Welcome to #theVILLEage!

We may not know you yet, but we are looking forward to connecting with each and every one of you. We are going to take you through adventures around our town, cause you to think with perspective pieces from the #VILLEagegirls, and give you the opportunity to connect with #theVILLEage community in a meaningful way.

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After facing the challenge of Spartan Racing together, a group of women living in Greenville, SC decided to create a movement which would later be named it takes a VILLEage. Through countless conversations we discovered we had been deeply hurt by competition with women in our lives and determined what we wish to see in relationships amongst women. As we became passionate about empowering each other, a “girl tribe” emerged and propelled us in creating this Blog. We were each called to the #ittakesaVILLEage movement for different reasons and purposes, but with our different strengths and talents we hope to make our small piece of the larger Greenville community more empowering. We set out to prove that we are in fact better together and that it takes a VILLEage to support us in reaching our potential in this life we have chosen to live alongside one another.

meet the #VILLEagegirls

Lauren Dean
aka @theVILLEagephotographer

“I have always been a passionate person. Almost to a fault. I crave for authentic connections with people. I met each of the women in our “girl tribe” at different points in my life where I needed them the most. Without them, I would not be who I am: strong, happy, confident, and fulfilled. I could write about our philosophy of ittakesaVILLEage all day, but to be brief, one thing I can say about this movement is that it happened slowly, then all at once. We are learning together and want to share the adventures, successes, failures, loves, and heartbreaks with you all. I am nervous, excited, and anxious to see how this group of ambitious, resilient, and skilled women impact Greenville and beyond. Let’s grow this VILLEage together.”

Carly Guari
aka the VILLEage outdoor & wellness enthusiast

“One of my friends once described me as a ‘sharer’. Whether its food, drinks, books, hikes, activities, knowledge, ideas, experiences, or anything else I find great, I immediately want to share that with others. These amazing, witty women, before they even knew me, invited me to be in a book club. I was so honored. These women thought I had, at the very least, some interesting perspectives to share on fiction. Our book clubs evolved into so much more: confessions, testimonies, histories, brainstorms, soapboxes, rants, and raves. This book club became a ‘girl tribe’. I somehow convinced them all to join me as I completed my Spartan Trifecta. I wanted to share with them the exhilaration and empowerment I felt when I pushed myself harder that I ever thought I could. I had no idea my asking them to join me in this personal challenge would be the impetus for something greater. These women, among many others in my life, inspire me every day. They inspired me to be a fitter, happier, and healthier version of myself, and I hope I can share all the things they inspire me to do with others.”

Chelsea Hilmer
aka the VILLEage cosplayer & fitfoodie

“You meet and have people in your life at a certain time for a reason. That is my philosophy. I met Lauren at Sierra Nevada Brewery in Asheville on a day that my husband and I decided to take a spontaneous trip to Asheville. Right place, right time, meant to be. This was the beginning of our friendship, which led to meeting the rest of “girl tribe”. At that point of my life, I was just starting to get into fitness and living a healthy lifestyle. I was using cosplay as my motivation. Now, I am motivated by this group of women. They have pushed me to expand my horizons and to challenge my limits while providing me with support. I hope that VILLEage provides the same inspiration to whomever follows us. We are a diverse group of girls with different perspectives. With my posts, you’ll get a view from a Pittsburgh-native who is a cosplayer, nerdy, gamer girl, fitfoodie, and a nurse.”

Stephanie King
aka the VILLEage urbanite

“This “girl tribe,” as we call ourselves, is truly unique. We are not in competition with one another, but rather encouraging each member and genuinely interested in our different perspectives and experiences of life. That Spartan Race we all refer to cannot be relayed in this short bio. As I said that day, “This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I’ve had brain surgery!” Without these women by my side, I would not have made it to the finish line. We are all complementing and contrasting, but we have one thing in common: We are committed to celebrating each other’s successes, picking each other up from failures, and cultivating the strengths of each member to stand out in the community. I look forward to our continued example and outreach of female empowerment to the world around us. I strive to create content that inspires and entertains, and ittakesaVILLEage is my outlet to grow. I look forward to learning and discovering new talents and abilities through the eyes of the powerful and compassionate women around me. I would describe myself as trendy, fun-loving, quirky, old-fashioned, passionate, and strong. I cannot wait to share some of my VILLEage experiences with you!”

Brooke Walter
aka the VILLEage fashion expert & bibliophile

“Two years ago, I moved to Greenville, SC for a new career path. I had only visited once, but knew in my gut that it was a welcoming place where I could thrive for years to come. That being said, I knew no one when I made the move, but was lucky enough to meet Lauren within the first month. Our friendship not only blossomed immediately, but also turned into a wonderful, creative collaboration. Over many walks, talks, drinks, and coffees, we brainstormed ways to pool our talents and passions. ittakesaVILLEage has become the brainchild of not only these sessions; but also of our recently formed “girl tribe” of strong, independent women. After the physical and mental challenge of a Spartan race with these ladies, I knew we had to use our abilities together in other ways outside of the athletic arena. The race was such a perfect example of the “it takes a village” philosophy: to get over those 10 foot walls and up that 30 foot rope climb we had to use every single person on our team… now we want to share that life lesson with out own local community. it takes a VILLEage is the product of each of out unique perspectives, but also the commonalities amongst US ALL.”

Kimberly Wilson
aka the VILLEage beauty & beer connoisseur


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