The moment I developed the concept for Whine & Cheese, I wanted to host a gathering right away! Unfortunately, I was living in a 600-square-foot apartment at the time and didn’t have the space (read: WHINE). I reached out to my sister-friend, Nikki, who graciously opened her home for the first (and second) gathering as I was not set to close on my home for a few more months.
The next step was to come up with a guest list. The intent was to create a new circle of friends, meaning I would pull from my various networks. I reached out to old college friends who lived in the area, new girlfriends I’d met in my choir at church and local sorority sisters. I also encouraged any friends that wouldn’t know anyone in the group to invite a friend. With the expectation of hosting no more than 10 women, to keep the circle small, I extended the invite to 15. I sent an invite out through email that asked them to arrive dressed in their most comfortable attire (think: sweat pants, hair tied, chillin’ wit’ no make up on) with a bottle of wine in hand. I supplied the snacks.
Ten women showed up! Because most of them didn’t know each other, I started with an icebreaker. It was the month of February, so we shared our most memorable Valentine. With the help of the wine, everyone loosened up and by the end of the night it was like we’d all known each other for years.
A little over a year later, we still meet bi-monthly for “Whine & Cheese,” now at my house (read: CHEESE), and even fit in happy hour, dinner or movie in between time. I have conquered so many feats because of their prayers, encouraging words and counsel and I can confidently speak for them when I say they have as well. As a group, we’ve conquered things such as graduate school, relationship woes, crazy bosses, financial struggles, unemployment and passing the bar! No matter what trials and tribulations lie ahead, I have these girls’ backs and they have mine. And WHEN we overcome, we smile together.
Want to start a “Whine & Cheese” chapter? LET ME KNOW!
Before you host your official “Whine & Cheese” gathering, I want to make sure you’re properly registered and receive the welcome basket that will include all the essentials for your first event. Please keep in mind that I’ll need about 3 weeks notice.
Here’s how to get started:
- Approximately 10-15 women in your area that you think would be compatible
- A block of 3-4 hours of uninterrupted time to chat every other month
- A venue — I suggest someone’s home because there you can relax, take as much time as you want and not have to worry about outsiders overhearing your private discussion
- Food & Drinks — The theme is wine and cheese, but your group can decide what’s best! Half of my group brings wine while the other half brings cash to order takeout — nothing fancy required!
- An icebreaker — Even though we know each other by now, we occasionally still open with an icebreaker. I can help you with some ideas!
- Open ears and open arms to all in attendance!
XO – Natalie