I am a huge Wild Sister fan. I love both the magazine and the message and when Jen “came out” with her a newly discovered Aspergers diagnosis, I was fascinated. I knew my readers would be too, so I asked Jen if she would be interested in doing an interview with me. She would, she did, and here it is:) First, a little about Wild Sister Magazine.
Wild Sister is a revolutionary e-mag and global sisterhood of women who rock at life. The aim of Wild Sister is to inspire women to love themselves, follow their bliss and change the world.
Now more about Jen!
Name: Jen Saunders
Position: CEO, founder + editor-in-chief of Wild Sister Magazine, creator of the Wild Sisterhood + co-founder of the Autistic Women’s Collective.
Me: When did you start Wild Sister and why?
Jen: I started Wild Sister in 2011, after discovering many inspiring female bloggers online and wanting to gather them all together to create one awesome collection of voices. I’d always wanted to read a magazine that made me feel good about myself, but I could never find one in the slew of gossip-heavy, photoshopped tabloid mags that fill the newsstands. So I decided to create the kind of magazine I’d always wanted to read.
Me: Have you always been creative or driven to have your own business?
Jen: Definitely, I’ve been creative for as long as I can remember, and I’ve always wanted to work for myself.
Me: Have you always felt “different”?
Jen: Yep, I didn’t know how or why, but I always felt like I didn’t fit in.
Me: How did the diagnosis of Aspergers come about?
Jen: I saw a girl on TV talking about her life with Aspergers, and I related to all of it. That started me down the path of researching and reading as much as I could until I was sure I was Aspergian too. Less than a year later, I was diagnosed.
Me: How did the diagnosis make you feel?
Jen: So many things. First, relief. Other words that come to mind are liberation, validation, clarity, understanding, forgiveness, and acceptance.
Me: Do you think there’s a link between your aspergers and your desire to run your own business? Why or why not?
Jen: I think so. I always had a lot of trouble working a full-time job, all the social aspects of it were incredibly draining and I always knew I did my best work when I was passionate about what I was doing. Starting a business built around something I loved was the best thing I ever did. I turned my special interest into a business, taught myself how to do it all very quickly, and used my creative skills to do it. These are all my Aspergian traits coming into play.
Me: Anything else you want to share?
Jen: For any women out there who are on the Autism spectrum, I invite you join the Autistic Women’s Collective. It will be an online community for Autistic women, by Autistic women, and aims to provide a safe space for us to connect, and promote acceptance and neurodiversity through sisterhood.