One Girl Band
We recently discovered 'One Girl Band', a collective for female-identifying entrepreneurs and creatives based in Brighton, East Sussex. With a mission to encourage and empower women into business we knew we had to know more. Here we speak to founder Lola Hoad, to find out more.
"One Girl Band is there for the female-identifying creatives + entrepreneurs. It's a collective where we can support and nurture one another, with no judgement or malice. We don't believe in stuffy networking events full of suits; we are laid-back, informal, sometimes pretty sweary, because that is what real life is."
F&A: Tell us a bit about yourself and your creative practice?
LH: I’m a letterer, designer and small business coach. I started my paper goods studio, LH design in 2014 when I was 19, and then started One Girl Band, a collective for female entrepreneurs + creatives a year after. With all things LH design, I handletter everything on paper, scan it in and then fix it digitally. It’s then laid out ready for print, and sent to our printers just down the road from the studio. Everything is sourced from the UK, from our card stock to our envelopes, and we pride ourselves on being as sustainable as we can be whilst working with paper.
F&A: How did OGB come about?
LH: I had been in business for a year and realised how many superb women were doing their own thing and hanging out on social media, but they were feeling isolated + lonely- only getting their daily interactions from social media, and were having a lot of feelings of comparison and failure (social media can be a breeding ground for that sort of thing!). I knew I needed to get them into the same room, in real life to show that we really are all in the same boat, no matter what Instagram might tell you. I then hosted our first meet up in a restaurant in Brighton, and now we have monthly meet ups and Expertise Sessions, as well as offering mentoring services and of course, we’ve just opened up our first coworking space!
F&A: Why is it important to encourage and empower women into business?
LH: Empowerment of women in business means allowing women to have more control over their lives, and to create the life that they desire. For so long, we’ve been told our only use is to be the man’s assistant, and that just isn’t feasible nowadays, let alone the least bit fair. It means giving them the freedom to make their own schedules, learn new skills and gain confidence in whatever they set out to do. Empowerment is created when the strengths that women already bring to the economy are recognised and utilised.
F&A: Do you feel there is a lack of dedicated spaces for women to be creative and supported?
LH: At the moment, it’s becoming a bit of a trend in the US/AUS, which is great, but I do feel the UK needs more, and that those spaces need to welcome everyone (trans, cis, non binary, WOC and everyone else). Something that I think sums it up pretty well is that I feel this incredible power and invincibility when I come out of a room that was filled with powerful, exciting women, and my aim to get every woman to feel that. You get a real feeling of community, empowerment and support, and think every woman deserves that.
F&A: Who is your typical OGB member?
LH: We don’t really have a ‘typical’ member, but everyone is creative in someway or another, has their own venture/business and craves to be surrounded by women who get it. We’ve got a real mix of professions such as freelance marketers, personal assistants, PR’s, graphic designers, clothes designers, the list goes on!
F&A: What are your hopes for the future of OGB?
LH: Well, my main hope has come true with the space, so now I just want to grow even more and hopefully in around 2-3 years, we’ll be able to find a whole building for the collective.