ACROSS THE area, women meet each month to lift each other, support each other, share ideas, and give advice. With gatherings now taking place in Winchester, Tullahoma, and Manchester, the meetings are held by the grass-roots organization “Beauties in Business.”
The local networking group began with locals Laura Knight and Cassie Fulmer six years ago. The two friends decided to create an atmosphere where women could come and be supported and grow from that support. Initially, meetings have been held on the first Tuesday of each month at Camino Real in Winchester. With women coming from all over the area to attend the Winchester meetings, Fulmer said it was the next step to extend the organization and meetings to Manchester and Tullahoma.
“With our Winchester location, it was crazy how many people were coming from Tullahoma, Shelbyville, Manchester, and everywhere in between. We are now blessed to have some ladies going to multiple Beauties’ events every month,” she said.
Both Knight and Fulmer said the meetings follow the same formats and offer the same support and growth.
“We knew there was something magical about this triangle we have with Winchester, Manchester, and Tullahoma,” said Knight. “And if you could build a community of those women, that’s something special. We realized that these women were driving from Manchester and Tullahoma. We must expand and make this a little more doable for the mom who must drop off at soccer, catch the meeting, and get back.”
Meetings in Tullahoma are held on the third Monday of each month at Casa Mexico Restaurant. Both Fulmer and Knight said Beauties’ member, Tashonna Starr, has been tremendous in the success of the Tullahoma meetings.
“She is great,” said Fulmer. “She is our Beauties’ recruiter. We will be sitting with a group of 30 or more women, and when we ask who recommended them to attend a meeting, almost everyone says Tashonna. She is our go-to girl.”
Manchester meetings occur on the second Thursday of every month at Jefferson’s. Knight said Manchester meetings have been successful, thanks to local business owner and member Brooke Gipson.
“She is a rockstar,” said Knight. “She has got the ball rolling in Manchester.”
Knight added that they now offer monthly “pop-up” events at each location. They are not official meetings but opportunities for members who might not be able to attend evening meetings to have a chance to come out and have some much-needed support and fun.
“We do at least one pop-up each month,” she said. “The pop-ups are at different times of day in different locations. Sometimes we meet for lunch, happy hour, and even a fun activity such as group yoga or painting. These are great for members who can’t make the evening meetings. They don’t follow the meeting agenda but offer all the benefits of coming together and sharing.”
Grateful for the group’s success thus far, both Knight and Fulmer are excited about what the future holds for the group.
“We knew we wanted a safe, laid-back place for women to come and gather that’s going to benefit them professionally but also be a heck of a lot of fun socially. We’ve just done these things over the last six years, and it’s taken on a life of its own, and we are so excited to see where it goes,” said Knight.
To learn more about upcoming meetings and events and to connect with others, follow the group’s Facebook at Beauties in Business Networking Communities, and Instagram at @Beautiesinbiz. GN