Q&A With Shasta Nelson
It is my pleasure to welcome to Princess with a Pen today, Shasta Nelson. I liked her the moment we met via email. I adored her when I realized we had the same haircut. Love quickly followed, because she’s just that fabulous. On the launch day of her new book, Friendships Don’t Just Happen, Shasta is here to chat with you about how herself, and her wonderful company, Girlfriend Circles. Welcome Shasta!
Your background is in ministry. Tell me a little bit about how serving others in that capacity came to be for you, and why you embraced it rather than being a “Jonah” like my brother-in-law calls himself (he graduated from divinity school at age 50 after “running” [his words] for so many years).
LOL! Well we all have our own journey to figure out the best way to contribute and my guess is that whatever your brother-in-law did before divinity school will serve him well now! There is no such thing as wasted experiences! For me, I was drawn to the community aspect of faith traditions. I love that people can come every week, connect with each other, serve beside each other, and share deep conversations with one another. My work in churches was filled with training small group leaders, teaching, and helping form relationships within the congregations. But fewer people are finding churches to be the center of their social worlds now and I think there is greater need for me to help create community in other places. GirlFriendCircles.com is one way I can help introduce women to each other in local areas.
I totally agree with you. Women are so busy—swamped really—and their time is precious and fleeting. What a great way to offer a sense of community and fellowship in a time we tend to be disconnected.
Girlfriend Circles gives women an opportunity to fill a space in their lives with companionship and friendship. What was the catalyst for you to take this idea and make it available for women across the country?
Ignorance was a gift! It was an idea I woke up with one morning and I just said "I'm gonna try this." I am not your stereotypical entrepreneur who was looking for a business idea; rather it just came to me and I felt compelled to give it a go. My willingness to try coupled with the conviction that we need more ways for us to connect has fueled GirlFriendCircles now to 35 cities in the U.S. and Canada.
WOW! That’s amazing, Shasta! Truly it is. Something that began as an inspiration for you is inspiring others and growing.
What would be your ideal day with your girlfriend/girlfriends?
It would definitely include a lot of talking and good food! Living in San Francisco provides me ample opportunities to eat yummy food. And before, during, or after that food, I always hope my time with friends is filled with meaningful sharing. It's a beautiful thing to have people in our lives where we can talk with less of a filter, trusting the other person to really care, listen, connect, and reciprocate. I think those moments where we share our hearts are some of the most beautiful moments of life. Besides eating and talking, anything else we do together is just icing on the cake.
Since you mentioned cake, one of my favorite food groups, I love you even more!
What do you hope that women will take away from your new book, Friendships Just Don’t Happen?
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That needing to find new friends is normal. And that we don't just need to leave it to fate to introduce us to the right people as much as we need to know how to develop the right relationships with the people we've already met! Certainly if we've just moved to an area then we might need to go meet a bunch of new people, but the vast majority of us know a ton of people but haven't yet learned how to transform those friendly acquaintances into meaningful friendships. I'm really excited about my book guiding women to evaluate their 5 friendship circles and then actually knowing what strategy to put into place to help create the friendships they want.
What would you like to say to the woman who needs tools like GirlFriendCircles.com the most, and also the one who feels like she needs it least?
To the one who knows she needs it, I'd say "Good for you! Admitting it is the hardest part! But research shows we're replacing half our friends every 7 years so it's really quite normal to need to foster new friendships. I'm glad you're among those of us who are willing to do something about it!" And to the one who feels like she needs it the least, I'd say, "Good for you that you have built up all the friendships that you feel you need. GirlFriendCircles.com isn't for everyone. I think of it like a health club-- it's one helpful way to stay in shape, but certainly there are many other ways to be healthy, too! So if you've got the relational health you crave then blessings on you! Please help us spread the word to others, and we'd welcome you at any time if you go through a life change and feel open to a new way to meet fabulous women!"
We replace friends every seven years? That’s so interesting to me!
You’re throwing a dinner party. Any guest of your dreams is available to attend. *Jen raises her hand* Who’s invited, and who would you like to be seated to your left and right?
HA! Okay, you can be on my right side! That would definitely be awesome to meet you. :) And who else would I invite? Honestly, my dream dinner party right now is 12 of my closest friends who all live spread across the country! If I had won the lottery, I'd have paid to fly all my far-flung girlfriends to San Francisco where I could wine-and-dine them, and thank them profusely for being in my life. They don't all know each other, but I think it would be magic to have all the women I've loved over the years all sitting around my table together! And of course, I'd then give them each a copy of my new book and say "This is because of you!" :)
I told you she’s adorable! Don’t you just want to put her in your pocket and take her with you everywhere you go? Thank you, Shasta, for stopping by. Please make sure you check out Shasta’s new book, Friendships Don’t Just Happen, on sale today! Shasta is hitting the road and may be coming to a town near you. Check out her website GirlFriendCircles.com for more details.
Bless and be blessed,