Since I started at Women in Retail Leadership Circle just a few short months ago, I’ve heard story after story about the amazing connections our members make with one another.

Stories of a chance encounter at a Women in Retail event leading to a new job; of an introductory email turning into a mentor relationship; and of lasting friendships forming from a simple dinner conversation.

As we celebrate National Women’s Friendship Day (Sept. 19) and American Business Women’s Day (Sept. 22), I’m looking forward to also celebrating our community’s missed milestones, promotions, birthdays, anniversaries, and big moments in life that we’ve only been able to acknowledge from behind Zoom screens and in emails for the last year and a half.

I’m looking forward to seeing these connections play out (safely) IRL at the Women in Retail Leadership Summit (WIRLS) next month.

WIRLS is about more than just keynotes and panels, networking and cocktail hours (although those are important too!). It’s about sharing your wins and your challenges with people in the industry who can relate. It’s about absorbing the advice, finding inspiration, making connections, and truly being at ease in a community that understands what women in retail have been going through.

We recognize the bond women share with each other, and the power and strength a strong friendship can add to our lives and overall well-being. National Women’s Friendship Day is a reminder for us as at Women in Retail Leadership Circle about how unbelievably important it is to continue to grow this community so that there’s a place for all of us through the hard times and incredible moments that life sends our way!

This past year and a half has truly tested the boundaries of friendship and given us perspective on how valuable community is. If you’re not already, I hope you consider joining our community at Women in Retail Leadership Circle as well as connecting with us at the Women in Retail Leadership Summit this October.

Lastly, I’d love for you to share how you’ve made connections with fellow women in retail over the years. These inspirational stories keep us motivated to provide the best for our community.