Love, spirituality, patriarchy, self care, money, self worth, depression, struggle, happiness, adversity, racism, oppression, intellectual property, ideas being stolen, working for free, asking for ones worth, commonality and distance, competition vs friendship and more are all up for discussion and exploration at a SWI meeting.
Freelancers experience abuse and mistreatment at a high rate, with no one to turn to and a lack of resources to fight back, the emotional and spiritual state weakens. It is especially difficult for creatives that have guilt from family obligations or immigrant backgrounds. If your family doesn't understand how the industry works it's difficult to relate or vent to loved ones as they can't fathom what we go through to pay the bills while chasing a dream.
Sisters With Invoices is a safe space for womxn of color, LGBTQI, non toxic male identifying allies, marginalized POC freelancers in various creative industries. White people are welcome and encouraged to join our meetings to gain perspective, insight and emotional knowledge.
From assistants, interns, producers + production trades, styling, wellness, set/art design, graphic designers, clothing designers, fashion/apparel business, musicians (female singers, songwriters and producers), writers and literati, food/culinary, holistic healing, the fine arts and the list goes on. Those who work within corporate structures on the back end of creative industries (accounting, agencies, lawyers, attorneys etc) are HIGHLY ENCOURAGED to attend - this is not limited to just creatives as professional management tools and insight is greatly appreciated. NON POC allies, those who hire/work alongside POC and males who face adversity/do not align themselves to the toxic oppression of patriarchy are welcome.
We believe that storytelling is a long lost art.
The power of giving the floor to a human coming from a real genuine place opens up a common ground amongst the room through the power of true honest emotion. This reminds struggling freelancers they are not alone thus bringing us back to humanity. Humanity has been lost in this ever prevailing digital age in which tools need to be reintroduced to further reinforce this dire necessity to navigate through reality + virtual reality. We encourage all SWI attendees to come to events that don't correlate directly with their actual freelance works as we can all learn or unlock something by exposing ourselves to the unfamiliar.
What happens at a SWI meet up?
Every conversation is led by a sister or brother hand hand picked by our founder Amelian Kashiro Hamilton that she feels has a truly authentic soul. Those chosen to lead have persevered in their industry with a honest, vulnerable story to share not just about work but self discovery from beginning to end. Every gathering will have a different industry theme that correlates with the lead story teller.
After our story leader finishes sharing we then open up the floor to conversation which will be moderated by founder Amelian Kashiro Hamilton starting with introductions of every person in the room - name, occupations, passions and where they are born and raised. Amelian, being from Anchorage AK faced challenges diving into the fashion industry as there were zero outlets for her growing up in the North West. Many people come to larger cities with a dream and she believes it's important to be prideful of what region one is from as a means of connection and personal understanding.
Amelian and our sister/brother story leader engage with attendees asking and answer questions, giving space for answers to develop or come from who may have them. This allows patrons the chance to gain + exchange advice, share personal stories, find solace, learn new self care tools for sanity and tips on apps and resources for productivity.
This is not a panel or a "networking" event.
We believe that panels create a hierarchy that creates distance between those in attendance. No one is more important or more valuable than the other at SWI. Audience members are teachers as well. We encourage people to follow a genuine feeling if someone in the audience or one of our leaders truly touches you but please do not come expecting to gain work or self promote. We encourage genuine friendship and spiritual connections at SWI. Think of the human first, not the connect, not the "let's link and build" dollar signs that suck the life out of developing a genuine connection. If someone wants to work with you, they will. If you are meant to collaborate, you will. This space is a break from such hustle and is geared to creating connectivity, sisterhood and a place for people to be heard, feel peace and be appreciated for their contributions.
We want to encourage and provide tools for future freelancers how to stay in the game and methods for NON POC employers to better service their employees with fairness.
The more we better navigate and help one another emotionally survive working in toxic landscapes we learn how to be better healthier bosses in our future endeavors. This encourages a new future with better work energy that cultivates employers that enforce fair treatment, wages and prosperity in the workspace. We hope to dismantle toxic behaviors and enforce inner strength, resilience and encourage those at the end of their rope not to give up.
At SWI we promote and cultivate the idea of a HUMAN FIRST approach to work because it's about time for those marginalized in the industry to be heard, protected and respected.
THERE IS ENOUGH ROOM FOR ALL OF US.
FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM AT @SISTERSWITHINVOICES