Offering support & encouragement for women & girls
Our mission is to empower women and girls through positive messages, support and encouragement. On our Instagram and Facebook pages, we share inspiring messages and quotes, stories from real women, and information about women’s resources, organizations, and events that align with our goal to empower. We have a private Facebook group where you can seek and offer support to others, and we also participate in promoting, sponsoring, and speaking at events that celebrate and empower women.
We are neither a non-profit nor a for-profit organization,. Our founder, Rebecca Fien says,”We are simply an organization with a mission to empower women and girls. We have no religious, political or any other affiliation whatsoever.”
Founder of Empower Our Sisters. Mommy, web designer, artist, musician, and advocate for women, girls and all people whose voices need amplifying.
Hard-workin’ momma, manager of 2 small businesses, cocktail connoisseur, fluent in laughter, love and sarcasm. Standing up for what’s right, and for those who cannot stand up for themselves.
Komal KhanaA Rochester native, pursuing her bachelors in Biomedical Sciences. Part-time dog mom, part-time healthcare professional, full-time empowered woman empowering others.
Inspiration behind original content & social media management. Spreading EOS across multiple states in the US. Currently on hiatus from EOS, her love and light will be returning soon. Stay tuned!
The uncut reason why…
Founder Rebecca Fien shares the uncut story behind Empower Our Sisters
The homepage of our website includes the information about why I started Empower Our Sisters, but I consider it the simplified version. I figured that some of the details could be left out and reserved for a page you would visit if you truly wanted to learn more. So here it is, on the About page. Some of the below will sound like the homepage, but there’s a lot more here, so if you have the patience, feel free to learn more about what really made me start Empower Our Sisters.
As a lifelong people-pleaser with a reluctance to speak up and assert myself, I had constantly watched from the sidelines as my peers spoke and acted with a confidence I envied, whether in social situations, school or work.
For over 30 years, I let fear silence my already shaky voice. It wasn’t until I experienced unexpected traumatic complications during my 2nd son’s birth that a fierceness began to emerge. Due to a series of events leading up to his delivery, I found myself with no doctor of my own, and a midwife who I never saw again after the moment the on-call doctors rushed in to take over. To be fair, I had switched to a midwifery practice very late in my pregnancy in order to be allowed to have a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean – my original doctor changed her mind about allowing it and had scheduled me for a c-section. I didn’t want a 2nd C-Section for many reasons, but most importantly because, it is my body), and there were 12 different midwives at the practice. So after waking up in the OR post delivery (I lost consciousness in the delivery room), my midwife’s shift had ended and not one person could tell me what had actually happened to me and why. I literally have never felt so alone in my life.
In the weeks following my son’s birth, more complications arose, including an infection that sent me to the emergency room, a blood transfusion, a “colicky” baby who no one wanted to hold because he spit up all the time (who months later would have surgery and a year of speech therapy for the undiagnosed lip and tongue tie that was causing that) and the most empty, alone feelings I have ever felt in my life.
I started to retreat into myself, and didn’t want people coming over to my house, or knowing what happened, or seeing me… I was ashamed and so embarrassed.
My sister hired me a postpartum doula, which in short, is a person who offers a certain kind of support to women after a child is born. She came over a few times to help with the baby and with the dynamic in our house with a “colicky” newborn, a rambunctious 2.5 year old, and a bed-ridden mom carrying a bucket around to hold her catheter (oh yea, I had to come home with a catheter), which was stressful as can be expected. My doula was the first person who I told my entire birth story to. And she listened to me. And she hugged me. And she told me that I was not alone.
She shared stories with me, and I realized what I realize so often these days… you don’t know what you don’t know. I didn’t know because I didn’t ask what could go wrong, or if anyone I knew had experienced a difficult birth. I didn’t ask because that felt taboo. But why should it be? What could prevent that feeling?
A space for open, honest, authentic sharing.
After that I shared my story in a women’s “non-networking” group I belong to, and then eventually to every woman in my life who was willing to talk! I simply told them how traumatic my experience was, how much it changed me physically, mentally, emotionally. How alone I felt having gone through it, and how good it felt to share. And that was it.
As you might expect, almost every woman I shared with felt compelled to tell me something about themselves, whether birth-related or not. I learned about the strength and courage within the women around me, and I learned what the human body, mind and heart goes through and keeps to itself.
For the first time ever, I was strong enough to seek out exactly what I knew I needed to heal. And once I realized that what I had sought out – support from other women who could relate in some way – was something I could harness, and make real, it hit me that I had all the tools at my fingertips (literally! I am a web designer!) to make this idea come to life. I started Empower Our Sisters in 2016 as an idea to support women through whatever they were going through, and naturally, it started with the people closest to me, who support and empower me through everything I do.
