Dallas has a new social club - Circle Seven Five! This organization works to help young women expand their local horizons. It’s a professional & social networking group launched by Cassidy Woodard. I asked Cassidy a few questions about her new organization and what she hopes to accomplish with this new venture.
N/S: Was Circle Seven Five modeled or inspired by any existing organizations, business leaders, or ideas?
CW: Circle Seven Five was modeled after a need I had in my own post-college life. In college, you had your social life handed to you on a silver platter. Moving back to Dallas from New York I had my social life ripped out from under me. I was looking for how to start over in a city that felt brand new. I took bits and pieces of existing social clubs and made my own cocktail! It was mainly inspired by an idea: I wanted to be involved in something young and fun but also something that knew what was important in life and could find a balance between social and professional needs, and giving back to the community.
N/S: What is the Circle Seven Five stance on books and ideology like Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In”?
CW: Moment of confession … I STILL have not read this! I do believe that as women we need to support each other, especially in the work place and that we should speak up more often, put ourselves in the conversation and to really be a voice now that we’re at the table. I went to an all girls’ college, so I am very much pro strong, bold, beautiful women taking charge in their lives.
N/S: What are some of your favorite books and authors? What will you be reading this summer? What are some of your favorites you’ve ever read?
CW: I really love Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment and also a lot of William Blake’s poetry. In terms of business books I enjoyed Finerman’s Rules: Secrets I’d Only Tell My Daughters About Business and Life. Also, generally anything written by Malcolm Gladwell is a win. Ivanka Trump’s book The Trump Card is also a good read. This summer Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, and Girl Boss by Sophia Amoruso are on my reading list!
N/S: What are some of your own personal interests? Design? Finance?
CW: Writing and fashion are two personal interests. I’ve had the privilege to cover New York Fashion Weeks since 2011, and I love it. I’m also a total sucker for any spy or intelligence-related TV shows.
N/S: Who are your own personal mentors and inspirations?
CW: My friend Lauren Scruggs is someone I see as a personal mentor/inspiration. I began writing for her magazine, LOLO Mag, when I was in college and she has really helped shape the direction of my professional life. She has also given me the encouragement I needed to pursue my dreams of Circle Seven Five instead of settling for a dead-end job. The people I went to college with also constantly inspire me. Columbia is such a unique environment and it seems every one of my peers is off saving the world in one way or another! I also really look up to Ivanka Trump. She is one savvy businesswoman who works extremely hard. She could be doing a lot less with her life and falling back on her birthright, but chooses not to. I respect that.
N/S: What are some events that you see on the books for Circle Seven Five? What are some “dream” events?
CW: We are doing a fun event at Exhale Spa on July 26th treatments, acupuncture, and an athletic wear trunk show. There will also be a barre class during the event. Girls can also relax and get some sun by the infinity pool, too! Always check the ‘events’ page on our website. We update that frequently. I would LOVE to have the founder of SPANX, Sara Blakeley, come and speak. She’s helped out many a lady!
N/S: What type of time commitment would you imagine Circle Seven Five for an individual per month?
CW: The time commitment is really up to the individual member. Nothing is mandatory or required. Right now we average one to two events per month. The purpose of Circle Seven
Five is to give back to our members, not to demand time from them.
N/S: Why do you think some women hold each other back rather than tend to support each other? Do you think Circle Seven Five can help these situations?
CW: I think it partly has to do with social media and this idea that your life should be “picture perfect” all the time. That is not realistic! We also live in a competitive society that tells us we should have it all and do it all, and to excel in every area. My goal with Circle Seven Five is to focus on genuinely connecting people. That’s why we have a balance of events. Some are glamorous, and some yoga pants-and-tennis-shoe events. It’s about people, not perfection.
Learn more about Circle Seven Five here.