Men go gray, and they’re viewed as older and wiser. We women age and we fade into the background, made to feel that our lived experience is less valuable.
Alexa and I are often asked why we started a community for women over 50, when we’re in our mid-thirties. The answer is simple: we want things to be different by the time we’re old enough to be Revel members. Any one of the transitions of midlife — menopause, the empty nest, retirement — can be isolating and destabilizing. The Revel online platform offers social connections through local member-hosted outings, as well as through Revel-sponsored events such as our “How She Revels” speaker series. Our event mix is meant to reflect the diverse interests of our members. While these differences create a unique and vibrant community, our members are united in the belief that each one of us is worthy of having a voice, of being seen, and of feeling as though we matter.
Revel turns one year old this month. The first Revel event took place on July 13, 2019 in a backyard garden of a member’s home in Oakland. One week later, a member on the Peninsula organized a hike in Edgewood Park. Among those who attended were Lauren (now our Head of Community) and Suzie (now our Community Lead in San Francisco). I remember how Suzie, who lived in SF, asked the group if anyone was willing to carpool and that Lauren offered a ride. They arrived at the hike fast friends — the first of many friendships that would come to exist because Revel exists.
In the early days, each time a new member signed up, we drove to her local coffee shop to treat her to a welcome coffee. We covered the entire Bay Area, from Alameda to San Rafael to Mountain View, and it sometimes felt that we spent more of our days on the road than in the “office” (the unpacked living room of the house I’d newly rented). But those coffee chats were invaluable. Though we were building Revel to be of service to our members, we were the ones receiving the education. From Stephanie and Barbara and Loraine and Kelley, among so many others, we woke up to the realities of womanhood.
One year later, Revel is a thriving community of thousands of women 50+ from across the country. We’ve been featured in TechCrunch and named one of the 10 Most Innovative Social Media Companies by Fast Company. Covid-19 has forced our community to connect and engage in new ways. We’ve had virtual guests including Madison Reed Founder & CEO Amy Errett and the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Interim Legal Director Kate Kendall. We’ve had virtual book discussions with authors Amy Brizendine, Cassie Chambers, and James Nestor. And most importantly, in everyday Revel events, our members can now engage with women who are joining Revel virtually from all across the country.
Behind the scenes, though we started as two women in our thirties, our team is now made up of women and men aged early twenties to mid-sixties, all working together in pursuit of something we believe in. Each day we’re sharing knowledge, humor and passion across generations, which only further propels creativity and inspiration for the product we’re building.
This is only the beginning and may our education in womanhood continue! We welcome you to join us for the ride: www.hellorevel.com/join.