The Hill Country Women's Group was created in 2018 by Shawna Holly of Cibolo Creative Media Co. to provide a place for women from the Hill Country and greater San Antonio areas to meet new friends, network, and support small businesses and non-profit organizations in our community. Since then, the group has grown to over 1200 members and each month, a small portion of them meet to participate in various activities and events in and around Boerne; supporting a new small business each month and a new non-profit each quarter. With no dues or applications, joining is commitment-free and easy.
Our Hill Country Women's Group consists of members of our wonderful Texas Hill Country community who come from all stages and walks of life. We have small business owners, florists, nurses, therapists, baristas, teachers, stay-at-home-moms, lawyers, social workers, artists, marketing experts, accountants, retirees, and more. See hillcountrywomensgroup.com/giving-back for details.
Tammy Jordan, an Associate Executive Director at Monat Global started a book club to bring women together that were interested in community, self-improvement and professional development. We met once a week, on Monday mornings, for about an hour - hour and a half. I started with choosing the book that we would read and then, eventually, asked for recommendations from other members.
Depending on the book, I assigned the chapters to be read before the next meeting. We started each meeting sharing highlights over the past week that we experienced in our personal lives and then moved on to a discussion about the book. Members shared favorite parts of the story, personal experiences similar to what we read, thoughts on characters and their actions, etc.
One of the things we did that I think most of us enjoyed was Hot Topics. When I started this, I asked each member to write down on an index card "Hot Topics" that they would like to talk about with the group. It could be anything! I saved all the cards and brought them to each meeting and would pull out 1-2 cards to present to the group (all anonymous). We had women in the group that ranged from 30 to 70 plus so there were lots of different topics. We spent the last 20 to 30 minutes discussing a "Hot Topic" which was always a lot of fun!
I ended each meeting with the "assignment" of the chapters to read for the next meeting. I sometimes printed motivational quotes to give each member as they left our time together to give them something to think about over the next week. These were often tied specifically to the book we were reading.
We met routinely over a year and half, members coming and going. A select few showed up each week without fail. Due to COVID, many dropped out even when we offered to meet via Zoom. I am considering starting up again, but will definitely be making some changes to the format and structure, to mix things up.