“Be the person you needed when you were younger.”
The quote above was the turning point in Lily Robinson’s life for the moment she decided to bring Empowerment Ensemble to life. After getting laid off, Lily chose to see it as a blessing and an opportunity to follow her passion. She had always wanted to create “an empowering community for women” where they could essentially write to their younger selves. Not only has Lily provided an outlet for women to share their stories to possibly help and guide anyone else, but now women have a place where they can fully speak their truth and share THEIR story on THEIR terms. In a world full of loud voices and constant “you can’t do that because you’re a woman” mindsets, Empowerment Ensemble is exactly what we needed.
In 2 minutes I can sit back and think of countless women I have met in my life that have made an impact on me and my decisions. From my mom, grandmothers and aunts all the way to professors or simply a sweet woman I met in a workout class at the gym, I feel like we all share a spot in a special, beautiful, community of women that are constantly shaping each other. Lily says that in a way Empowerment Ensemble is “a giant thank you letter” to all the incredible women who have shaped her so far throughout her journey of life. Her project began with women she knew. “ I am who I am because of the wisdom they bestowed upon me at some point along the way. I just thought the rest of the world could benefit from their wisdom too.” and thank goodness for that because after starting there, Empowerment Ensemble quickly spread like wildfire from other family members, to friends and then soon to strangers with beautiful stories.
You are worthy, You are strong and Your voice matters!
I know that whenever I am facing a struggle or going through a hard time, I somehow feel comforted to know that others out there are facing, or have faced, exactly what I am going through; and survived. But, i’m human, it can be hard to open up and let others in to help you. With EE Lily was wanting to achieve 2 things, “ I wanted women around my age and older to know they are worthy, to know they are strong, and to know their voice matters. My other hope was to be able to reach younger women. They deserve a world where the sole fact that they are female holds absolutely no weight on the things they can achieve. They deserve strong role models. They deserve to not struggle in silence like so many of us did.” By simply going to Empowerment Ensemble’s page, it is easy to find testimonies from countless women sharing their stories to make their voices heard and to guide others. It is so refreshing to read such genuine words and stories so I highly suggest checking it out the next time you’re feeling a little low or need help finding your inner strength.
One of Lily’s most memorable moments actually comes from the experience she had with posting her own story to the Empowerment Ensemble blog. It is definitely easier to read other’s stories and I commend every woman and girl that has been brave enough to use her voice and share her life events for the world to read. Lily said after going back and forth with exactly how to word her own post and debating if she was sharing too much or not, she finally dove head first into it and quickly came to realize the amazing community she had helped bring together was as supportive to her as they had been to each other. “On the morning it was posted I started to receive so many beautiful messages of support. First from close friends and family, then from friends I hadn't heard from in years, and then finally from complete strangers halfway across the world. I was beyond speechless. It was the first time I thought to myself, this project could really be something.”
The story is just beginning…
Although Lily has conflicting feels regarding social media, which I couldn't agree with more, she decided it was the quickest way to reach the most amount of women. Yes, social media can be insanely dangerous and a place where insecurity and self doubt thrives but we have the power to use it for good as well, which is what Lily has done. Through platforms like Facebook and Instagram Lily is bringing back the honesty social media first started out with and is using it to engage and excite people! As you can imagine, the feedback from Empowerment Ensemble has been huge, but Lily said it was a grown man telling her he had to fight back tears at his desk when reading one of the letters from EE that made her start crying. Her friends and family have also showed an immense amount of support and appreciation for what Lily has started. “So many of the females in my life have offered to share their stories on the blog and I feel incredibly honored. Last weekend, I ran into a good friend of mine from college at a wedding. She came up to me, gave me a big hug and simply said: “Thank you for what you are doing.” and we can all second that, Lily!
Lily has contemplated several potential routes of growth for EE like a podcast, book, organized women hangouts or after school workshops (fingers crossed!) but wants it to grow naturally and not feel forced. “If EE remains exactly what it is now, a community for women online to share their stories and feel heard, then I will be eternally grateful.” With all of that being said I asked Lily what the number 1 thing is that she wants her audience to learn and she said, “You are not alone and you are enough exactly as you are.” and, to me, there could not be a better thing to want to teach girls, women, and anyone else on this planet.
It was so fun and rewarding learning about Lily and Empowerment Ensemble. Go check out the stories posted and maybe even write in yourself, you could always be helping yourself more than you know or reach someone across the country that could really use it!