Meet Gloetry Assembly
In advance of Ethels Club’s first location opening in Brooklyn, New York, we are shining a spotlight on the brown excellence we find in and around our communities. Our space will consist of art, programming, events and products created by people of color.
This is a taste of the collective we are building for our members.
Gloetry Assembly creates safe, non-judgmental spaces for women and girls to tap into their strength, experience deeper connections with themselves and cultivate sisterhood. They believe that every woman and girl should be allowed to embrace their most authentic selves, and they are working to make that a reality.
What was the impetus for starting your company?
I noticed a lack of spaces for women to congregate, engage in meaningful conversations, expand their awareness, and create sisterhood. This compelled me to reimagine the ways we relate with one another. As a woman in my late twenties, I was craving emotional intimacy, a deeper connection with myself, and a safe space to use my voice.
Gloetry Assembly serves women by providing a space for exploration, healing and community. We are changing what it means to socialize with our girlfriends. I yearned for an environment that supported me in my personal growth and evolution; not knowing where to turn, I decided to create it myself.
What is the background of the name of your company?
Gloetry Assembly began as a women’s poetry group that quickly evolved into a community for exploring various themes and topics. At the time, I was trying to think of words to rhyme with poetry, and naturally thought of floetry. Already knowing the general popularity of that word, Gloetry naturally rolled off my tongue next. I loved that in order to say Gloetry you have to say Glow first and that inevitably became the underlying theme of our group. When you join in the magic, you leave glowing, but the only way to glow up is to show up. It just stuck. Gloetry also means “the light” to me, and I believe that when you heal yourself, you find the light within yourself, and can share your light with humanity.
What do you think sets your company apart?
There is an overwhelming amount of wellness spaces and groups that cater to white women, but very few that focus on our (WOC) mental, emotional and spiritual health. I created Soul Sister Circles to fill that void, by providing a space to gather in solidarity, dive deeper into our generational trauma, and heal our feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 21% of women in the US have experienced a mental illness and Mental Health America reports that 1 in 8 women will develop depression in their lifetime.
Even though these issues are more prevalent among women of color, our stories are less likely to be told and we are less likely to receive the support and resources we need. As women of color, we are constantly up against systematic oppression, microaggressions, internalized inferiority complexes, and internalized racism. We often feel like outsiders in designated spaces for self-care, such as our neighborhood yoga studio, or meditation centers which are predominantly populated by White women. Gloetry’s Soul Sister Circles are one of the very few groups where women of color have a consistent space to gather, share, and be heard. The response has been overwhelmingly positive because women of color are ready to make their healing a priority, create meaningful relationships and free themselves of societal conditioning.
“We are ready to break down the walls which have hindered us from uplifting our fellow sisters. We provide a space for WOC to evaluate and deepen their own beliefs.”
What are your current inspirations from social media and culture?
My main sources of inspiration right now are the Red Table Talks by Jada Pinkett Smith, Man Enough by Justin Baldoni, and The Grapevine by Ashley Akunna. All of these individuals value conversations that explore the social constructs in which we live and how they affect the individual.
What keeps you up at night?
The state of the world. We are at a crossroads as a people, straddling between global awakening and global catastrophe. We all feel the underlying currents shifting beneath us as we try to search for meaning in a world that has kept us separate and disconnected. My ultimate dream is for Gloetry to help in this revolution, where we realize that we are all small parts of a much larger whole. I ponder how to create a more equal and just society, where we can all show up in the fullness of our humanity, and not be deprived access to the same privileges as our white counterparts. I always think about how I can help do that for people of color.
I think about how these women will become the next change makers and leaders within their own communities and illuminate new paths forward and together.
How do you center yourself when things get difficult?
Meditation has been a long-time practice of mine that without fail, brings me back to peace of mind. When I am frustrated or anxious, I make a point to focus on my breathing for a few minutes which allows me to move forward with more clarity.
What has been the biggest struggle you’ve faced as POC in your industry?
