From Duckling to Swan: The Carey-Lee Dixon story
Though she is only 27 years old, Carey-Lee Dixon is bent on changing the world, one woman at a time.
She imagines a world where women accept their beauty and support each other. With inspiration and motivation from her mother, who was a single parent, Dixon grew up with hope for female unity, and has formed For Women To Women (FWTW) to achieve just that.
Growing up in Old Harbour, St Catherine, Dixon struggled with being too tall, too black and not pretty enough. With very low self-esteem, she was an introvert. But after seeing women who looked like her excel, Dixon was ready to embrace her destiny.
The Road to her Destiny
After pursuing her bachelor's degree in surveying and geographic information at the University of Technology in 2011, Dixon had big dreams. But she struggled to get a job after school. So she created her own opportunities with her passion for
fashion, and began selling fashion accessories. Using only Facebook at the time to market her business, Dixon created a blog to further advertise her products.
Five months after creating the platform, Dixon was awarded best new blog by the Jamaica Blog Awards Association.
After nine months without a job, Dixon was encouraged by her mother to gain experience and to put herself out there. From this, she decided to do an internship at the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change.
"I consider myself a bit of a perfectionist, and am always wanting and looking to do more. During my internship, I thought of some experiences I faced and wondered what it would be like if there were more women or more groups where women could lean on each other. Being impulsive, I gave the idea more thought and realised that when I went to events where I saw established women that I would want to learn from, I felt disconnected from them," Dixon told Flair in a recent interview.
WOMAN TO WOMAN
From that, Dixon decided that she wanted to create a group that focused on relationships among women, and show that accomplished women faced, and still face the same challenges other women do. She also wanted to break the stereotype of 'women do not get along'. With this vision, in 2012 'Woman to Woman' blog was
"Even though I created the blog so women could support each other, I didn't have a definite path for the blog. But through the responses and the effectiveness of the blog, I realised that Woman to Woman was bigger than me," she explained.
Within a short period of time, Woman to Woman grew into a community where women wanted to organise events, share experiences, motivate and support each other. This came as a shock to Dixon, who knew it was valuable but still did not see how the blog could become more impactful.
"It was just a blog, I thought. Though I had contributed to international blogs and had support internationally, I was a bit scared that women locally would not receive it. I didn't think women took it seriously or saw the worth in it, but with many requests for meet-ups and gatherings, I was no longer in doubt," Dixon expressed.
With the fading of her self-doubt, Dixon was ready and committed to the journey - allowing Woman to Woman to evolve and become a sisterhood. There are three elements Dixon highlighted as crucial for Woman to Woman- community, conversation and helping others grow.
"Women tend to not get along because we have a lot of self-issues. This community focuses on self-growth, personal development, career and relationships. We help each other in becoming better
versions of ourselves," Dixon explained.
The rise of FWTW
Wanting more for the group, in March 2014, Dixon rebranded, naming the Organisation 'For Women to Women'. They strive to showcase that change in relationships and every aspect of your life starts with you.
In May 2015, FWTW held their first meetup titled 'FWTW Gathering', and though Dixon only had 10 participants, she made the most of it and helped women build trust among each other. With topics such as 'beauty standards' hitting home for Dixon and others in attendance, the event was a success.
"I understand what it is like to struggle with self. Growing up, I didn't like my name, my height or my complexion. There was so much I didn't like about myself. I would often unconsciously compare to my cousins on how we looked and in our talents. This affected my self-esteem in a big way," she shared.
According to Dixon, FWTW events provide a place where women in their mid-20s to mid-30s can feel that they belong and see other young women like themselves doing incredibly well and breaking barriers.
After the first meetup, Dixon organised a free event in New York City later that May, and went on to host another in Kingston last December.
To date, FWTW continues to inspire, motivate and encourage women. In July, they hosted their first Empowerment Brunch that was very successful.
Dixon outside of FWTW
After finishing her internship, Dixon was given the opportunity to position of spatial data analyst at the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change. In March 2016, she was employed as a geographic information systems analyst at GeoTechVision.
"Thinking about my journey, I am humbled. My journey was different but amazing. My dream is to organise campaigns that will focus on female issues, and have women view themselves and others in a positive way. I found my purpose in 'For Women to Women', which is helping other women to grow. It's God working through me. It is bigger than me so I just do the work," Dixon expressed.
For Women To Women
Tel: (876) 997-4417