Upper St. Clair resident Kim Epp Frenette is one wise woman.
And she is on a mission to find, highlight and showcase other wise women throughout the South Hills communities, including Peters Township, Bethel Park, Mt. Lebanon, Canonsburg, Scott Township and Bridgeville.
To aid in her quest, Frenette launched a website, Wise Women, in April 2011.
"I had wanted to create a website that profiled interesting women and the things they were doing, and I talked about accomplishing this nearly all of the time with my girlfriends," Frenette said. "I also took at course through Chatham University's Center for Women's Entrepreneurship. Between the course and constantly talking about it, everything just fell into place, and I did it."
According to Frenette, the Wise Women site is geared toward any woman who is excited about life.
"We have readers as young as 15 and as old as their 80s, although most of the readers are somewhere in between. Our audience is also diverse; the readers range from stay-at-home moms, business executives, small business owners to writers and artists and everything in between," she said.
The goal of the site is to inspire women to achieve their lifelong dreams by reading about the stories and experiences of other women, Frenette explained. Her site also aims to showcase the diverse talents of the women she features, whom, she says, are doing some very cool things and most of whom live in the South Hills or are connected to the South Hills in some way.
"With all of the responsibilities that women have, in addition to their own personal goals and ambitions, it may help inspire them to achieve those dreams by reading stories about other women who have done just that," Frenette said.
Each month, the site features several stories about interesting women who come from various walks of life, such as writing and artistry. The site tells the stories of these women and their accomplishments, with the hope of inspiring the readers to pursue their passions, as well.
And that's not all.
"We are currently launching our 'Gotta Good?' guide where women can find out about useful local businesses and services. We also are plannning an events section where wise women can connect in physical space," she explained.
Perhaps one of the most impactful features of the site is its use of "possip," or positive talk. Frenette coined that term herself and defined it as the exact opposite of gossip, which may have a negative effect on people. Frenette often uses the phrase, "Possip On!" to encourage women to share their inspiring stories with others.
"Everyone knows that women love to talk," Frenette said. "But it's also true that the stories we tell are not negative in nature, but insightful and uplifting. I couldn't find a word that meant 'positive talk,' so I invented one."
Although the site currently is mainly focused on women in the South Hills, its readers are widespread, reaching people as far away as Florida, Philadelphia and even Canada. Frenette also would like to expand this concept one day, perhaps with a North Hills focus or a general Pittsburgh edition.
For now, however, you can check out her site at http://www.wisewomenlife.com. While there, you can sign up for the monthly e-newsletters, which are usually distributed on the first Tuesday of each month, and browse the stories about local women who are doing some pretty amazing things.
Have you visited the Wise Women website? What did you think? Tell us in the comments.
Heather Holtschlag is a guest columnist for Upper St. Clair's Patch and is a freelance writer and PR specialist. Visit her website at http://www.heatherholtschlagpr.com