– By Lindsay Strong –
As I walk into the Loews Minneapolis Hotel lobby, I am greeted by warm, friendly faces and kindly worded directions toward the elevators. Soon after exiting the elevator on the floor for Maiden Minnesota, I am surprised and excited by the scene that revealed itself around the corner. There are tables end-to-end filled up with beautiful displays of goods and services being donated by local businesses for the silent auction. Through the doors, a harmony of laughter, footsteps, and chatter fill the open spaces with a joy very familiar to me. Shopping is happening only just steps away from where I contemplatively and curiously stand. The best part? This year, all of it is in support of Dress for Success, a local non-profit organization that supports and helps to uplift women on their journey toward economic independence.
The beauty of Maiden Minnesota is that the support of women circles throughout the entirety of the event. Founded in 2007 by Tracy Dyer of Urban Junket and Jen Stack of Relish Minds PR, Maiden Minnesota has created an opportunity for women-owned businesses to come together, find support, and in turn, support other women. This marketplace provides an invaluable opportunity for the Maidens who run these businesses to network, share their skill, and connect with one another. Plus, according to their website, Maiden Minnesota is a pretty stellar Girls’ Night Out. Quite frankly, I would have to agree. With the wine, goodies, and an incredible opportunity to shop from local women makers, all in the name of giving back, it is certainly an excellent way to spend an evening with old friends (and a great one to make some new pals along the way).
Luckily for all of us, this is an annual event that keeps growing every year. To be in a room full of women bravely creating and supporting other lady makers is one that ought to be celebrated. To meet and mingle with the women who, brave in their own right, built a beautiful and charitable opportunity for all of us is one I will not soon forget.