FOUNDER, THE WOMEN PROJECT

Wardrobe: Alberto Makali dress, courtesy of Tootsies; Badgley Mischka shoes, courtesy of Macy’s; Milan earrings and bracelets and Simon G ring, courtesy of Solomon Brothers Fine Jewelry.

STORY: Karina Antenucci

Kiera Palmer is an IT professional by day and entrepreneur and philanthropist by every other waking moment. In 2013, she founded the Atlanta arm of The Pink Agenda, a breast cancer nonprofit, after six years of fundraising for breast cancer causes. And she also is a travel blogger with close to 30,000 Instagram followers at @theblonderer. This spring, the Buckhead resident launched The Women Project, a membership organization that connects females throughout Atlanta. Having experienced the incredible support of women in her own life, Palmer wanted to create a platform to bring women together to help each other succeed, not only through networking, but also through workshops on everything from social media to banking, wellness retreats and more.

“Over the last few years, so many amazing women I’m close with have been launching businesses or growing their careers and didn’t know each other. I thought, I have to figure out how to bring them together,” says Palmer. “I want The Women Project to be empowering and motivating for every woman and for us to be cheerleaders of one another.”

Why is The Women Project important?

I believe that when women come together to support each other, so many great things happen. Multiple studies have been done on very successful women. Usually, they’re surrounded by a strong network of other successful women who have their backs and/or who have mentored them. Let’s stand up and support each other.

Why just women? What about men?

From the moment we’re born, women start with a laundry list of issues that we have to overcome. We have to be pretty, skinny, smart, successful, perfect. If we are stay at home moms, we’re judged for not working, and if we’re working, we’re judged for not being stay at home moms. Not that men don’t have their own struggles, but we always start steps behind the line.

What’s the biggest obstacle for The Women Project?

Getting the word out and women knowing about the organization.

What has been your biggest accomplishment in life thus far?

The formation of The Pink Agenda in Atlanta in 2013. It was a way to turn something tragic, losing my mom to breast cancer in high school, into something positive. It’s a well-run machine now. I’m the advisor for the organization, but not involved in the day-to-day. [Losing my mom] is probably part of why I keep wanting to make a difference in life in general and live with purpose.

What advice would you give to someone following in your footsteps?

I would say to just go for whatever is lighting your soul on fire. Whatever passion you feel, just do it. Every one of us fears the unknown—we’re afraid of failing and what people think—and you have to put that aside and focus on the positive. That’s the only way that things are going to get done. Go after it!

Who do you believe is a Rising Star?

Lillian Gray Charles is amazing. She is one of the women who inspired me to launch The Women Project. She’s a stylist here in Atlanta and very involved in the community as well. She’s one of the biggest supporters of women I have ever seen. She’s doing really great things.

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS?

My goal is for The Women Project to take off and be a national organization. Maybe even expand internationally. We’ll have ambassadors in different areas who will lead the events. I already have Miami, LA and New York on the docket. I’ll be involved, of course, but need someone to be the local point of contact.