Claudia Chan had a vision. As president and co-owner of Shecky’s, a renowned women’s entertainment company known for producing the popular Girls Night Out events across America, she had become a seasoned entrepreneur. After nearly a decade in the business, she began to connect the dots between the knowledge and wisdom she was gaining from all of the accomplished women who had come into her life, and decided that it was time for a life change.
Claudia realized that she needed to create a vehicle to share all this good stuff with other women. Thus was born ClaudiaChan.com, “a for-purpose media brand that celebrates the leadership, intellect and inspiration of women.” Featuring interviews and profiles of a variety of amazing female business, nonprofit and social change leaders, the site offers ordinary women the opportunity to learn from and be fueled by the very real achievements of women who have met their dreams and passions head on.
Next week (June 18-24, 2012), the company will host an impressive array of live events in New York City called S.H.E. SummitWeek. As she prepares to see her vision come alive, I decided to learn a little more about the woman who wanted to inspire other women to also jump into their futures with gusto…
1). What made you decide to launch this new company? What drove you to make that shift in your career?
As a successful entrepreneur, I attended events where I had the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s most accomplished women. But when I spoke with my own friends—successful, educated women— I began to realize that most women didn’t have access to the insights and experiences of women like those I was coming in contact with. And media seemed largely to ignore women’s accomplishments to focus instead on women’s looks. I felt everyday professional women needed a place where they could learn from and draw inspiration from the women I knew who had already found the courage to pursue their big dreams and change the world.
I created ClaudiaChan.com as a place where all women could begin to indentify their dreams and find the strength they need to pursue them. S.H.E. Summit Week is the real life realization of the inspiration on the pages of ClaudiaChan.com—a chance to meet women who are dreaming big and doing big things and to celebrate the achievements of women together.
2). What type of feedback from attendees would make you really happy?
I would love to hear that women who attend S.H.E. Summit Week drew inspiration from the event presenters and the other attendees. I believe that as women, we have so much to learn from each other. I hope that S.H.E. Summit Week will be an opportunity for women to step back from their hectic schedules and connect with themselves, their dreams and each other.
3). What has been your favorite part about the planning of the S.H.E. Summit? Your biggest challenge?
My favorite part about planning S.H.E. Summit Week has been seeing what we can accomplish when we set our minds to something. S.H.E. Summit Week was planned in two months! We are hosting more than 35 events throughout New York City, and many of them are already fully booked. I found that when you really believe in what you’re doing, you can find a lot of others who believe in it too and are willing to pitch in to make your dream a success.
The biggest challenge has been to make my vision scalable. I am a dreamer and I know that my ultimate vision is going to make more of an impact than I even I can foresee, but I have also learned that you need a solid foundation to build a movement. In planning S.H.E. Summit Week there have been invaluable experiences, that although were frustrating at the time, have been stepping stones to ensure that this year will exceed my expectations and that next year will be an even bigger success.
4). Has there been anything about this discovery process that has been frightening, and how have you gotten through it?
The most frightening part of this process has been the fear that my hope for a new space in which to celebrate women’s accomplishments would be too premature; that the world would not be ready to recognize the need for radical change in the way women are portrayed in the media. Reading the interviews on ClaudiaChan brings me back to the heart of my mission and at the height of my fear, their stories on finding confidence and taking risk have given me the encouragement I need to be a trailblazer despite my moments of doubt.
* * * * * * * *
Who better to inspire women to make dramatic changes to follow their dreams and improve their lives than a woman who has made a dramatic change to follow her dream and improve her own life, as well as the lives of others? Claudia Chan has set the bar very high for herself as well as her company. She has ulterior motives, though… she is trying to get you to join her!
Image Credit : AudreyMagazine