The Women’s Nest: For Women, Obviously!
Local Boyds resident, Melissa Foster, has made a dream a reality: in creating the website The Women’s Nest, she has provided a resource for women of all backgrounds and lifestyles to come together and chat, rant, rave, praise, share, laugh, and cry whenever it works into their busy schedules—without having to leave home, work, or family to do it.
The initial website was launched on November 17, 2007, then it went live with a new site on February 17, 2008, but the idea began germinating five or six years ago when Melissa had wanted to start a center in Bethesda where women could come for free legal and financial advice. A few years went by, and Melissa was instead able to start a virtual center for women. At first, Melissa set up the website as a way to connect with female friends. It started out as a forum where women could talk about all sorts of subjects without having to leave their families to do so. The site has evolved into a whole community for women with many different topics to explore including education and careers, moms without moms, teen talk, women’s health, to name just a few—and she worked in the free help from a medical expert and a financial expert.
The book club on the site invites published authors to take part in exclusive discussions with members. In April, Lisa See, author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, was the guest author, and coming up on June 2, Ann Hood, author of The Knitting Circle and Comfort, will talk to members.
The site also features free email to all members, fun contests, and a swap shop. Melissa adds that the site is open to change and expansion as the members need or request it. She is very accessible to the members. “We’re trying to fill all the needs of women,” she says. “We’re growing as the community grows.” At press time, there are over six hundred active members with that number increasing every day.
Of course, Melissa can’t do it all single handedly and has enlisted the help of Beth Grimmett who assists her in running the site. Both women volunteer the time they spend working on the site. Although there are some ads, they only cover the web fees and maintenance of the site. Melissa calls her work on the site a “giving back to the community.” Their dedication and time have already proven worthwhile, after only a few months in existence, the Women’s Nest has already won the prestigious Top 100 WAHM Site of the Month for April 2008.
Membership is free, and Melissa monitors the site closely for safety. “I take every step possible to ensure the safety of women on the site,” she says. There is no personal information on the site concerning where members live or how they can be contacted outside of the Women’s Nest.
For more information or to become a member, visit www.thewomensnest.com and reach out to other women to “escape the chaos of daily life.”
Written by Dominique Agnew
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