It’s a Media Playground for Women at The Den
Four women have teamed up to provide other up-and-coming business owners with a platform to network, collaborate and inspire as a community.
The weekly coworking sessions held at Jackelyn Dacanay’s loft in Providence led four entrepreneurs to brainstorm a transformative business idea that would open the doors for several business women throughout Rhode Island and neighboring regions.
The Den was created by Jackelyn Dacanay of Jackelyn Dacanay Consulting, Serena Manna of Club Elephant Creative, Brianna Moon of @shopbriannamoon and Carolyn Alexander of @loudgirlgoodies. This hub, where women supporting women is the motto, allows aspiring and up-and-coming business owners to connect with other highly-motivated individuals and potentially collaborate on future projects.
The three women met Jackelyn individually – Brianna met her nine years ago through the PVD Lady Project, Serena met her at Social Enterprise Greenhouse where Jackelyn was seeking out local community resources for her first business the Art of Fate, and Carolyn connected with her in Boston during yoga teacher training. Jackelyn introduced them to each other this year, creating a bond that would influence both a business and personal relationship.
As the director of creative design, Brianna’s background in fashion and jewelry design aligns with her responsibilities in brand design, interior design and event planning. Carolyn, the director of operations, keeps the team on top of their initiatives by creating and maintaining the organization systems. Jackelyn, the director of marketing and branding, focuses on brand strategy as well as the external marketing media across social media such as video filming and post-production editing, graphic design and engagement. Serena uses her role as the director of community relations to ensure the experiences they create bring value to the community, and reach out to women who inspire others in the local community.
Rhode Island natives Jackelyn, from Pawtucket, and Brianna, from Cranston, left Rhode Island for some time since it felt like the state was missing something important – support. “This is the reason we left the state to begin with but what drew us both back multiple times is the idea of what Rhode Island could have and be for women just like us at any age within their professional growth,” says Brianna. The weekly coworking sessions and profound conversations at Jackelyn’s loft helped the quartet realize that they can provide that support women need, ultimately establishing The Den.
The Den can be described as multiple things: a “plug for women in business,” an outlet for women to connect and build a community throughout their businesses, a platform for creative talents and more. “Think of The Den as a global network for women in business driven by experiences that bring women together and create connections, inspiration and ideas that lead to personal and professional development,” says Jackelyn.
The company’s “Business is Blooming” launch event took place mid-April at booth in Pawtucket, featuring vendors such as the Heal Room, Vibes Candles, Freya Soaps, Carolina Cosmetics, and Carla Shaw Fashion. Guests learned about the four women’s backgrounds, the origin story of The Den, objectives and future projects the company has in store for women in need of its services, whether their background is in technology, marketing, sustainability, art or fashion.
The four women find that there’s a disconnect in regard to balancing business and personal development. The best way to shine a light on this issue is with a community that understands that the two aren’t mutually exclusive. “A media playground [gives us] permission to have fun with how you show others what you do and how you provide for your clients and customers,” Serena says.
For Brianna, being surrounded by resilient, supportive and nonjudgmental women is empowering. She’s proud to create a platform where people can find resources, learn and grow together while also holding each other accountable. “I know how hard this can be firsthand and I want to instill that same strength within others,” says Brianna. “Reinventing ourselves is not a sign of weakness or failure but ferocity at the highest level.”
Jackelyn intends to build The Den into a brand that helps to close the wealth gap for women in business. “I personally want to help more women pass the six-figure mark and provide the support I wish I had when I first started,” Jackelyn says. “After hearing the feedback from other women who attended our launch event, it’s clear that we’re all looking for community, inspiration,and support; imagine what we could do if we expanded this concept to a global scale.”
Carolyn is just as excited, ready for challenges and adjustments in developing her leadership skills with her role as well as meeting impactful women throughout this journey. “I really hope to impact other women positively with words of encouragement, structure, community and mentorship,” she says.
Serena simply wants to see women thrive. Witnessing women in her career grow their talents while teaching her how to trust her intuition motivated her to want to help others learn about themselves and navigate their worth. With The Den, “Nothing is off the table when it comes to what you want for yourself and it’s important we create a world where we celebrate the incredible women out there who set higher standards for ethical business practices,” says Serena.
As the company continues to grow, the future of The Den involves a physical home base location, where the quartet will host educational workshops, business showers, consulting and creative services, networking events and more. Keep up with The Den on Instagram and by listening to the Down in The Den podcast.