It has been said that 2017 is the year of the woman. In light of the recent social climate, the feminist movement has risen up with new life. It has visually increased and gained momentum by the hundreds of thousands this year. Many (both male and female) have joined in peaceful protests, women focused events and campaigns all over the world bringing people together and providing a platform for this relevant topic. With social media at an all time high, most women can relate to the pressures of competition. If one thing is for sure, this movement has inspired more kindness and respect between women, allowing us to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
One of the women leading the charge in inspiring women to empower women is Courtney Wall of Lady Killas, San Diego's monthly meet-up for women in the creative field motivated to lead, network and make an impact. February's event was hosted at Pigment featuring Space 15 Twentie's Event & Content Manager, Sheewa Salehi and our Art Director, Sarah Laos. This event touched on the power of relationships in the creativity industry and friendships with a foundation of encouragement and motivation. Being The Venue Report, we're always in search for the inside scoop, so we recently chatted with the Lady Killa herself about her new endeavor and her life in the creative industry.
Photography by: Lady Killas
Hey Court! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Courtney Wall: I am a graphic designer who has lived a bit of everywhere, but I call Texas home! I'm a dog person who is allergic to dogs so I recently adopted a very cool cat and I spend my free time at coffee shops, screen printing, and overcommitting to plans.
You are one of the many women to have worked on Kylie Jenner's website for Kylie Cosmetics. Tell us about your role and how you strive to empower the women around you in the workplace.
Courtney: I had the pleasure of working on Kylie's site as one of two designers at BVACCEL. I designed a lot of the promotional assets and collaborated on UX improvements throughout the site. There is a lot of pressure and excitement when your audience is as large as Kylie's and it was definitely an adrenaline rush each time we'd launch a new product but I couldn't have asked for a better team. Working on Kylie, we quickly learned there is no time to "dwell" on a decision. We utilized each other's strengths to produce the best solution and that's really what led us to successful results. I strive to really empower everyone I work with and pass the credit where it's due. But, in particular I think I push the ladies I work with to chase after their personal passions. These days it's hard to find a job that only requires you to do one thing well. I encourage my girls to find those few things they enjoy most (wether they're great at them yet or not) and invest time in improving those skills until they become their secret weapons.
How have women empowered you throughout your career?
Courtney: The most impactful women in my career have been the one's who believed in my dreams when they seemed ridiculously out of reach. Their support inspired the extra confidence I needed in myself to achieve those goals. My mom has been one of my key cheerleaders and sources of inspiration. She has always had an outrageous work ethic and worked full time the majority of my life. This past year was the first time I saw her stop working because she was battling breast cancer and it was my turn to empower her. I really grew with her through that transition and appreciate life and how I'm treating my relationships and time more than ever. She is one fierce lady.
Can you give us one inspiring quote that you turn to, when times get stressful or tough?
Courtney: "Fortune favors the bold." And for the record, it never "is what it is". I hate this one because if you want to change something, you absolutely have the power to do so.
You recently embarked on a new endeavor... Lady Killas! Tell us about Lady Killas and what inspired the movement?
Courtney: I started this monthly meet up for women in the creative and tech fields to promote female empowerment and get us ladies the leadership roles and equal pay we deserve. I want to fire up those REAL relationships between women that social media masks. I dream this group becomes a safe place for all of the badass women out there to let their guards down and grow personally and professionally. Oh, and financially!
What is your vision for Lady Killas?
Courtney: This year, I opened the second chapter of meet ups in NYC and will be launching the website with merchandise and more at the beginning of Summer '17. I hope for the group to continue to grow nationally and become a positive network for women everywhere. And, you'll have to stay tuned to the shop for what other surprises I may be throwing in there!
Any cool stories from previous events?
Courtney: I think the coolest thing to me is when I see a new business page by a member pop up within a few days after I throw an event. I can hardly take credit for the inspiration the speakers share with our audience but knowing I got all of the right people in one room for it to click with even one girl in the audience to launch her business that following week makes my heart so happy every time.
Best piece of advice you've ever received?
Courtney: "Trust your gut". I think I get better at this one each year and it's really all about listening to yourself and what feels right for you at the time. If I ever find that I need to convince myself of all the reasons to do something, I usually abandon mission. Trust that you know what's best for yourself, at the end of the day.
Photography by: Lady Killas