Welcome to AddWomxn

Date: August 23, 2021

By: Jen Gilhoi

A women-centric creative collaborative is popping up in the Twin Cities. Under its umbrella, creativity and diversity can flourish in the spirit of honoring humanity and nurturing entrepreneurship and creative talent. It’s called AddWomxn.

 

The Name

AddWomxn has evoked many responses as its founder Renita Faye of Affina Design and board members Janice Stanford, Flygirl Creative; Aaron King, Perceptiv; and Jen Gilhoi, Sparktrack, have been sharing it and spelling it in conversation since early 2021 (nope, no space in between words; and yes, with an “x”!). For some, hearing the name opened the doors of the Madison Avenue ad agency Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce of ABC’s series Mad Men. Yes, we’d nod… perhaps that’s true and happily intentional. But there are two “d’s in this “Add,” therefore, the real power in the name comes from the concept of abundance versus scarcity. In other words adding more women of all backgrounds, cultures and identities to our lives and work only serves to increase experiences and economic opportunities for all. And the “x”? Made you pause, didn’t it? It’s a letter that represents nonbinary individuals both legally and in pronouns and titles, but it doesn’t change the way you pronounce it (women).

 

The Collaborative

The AddWomxn founding board of two white women, one Asian woman, and one Black man came together out of authentic relationships and that’s how and why we’ll build and move AddWomxn forward. We have no people or partners that serve as a check of a DEI box, only those stepping up to do the uncomfortable, hard work – and we’re okay if at the onset that’s a majority of white women working to pave a better way. We expect and hope our BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) sisters hear of AddWomxn’s vision to advance creativity and diversity in the workplace and in our communities and they say prove it. We plan and intend that we offer invitations to step in when there is meaningful, aligned, sustainable and economically viable opportunities. We envision and dream that creative collaboration in this spirit starts to flow freely.

 

The Disruption

Creatives and collaborations are what we know. We’ve been delivering world-class branding and marketing for over two decades. Our AddWomxn model is disrupting the advertising/marketing world. We’re the world-class agency talent without the agency (drama, overhead, grandeur). We begin with high-level listening with no preconceived notions of any set product or service a brand, company or organization could fit into. With clarity on priorities and efficiencies, we form a custom virtual team of best-in-class women creatives. Far different from freelancers, AddWomxn project manages the creative team and drives holistic outcomes – always with the lens of advancing creativity and diversity. We work with organizations that have a culture committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. And to ensure AddWomxn leadership and our members intuit this space, we require WBENC certification and DEI training for our members at a personal level.

 

The Rise

As we launch AddWomxn in 2021, we fully understand that the awakening in our hearts and call to social justice action brought about by George Floyd’s murder could not be returned from. Over pandemic months of equal parts action, reflection and questioning, we seeded and grew the concept of AddWomxn as a way to do what we already know really well (delivering great creative) and create space and rest for talented yet tired women of color to rise.

 

— If you’re ready to rise with us and add more value and impact with AddWomxn, we invite you to add your name to this vision as an interested creative doer or leader; or as a potential ally or client seeking creative work.