Where Chrysalis came from

Where it all began

The concept behind the philosophy for Chrysalis for Women started many years ago.

When the founder, Kim Chamberlain, set up a business Successful Speaking in 2002, offering training courses and conference speaking to people and organisations around NZ; she quickly discovered that over 80% of people coming along were women looking for inspiration and confidence. Although she hadn’t set up her business to cater primarily for women, she could see there was a desire for many women to learn in a women-only environment, and so responded by providing a range of services specifically for women – workshops, speeches, seminars, articles, books, a two-day conference, and a business expo.

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After a number of years, these services no longer fitted under the umbrella of Successful Speaking and so the concept of ‘Chrysalis for Women’ as a separate entity began in 2011. 

In 2013 she partnered with a lady called Janne who ran the original Koru Hub in Island Bay. Janne described what she offered as ‘a platform for people to share their skills with the world’, and as this overlaps with the Chrysalis philosophy, they jointly set up an informal business network group for women in small business (called South Coast Women). They outgrew the venue at the first meeting. People very quickly asked for other groups in the north (hence Porirua four months later – Northern Women) and in the Hutt (Hutt Valley Women four months after that). Running three groups proved unwieldy, so they were consolidated into the largest group, Porirua, which was simply called Chrysalis for Women. The Chrysalis service had now become a network group for women in small to medium-sized business.

Chrysalis exists as a response to a need from the community, and operates along the lines of a community, rather than a business. Its fundamental principal is to offer women opportunity – the opportunity to grow in themselves and in their business; the opportunity to learn, share, and promote their business; the opportunity to build working relationships with others; and the opportunity to make friends and belong to a community.

Iona Elwood-Smith came on board in 2016, in alignment with the underpinning values of the Chrysalis service, and with the same vision. With two people at the helm, the service grew considerably as they built and refined the service, always seeking to understand and meet the needs of the group. They introduced an annual programme, workshops, membership, workbooks, a 90 Day Success Club, a Social Media group, and an online directory. At the beginning of 2018 they created an Advisory Board to help take the service forward.

The service continues to grow, evolve and flourish, and Kim and Iona have had the pleasure of watching women grow their businesses and their confidence; see business partnerships form, mastermind groups come about, and friendships develop.

Kim Chamberlain

Founder and Coordinator

Kim Chamberlain

What is your business?
I’m an international speaker and author, in the field of personal and professional development. http://www.kimchamberlain.com/  I have a real estate investment business in partnership with my husband.

Why did you set up Chrysalis?
When I set up in business in 2002 I quickly discovered that most people coming to me were women looking for inspiration and confidence-building. I started to provide a range of services specifically for women, including women’s workshops, a women’s business expo, women’s conferences, and two books for women (Successful Woman and Woman to Woman). Chrysalis for Women was a natural progression and I feel very honoured that we are providing a service that women appreciate and gain many benefits from.

What else can you tell us about yourself?
Originally from Liverpool in the UK, I’m married to Jon, with two wonderful children Jordan and Kira and a pet blue tongued lizard called Ra.

I’ve been driven by a number of things in my life:

  • Words, language and communication – which led me to gain a degree in linguistics, become an author, speaker, trainer, TEFL tutor and volunteer reader/writer for college students. It also means I never leave the house without pen and paper because, heaven knows, there may be something I need to write down!
  • Living in new places – I love moving to live in a place I don’t know, finding out how to live there and then moving on to the next place. So far I’ve lived in 10 places, in five countries on three continents. That leaves an awful lot of other places to live in…
  • Setting up new initiatives – I see my life purpose as “Setting up something that didn’t exist before, that is of benefit to the community”, and I’ve established several initiatives over the years. These include – services for youngsters with special needs; a home-school centre in East Africa; a support group for people who work from home; and a dress agency for ballroom dancers.
  • Chocolate. You can never have too much chocolate in your life!

“Chrysalis provides a wealth of experience and knowledge for women and by women. It’s a warm, welcoming and supportive environment where members generously share their wisdom for the benefit of everyone. Not only have I learned but I have enjoyed!!”

Judith Yeabsley, The Confident Eater

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