Olympia is an awesome town thanks to the creative, expressive and hardworking community members who we call our neighbors. In this historic town, we stick by each other, helping to build up the fabric of our city. For generations we have found bonds that unite us and have worked together to make Olympia a place of inclusion, equality and community leadership. Two of our neighbors, Olivia Salazar De Breaux and Kathryn Coffman, have harnessed in the spirit of Olympia, creating a fantastic group that empowers female business owners from around the region. Known as the Oly Girlboss Collective, this group is changing the face of business in the region, and inspiring a new generation of entrepreneurs.
Olivia and Kathryn have been in the Olympia area for the majority of their lives. Olivia, a child of military parents, moved from Germany to Olympia in kindergarten and has been here ever since. Kathryn has lived in Olympia since she was just six weeks old, adopted from California and relocated to Olympia. Both have a deep connection to the region. This relationship with the region helped spur on the Oly Girlboss Collective.
Olivia is the creator of OlyBella, an all-natural lip butter company that was created to make safe products that Olivia would feel comfortable letting her children use. Kathryn created Fashionably Frank Marketing and has worked with a handful of Olympia and Thurston County’s best groups. In what can only be described as the power of Olympia bringing them together, Olivia and Kathryn finally met in person after following each other on Instagram for many months. The meeting wasn’t a planned one, they just happened to be at the same random accounting class outside of Olympia in April 2017. The two hit it off and immediately started brainstorming a way to bring fellow business owners together. That is when they deiced to start the Oly Girlboss Collective.
“The Oly Girlboss Collective is a support and networking group for female business owners in the Olympia, Washington area, participating in monthly meetings for support, mentorship and general networking,” described Olivia and Kathryn. “We are made up of a variety of age groups, gender expressions, sexualities, religious and political beliefs and ethnic backgrounds, but are all fearless, entrepreneurial women.”
Each month, the Oly Girlboss Collective holds get-togethers and events that are hosted at a different location organized by the members of the group. By doing this, instead of having a fixed location, it allows members of the group the ability to see their fellow business associates in their sacred spaces and natural elements. At each meeting, there is a 15-20 minute “mini lesson” that rotates through the members of the group. By giving a platform for each woman to share something she’s learned through her business, the level of connectivity amongst the group increases, as do the lessons of running a business.
“Don’t expect a stiff, stuffy environment when you walk into your first meeting – it’s not about sales pitches,” Olivia and Kathryn explained. “It’s about taking the time to get involved with each other’s businesses and make natural connections. Think of the OGC as your fun, nightlife social event with business card exchanges and free education – it’s a girlboss’s night out on the town!”
In less than a year, Oly Girlboss Collective has become a huge force in Thurston County, currently working with well over 100 local businesses, and growing every week. Spread through a wide variety of professions, this group is unlike traditional networking groups, finding that connections between businesses happen naturally and with time. In just a few short months, the group has had numerous successes.
“There’s seriously so many successes that have happened in the short eight months of our group’s existence,” beamed Olivia and Kathryn. “One of our favorites is that one girl received her very first wholesale order for her apparel line solely based on the connections made through the group, and tons of us who are in the marketing and branding fields have teamed up to create packages for local businesses and have used our unique talents to create an even greater cohesive whole.”
In just a few short months, the Oly Girlboss Collective has done an amazing job empowering women business leaders around the region and it looks like the trend is continuing upward. For the community members in this group, coming together is building a stronger city, ensuring that the progressive and creative voices of Olympia and beyond are heard, respected and leading the charge.
Through Kathryn and Olivia’s backgrounds in activism work, they have sought to create a support network for women entrepreneurs, and that is exactly what they have accomplished with the Oly Girlboss collective.
“We know what it’s like to be female entrepreneurs in our own businesses and the undeniable imposter syndrome we all face when starting out,” stated Kathryn and Olivia. “We’re both familiar with non-profit work, previously serving on boards and bringing people together cohesively – we think that’s why the group works so well in the fashion that we execute it. We’re trying to build a culture of community over competition and support among us women – there’s truly room for everyone.”
To learn about joining, visit the Oly Girlboss Collective website.