This is a difficult question for me to answer. Simply because I’m juggling between what has been a struggle because of my race and what has been a struggle, just because it’s been a struggle. And I have to say, I’m not sure. But then again, that is a struggle in itself! I think as a person of color, we are constantly faced with the internal mental battle of trying to distinguish between what we have earned or have been denied of because of our race. What I can say is that it deeply bothers me is when white-owned businesses use our culture, our language, and our faces to push their products and agenda, but our community does not benefit.
What advice would you give an up-and-coming POC entrepreneur?
Build your own community of other like-minded POC entrepreneurs, who are coming up as well. Establish a base of people who support you and your vision. Find a mentor, find an investor, and most of all, believe in yourself.
What are three brands or influencers you love or admire?
Ayesha Faines — Ayesha is a phenomenal woman for so many reasons. She is the woman I turn to for education on feminine power and her work never fails to enlighten me on the existing toxic social constructs in which we live. She has opened my eyes to the history behind how these social constructs were formed. She is a voice for women and women of color everywhere to tap into their divine feminine and live their life by their own rules.
Donovan Thompson — I cannot say enough good things about this gem of a human. He is undeniably inspiring in the work that he does. He is a spokesperson and a thought leader in equal rights for black people and is constantly schooling me on black history. You can find him as a panelist on The Grapevine, created by Ashley Akunna, serving nothing but truth every episode.
Yelda Ali — A woman who lives her life in her power. She inspires me everyday with the work she does with her organization, Camel Assembly. Yelda believes in the magic that is created when women come together in collaboration rather than competition. She is someone who leads by example and has shown me the difference one person can make in someone’s life.
And for obvious reasons, I can’t decide between Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey, but they have both impacted me in profound ways and I appreciate them immensely.
I think about Gloetry’s mission to awaken women and women of color all all of the ways the system has been built to oppress us. I seek to find a way that we may liberate ourselves, be our own authority, and recognize the immense power we have within us.
What are your favorite pieces of content right now?
Michelle Obama’s, Becoming, Greenleaf, on OWN and Grapevine TV
What do you think has been the secret sauce to your success thus far?
My secret sauce is my innate attention to detail and the way that I am able to curate a specific vibe. From the aesthetic of the venue to the vibrational energy of the space, I care deeply about providing a unique experience. My goal is to make every circle feel as if you are being transported into a feminine vortex of unconditional love. I intentionally handpick music, crystals and incense specifically to elicit the feeling I want to cultivate for that circle.
What kind of spaces do you seek out to work, network and connect with your community?
Spaces that are owned and operated by a person of color. Spaces that welcome me as though I belong there and not like I am a visitor. Spaces that share my values of unity, equality, healing, and transformation.
What do you think is missing from the entrepreneurial landscape for people of color?
A co-working space where we can create, connect with like-minded people, network and practice lifting each other up. Right now we are all working in pieces, fractions, scattered throughout the city, operating in other people’s spaces, with their rules, their microaggressions, their assumptions. We need a space for us, by us, where we can operate without these obstacles, and come together to connect.
It’s time for your Oscar’s speech — who would you like to thank?
I want to thank everyone who inspired me by just being themselves and living their truth. To start, Yelda — thank you for showing me the value of community, sisterhood and the impact one makes when creating a world as it should be. Thank you to Reem for welcoming me into your community and inviting me to be part of your events. Thank you Simeon for helping with the paperwork to start my businesses and for always challenging me. Thank you to Sunita, Anila, Karla, Alysa, Rabia, and Jaclyn for being the founding members who allowed Gloetry to evolve into what she is today. Thank you, Aki for creating MINKA — Gloetry’s first home. Thank you Darian and Elisa for creating HealHaus, where Gloetry hosts our Soul Sister Circles for women of color. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for always encouraging me, believing in me and supporting me. :)
“If you are seeking a new tribe to replenish you with sisterhood, connection, and authentic expression, we are here for you. The friends you make at a Gloetry will challenge you, embrace you, and support you in finding your truth.”
Interested in learning more about Gloetry Assembly?
Ethels Club is the first private membership club for people of color. We provide a dedicated physical space to build community that inspires, empowers and connects. There are very few things that were created with people of color in mind.
This is one of them.