Shane Blackett, 34, was looking for new friends after moving to the lower north coast and starting a successful social group
A yoga instructor has revealed how she managed to bring together hundreds of like-minded women for virtual wine and dinner nights in a bid to make the lockdown more bearable.
Shane Blackett, 34, had originally intended the group for women in Sydney’s lower north coast who wanted to meet up a few times a month.
“I posted to a local Facebook group to see if there were any women who were interested in a book club and a wine night — with a little less book club and a little more wine,” she told FEMAIL.
She was shocked by the sheer number of comments, which prompted her to create a Facebook group for all women interested in social events.
“I was really surprised, I thought maybe I’d involve 30 or 40 women and we could have dinner parties or something,” she said.
But in just two days, 300 women had joined the Mosman women’s wine club.
The yoga instructor had initially planned for the group to meet for physical dinners and drinks, but the lockdown took place shortly after it was formed
Now women around her dress up for nights with their new friends
Shane says he has already found ‘friends for life’.
“I think I’m naturally good at bringing people together for drinks,” she laughed.
“Creating this has had a really good impact on my life,” she said that lockdown scenarios don’t come naturally to her as she is an outgoing person.
“And once we can go out and physically meet the other women in the group, I think it will be great. Right now we’re just building the foundation for that,” she said.
Shane originally started the group after moving to Cremorne and started a new job after a breakup with her long-term partner.
“Most of my friends are pregnant or trying, or no longer within an Uber ride to my house,” she said.
“They just don’t like that kind of fun and I really missed it.”
The fact that it started for the group at the same time as the lockdown was purely coincidental, she said.
Shane hosts a number of events in the group, including dinners where people are encouraged to dress so they “feel good.”
More than 300 women joined the group in just two days – 10 times more than Shane expected
“It’s nice to just order dinner, have a glass of wine with friends and have a reason to dress up,” she said.
“Different people come in for different things, sometimes we have a dozen for all the time.”
It seems that the group attracts women from all over the area.
“We have women in their 20s through to women in their 70s and it’s so amazing to see,” she said.
“Some of our members are moms who just want to talk for an hour about something other than their family life and kids.
The women are now logging in to have virtual dinners to ease the feeling of isolation in lockdown
“Others don’t even drink, they just pour a soda and join in.”
As long as you live in the area, are a woman and like to make friends, Shane said you’re welcome.
‘I don’t care how old you are, whether you don’t drink or don’t want to eat. There is no judgment,’ she said.
Shane also created a page for those who don’t live in the area after realizing that the group had a huge positive effect on women.
The page called “Wine, Body and Mind” will have the same content as the closed Facebook page.
“We’re just not going to have meetings there,” she said.
Shane says she’s excited to meet the women in person, but in the meantime she enjoys building good relationships online
The group on the lower north coast currently meets online two or three times a week.
“It will be so nice to meet in person after the lockdown,” Shane said.
Shane has a long history in the hospitality industry, runs her own business called Yoga in the Vines and is socially outgoing by nature.
“I’m glad I have that background in events because I can see how otherwise this group could have become overwhelming,” she said.
There is no limit to how many people are welcome to join the group, with Shane stating ‘the more the better’.
She hopes to reach out to local businesses to accommodate the large group once Sydney reopens.