ROCK STEADY: LOVING LIFE AND LIFTING WOMEN
On January 21st this year, an estimated 440,000 women and equality advocates marched in protest of misogyny and the presidential inauguration in DC and around the globe. Women taking faulty social systems and policy makers to task by standing up for equal rights and empowering one another is no longer a trend, but instead, a lifestyle.
Love Life Media founder and breast cancer survivor, Timea Gaines, has been inspiring others and bringing women in business and in the visual and performing arts together for five years in Washington, DC. What began as an inspired conversation at a music conference about content for Gaines’ blog for Women’s History Month turned into SheROCKS, an annual two-day event. While researching Gaines made some discoveries, “To my surprise I read an article mentioning that women visual artists were underrepresented in Smithsonian’s and museums throughout the world.
“I was frustrated that women were not represented well in visual arts and undermined in male-dominated industries. This frustration sparked the idea for an event that would simply say ‘we appreciate you, we see you, and you are amazing.’ I hosted it in the fellowship hall of my parent’s church and expected 30 people to show-up and looked up and it was sold out. What started as a simple idea is now a 5 year successful event that brings light to women in the arts and business whom are conquering male-dominated industries and prolifically impacting culture.”
At this year’s two day celebration and award ceremony, Gaines added HerStory to include keynote presentations given by Jessica Leigh Lyons, Caressa Jennings and Alysa Clay in between soundbites of how she conquered an excruciating chemo experience that changed her life. “It was great. We were excited to add a Ted-talk style event called SheROCKS Herstory. I believe it set the tone for fostering an authentic sense of community throughout the weekend. The women in business were very open to sharing their resources and information. Additionally, this year’s performing and visual artists were unbelievably talented. I would say it was successful over all because we accomplished the core mission of the event, which is to highlight underexposed indie visual and performing artists while fostering collaboration amongst women in business.”
SheROCKS honorees included SheROCKS Woman of the Year, Dr. Neeta Bhushan, SheROCKS filmmaker of the year Antoinette Brock, SheROCKS Art Innovators of the Year, Debora Balardini and Sandie Luna, SheROCKS Photographer of the Year, Ashley Bing, SheROCKS Industry Power Player of the Year, Anie Akpe, SheROCKS Woman in Fashion of the Year, Lynn Butterworth and Amy Oestreicher. being celebrated range from musicians to women excelling in business and the arts. Gaines states, “We really take the time to assure that our VIP guest are courted throughout SheROCKS and presented with opportunities to intentionally connect with stakeholders and thought leaders through elements like our Power Brunch and Mixer where they hear from women in various business and arts industries. This year we had Anastasia Wright, founder of IMG Agency and Behind the Music, Inc. She shared her journey from corporate music PR to now owning her own indie music and brand development agency.
“This year’s Pamper Party was presented by PRMP Beauty Studio. VIP guests got to experience quick hair-do’s, brow grooming, lash application, and nail service. They also enjoyed emotional aroma therapy, networking, and fashion tips and tricks.”
In addition to local beauty, fashion, and lifestyle vendors and live music that attendees enjoyed, SheROCKS takeaways were as clear as the writing on the inspiration wall guests were invited to write on. It doesn’t take an eagle eye to recognize excellence in women for both established and emerging talent. After all, we reap the benefits of women who seek to change the world for the better every single day. It’s pretty hard to miss. As a woman, Gaines believes, “You will always be the first investor into your dreams, what you invest determines what you will get…when you believe in the power of your dreams, there is no limit to what can happen.”