"Setting My Own Table"

by Kristen Standish

“I’m thinking RazHer … like ‘Razor Sharp’, and ‘Raise Her Up’.”

This text is what was shared with my friend and former colleague (and soon-to-be co-founder!), Sonia Garufi. She gleefully supported the name and message behind this crazy thought that had been bouncing around in my head - a community and agency that empowers women. But in a new way. A real way.

My name is Kristen Standish, and at 52 years old I am eager to share how I have set my own table with RazHer Collaborative, instead of just being a seat at one. For so long women have faced the struggle of hierarchy competing with what society believes to be “powerful” and “innovative” minds … aka businessmen. Last year I was left unemployed abruptly after having served as CEO of Grapevine Village for three years. The company was doing well, but an acquisition facilitated by our parent company went sideways and Grapevine was shut down.

I decided it was time for me to take a risk. RazHer Collaborative was born. It is a community to bring together a strong network of curious and driven women, with the ability to set their own table as well. 

As one of our new RazHer Mind book club members said, "I'm tired of being a puppet and I want to pull my own %@$!& strings!” That is the essence of RazHer!

Women can be slighted for their emotional minds, but we see this as having the ability and strength to create amazing work through collaboration and relationship building. My team at RazHer proves this to the Nth degree. Allow me to share my story and introduce you to the sharp team at RazHer who raise me up… emotions, empathy, passion and all!

I am grateful to have a founding team of experienced and hardworking people to raise up RazHer! Lisa Bell, a longtime friend who left a 25-year career as a PR agency executive, is now our Chief Marketing Officer. Sonia Garufi, also a dear friend and formerly with Grapevine, is our Creative Director. Our red-headed trio is impossible to beat and is supplemented with whip-smart GenZ employees and interns to embody the growth and engagement around the message and meaning of RazHer. Lily Gillis who was a Grapevine intern now serves as our Community Manager along with Santi Lozano who worked in tech at Grapevine and now oversees product for us at RazHer. 

Supporting women in business requires a stable system of women founders, with the ability to rely on one another for advice, engagement, events, and publicity, among so many other things. At RazHer, we are determined to help our members and emerging brands get the support they deserve, and build a strong platform for their company and culture to grow by introducing them to an extensive network of razor sharp members and influencers.

We believe it is important for women to take risks, instead of asking permission, and we are aware that this kind of leap may need a village. I even took my own advice from early last year! During an interview with Medium.com, I shared, “In my experience part of what is holding female-founded companies back is that many of the VC firms and investor community is still run by men. It is intimidating enough to launch a business, but then having to rely on men to understand a business can be extremely challenging, especially when trying to raise funds for something that perhaps they don’t fully understand or see value in.” Fast forward less than a year later, and here we are with RazHer, bootstrapped and founded by yours truly!

I set my own table and am inviting you all. 

Think of RazHer as your village, of the thousands of other women who are setting their own table! We can’t wait to Raise Her up, together.


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