The Midlands Anchor recently talked startups with two women looking to make a change.
On November 14th, Samantha Shapin, Brittany Kilpatrick, and our own Tia Williams spent the afternoon chatting about women empowerment and a new publication justifiably named “Bonded”.
Bonded is a Columbia-based startup focused on several different issues pertaining to women empowerment. You can find articles on the issues of modern women, profiles on modern women in the workforce as well as analysis on the depth of female friendship. But bonded isn’t just a publication. From branded content such as t-shirts and bags, to happy hour networking events, to participation in the EngenuitySC Ignite! ideas competition, these co-founders are getting the word out: sisterhood and equality is in!
But let’s take a step back and talk about how these women got to where they are and how the idea of Bonded came about. Sam and Brittany met in law school. After many conversations about their desires to take a deeper look and examine female friendships, an idea was sparked. However, law school graduation took the women in two different directions leaving their sparked idea on the shelf for a bit.
After the world of Law didn’t quite live up to professional interests and expectations, the women both took a step back and re-evaluated what they wanted to be doing with their lives. Additionally, witnessing sexual harassment, loneliness and unequal pay in their field triggered an itch to expand upon the idea they spent so many hours discussing and fantasizing about.
For months, the pair planned, set aside finances, laughed, cried, and finally the “stars aligned” and Bonded was born. That was in July of 2016. Fast forward 6 months and this powerhouse duo is on fire. Bonded is taking off and there’s no hint from either one of them of slowing down.
Of course, there have been highs and lows. A high for the team? Brittany said it’s those random occasions when women recognize the pair and thank them for doing what so many women are afraid to do– stand up against all odds. Low points? There have been some crushing challenges that are unique to most traditional startups. Sam talked candidly about how people out there, most formally known as internet trolls, are obviously against what they’re doing and make it known all over their social media and even in direct emails that they are not happy with the creation of Bonded.
When Tia asked the team, “What anchors you to the Midlands?” Brittany answered, “Columbia is taking off, it’s a very business friendly city with lots of women to connect with.” Sam said, “When I came here, I really saw a thirst for what we’re doing. Not enough people were talking about what we’re talking about. We think this is a great place to do it. When we took that step, we’ve gotten that affirmation back, it’s really exciting”. One area both ladies firmly agree is the potential for this Midlands community: “You can meet whoever you want here, it’s easy to connect here. We want Columbia to succeed. It’s the state capital of South Carolina, its should be on par with Greenville and Charleston. And it will be.” And we agree, here at the Midlands we love our startups and what they bring to our little piece of South Carolina.
INSIDE SCOOP ALERT: If you, your business, or your girlfriends are looking for a place to talk equality, meet academic, artistic, political & professional female peers, and have an all around fun day… Bonded has a workshop in the works, so stay tuned!!
We want to thank these women for becoming a voice and encouraging women all over the Midlands to find theirs as well. If you want to connect and come together with women, make sure to keep up with their social media and website for all the publication, events and product updates!
Find them on Instagram and Twitter @beingbonded
Watch the Startup Spotlight interview here: