There is such power in surrounding yourself with inspiring people. And while this week’s Women of Ace, Meredith Garritsen, is absolutely one of those people, she’s also created a (much-needed) space for this precise community to connect with one another. Keep reading to find out the passion and purpose pushing her forward to help women execute their dreams.
ACE: What are you up to? ( Your current hustle )
Meredith: I’m the founder of Hervana Coworking Collective, a platform for women to connect, share knowledge, and grow their businesses. I curate monthly events and workshops, and focus on creating an environment for women entrepreneurs to accelerate their success.
ACE: Why is this important to you? ( Where did this passion come from? )
Meredith: In my own experience I found that in addition to the common barriers facing women, there was a lack of support, from women for women, within the workplace. When I had my own team working under me, I made it a priority to champion the women on my team and nurture their learning. I got so much out of that experience and just loved the flow of knowledge and energy. It was such a stark contrast to what I had experienced, I can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to do the same or cause someone to suffer because they had suffered.
ACE: What was your dream job growing up? How do you think this has influenced who you are today?
Meredith: I always wanted to be a Business Woman. Now I know that isn’t an actual job, but I always saw myself as being the boss one day, so I think that it’s fitting that I ended up an entrepreneur.
ACE: If you could describe yourself in only three words, what would they be?
Meredith: Ambitious. Fair. Brave.
ACE: Who’s your biggest inspiration and why?
Meredith: I’m so inspired by kids. The freedom and purity that kids experience their lives, from my 4 year old niece who has no shame in showing the world her emotions whether happy, or sad, or annoyed, to the kids of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High who are doing something so special in loudly speaking out for their future, their siblings’, and other children. Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai, there is so much power when you see these children taking action without concern for reputation or backlash. They’re authentically acting in their truth.
ACE: What does the term “Boss Babe” mean to you?
Meredith: A woman who owns her own choices and actions.
ACE: How do you empower other women?
Meredith: Personally, I make effort every day to be non-judgemental. If societal pressures could be removed from women I think we would see truly amazing accomplishments on a massive scale. Professionally, my favourite part of my business is the curation of workshops and other events. I get to go out and find people who are experts and bring them to Hervana to share their knowledge.
ACE: What is the best advice you’ve ever received from another woman?
Meredith: When you make decisions, look to your head, your heart and your gut. Whatever you choose, make sure that at least two out of those three agree.
ACE: Can you share the biggest lesson you’ve learned from a failure?
Meredith: I actually really love failure, there is so much that is learned and you learn so much more quickly when you fail. I think that’s my biggest learning; to love and embrace failure for the opportunity it provides.
ACE: When you are feeling overwhelmed, what do you do to find peace?
Meredith: I walk in the forest if I can. If that’s not possible, I either take a step away, or I choose a task I know I can complete with ease. Sometimes just getting a win in is enough to make the biggest tasks feel possible.
ACE: What legacy do you hope to be remembered for?
Meredith: Being a champion for women.
ACE: Where can we find out more about you so we can continue to support you?
Meredith: Drop into Hervana if you’re in Vancouver, we’re right downtown! Come for a day to work, or attend an event. As much as I love social media, there is magic in in-person connections. You can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch as well.