Today we’d like to introduce you to Lindsay Jean Thomson.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
A few years ago, my best friend Kim and I were hanging out in the park flying kites and drinking beers when I blurted out something like, “do you want to start a women’s speaker series with me?” We bought the domain for Women Catalysts right then and there.
It started as a passion project – a fireside chat interviewing women in business, tech, the arts, and nonprofits with 100% of the ticket sales donated to our speaker’s cause of choice – but quickly grew into more. We now host events in the Bay Area (where we started), LA, Seattle, Denver, NYC, global pop-ups, as well as an active online community.
Over the past almost four years, we’ve hosted something like 70+ events, brought together thousands of women, and raised a lot of money for good causes. One of the most rewarding things I hear from the community is that Women Catalysts is where they make real friends. They also find cool jobs, meet clients, get connected to helpful service-providers, hire rad people, and more. We love bringing people together.
In addition to Women Catalysts, I also write and co-lead #The100DayProject with my friend Elle Luna. For the past couple of years, I’ve been chronicling my experience with breast cancer for VICE’s health vertical, Tonic.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way? What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Yes and no. I got diagnosed with a pretty serious stage of cancer a little over a year in, so definitely affected our trajectory. But it was also incredibly heart-opening and life-affirming to have the community we built show up and support me through a really challenging life experience.
If you’re just getting started, awesome! Take that idea you have and love and nurture it. Show up for it. Ask for help. Actually, let people help you. And keep going.
What should we know about Women Catalysts? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Can one specialize in being a generalist? Ha! I do a lot of things, primarily in these three areas: teaching, writing, and community building. I like to say that I’m a champion for finding the best in yourself and others. My business partner likes to say that I’m prolific – I’m constantly creating new content, new experiences, new projects. I’m proud of my ability to be generative in that way. But mostly I’m proud that the work we do does good in the world.
For good reason, society often focuses more on the problems rather than the opportunities that exist, because the problems need to be solved. However, we’d probably also benefit from looking for and recognizing the opportunities that women are better positioned to capitalize on. Have you discovered such opportunities?
I love that you asked this question because that was part of the original impetus for starting Women Catalysts. So much of the narrative around women and work is negative, but we know lots of women doing incredible things – starting companies and nonprofits, making art, writing books. Right? Women are fucking amazing. We thought that was a much better story to be telling. Not to downplay what’s hard, but to let other women know that they can do it too. We can do anything.
- Website: www.womencatalysts.com
- Email: LJT@womencatalysts.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/lindsayjeanthomson
- Other: www.the100dayproject.org
Regina Felice Garcia