*Thank you to Dena J. DiOrio for this guest post that showcases some local women who shifted their businesses when the pandemic started to help keep their communities thriving!
If there is one takeaway from lockdown, perhaps it is that we are not locked out from
connecting with our favorite ladies! In light of the pandemic in our area, many Charleston businesses, artists, wellness practitioners, and boutiques alike have gone virtual with their services, offering everything from live-streamed to yoga classes, instructional how-to videos, and more.
Now that most brick-and-mortars have been given the green light to reopen and it is business as (somewhat) usual, let’s shine the spotlight on some local ladies who have kept their communities strong through lockdown and beyond.
Virtual Happy Hours
Charleston-based women’s social group, Lowcountry Ladies, has taken offline mingling to new online heights. Previously during lockdown, the group took their in-person meetups to an online format, offering free virtual happy hours. Drawing from the success of the online events, Lowcountry Ladies is now hosting a new event series via Zoom called “Let’s Chat!” featuring industry experts as guest speakers.
Founder and President Becky Jones explains that the idea for the virtual meetups came when she was unsure when the group would be able to reconvene in person again. Wanting to keep the community together and “check-in” to see if everyone was doing ok, she moved the events to Zoom. Jones attests that the online events are “smaller [in] attendance but [they are] helping women create better connections.” What’s more, women who were unable to attend the in-person events can now dial in from home. In addition to the new “Let’s Chat!” series, Lowcountry Ladies is hosting a monthly virtual book club and recently launched its Secret Sister program. Event details can be found on the Lowcountry Ladies Facebook page, and on the group’s Instagram, Meetup, and website.
Taking Time for Self-Care
Nora McEachen, Health & Wellness Coach and Yoga Instructor, Wild Thing Wellness
Many practitioners are taking their instruction to Zoom, like health and wellness guru and certified yoga instructor, Nora McEachen. Getting back on the mat during these stressful times could be daunting for some, especially for those who are more accustomed to practicing in a studio than in their living room. In addition to wellness consulting, McEachen, who instructs studio yoga classes including prenatal yoga, decided to take her class online during lockdown, expanding it to include mothers and primary caregivers. She started small at first, inviting acquaintances, neighbors, and even some friends in Germany.
The class was so well received that she kept it going on a weekly basis. It gave her a
purpose during the stay-at-home mandate, she said, offering participants a bit of normalcy and a creative way for caregivers to “do something for [themselves] and not feel guilty.” McEachen plans to host Zoom classes in the future, a positive outcome for her in the new normal.
Providing Prenatal and Postpartum Support
The Breastfeeding Center of Charleston
Being pregnant or a new parent is stressful enough, let alone during a pandemic.
Fortunately, support is available for new moms and mamas-to-be. The Breastfeeding
Center of Charleston, which offers prenatal and lactation consultation and newborn care at its two locations in Mount Pleasant and Summerville, moved its monthly prenatal
breastfeeding and newborn 101 classes to Zoom following the onset of the crisis.
As an additional resource, BFC also provides helpful COVID-related prenatal and postpartum information on its Instagram feed. Medical Director Dr. Elizabeth Milliron says that the new online format allows moms to connect with their providers, ask questions, and have that dialogue. “There is a lot of increased stress for new moms at this time, so we are trying to make sure that we are a source of support,” she says. BFC will continue to host its monthly classes virtually for the foreseeable future.
About the Author
Charleston-based freelance writer Dena J. DiOrio is a loving wife, mother, and rescue dog mom with a penchant for experiential travel, eclectic cuisine, and all things spa. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, she moved to the Lowcountry from New York City where she worked in communications for the travel and hospitality industries. In addition to writing for blogs, publications, and clients, she is a candidate for an MS in Professional Writing from New York University. A new mom, Dena enjoys soaking up all the baby smiles she can while watching her three-month-old son grow.