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Founding members (left to right) Hollie Fleck, Liz Fleming, Lisa Zimmermann and Jessica Stuch. Photo by Marissa Podszus of Kate & Gray.

For some, The Small Town Social is an opportunity for professional networking and an excuse to drink on a Tuesday. For others, it’s the one time a month that they escape diaper duty and spend two stress-free hours socializing with people who can digest solid foods. 

Tuesday, March 10 marks the networking group’s second anniversary. It was founded by Liz Fleming, Jessica Stuch, Hollie Fleck and Lisa Zimmermann with the mission to “consciously connect women from all walks of life.” Two years later, that mission remains unchanged. 

Hatchet Brewing Co. hosted Small Town Social on Feb. 4.

“Every time you go to these events, it feels like a breath of fresh air.” Liz says. No one cares about your Instagram followers. Our job as founders is taking the pressure off of networking and keeping it authentic.”

Their goal reflects how the women all met. When Liz moved to the area from Greensboro, she immediately sought out female friendships. After meeting her co-founders through face-to-face networking, the ladies realized they all desired conscious connections. Cue Small Town Social.

Through word of mouth, a Facebook group, an Instagram page and a website, the ladies brought in about 50 people to their very first event.

“It took off like wildfire,” Liz says. 

Photo by Marissa Podszus of Kate & Gray.

For the past two years, Liz and her team have partnered with local businesses like The Wine Cellar, Southern Pines Growler Co. and Hatchet Brewing Co. to host their free events. Owners donate their venue from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. In exchange, women of all ages and backgrounds gather there to have a drink and connect with one another. 

“What surprises me is the range of ages of the women,” Liz says. “We have ladies ages 18 to 79.”

Last October, The Small Town Social team added Small Town Strides. These intimate, ticketed events focus on a specific activity. This Spring, Liz says they’re going to expand to other areas across the state.

“We’re looking at Cary and North Davidson, which is near Charlotte,” Liz says. “We’re hoping to kick those off in the next couple of months through an ambassador program.” 

In the meantime, The Small Town Social is toasting to two years accordingly by hosting their monthly event next Tuesday at the place where it all began — The Wine Cellar. 

“It’s going to be exactly what it has been, how we got started and what keeps us going,” Liz says. “We’re all about women supporting women.”

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