Locals create company and events to empower girls

Locals create company and events to empower girls

Two Franklin women have created a company that runs workshops and conferences for young girls to teach empowerment and how to love the self.

The unexpected death of a cat and a perfect weathered afternoon on a porch sparked two Williamson County women to start an initiative promoting young girls learning to love themselves and feel comfortable with who they are.

Franklin’s Courtenay Rogers and Knight Stivender officially created Girls to the Moon in December 2014. Their ultimate goal is bringing girls ages 8 to 14 together to allow them to explore their creativity, build relationships and become leaders.

“Knight was going to console me with this cat death,” Rogers said with a bit of a laugh. “But it was old, and I was OK. But we got to talking about these ideas, and we decided we wanted to do something. We got our laptops out and started thinking of a name. As soon as we figured out the name, we Googled and bought it that very second.”

Connecting with a third friend in Nashville, Courtney Seiter, the three combined their marketing, tech and communication skills to figure out how to jumpstart their company.

While they weren’t expecting more than 50 people at their first event last fall, more than 250 guests attended. Speakers with experience and degrees in a myriad of health, tech, art and psychological fields gave the girls in attendance three different tracks to learn from.

We didn’t want this just to be about just STEM or just confidence,” Rogers said. “We know now the key to being a happy person is having a balance in your life. It’s feeding your soul and your creativity.

“We had a speaker that talked about being healthy – not being skinny or eating right. It’s just loving your healthy body. It’s important to build that foundation.”

As they expand their calendars in 2016 from one event to several, the three associates want to come back with their one large event dubbed the “campference.”

Rogers and Stivender said they picked the age range based on what their children’s ages are. They want their own children to feel confident and empowered, even starting from age 8.

I think our culture has evolved a lot,” Stivender said. “But it’s still a dominant culture of old fashioned ideas. We all have those experiences when you’re 10 to 11, 12 and 13, where you feel things crushing you, and where you feel defeated. But if you don’t learn from it, you get stuck on it forever. It’s really in middle school they are beautiful, smart and amazing. They just don’t see it.

Rogers and Stivender have noticed since starting the company changes in their daughters and the relationships with their mothers. They both said they felt insecure in high school for different reasons.

We’ve been one of those girls – popular or picked on – but now that we are grown up it’s nice to put that into use and make a change,” Rogers said. “And there needs to be a change, and we can do something about it.”

Lately, they’ve been planning for their Valentine’s Day event dubbed “The Love Within,” a workshop for girls and their caregivers on discovering love from the inside out.

Two of Franklin’s own will act as guest speakers, along with another woman from East Nashville. Girls will take home a love note jar craft and homemade sugar scrub. They will also receive tips on keeping their skin healthy and putting their best face forward. The three-hour workshop is aimed at girls from 12 to 14 on Saturday, Feb. 13, at Emma Bistro in Nashville.

For more info for Girls to the Moon, visit their website here.

Emily West covers Franklin for Home Page Media Group. Contact her at emily@franklinhomepage.com. Follow her on Twitter via @emwest22.

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