As the nation’s capitol, DC has naturally become a hub for innovation, startups, and businesses with backbone. We’re constantly pushing the conversation, and proud of it. While our scene is full of some of your “typical” startups (side note: can a startup actually be typical?) such as software companies, tech companies, and non-profits, we also continue to have folks push the envelope as entrepreneurs in other, more out-of-the-box areas. One example is a local startup catering exclusively to women: Girls’ Night In.

Girls’ Night In is a brand, community, and club geared toward helping women achieve wellness – with help from other women. As explained in-depth on their website:

“The Girls’ Night In brand and community was built on the belief that as our lives get busier, the more important it is to take a break and chill out. With mental health issues rising and rates of loneliness increasing in a society that’s ‘always on,’ we believe that taking a break and cultivating friendships is a crucial part of what wellness means for women, whether that means getting in some ‘me time’ with a good book or rounding up friends for a fun girls’ night in.”

Initially launched as a newsletter in 2017, GNI is now (a mere year later), reaching over 40,000 women on a weekly basis and gathering ladies in major cities such as DC, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Austin, San Francisco, and Toronto for in-person book club meetings. They partner with millennial savvy businesses like GrubHub, Sweetgreen, Ramona Wine, Justin’s, Burger, Pawty, and more to create events where smart, driven women can connect with one another over a glass of wine, conversation over commonalities (the book), and perhaps some light food. Some books that they’ve read as a group include The Power by Naomi Alderman, Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste NG, Reset by Ellen Pao, and more.

In addition to bringing women together through smart, curated events, GNI also serves as a resource for inspiration and more for the modern driven woman through a steady content stream on their blog. Although they do dabble in making lists for gifts (for your Girls’ Night In friends), and other more typical blog items, they also dive deeper and provide insights from professional women who have made waves. For example, their blog features interviews of Sophia Amoruso, the creator of Girlboss, Celeste Ng, the author of Little Fires Everywhere, the cofounders of flexible job-site for women, Werk, and more. They have truly gone above and beyond to create a treasure trove of content that is as interesting as it is helpful.

In an interview with Medium, Alisha Ramos, GNI’s founder, gets candid about why, exactly, she was compelled to start GNI to begin with – and her answer stems from the fact that she was struggling to answer these four questions:

  • How do I find the time to care for myself, without spending a ton of money?
  • How do I cultivate more meaningful relationships with my friends beyond just getting drinks together?
  • How do I disconnect from tech?
  • How do I find a community that will help me live a fuller life?

In Ramos’s words,
“The Mission of Girls’ Night In is to make wellness accessible and FUN for the busy millennial woman through community. We want to help you take care of yourself, connect meaningfully with your friends, have some fun while doing so, and ultimately live a fuller life.”

Aside from their above-average engagement with their weekly newsletter, the company has other exciting statistics worth sharing. Perhaps the biggest is that 95% of the growth so far as been women-to-women referrals –– and that’s something the team is really proud of. In the company’s short lifespan, it’s also been featured in major press outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, Mic.com, Riveter Magazine, DC Inno, and more.

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If you want in on the Washington DC Chapter, now’s the time turn the page. The book of the month in March is “Text Me When You Get Home: The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female Friendship” by Kayleen Scaefer. Here’s to a good night in!

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