Welcome to Spire & Co

I told ya we painting some walls at Smart Girls Group! (If you have no idea what I am talking about, head to our new website homepage). I’ve thought a lot about how I would write this post. That’s why it came in three parts, so that I could introduce you to the turning point, illustrate what went into the planning, and finally explain where we are going.

But before I explain what’s coming your way, I want to take you back to that conference room I mentioned last week.

Hannah Z, Quincy, Hannah O and I were sitting in this big conference room on the Tuesday following the conference. The plan was by no means to figure out the new name. I mean, I had been wracking my brain for months, buying notebooks just so I could make more name lists, and having brainstorming sessions with every one of my teammates. But then we got a new teammate this summer: Hannah O.

As I mentioned last week, she is my cousin and one of the original nine writers of Smart Girl’s Guide (how’s that for a #tbt?). If there is anyone on the team who knows my deepest intentions for the brand, it would be Hannah. After all, the intentions came because of my family, which she is very much a part of.

Anyway, so we are sitting there. Hannah Z., our Creative Director, is working so hard to get our minds focused on the branding, in hopes of finding a name. She’s really good at leading these kinds of conversations. Quincy is reading some of the first pieces I ever wrote on the Internet, trying to see if that strikes an idea. Hannah O. was on her computer, presumably researching. I was writing down the elevator pitch for the brand: “Inspiration and information for the aspiring young woman.”

Our ideas ranged from actual names for girls (we really liked Piper) to sailing vocabulary (because that is what I grew up doing) to weird combinations of words that I now can’t remember (thank gosh). Then, out of nowhere, Hannah O. pops her head up from her laptop and says, “What about spire?”

“What does that mean?” I asked.

“It’s derived from words that mean to be able to breath easier and the highest peak on a summit,” she replied.

You would have thought we just discovered the cure for the common cold. We all knew the second that Hannah said it that that was the name we were waiting for. And to say we were excited would have been the understatement of 2015.

But to no one’s shock, spire.com was taken, as were the social media handles. Ahhh, the challenges of entrepreneurship in the age of the Internet. The name stuck, though, so we were going to figure it out.

I was looking up domain names and saw that .co wasn’t taken. The second I saw the “co,” I was reminded of the mission statement I wrote seemingly forever ago for the company: “To be the trusted resource for young women aspiring to live their smartest, most confident lives. Whether she wants to run a marathon or run for President, we want to help her get there through content, community, and collaboration.”

See those three “co’s” at the end there? Well, no you know how we came to be Spire & Co. We chose the ampersand and symbol simply because we all liked the way it looked in the logo. I know, complicated stuff going on here.

But that’s not the only thing that is transforming here.

All original imagery.

It was very intentional that our first full time hire was a professional photographer. I’ll go into this more in detail later, but to make it short and sweet: all of our images for our articles will be created by us here at Spire & Co and will feature real readers. The reason for it is simple. If we are creating a brand built on the empowerment of young women, shouldn’t our imagery speak for that as well?

A new energizing email.

We have a brand new email newsletter, called the Energy Email, that will arrive in inboxes every Monday morning just in time for the dreaded Monday morning commute. It will feature bold messages from the wisest women, exclusive opportunities (i.e. internships, jobs, events, programs, etc.), and game changing resources. If you’d like to subscribe, click here!

Four verticals, endless inspiration.

You may have noticed we stripped down our content to four verticals: spirit, wellness, style & beauty, and living. We are sticking to the content that has consistently been readers’ favorites, while becoming more intentional with every word, every article, and every message. We have a team of rockstar editors behind the content, who I will be introducing to you in the upcoming weeks. In the meantime, check out their majorly inspiring articles! I loved this one that came out today by our Spirit Editor, Catherine Geller, called, “This Is How Powerhouses Define Their Values.”

A revamped chapter program.

We have been testing out our chapter program for a little over two years now. This summer we stripped it down, spoke to chapter presidents, and really figured out how we can create spaces within communities and on campuses that help members discover the immensity of their potential and in turn capitalize on it. (Sidenote: if you are interested in starting a chapter, email me at emily@spireand.co!)

I can’t express how excited I am for this new chapter. It is one that has been written by many people, many of whom I’m grateful to call teammates and advisors. My hope is that through this transformation, we will be able to create a space online that young women can full heartedly trust on their path to being their most confident, fulfilled selves. As we say here at Spire & Co (I can’t believe I’m finally writing that!), whether she wants to run a marathon or run for President, we want to help her get there. So whatever “there” is for you, I hope we can help you do just that.

Thank you for having my back through all of this. I hope that now is the time that I can have yours.