The coffee date series on SMT is probably one my favorites (hello, because coffee is life) and one that continues to evolve in terms of the content. However, it’s purpose for being started remains the same. It’s a way for us to connect further through virtual conversations. So at the beginning, coffee date was all about the q&a. Then it moved to interviews with awesome women in the industry. Now it’s about taking action, being accountable, and continuing to build a community of women who want to be self-reliant. I wanted to take a step back and talk with you guys open and honestly about the SMT lifestyle.
So grab a coffee and let’s talk about being part of a community.
— The Self-Reliant Community —
Looking back to when I first started Style Me Tactical there were two things I couldn't have foreseen. First would be the amazing people I met and second is the lifelong friendships I’ve made. One of the intentions of SMT was to help connect like-minded women with shared interests and values and little did I know just how welcoming the 2A and self-reliant community would be.
It can be frightening and intimidating to step into the unknown, try new things, and put yourself out there. While the Internet and social media has made that easier, it's also opened up our audience to millions of people that can sit behind their keyboards judging and making us feel sh*ty. And when you think about social media, it's easy to avoid stepping out there and taking a risk. It's only natural that we want to feel protected but also valued and included. And what I found when I did take the risk to start SMT is that the people in this community on the other side of the keyboard are anything but hateful.
Everyday I see more and more women taking action and making the decision to take their personal safety seriously. These women are asking questions, are eager to learn more ,and the community is welcoming them with open arms. This community is encouraging to each other when they have bad days, they offer up tips and tricks when questions and guidance is needed, they are teaching and uplifting, and also provide a little bit of mindless distraction to the routines of our everyday lives.
It's only natural that we all desire to feel like we're part of something. And I think this community is helping to fulfill that need by sharing conversations where we grow, learn, make mistakes, and thrive. The best part is that we are doing it together, forming deeper connections and bonds with others who essentially started as strangers on the internet. I mean, how random and awesome is that?! We all support one another no matter where we are in our journey whether it be in life or just striving to be better prepared. We are building meaningful and sustainable connections. I never would've expected that would come from conversations over social media but I have truly met women that I'm constantly inspired by and value.
I feel so lucky to be part of this kick-ass community. The relationships and friendships are so rewarding. The opinions and feedback is invaluable. While I may have not met a lot of these women in person, one day I hope I can. I feel like we've been old friends. There's no reason to go at anything alone. This community of empowered 2A women that are taking responsibility for their own safety is here. We've got you. I never could've predicted that by following one person on IG and starting a conversation with them could lead them to being one of my dearest and closest friends.
I encourage you to step out into the unknown and find your community. Find your tribe of people that help, support, and believe in you. I can tell you this, you won't regret it. You never know where that interaction might lead or what you might find out about yourself.