International Women's Day may have come and gone but the empowerment of women everywhere continues. Based in Oklahoma City, Alexa Ace and Courtney Lashar came together to form Gold Hand Girls; a business focused on building an empowerment platform for women in creative industries by hosting small concerts with women across the nation.
Empowerment comes in many different shapes and sizes. Each and every one of us reacts to things differently. Some feel heavy emotion for things that others just don't understand. For many, music becomes that connecting piece. Alexa and Courtney have found a way to empower others through their shared passion for music. Through Gold Hand Girls, the dynamic duo work with women to form a team of photographers, graphic designers, publicists, and others along with working collectively to book the venue and concert lineup. Launched in mid-January, Gold Hand Girls has already made an imprint, hosting a show with plans set to host others in Oklahoma City, Lafayette, London and more.
To learn a little more about the background of Gold Hand Girls and what they hope to achieve, we sat down with Alexa and Courtney to dig a little deeper...
What is Gold Hand Girls?
Alexa: Man, at this point what isn’t Gold Hand Girls? GHG is a company focused on empowering young women in the music business. We partner with women in music across the country by co-hosting a show with them in their town! The overarching goal is that the girl hosting the show feels confident in her career choice, has a chance to intertwine her passion with people in the industry surrounding her, and ultimately bring people together for the love of music.
Courtney: There are few things more important than being empowered and believing that you are fully capable of accomplishing even your biggest dreams and goals. Gold Hand Girls is a platform that allows women an opportunity to explore their abilities within themselves and their own community, while experiencing what it’s like to be involved in music within a public setting. We do this by (as Alexa said) helping girls host a show in their own city or town.
How did you two connect?
Alexa: Music, of course! It’s funny, we didn’t actually know each other very well this time last year. The first time met up for lunch was the same day that we walked out co-owning a company (or an idea at the time) together!
Courtney: Yeah, we’ve known of each other for quite a while and figured it was about time to meet up and chat about music, our passion within the industry, and what it had been like for us thus far. That’s when we came up with the basic concept and passion behind Gold Hand Girls.
Did anything specific inspire you to start Gold Hand Girls?
Alexa: My very first day at my music college I was the only girl out of 20 or so. Believe it or not, this progressed into being the only girl at my internships, and often the only girl seeking to not just be a singer within the music industry. I guess you could say I’m inspired by the lack of, and the possibility of what could be. Also, women. All of them. They all inspire me. (Minus Mary Fallon)
Courtney: I’ve experienced what it’s like to be the only girl at an internship in the music industry, to work under only men, and while I was in good environments (regardless of the ratio) I learned so much and these experiences helped me grow more into my passion to pursue music. However, it can be extremely discouraging at times to look around and realize you’re the only woman, and to self-consciously feel like a less than,
What are some of your goals?
Alexa: To distribute strength to women who didn’t once feel like they were capable.
Courtney: At the end of all this madness, I hope to see many strong women flourishing in the music industry with a confidence they may not have had prior to hosting (or helping out with) a Gold Hand show. I hope that at the end of this, Gold Hand has reached most major regions in the States (East Coast and West Coast girls - hit us up!).
What can we look forward to in its first year?
Courtney: A handful of shows in various areas both here and abroad, a Gold Hand Girls website with blog posts and photos showcasing individual girls as well as individual shows, and hopefully, (like Alexa said) unity within the communities Gold Hand reaches and within the greater population of the badass music-loving females.
Where did the name come from?
Alexa: To be honest it was pretty random. I was about to host my very first house show, and knew that I needed a presenting name. I was super into Santigold at the time, so I suppose you could say she’s a heavy inspiration. It started as Gold Hand Records, then solely just Gold Hand, and finally when Courtney and I commenced the company to focus on women, it became Gold Hand Girls.
Any success stories yet?
Alexa: I’d like to think that our launch was a success in itself. Given we kept the company pretty quiet for the most part of 9 months, it was totally intimidating finally launching something so dear to our hearts. I feel grand.
Courtney: For me, I’m often shy when it comes to my endeavors, so it was a personal success to create something so big with Alexa and share it with the world. We’re only just beginning this, but so far, I’ve had multiple girls approach me either in real life or through social media with loads of excitement regarding their potential and their space within Gold Hand. One thing I love about our vision is that it’s not the sort of thing where girls stand on the sidelines; each girl that wants to be involved can and will have a space made uniquely for her. So, finding girls who are willing to fill that space and understand their worth within our company is a huge success!
What is your advice for women in the music biz or wanting to get into the music business?
Alexa: My advice is, and always will be, to just do it. No matter what you do, no matter what “it” is, do it with all your might. If you want to work for your local music venue, make effort until it happens. If you want to work for Rolling Stone, do the same exact thing. No dream is too big, and no goal is too small. Send the damn email. Over, and over, and over again.
Courtney: Any experience that I’ve been able to have in this industry has come from putting myself out there and contacting everyone I can. You make your own chances. if you want to get an internship with a recording studio for example- email any studio that interests you, get your resume looking nice, write a passionate and specific cover letter, and pursue it with all your heart. If your passion intersects with persistence, I promise you opportunities will arise!
What women inspire you?
Alexa: Ultimately, my mom and my four year old sister. The two are worlds apart in terms of wisdom, but have both taught me that there are no greater feelings than love and passion. On the flip, Janis Joplin and Madonna. I love the grit of Janis, and the glam of Madonna.
Courtney: I have incredible women in my family who have modeled for me what it’s like to work hard and pursue your dreams without limitations. They are symbols of strength and encouragement in my life, from my grandma to my 6 year old cousin. And of course many amazing women in music like Patti Smith, Claire Boucher (Grimes), and Carrie Brownstein (to name a few).
Who are you currently listening to?
Alexa: This is always the hardest question to ask a music lover.. It changes daily! Things currently on repeat: The album Coastal Grooves by Blood Orange (thanks coco!), Cigarettes After Sex, Purity Ring, Deap Vally, and Mitski. Also, one of my favorite albums of 2016 is When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired by a band called Mothers. Highly recommend.
Courtney: Some music that’s recently landed on my radar: Yumi Zouma, Marfa Myths (Ariel Pink & Weyes Blood), John Maus, David Lynch, Soft Hair (Connan Mockasin & LA Priest), the new HOMESHAKE… I’ve also been revisiting Pet Sounds and some old synthy Michael Jackson stuff which has been super rewarding.
Favorite inspirational quote/lyric?
“Nothing in nature blooms all year. Be patient with yourself.”
How can other women get involved with Gold Hand Girls?
Contact us! @goldhandgirls on Instagram, and firstname.lastname@example.org <3