Two months ago, I was at a low point in life. I lost my biggest consulting client and therefore my main income that feeds my kids, pays my rent, and keeps me in drink and folly (the latter very necessary for a single mom.) I questioned my life decisions and contemplated wading back into the morass of finding a full-time job. After a weekend of pity, I decided to take control and seize the moment. I started brainstorming an idea I’d been clutching onto for years—a media site for women that speaks truth, doesn’t pander, and pulls no punches. I had some great broad (pun intended) ideas that could maybe possibly turn into something.
Then I started talking to my friend Allyson about it. Allyson is 25. I’m old enough to be her mother, literally. But from the first day I met her at the Daily Dot, when she poured whiskey in her coffee as a joke, only to find the CEO at her desk 10 minutes later, I knew I’d found a soulmate. She’s an old soul in the best sense of the word and we formed a meaningful friendship. Look, ain’t we cute?
So in late July, we shared a bottle of wine (and maybe a little more) and talked about Graceless. My daughters ran riot in the other room, occasionally peeking in to read what we were writing on all those pieces of paper on the wall.
That’s how Graceless started—two women from completely disparate generations that had something really damn similar to say. She’s a Millennial, I’m a Gen Xer. And funnily enough, neither of us had yet found what we wanted in media. We agreed on a lot of adjectives – non-ranty, undeniable, unnoticed topics, well-thought-out, self-deprecating but victorious, flappable, comfortable, always a work in progress.
So we threw up a site and emailed some friends and crossed our fingers and said fuck it. At the very least, we would have a blog on which to write things when we feel inspired. We were in no way prepared for the response.
Turns out, the idea of rejecting the Supposed To resonates with a hell of a lot people. Our female friends were the first fans and were instantly supportive. And then the men started reading, telling us how much they loved the writing. And how we gave them new angles to ponder. Last weekend, one of my most ‘conservative’ friends – a former Marine with a concealed-carry license that I argue gun rights with at every available turn – made my week when he told me he loved the site. To steal from LBJ—if we win Michael, we’re on to something.
Today is our 30-day anniversary and in digital media, that’s a big day. Your “30-day trending” is a marker you’re required to quote in every business discussion you have. And our first 30-day is going to hit a little under 17,000 page views. (We were hoping for 20k, but we’re greedy.) We’re overjoyed. And slightly overwhelmed. But mostly pretty damn proud of what we’ve created.
So next month this may all tank and, in the end, turn into a blog for Allyson and Carla. But we have a feeling it’s not going to. We have big plans that are only stymied by our need to keep working on our “real” jobs. Because food and rent. But in the meantime we want to thank everyone immensely for the support and shares and likes and all that social media crap that is so necessary these days. And most especially above all, we want to thank all the completely bad-ass women that have bared their souls on here. People got shit to say, apparently. And we’re honored to help you say it. Someday, maybe we can even pay you for it.
Keep writing. Keep sharing us with your friends. Most of all, keep being Graceless.
Photo courtesy of Flickr user Andreas Levers