approximately 80 members. Dames Collective as a national organization started from three chapters at the beginning of the year and has grown to eight, with 13 on the horizon to launch in 2020.
CVh: WHAT’S IT TAUGHT YOU?
SS: That we can do more and have a lot more fun when we do it together versus compete with each other. That our community is tough as nails and also has the biggest heart. Coming from a coaching background, I knew the power of creating a safe space for my clients to open up and be vulnerable to create positive transformation in their lives.
This year really showed me just how powerful this space is. It was unbelievable to see how this community opened up and shared tough shit during our meetings. Especially when the world can be such a negative place. It’s so beautiful to see strangers reach out to each other to send positive thoughts, strength, or donations in time of immense challenges.
CVh: WHAT’S IN STORE FOR YEAR TWO?
SS: All of the goodness from year one but even deeper relationships. Our Morning MindFUEL’s are such a dynamic and inspiring way to start each month, and we’re excited to play with a few different ideas to switch up our After Hours events. More details to come soon!
CVh: TELL US ABOUT THIS ANNIVERSARY BASH.
SS: Dames Detroit has officially been launched for over a year now and we are throwing a bash to celebrate the community and get excited for a new decade together. We’ll have live music, over $1000 in raffle giveaways, and a donation drive for Alternatives For Girls as well as cocktails from Two Chicks Cocktails, wine from Babe, and a Gin & Tonic station by Remy Cointreau. It’s going to be such a fun night celebrating women who are boldly chasing their passion and creating the lives of their dreams.
CVh: WHAT DID I FORGET TO ASK?
SS: You can check out all the details and celebrate with us by snagging your ticket here!