Samantha Walters is the founder of She Collective, a community space that provides education and experiential opportunities for girls and women to develop an authentic understanding of the power of their own bodies.
Growing up, what was your dream job?
I always wanted to be the person who came up with the names of nail polish colors! No joke. Either that or a starving artist. I didn’t quite understand that the “starving” part wasn’t exactly glamorous.
When and how did the idea for She Collective come to you?
I’ve been trying to come up with something like She Collective for a long time. I’ve worked with girls and women for years—as a school health educator for Planned Parenthood, as a postpartum doula, and currently as a lactation consultant—and I’m always struck by how little women and girls know about their bodies. If we don’t understand our bodies, how are we expected to trust our bodies, to feel empowered in our bodies, to feel proud of our bodies?
I realized that as a doula and lactation consultant, I can tell women to trust their bodies until I’m blue in the face, but if that seed wasn’t planted long before, how can they be expected to do so during one of the most vulnerable times of their lives? I understood then that I wanted to create a community space where we feel safe talking about our bodies, where evidence-based information meets collective wisdom, where women’s own body knowledge is just as valued—if not more so—than scientific understanding. Trust in our bodies develops over time... and I want She Collective to be a starting place for this, to be a safe space where girls and women can begin to understand and trust their bodies.
What is the best piece of business advice you have received?
Don’t sell yourself short. I always want to give things away for free, but now I understand that there needs to be a balance. At She Collective we do offer free classes (such as Period 101 for teens and preteens) but not as many as I would like. My goal is to eventually be able to offer more, as my business grows. I’m in this for the long haul and She Collective needs to be sustainable.
What do you like most about your workspace?
I love the comfort, and the plants. I dreamed of a space where people would feel comfortable and safe enough to hang out for a while, to let their kids play, to connect with other humans for a little while. She Collective has become that space. Usually my own kids are there, too! I’m excited that She Collective’s launch space is in Faith Lutheran Church in Lakewood, because churches are first and foremost safe community spaces. I like the idea of building from within a community that already exists, and I love that it’s right in my own neighborhood.
Name a woman, past or present, who you admire.
There are so many!! Right now I’m really into Frida Kahlo. The way that she explored her gender identity and her body experience through art is incredibly inspirational. She never shied away from shattering taboos and from representing her own body’s truths. She seems fearless to me.
What characteristic do you most admire in other entrepreneurial women?
Dreaming big. It’s amazing to watch businesses that start small and then grow, grow, grow. I love learning about new businesses and meeting other entrepreneurs because I always feel inspired by their stories.