Chatting to Loriane
This week we had the privilege of catching up with Loriane, founder of Woman To Woman, a digital media platform designed to narrate the stories of women, creating safe spaces for conscious conversation, and sharing experiences to help empower women worldwide.
Loriane recently finished her Masters studies in Organisation Psychiatry and Psychology, focusing on strategic interventions in workplaces and mental health within the workplace. She is currently working in HR and growing Woman To Woman. She is also a big champion of all things pertaining to the advancement of women, a fitness fanatic, lover God and of all things that include food and music.
We told Loriane Woman Connect have been following her digital platform for a while and we love the content!
Why is the narration of these stories important to you?
When I moved to London, I had a diary that I kept about moving from Congo to Belgium and from Belgium to London, I showed it to my mom once, and she said I should keep writing my story and someone may one day want to read it (I lost the book). Me writing actually made a bit of a bookworm, I loved reading stories in school, I was literally friends with the librarian, and she used to save me books to read weekly.
I found that I enjoyed reading stories written by women - The story of the travelling pants, Princess Diaries, Noughts and Crosses was my favourite but then I found out about bibliographies and memoirs; my favourite was Ugly by Constance Briscoe. That book literally gave me an insight into a woman’s life I had never met but felt so connected to, literally just by her story and some things she had gone through I could relate to. That story stuck with me, her resilience to create something for herself despite the cards she had been dealt with was really inspiring.
For me the importance of that story translated when I created this platform. Being able to narrate your own experiences in your own voice is so important to me because no one can tell your story like you can. I've always been a strong believer that a lot of the experiences that women face are quite similar, with just different characters or different twists here and there.
It's so important for women to candidly share their experiences, to honestly speak about what they have been through not only for themselves because I think and truly believe that healing can come from shared experiences both good and bad but also for the woman that may need it in the future, to be able to have a real life example of someone that may have experienced something similar to them and came out on the other side.
How did you come up with the name Woman To Woman and what does it mean to you?
I wish I had a motivational story behind this but in college me and one of my friends loved the song Woman to Woman by Keyshia Cole ft Ashanti (I was going through a breakup) and for some reason it stuck with me! In second year I was the events' manager for ACS and my friend who was the ACS president at the time knew that I really wanted to create events to empower women, so she asked me to create an event for International Women’s Day and that’s the first name that came to mind. Over time, I wanted to recreate the meaning behind ‘Woman to Woman’ from it being that awkward encounter that women talk about when you get a guy that you like and someone else ‘comes to you as a woman’ to a different experience.
To me, Woman to woman means the ability to share, the ability to talk, the ability to cheer each other on, the ability to cry and heal and move forward with women that may help me and I them. Even looking back at the origins of why I loved that song was because of the shared experience I had with my friend where we could talk about our heartbreak and sing and laugh and get through it. I think it’s so important for every girl to have that.
God definitely also shaped the vision for this as well (I won’t go through the story because I told Alex I will write you guys a BOOK I am not joking). I am a Christian and felt like there was a way of ‘believing in God’ that made me not fit in and I kind of wanted to create a space where I could challenge that in love with other like-minded women that could teach me and I could teach them and have conversation that I felt I never got to have growing up around certain spiritual figureheads.
What do you want people to take away from Woman To Woman?
A lot of the ways I dealt with my experience were self-taught as the oldest I had to learn to get through a lot of what I went through by myself. Coming from a heavily Christian and African family a lot of the ways to get through things was ‘prayer’ and there came a point where that could only do so much without the ability to candidly speak about what I was going through.
I want people to take away that talking about things is SO important and religion cannot take away all the hurt.
I wanted to create a space – especially at university as that is where this started – where girls could come together and actually discuss the things that they were going through and not just glossing over the good stuff that was going on in their life.
Wherever Woman to Woman takes me, I really want whoever stumbles across the page to take away that they can make it through whatever they're going through in their own way. They're not the first person to go through a heartbreak, to go through depression, to go through a miscarriage, to go through addiction, to go through getting a new job, being successful, starting a business and failing or succeeding.
From believing in God to falling out of love with God and believing in God again.
That all those things and more are normal, I feel like society has created this idea that women need to be a certain way, and if we feel or have a different experience it makes us weird. I want people to understand, that womanhood isn’t a one size fits all and that your experiences are valid whether they are good or bad ones, they matter.
We feel as though women are often painted as two juxtaposing entities, the world calls us "emotional" and "weak" while simultaneously saying we carry the world on our shoulders, what does being a woman mean to you?
Wow, I ask a lot of the women that come on my podcast this question, but I haven't answered it myself before so here we go! Being a woman to me is such an honour, it’s scary but it’s an honour, being a woman to me is a responsibility, being a woman to me means BEING, yeah it just means BEING. I feel like womanhood has so many layers and has so many ways that it can be interpreted, but for me it means just unapologetically being, whatever that looks like for you which, I am still on the road to discovering.
If there was one thing you could change about the current societal climate, what would it be?
I would definitely change the way that wealth is distributed.
Who or what inspires you?
I am so blessed to know some of the coolest people creating a shift in their respective industries; to name a couple Shannie Mears – Co-Founder of the Elephant Room, Jamelia Donaldson – Founder of TreasureTress , Henrie Kwushue – Radio Host, TD Moyo – Theatre Producer, Beverly – Founder of TALA, Cashmere – Founder of Beauty Bakery, Jackie Aina – Influencer and Content Creator (the last three aren’t my friends lol) and so many more.
But also, my boyfriend definitely inspires me a lot, just because he has really been the blueprint for me when it comes to building a brand/business. I have seen him create something from scratch, from just an idea to something that is continuously shifting the cultural space in the UK for creatives. I always tell him he’s my competition but in a good way (please, it’s a healthy relationship thank you very much!) in a way where I want to match his energy, I want to be of service to as many people as he and his business partner have been.
Platforms like Women Connect inspire me also, the ones that just want to bridge a gap and be part of the solution for the issues that are out there. I am genuinely inspired by people who are doing more than me, bigger than me.
What does sisterhood look like to you?
Sisterhood to me is literally everything! I don't know whether it's because I went to an all-girls school or because of the friends I have. Some of my most trying times were possible to get over because of the women that were around me that were pouring into me, praying for me, that I could speak with, laugh with, argue with and mature with.
For me sisterhood looks like the cast of Girlfriends, it looks like Tiana and Spirit from One on One!
Sisterhood looks fun! Sisterhood looks like having your friend come to you with an issue, you giving them good advice, them taking it… completely twisting it and doing the polar opposite and loving them through their stupidity LOL.
We absolutely loved chatting to Loriane, she kept it honest, showed her vulnerability in many ways and quite frankly, has given us some gems!
You can check out Woman To Woman's website HERE.