With the phenomenal success of female-only co-working spaces and social clubs such as The Wing in the US, we spoke to Saoirse Ní Scanláin, on the process of launching her own startup collective aimed at connecting women socially, creatively and intellectually.
Q: What exactly is Cailín & Co ?
A: Cailín & Co is a startup collective aimed at creating a platform to connect female and non-binary identifying individuals socially, creatively and intellectually. Through hosting talks, social, arts and cultural events, excursions and more, Cailín & Co provides an outlet for a diversity of modern women to meek likeminded others and find empowerment in a relaxed environment.
Q: How did the initiative come about?
A: I recently moved to London to study and didn’t really know many people. I had looked into finding ways to meet people outside of university and niche interests groups, but going on nights out or to gigs and stuff alone can be exhausting. Social and female platforms do already exist, but I found many of them are focused within say, the visual arts or politics specifically, were just for queer women or were inaccessible to particular ethnic groups or religions. If there had been a group of girls simply meeting up for open invite coffee or going to an event near where I live, and I knew we might have something in common, I would have jumped at the opportunity. So, I decided to just start something like that myself.
Q: Tell us little bit about your own background
A: My name Saoirse Ní Scanláin and I am the founder of Cailín & Co. I’m 23, from Carlow and recently moved to London after about 4 years studying, working and living in Dublin. I’m a freelance music and culture writer and am currently undergoing an MSc in the Politics of Conflict, Rights and Justice at SOAS, University of London. I'm also a fluent Irish speaker, something that is very much part of who I am - ergo the name Cailín & Co!
Q: What are you hoping to achieve with the Cailín & Co collective?
A: I think society, quite generally, is lacking in spaces where women can feel supported and encouraged to be themselves and achieve their potential, whatever that may be. So many industries are dominated by our male peers and as women, we are constantly pitted against each other be that socially, professionally, artisticly or whatever. The collective really just wants to bring women together, no strings attached. You don’t need to come from a particular background or field or work, be of a certain identity or have a certain set of skills. Cailín & Co expect nothing from you but to be open and enthusiastic about meeting new people, leaving judgment or self-doubt at the front door. Ultimately, Cailín & Co want to create meaningful bonds between women who may not have otherwise met. From there they can work together, support each other or whatever they wish.
With the women-only co-working space The Wing launching an app to help its members stay connected, as well as plans to expand outside of America, we have high hopes for this similar Irish-founded version.
If you're in London and want to row in with Cailín & Co, do make sure to message Saoirse on Instagram.