Are you looking to make connections and build meaningful relationships in New York? Well, take a look at Emily McMonagle and Chary Sathea’s unique business concept that gives women an opportunity to connect both online and offline with #thecnnekt.
Q&A WITH FOUNDER EMILY MCMONAGLE
What is thecnnekt?
is a content-driven platform that spotlights unique stories three times a week in order to bring women together and express themselves online. These highlights are of women who are pretty badass with stories that deserve to be told to the world. Online content and engagement is then brought offline through their bimonthly events, which bring women and featured faces together. Thecnnekt builds events based off of the spotlights that receive the most traction and emotional responses. Events range from happy hours to panel discussions, community volunteering, and soirees.
What inspired you to create thecnnekt?
Chary and I were freelance writers for a website, which no longer exists, but Chary posted an eye-opening article on how to make friends in New York City. If you think about it, the majority of the people who live in NYC are transplants. Most people are not born and raised here, rather we are all here for work. I was compelled to this article, so I decided to comment, and Chary commented back. We met online, and then we met up at an after party during New York Fashion Week and hit it off. She became my best friend, and we were on the same level creatively. So, Chary and I started talking, and we both wanted more than just our 9-5 jobs. We craved a side project of our own. We then saw the opportunity to create a platform that gives women the same opportunity that Chary and I had—to meet and build connections online and then continue those relationships offline through unforced, casual events.
What was the greatest challenge when launching your business?
Building brand awareness as organically as possible. We want to be as real as possible without being invasive and putting ads all over your Instagram feed. I would also say that the experimental phase and being able to push through and not give up during the process is one of the greatest challenges. It becomes a little frustrating because you want to create consistency when growing a business. You want to see numbers increasing steadily rather than having them go up and down.
What has been most rewarding since launching thecnnekt?
Seeing the original concept of connecting women on-and-offline come to life. We have had success stories that are out of this world. We had an event last year during New York Fashion Week, and we happened to have a girl who was an inspired makeup artist and a girl who was a designer at Coach. The designer explained that NYFW was crazy because her makeup artist had just dropped. Throughout the night, the two girls gravitated toward each other and really hit it off. Later on, the makeup artist was offered the job at Coach, which is insane. It is success stories like this that make this so rewarding. I love seeing women meet in a genuine way, and see them leave our events with new friends, new jobs, and most importantly, new connections.
How do you balance your full-time job and thecnnekt?
I spend my lunch breaks eating at my desk and working on thecnnekt. I also dedicate every single night to interviews from about 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm. I also spend most of my weekends on thecnnekt. It is tough, but once you see things come to fruition, it becomes motivating and well worth it.
What are some of your favorite things to do in Brooklyn?
CorePower Yoga is my favorite spot after work and on the weekends. My other favorite spot is Nitehawk Cinema, which is a cute dine-in movie theater with cocktails and old school movies.
What advice would you give to other female entrepreneurs just starting out?
Don’t wait to publish something you really like. Just do it, and let your idea evolve over time. I learned that you will not be able to find your exact voice or exact mission until you are actually out there doing it and getting feedback. Secondly, don’t be afraid to fail because if something doesn’t work out, chances are it will spark a new idea. Starting your own business is not always easy, but it is all about the journey and self-discovery.
Join thecnnekt at their next event: Self-Care: Beyond the Bubble Bath.
“Self-care is an international conversation right now, and we encourage you to chime in with the ladies of thecnnekt and community. A panel and networking event covering the mind, body, and soul and why this is just as important as a luxurious bubble baths in the digital age.”
Where: The Financial Gym 132 W. 25th Street, 2nd Fl
When: Saturday, April 14th from noon - 2pm
- Ana from @vivalacurvy
- Samantha from Triple Threat Bootcamp and 2017's Class Pass Best Instructor in NYC @so_manti
- Crystal from The Financial Gym @thefinancialgym
- Rebecca from @mindfulatwork
- Susanna author of Yoga 365 @susannaharwoodrubin
Note: Food and beverages will be included ;)