What do you do when you get together with girlfriends?
You catch up on life, you laugh a lot, and you probably leave feeling inspired and supported.
That's the goal of Her Community, a new group in Fort Worth. A pop-up market this weekend will help the founders achieve their mission to do something good.
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The founders are a group of women who go way back — back to their days at J.P. Elder Middle School in Fort Worth. Mariah Adedeji, Lizette Escobar, Evelyn Gaucin, Maria Sigala and Priscilla Starr were a group of five trying to figure it all out.
"When I first started driving, I got my Jeep and we all went on a ride and we were super afraid 'cause we were like, 'we don't know what we're doing, but we're driving now,'" Gaucin recalled.
High school, college and career took them in different directions. Adedeji and Escobar live out of state now. Gaucin moved to Austin, yet she felt the pull back to Fort Worth. "Honestly, they were a big part of my decision to move back," Gaucin said of her friends.
Through the years, the miles, Facebook, emails and video chats, the friendship stuck. Now in their mid-20s, they found themselves at another crossroad.
"We were talking about how, at our age, we need to be doing something that fulfills us a little more. We kind've felt empty," Sigala said.
"Really, it was a car ride talking about our future, talking about our futures" Starr said.
And in that conversation, Starr had an idea: Create a community of women focused on friendship and philanthropy; a circle of support like the five women have in each other.
"I'm like, 'what's a way where we can help the community, help women and make a difference? And we're like, 'let's start a womens' group,'" Starr explained.
"We want to be their thought partners, think through, talk about whatever they want to talk about so that they can keep moving forward and achieve whatever it is they want to achieve," Gaucin added.
The group Her Community started six months ago with women going to brunch and finding support in conversation. Now, it's evolving to in include Her Market, a biannual pop-up market featuring all-female vendors with fees going to non-profits that support women and girls.
"It's about supporting each other. It really is," Starr said.
"Just taking a leap of faith, that's what it was for all of us. it was so scary to start something like this," Starr said. "For me, it's just having faith that we're gonna be taken care of because we are following our hearts."
Starr and her friends have found that support through more than a decade of friendship. It gave each of them the foundation to find themselves and a greater purpose.
"Just being able to grow up with people for such a long time, this is like, Kardashian video now, just the fact that you have friends for such a long time. I'm grateful they're still sticking with me." Gaucin said through tears.
"I have friends, actually, sisters that I can count on and it feels amazing," Starr added.
Her Market will be on Sunday, March 10 from noon to 5 at The Foundry District in Fort Worth.
Booth fees benefit The Worth Co., a social enterprise of The Net, a nonprofit serving victims of sexual exploitation in Fort Worth. The Worthy Co seeks to give sex trafficking victims economic independence.