On Four Years of #BBATX: An Interview with Lily Shepard
As we reflect on our fourth birthday, #BBATX community member Lily Shepard shares her notes with #BBATX board member Jasmine Brooks on four years of resilience and future-building.
This interview was written, photographed and illustrated by Jasmine Brooks.
Brooks: What do you do?
Shepard: I am a movement facilitator. I teach dance and fitness classes in all different modalities.
Brooks: What drew you to your current craft?
Shepard: I’ve been dancing since I was four years old. So that’s when it all began.
Brooks: What was your takeaway from the first #bbatx event you attended?
Shepard: I thought, “Wow. This is awesome.” I’ve never seen this many women get together just purely to support each other. Actually, I really had this big “Aha!” moment, like Austin is where I’m supposed to be. Just a fact that an event like that existed and people were so open and so willing to exchange information and really be welcoming was just a really good vibe.
Brooks: What would you tell people interested in getting involved with #bbatx?
Shepard: I would tell people interested in getting involved in #bossbabesATX is that it’s really rewarding and it’s something that you should definitely do. All experience that I’ve had with this organization has been nothing but positive and uplifting. Really, there's a space for everyone, and that’s one of the things that I really like about this organization is that I feel very much like I have a seat at the table.
Brooks: How has #bbatx helped your business grow? How have you helped your business grow?
Shepard: Through collaboration, through attending some of the SHE TALKS series, gaining information, listening to my peers who have been there and done that, also to the ones that are right where I’m at. Getting all of this information from people in every step of their journey through entrepreneurship has been really helpful to me. It definitely helps my business grow.
I’ve helped my business grow just through application. It’s one thing to learn and digest information from others, but the application process and actually putting it into the community, I think I’ve tried to do a pretty good job with that.
Brooks: What is the most important thing you’ve learned in the past four years that you’d want other starting on their creative journeys to know?
Shepard: You have to ride those waves, and you have to be patient because really it takes time to take hold. Sometimes you come out the gate with such enthusiasm about something, and you think it’s so great and awesome and that people are going to love it, and that may be so, but it also takes time to build and you can’t get discouraged if something that you thought was going to be so well-received is kind of a slow burn. It’s really more important to engage with people for more long-term relationships than for people to be really excited and then kind of burn out and move onto the next thing.
Brooks: What does #bbatx mean to you?
Shepard: Just boss bitch shit! I mean, I’ve met people with so many different types of personalities, some out there, some in your face, some of the most quiet, sweetest, women, but everybody has kind of a confidence in what it is that they’re doing. So #bossbabesATX means to me exactly what the name is you know? Working toward being a boss. And being a boss does not only mean working toward a certain goal—it’s also looking around and seeing who you can help along the way and who you can take with you.
Brooks: Anything else?
Shepard: I’m just really grateful for the role that #bossbabesATX has played in my life—both as an individual and as a business owner. I have made some wonderful connections. I’ve had fun at the meet-ups and parties, and it’s really been wholesome. It’s really been organic and I’ve just truly enjoyed being a part of it.