By Colleen Patterson
Hensi Morris will you right out of the gates. It’s not a competition Prevailing cultural myths will tell you otherwise. Women, we think, compete with and undermine one another at every turn, a pattern we’ve labelled as cattiness. When we support each, it’s lauded as exceptional behavior.
Hensi Morris knows that not to be the case.
One look at her organization, Lipstick Sister and you’ll find a thriving network of empowerment which has expanded within the past eight years from a single 30-person get together to nearly half a dozen nation-wide chapters spread across Los Angeles, San Diego, Washington, D.C., New York and Orange County.
As Morris writes on the Lipstick Sister site:
“I built this platform for women to feel loved, valued and respected for who they are and where they are in life. I wanted to eliminate ego, jealousy, envy, and provide avenues of support to encourage growth and prosperity.”
In other words, the ultimate aim of a Lipstick Sister is to provide a supportive space for women to be their best selves.
“It’s all in the spirit of sisterhood,” says Morris; therefore, your background doesn’t matter. Anyone from stay-at-home moms to young professionals to business owners and creatives are welcome to apply. Admission is based on one primary principle: a positive outlook on life.
Furthermore, Morris adds:
“Our members are committed. Once women join, they’re already in the right headspace to connect. They’re grateful for where they are in life and comfortable with themselves. They’re happy but eager to grow and learn and continue to evolve.”
In that spirit, Lipstick Sister members are asked to sign a code of conduct, as well as confidentiality agreements to ensure that everyone is mutually contributing to a safe space where there is zero tolerant for cattiness, competition, and mean-spiritedness.
Morris also wants to make it as easy as possible for her sisters to carve out one day a month for restoration and support:
“We try to stick to the same schedule so that it’s in your head.”
Consciously or not, Lipstick Sisters come to anticipate their monthly gathering on the last Sunday of every month. “The biggest challenge for every one is time—but our members find that it is really important to be present for the one day they have month to recharge and reconnect.”
Consistency, says Morris, accounts in large part for their high attendance rates; that and limiting the number of chapter members to fifty a piece.
“Of course we have an online presence but at the end of day, we’re not trying to reach the masses. Having a lot of audience doesn’t mean you’re changing a lot of lives. We’re focused on making a difference.”
That commitment to quality set by Morris and her chapter leaders is happily matched by the members of Lipstick Sister. In fact, it’s their commitment to the organization that keeps Morris inspired and motivated:
“Every chapter stays connected through a web chat and that gets me going every day. Every morning I wake up to messages exchanged among members and the sentiment is always, ‘I’m so grateful for you guys, you’ve changed my life.’ It feeds my soul! It’s one of my biggest sources of motivation every day.”
Eight years ago, Morris sold her PR firm and relocated to Los Angeles, where she didn’t anyone “in a place of discovery.” There, she closed her eyes and took a deep breath and decided to connect. Today, Lipstick Sister has take on a life of its own.
“Ideally we will continue to grow our chapters,” she says. “Our members are having little girls now and hopefully by the time their little girls are 15 or 17, they’ll have their own space.”
To learn more about Hensi Morris’s organization, visit lipsticksister.com.
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