Sara Huntley: The Confidant
“I was actually in a leadership position and I got so burned out, didn’t know where to turn, and so I quit. I really wanted a mentor so that’s why I want to create this program, for women to really have a support system in their careers and to see that they find success and feel really good about making the choice to be in the art world.”
The grassroots conversations that stem from Dream, Girl aren’t just empowering – they can be transcendent and make us realize we’re powerful beyond our greatest expectations.
Not all screenings happen in movie theaters. Our hosts have shown the film in community centers, yoga studios, boardrooms, and of course, their homes.
For Sara Huntley, watching Dream, Girl with her best friends was a way of practicing what she preaches.
“I’ve been someone that encourages other people to be their full potential, do whatever they think that they can do, and don’t just go with the status quo of what they’re told they can do,” Sara said. “But then I realized that I wasn’t doing that and I needed to bring that advice back to me.”
Sara was inspired by Annie Wang, the co-founder of Senvol who’s one of the featured entrepreneurs in Dream, Girl. In the film, Annie talks about the responsibility she feels as a female founder to show up, be visible and make her voice heard.
Sara took this to heart and decided to show up not only for her friends through her screening, but also for herself. While maintaining her day job in fashion advertising, she registered for B-School with Marie Forleo and decided to pursue her dream of starting a company. She founded Art Girl Alumni, a mentorship program for women in the creative world, a resource Sara says she wishes she had when she started.
“I was actually in a leadership position and I got so burned out, didn’t know where to turn, and so I quit,” Sara said. “I really wanted a mentor so that’s why I want to create this program, for women to really have a support system in their careers and to see that they find success and feel really good about making the choice to be in the art world.”
Right now, Art Girl Alumni is Sara’s side hustle. But starting the business was partly due to Annie’s encouragement for more women to show up and be visible as founders. She wanted to bring this message back to her girlfriends and decided to host a screening in her home, to create an inviting and safe space for her friends to open up and dive into conversations she felt were important to have.
Sara stocked her kitchen with snacks and wine and shared with her guests the intention of the evening – to go far beyond the documentary and have a vulnerable conversation about self-doubt, goals for the future, and how they could support one another.
“There’s so much media out there that it just goes in one ear and out the other,” Sara said. “You might feel inspired for a minute but then you just go onto the next thing. So afterwards I told the women be prepared to stay a couple of hours. It’s not normal to sit down and talk about these things but it’s important.”
To make her friends feel comfortable, Sara printed off photos from Dream, Girl and quotes from the entrepreneurs in the film and spread them around her living room. She also bought notebooks for everyone and wrote “You’re Ready” on the cover.
After the film, Sara and her friends each wrote down one goal they had in mind and shared it with the group.
“Instantly, we were all able to point each other in the direction of resources or people who could help them achieve their goals,” Sara said. “Since the screening, I’ve seen these women and said, “Hey, how’s that thing going? Do you still need help with it?”
“I really love bringing people together and this gave me the chance to bring people together for a purpose.”
Check out the photos from Sara’s living room screening in Seattle!