October, 2013. Gold Coast, Australia.
As most of you know, the story behind GRRRL and how we got started, is direct pull from the teenage girl wellness camp I founded called Kamp Konfidence. After 2 years of running the weekend program and 61 graduates who’s lives will never be the same, one of my partners became pregnant and needed to tap out. (Seems to be a common theme in my life lol!). So in the down time, we decided to take the Vision and Mission of Kamp Konfidence and roll it into a clothing line that would reach every corner of the world, much stronger and much faster.
Now- somewhere along the way, I went to the Fit Expo in Melbourne. I’ll never forget that weekend, as I had horrific gastro for the first time in my life. It took the life of me to walk around that convention center and taking pics with people, without shitting my pants. To make it even more interesting, I had to try and not get too freaked out about going on NATIONAL TELLEY the next day to talk to Sunrise about Kamp Konfidence. I was concerned about just sitting in a chair, let alone arm wrestling one of the news anchors. Funny story, really. No pants where shat that day, for the record. But whilst I was at the Fit Expo, a Friend said I should meet Dana Linn Bailey and tell her about Kamp Konfidence, and that she was really nice and would probably help us by posting something on social media. So we decided to make sneaky moves, and cut off all of her fans and intercept her coming out of some hidden room.
I knew of DLB because back when I was competing, she was more or less starting out. People would often send me her pics and say ‘you guys are so similar!’. At one point in 2008, I even emailed asking if they wanted to do a shirt collab with my back then brand, All Natural KO. Rob wrote me back and politely said they were too busy.
Back at the expo, we walked up to her and said hi, and asked if she’d take ‘the pledge’ with me. I explained what ‘the pledge’ was, and proceeded to tell her all about Kamp Konfidence. I told her how it was a weekend wellness program for teenage girls that taught the 5 habits, principles, and lessons that lead to the development of self love, and that the aim was to show these girls that they/we are born and bred to see each other as competition. DLB took ‘the pledge’, I put a Kamp Konfidence bracelet on her, we hugged, I asked her if she could give @kampkonfidence a shoutout on her social media, she said yes, we took some pics, and off we went in our separate directions.
A few months went by, and I never saw a post from DLB, but what I did see after someone sent me a post from her, was she launched “Confidence Camps’ at her gym.
I was pretty fucking huffy at the time. So at that point, I decided I was going to compete in physique and come after her. That didn’t last long as a few months into comp prep, she announced her retirement. Oh well!
November 18th, 2015. Gold Coast, Australia.
GRRRL Clothing was launched. So no worries mate, I started my own shit with an evolved Mission and Vision. Whenever someone tells you ‘no’, that simply means find a different way. Took me another 7 years to figure out how to do it, but what did I tell you? NEVER QUIT. Unless it’s meth of course.
Fastforward to today, and I see this get posted in our closed GRRRLs group:
At first, I felt myself get angry. As most of you know, last year we announced our second annual live event, GL18. Which of course includes Meg Gallagher stunning self in the line up. I sat and thought, “so now you’re gonna jump on the bandwagon and start ‘bringing women together’, are ya?! How fucking convenient!”
Then of course, I stopped and took a breath. Because I’m constantly checking in with my thoughts and observing what my self talk is saying, I caught the thoughts, and dismantled them so I could put the anger to bed and remind myself of the truth. The truth is this:
At the end of the day, the more women who are out there trying to lift up and unite more women, the better. This mindset of seeing other Brand’s as competition is old, and reptilian thinking (unless of course someone changes their logo and it happens to look eerily close to your Brand’s and they even admit it, then it’s time to slam the desk). It’s a male, ego-based energy that needs to die in the ass. As Eckart Tolle talks about in his book “A New Earth”, the new world is a place where people collaborate together to both get to the end result, working as a team. Not coming from a place of scarcity, worry and fear. There is so much hurt and pain (and fixing that needs doing in the world), that it couldn’t possibly all get touched by one movement alone.
Chances are, DLB had her ‘confidence camps’ planned a year before she’d ever met me, and that her ‘taking My idea’ was purely my ego thinking I’m something or someone special. And again, chances are she had this planned with Meg a year ago. It is imperative that we put our ego to bed when we’re women in business. We’ve got to stand behind ‘Not Your Competition’ through and through.