happy birthday to the coop

July 31st, 2021

A year ago, Claire and Riley launched The Coop...and what a year it's been.

Happy birthday to our baby. Here are some of our thanks, thoughts, favorite memories, and what we have to look forward to this year from our founders and fellow chicks. We can't express how much we appreciate all of you.

I truly can’t believe that it’s been a year since this publication launched. I remember hitting the publish button, hands shaking, and watching the site visitors increase one by one. As I look through this website, I’m filled with such pride, and great anticipation of the things that are to come. I think fondly of the Halloween photoshoots, interviews with female founders, and meetings filled with genuine belly laughter. 

 

A year ago we published the website, filled with thoughtful stories from the incredible women that make Duke, Duke. During quarantine, The Coop allowed me to work towards something greater than myself and connect to students across the country. It kept me inspired during an, I hate to use such an overused term, uncertain time. 

 

Thank you for those who were there for us starting a year ago, and those who just started reading today! I especially want to thank Riley for being with me as we tried to figure out everything from our signature color to our actual name. I will look back fondly on every zoom and FaceTime we spent dreaming up what this publication could be, and how it became so much bigger than we ever imagined. 

 

Anonymous notes from women saying that their perception of food has changed, or the freshman that thanked us for creating a supportive, fun community, are the comments that fill me with such overwhelming emotion. The writers, photographers, and you, the readers, are what make us a community. We are still young, and have a lot to learn, and so much more that we want to do, so keep reading, supporting, and letting us know what you want to see us do.

 

Thank you for making all of this possible. We can’t wait for more to come and to many more birthdays! Love you all so much!

Claire 

Happy 1st Birthday to the idea that was once a glimmer in our eye freshman year. Happy Birthday to the ever-changing and growing group of incredibly strong, bright, and unforgivingly powerful women we call The Coop! It seems as though the year flew by, but I look to our group’s milestones and my favorite moments to help me remember the steps that were taken to get where we are today. 

 

There were a lot of firsts in the first year of The Coop. Our first application, our first members, our first post, our first photoshoot, our first guest writer, our first playlist, our first meeting on zoom, our first podcast … the list could go on. And within all of the firsts was the start of a steep learning curve of revaluation and reeducation; we were open to feedback on our approach toward topics such as gender, food, racism, greek life, and politics that are necessary for the growth and progress of all individuals. Although we have changed a lot since day 1, this is just the beginning. 

 

To our badass Chicks, THANK YOU! Thank you for being vulnerable and open to sharing your precious opinions, life stories, and beautiful spirits with us and our community. We are so happy you are here. 

 

And to our readers, thank you for not being afraid to tell us when we step in the wrong direction and giving us valuable feedback to take to heart and grow with. 

 

And to my best friend and co-founder Claire, I want to thank you for growing alongside me and the rest of Chicks. I am beyond grateful to be on this journey with you towards female empowerment here at Duke, and beyond!

 

I am so excited for another year of The Coop and I can’t wait to see what we can do by our 2nd birthday. Only time will tell… LOVE YOU ALL <3

Riley

So excited that The Coop is turning 1! This community has given me so many new friends and I am grateful that our platform has the power to share Duke chicks’ unique, hilarious, and important stories.

Hannah Stone, Class of ‘23

 

I only just joined the Coop but getting to meet all of the amazing women involved with it was really inspiring to me. Everyone is so creative and open to discuss such important topics with a unique outlook. I’m just happy I joined and looking forward to celebrating two years of the Coop!! 

Rita Glazer, Class of ‘23

 

I'm not sure how I'll be celebrating yet, but I do want to share how grateful I am to have joined the Coop this year!! I have to confess that COVID was a really hard time to be entering a new school, but I felt the Coop made it possible for me to connect with like minded women and share our thoughts on a supportive platform. My happiest memory is not one of everyone together, but the happy moments that were brought to me by the Coop. I had many emotional conversations with family, friends, peers, people from my past, etc, provoked by my Coop article, which I am extremely grateful for. I cannot express how much joy I have felt since publishing my first article, and the excitement I have for future growth in this setting.

Abby Johnson, Class of ‘24

 

Thank you so much for all you’ve done in creating community this past year! Things like the in-person small group meet-ups were much appreciated and very thoughtful! Can’t wait for the years ahead!!:)

Madeleine Reinhard, Class of ‘24

 

I hope this year we can all finally meet up together finally

Jamie Wang, Class of ‘24

 

“I’m going to celebrate with all the wonderful ladies at DUKE IN THE COOP…. Maybe eat some yummy cake, some party hats.. and confetti…. The coop deserves some recognition because Riley and Claire are pretty bad a** :D my favorite memory has to be the halloween photo shoot at the sketchy yet funnnn haunted house in the middle of nowhere, oh especially changing in the gross bathroom info our color themed outfits. 

Claudia Espy, Class of ‘24

 

I’m celebrating by getting back into journaling/writing! I haven’t been writing as much lately since I’ve been so busy this summer, but I feel like there’s no better time to get back into it than to commemorate the Coop’s first anniversary! Even though I just recently joined, I’m so lucky to have found such a supportive community of girls at Duke. Looking forward to so many more memories this year <3!

Rory Smith, Class of ‘24

 

Riley was my blue devil buddy so she (and the coop) were really my introduction to Duke. I remember that when the site was launched last year and I checked it out was the first time I truly couldn’t wait for college. I had never seen so many candid conversations and thought provoking pieces in one place. Beyond joyed to see that that’s what the coop is still all about 1 year later. Here’s to many more <3

Amelia Dinallo, Class of ‘24

 

I'm celebrating by working on new projects! I think my for sprite memory I have to share from my experience in the Coop comes from the days I spent working on recording a podcast with my good friend Amelia. We prepared for days and learned the ins and outs of recording, and I'm excited to record more this coming year! 

Eliza Heaton, Class of ‘24

 

I’ve been wearing my comfy (lol), but in all seriousness I’ve just been thinking back to the meetings last semester, and I am super excited to meet everyone in person!

Taylor Parker, Class of ‘24

 

Meeting new girls during our weird COVID year! Helped the strange situation feel a little more normal. 

Charlotte Johnson, Class of ‘23

 

The one time I was able to meet up with other chicks IRL, we went to the farmers market and Rise biscuit (which was delicious). I loved getting to know Durham a little better and am so grateful to be a part of a community made up of such kind, smart, funny gals. I’ve been celebrating the coop all summer by wearing my cute sweatshirt EVERYWHERE.

Sydney Lapine, Class of ‘24

 

I remember going to the Farmer's Market with Riley and our group- it was one of the first times I had the chance to feel actually connected to a club during COVID. I was instantly so excited to be a part of the club because I knew I would be able to meet such fun and kind people! I also remember the first meeting after I became a member in the Spring where we all presented our slides- it was such an awesome feeling seeing how authentic everyone was- there was truly a space for all of us. 

Pari Goel, Class of ‘24

From the founders

from (some of) the chicks