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Shelly Fisher Women’s Leaders

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Shelly Fisher Women’s Leaders

Shelly Fisher Women's LeadersShelly Fisher Women’s Leaders: As women in creative industries are left out of work during the coronavirus pandemic.It was April 2020, just weeks into the COVID-19 pandemic, when Shelly fisher women’s leaders decided to step up and help struggling female business owners and entrepreneurs.

“So many people we knew lost their jobs and businesses when the pandemic broke out,” she tells PEOPLE. “I knew my team had the bandwidth to help out, so I just thought, ‘What can we do?'”

Business Models

For Fisher, the gesture was nothing out of the ordinary. An entrepreneur and philanthropist herself, Fisher often incorporates giving back into her business models. Especially in her current role as CEO and founder of pay it Forward Group LLC.

“All the different businesses I’ve done in my life, they’ve had some kind of helping component, but most recently female-focus,” she explains. “It was a natural fit… if there’s rather that we can do to help the women, then that’s what we do.”

Shelly Fisher Women’s Leaders Platform

After brainstorming and planning over 10 days with her team, Shelly fisher women’s leaders launched an online platform called Girls Nite Live.

The site offers women the chance to share their skills and experiences through free interactive programs in return for tips. Anyone can attend the live virtual programs, which vary from teaching skills and networking to fitness classes and e-commerce segments.

Over the last year, the platform has continued to grow, with more than 700,000 attendees and over 450 programs — almost all of which can be rewatched on Girls Nite Live’s YouTube page.

They’ve also recently introduced a Spanish programming lineup on Wednesday mornings.

“We made everything happen quickly because people needed help quickly. If we were to wait three months to do it, it wasn’t going to be as effective,” Shelly Fisher Women’s Leaders says. “In a world where there’s been a lot of divisiveness and challenges, we provide a positive, inclusive experience where all women of all backgrounds come together for a positive point of connection.”

Owner of Pilates

One of those women is MaryBeth Beck, the owner of Pilates and More. As a mother providing for her 13-year-old son in Ocean City, Maryland, Beck tells PEOPLE she was struggling financially after her pilates business was forced to shut down amid the pandemic.

At the time, Beck worried about potentially having to claim bankruptcy, and was also busy helping her son Axel — who lives with a variety of challenges, including ADHD — adjust to remote learning.

But thanks to Shelly Fisher Women’s Leaders, who reached out and asked if Beck would lead a pilates class on Girls Nite Live, Beck was able to stay afloat.

“Shelly came out of nowhere really and changed my life,” says Beck. “It was like a godsend because that money went to my family.”

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The financial support of Girls Nite Live that Beck says impacted her life. It was also the camaraderie and sense of “purpose” that came with the platform.

Uplifting to be part of something like this and to be among so many amazing women,” she explains. “It made me feel empowered and worthy at a time when the world was going crazy.”

“I feel like I wasn’t alone and given validation that I’m good at what I do and people notice and I needed that,” she adds.

Beck taught weekly pilates classes on the site from May through October until she says she had made it “over the hump.”

“If it wasn’t for Girls Nite Live, my son wouldn’t have had a Christmas,” she says. “The money that I could get every week from people tipping me, that is what put food on my table.”

“And I got to help others because, around that time, people weren’t feeling good about themselves. They were depressed,” she adds. “When they’d come on and work out, I made them feel good about themselves. I was like their ‘lipstick.'”

Shelly Fisher Women’s Leaders Girls Nite Live

Shelly Fisher Women's Leaders Girls Nite LiveThough the platform was heavily reliant on tips at the beginning, Fisher says they’ve since moved away from that model as businesses slowly reopen and people return to work.

“It was suppose to be a short-live experience, just like the pandemic for all of us,” Fisher says. “None of us expected that we would still be doing this a year. We realized the good we’re doing, so we just kept going.”

Positive Community

“Our core was always to support and amplify the voices of women while building a positive community,” she explains. “Now, we’ve just pivoted from more of financial help for these women to giving them a platform and audience. We keep going forward and expanding what we’re doing.”

Despite the change, Fisher says the response from members has been no less powerful.

“It gives you hope for the world. It’s just a blur of these wonderful people who are really are supportive of each other,” she explains.

“We got one email recently from a woman who told us that she had lost her husband at the beginning of the pandemic,” she recalls. “Every day after losing him, she would lay in bed and watch our programming, and it gave her a rare moment of distraction and a little bit of peace at a time where she could hardly get out of bed. I get choke talking about it, but it’s like, okay — we did something that mattered. It was worth it.”

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