When I first started it, I had no plan, and no idea what I really wanted to do with it. I took it in lots of different impulsive directions because I wanted to do it all. I considered becoming a non-profit, I carried actual products for a while, I partnered with amazing local women’s groups and businesses to run events for women and girls. We participated in, and hosted our own yoga and meditation workshops, creative art events with group sharing, and empowering girls workshops for kids of all ages. There were many other impulsive ventures along the way, and many volunteers who came in and out of the picture (many who were frustrated with my lack of a plan) and I am so thankful to everyone who helped in the initial 1.5 years of Empower Our Sisters. I mention this because without this period of exploration and discovery, I would never have figured out what it was I really wanted to do with it.
For the last year and a half, Empower Our Sisters as a brand was temporarily on hold, yet the closed group remained active. Not only did I spend that time trying to figure out what I wanted this to become, but I considered how much time and money I could realistically devote to it. In addition to Empower Our Sisters, I also run a web design business called Rochester Web Girl and I serve on the board of my women’s non-networking group, BOSSY. I am a single mom of two amazing little boys, and I sing and play music on the side. My life is busy and I have many passions, but I don’t know if I would even have these passions, this drive, had it not been for Empower Our Sisters. I made moves and took risks I never would have done had I not had a supportive group of women behind me. I have decided that this project is as important as anything else in my life, and needs to be revived.
So, here we go again. I hired a few people who work for me for a handful of hours a week. They are an incredible team and help with content, social strategy, interactions, maintenance, and other things associated with running this organization.
I am so excited about the future of Empower Our Sisters, and I am excited that you are here to experience it too. I would love to hear from you, and learn about your passion and your story. Please contact us, join our closed group, follow us on Instagram and Facebook, and join our mailing list to be a part of the Empower Our Sisters Sisterhood.
We would not be where we are today without the support, help, and guidance of the following people. Endless thanks to:
Stephanie Leigh, Elyssa Rossi, Erika Sorbello, Katie Kovar, Karen Ryan, Kelly Bush, Kelly Metras, Brittany Zorn, Samantha Councilman, Dalia Rodriguez, Harry Laibstain, Missy Ricker, Stephanie Leigh, Apryl Calici, Karley Mott, Nancy Corbett, Kristin Chajka, Sarah Jane McPike, Esca Stumpf, Amanda Gorman, Michelle Ames, Asa Shutts, Brenda Killackey-Jones, Stephanie, Jenna Berent, Olivia Bradley West, The West Family, Laura Bascomb-Werth, Mary Presutti, Willow Pickard, Doug Pickard, Willow’s Warrior’s, Tara Humphrey-Smith, Amber Elizabeth, Sue Rossi, Rusti Berent, Nikki Nu, Julie Curcio, Sierra Murphy, Rebecca Saltzman, Jenny Gibson, Jackie McGriff, Janeane Munn, Alison Basch, Ellie Orbanek, Jaimie Rodriguez, Laurie Schapp Coleman, Allison Kelly, Teresa Weinmann, Kelsey Lee Eksten, Brandi Marino, Amy Zorn, Tara Cruppi, Amy Margolis, Joyce Wright, Tessa Kaplan, Jennie Sutliff, Alyssa Belasco, Andy Bewely, Patty Klimchuk, Riley Hirst, and so many more.
Organizations & Businesses
Thank you to the following businesses and organizations who have helped us along the way. We are grateful to:
Gallery Salon, Marshall Street Bar and Grill, BOSSY Women’s Non-Networking Group, The Women’s Sanctuary, Salena’s Mexican Restaurant, Aaron’s Alley, NY Stylee, Emerson & Oliver, HTB Press, Salvatore’s Pizzeria, 1872 Cafe, Sweet Kiwi Events, Ohana and Paryrite, The Women’s Foundation of Genesee Valley.
Looking for products?
Empower Our Sisters sells products featuring empowering messages designed by founder Rebecca Fien. In the past, these products have been available online and in select stores locally (Rochester, NY), but we are currently trying to figure out how to manage this part of our organization. We want to provide these items, and there is definitely a demand for our products (especially the “be fierce.” tees) but the first time around we simply could not figure out a method that worked for us. We are working on setting up our shopping cart for a few simple items we currently have on-hand, but we’re definitely hoping to expand on that soon. Check back for our shop section soon, and in the meantime, if you have any ideas or suggestions, or if you’re a local business who wants to help, please contact Rebecca at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!