Today we’d like to introduce you to Kate Moore.
Kate, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Geek Girls Society started in 2015 in a Newhall comic book store run by Portlyn Polston and AutumnRain Glading. The group was created as an outlet for girls to come together in person and discuss their fandoms instead of relying on online venues to find people with similar interests.
The group quickly grew into four distinct “Houses” with members creating crafts, playing tabletops games and participating in other activities that would earn them badges for their official Geek Girls Society plaid ties.
As the group continued to grow, many adult women wanted to know how they could join in on the fun, and Geek Girls Forever began roughly four months later, serving adult women (and sometimes men) in hosting various social events throughout the month.
About a year later the comic book store was sold, and while Portlyn and Autumn initially continued running the groups, their business interests remained elsewhere. I had been a Geek Girls Forever member since its inception and had expressed interest in helping on the business side of things when they approached me about taking both groups over.
During this transition phase, the group had outgrown its initial space in the comic book shop, and the organization moved into its own office space across the street where it still resides today.
Currently, Geek Girls Society consists of three Houses in Santa Clarita loosely grouped by age, with one House serving girls on the Spectrum. We recently started a Burbank House serving San Fernando Valley that meets inside Geeky Teas and Games. And we are hoping to continue expanding into other areas during 2019.
Geek Girls Forever now hosts 10-12 different events a month. Monthly events include a book club, a graphic novel club, crafting events, tabletop gaming, a couple Dungeon and Dragons groups, movie screenings, geeky cross stitch and more.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Relatively speaking it has been a smooth road. I was very fortunate that the basic structure of both organizations is sound and still works with how both groups operate today. I also have an amazing group of volunteers that help me come up with new content as well as provides physical labor/manpower when I need it.
And I have a very loyal customer base; parents, children and adult members are very supportive of the groups and help spread the word about what the groups are doing.
The biggest struggle I have with either organization is people don’t know we exist! I do a lot of local, grassroots marketing for the organizations to spread the word about how amazing we are. I’m also very community oriented and like to collaborate with other business, vendors and artists to market our events or run a special event related to their talent. It’s a big geeky world and I’m all for sharing it with others.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Geek Girls Society – what should we know?
Geek Girls Society is an after school program offered to girls ages 8-18. Member meet twice a month for an hour and a half. Each meeting starts with show-and-tell, where they bring something in or talk about something they did or something that happened to them.
We also have a motto: A STRONG GEEK GIRL ALWAYS RESPECTS HERSELF, SHOWS RESPECT FOR OTHER GEEKS AND THEIR FANDOMS, AND CELEBRATES HER FANDOMS WITH JOY, PRIDE, AND PASSION.
Meetings are loosely centered around an activity, whether it be a craft, a game or a longer activity that we spread out over several meetings. A few times a year, we dig into a longer activity focusing on a badge to earn for our ties.
Activities, particularly badges, are done with girl empowerment in mind, members are encouraged to always try what we are doing. Even if it is not something they feel they are particularly good at, often times the encouragement from other members helps them realize they were better than they thought at something. Past badges have included: She Writes Comics, Cosplanner and Women’s Contributions to Flight and Space.
A large part of the group’s focus is allowing members to talk about their fandoms, whether it be a YouTube Channel, a Twitch broadcaster, a tv show, movie, book, comic book, etc.
Ma favorite thing about running this group, is watching the members gel. A lot of girls have become friends outside of the group. Older members help younger members transition to new grades and/or schools. The empathy and kindness that they have for each other is really something special. It is not uncommon for me to hear that meetings are the best part of their week.
Geek Girls Forever is more of a social club for adults 18 and up. This group is currently made up of members in their 20s, 30s, 40s and beyond. While the group is female-centric, that doesn’t mean men are excluded. If they are ok hanging out with a group that leans towards feminism and frequently discuss topics important to women, they are more than welcome to attend.
While monthly memberships are offered, most of the group are non-members attending events according to their fandoms, hobbies, and schedules. We also offer some free monthly events such as our book club and graphic novel club. We see a lot of traffic from people new to the area, looking to meet people. Or locals looking to get out of the house and do something fun for a couple of hours. Occasionally adults will attend a crafting event with their child.
Activities are very group centric, I am happy to re-do a craft night for people that weren’t able to attend previously. We have also hosted several, “finish your craft” nights, where attendees bring in previous projects they have started and have access to all the supplies needed to finish them. I’m always taking suggestions for new events, whether it be a new game that people want to play, a new craft, or a brand new event unlike we have done before, which is how we started playing Dungeons and Dragons.
It is amazing to run a company that doesn’t feel like “work.” I enjoy everything that I do for the organization and love hearing about members both children and adults feeling like they have found “their tribe.”
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My biggest cheerleader is my husband. While he originally thought I was nuts taking this organization over, he is also the first one to help with anything that I am doing, and I am grateful for that. Among his many talents he helps with all my graphic design, and provides the really big muscle when I need it and lets me use his power tools, ha!
I also have a group of five volunteers that I could not live without. They assist with marketing, assisting with the Geek Girls Society meetings, running some of the Geek Girls Forever meetings, not to mention they also help out at some of our bigger events such as local conventions and Free Comic Book Day by providing presence, muscle and a friendly face to answer questions of prospective customers.
- Geek Girls Society membership is $30/monthly plus a $35 one-time registration fee
- Geek Girls Forever is $30/monthly plus any applicable material fees for crafting events
- Geek Girls Forever non-members can come for a $10 meeting fee plus any applicable material fees for crafting events
- Address: 24509 Walnut Street #203 Newhall, CA 91302
- Website: www.geekgirlssociety.com and www.geekgirlsforever.com
- Phone: 6615058801
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: /GeekGirlsSociety & /GeekGirlsForever
- Facebook: /GeekGirlsSociety & /GeekGirlsForever
- Other: meetup.com/GeekGirlsForever