Women’s online networks merge to keep entrepreneur’s legacy alive

The Henpicked launch

Two successful online communities, Henpicked and totally4women, have merged to create one of the UK’s largest, fastest growing websites, giving women over 40 a voice.

With over 42,000 active members, Henpicked has relaunched this month to incorporate totally4women (t4w), following the sad death of t4w’s founder Carolyn Lazarus after a brief battle with cancer.

Henpicked was originally set up in 2013 by Nottingham-based entrepreneur Deborah Garlick and a group of friends, who wanted to provide a hub for women to share advice and find inspiration.

At a similar time, t4w was the brainchild of Carolyn Lazarus, entrepreneur and lawyer from Hereford, whose vision was to offer a community for “women who weren’t born yesterday” and give them a home for sharing information and insights into women’s issues and experiences.

Following the death of Lazarus in 2015, the two sites connected through a contributing writer and, as they shared such a common ethos and identity, Garlick felt that it would be tragic for the work of t4w not to continue. So, she worked with Carolyn’s husband, Marc, to continue his wife’s legacy.

Garlick, CEO of Henpicked, said: “When I heard of Carolyn’s sad passing, I got in touch with the editor and said ‘please don’t shut down your site, there has to be another way’.

“We had common aims and our brands matched almost identically, so the Henpicked team has been working closely with Marc and the t4w team to bring everything together, keeping Carolyn’s legacy alive and even taking it on to another level”.

With already more than 300 contributing writers and over 1,500 articles covering topics as wide ranging as happiness and well-being, health, advice, money matters, beauty and travel, the new site aims to be a national resource and online community for women across the UK to share good advice and network with like-minded people.

Carolyn’s husband Marc Lazarus said: “As the custodian of t4w it was essential to me that if it was to carry on without Carolyn it was done for the right reasons and by people who ‘get’ what t4w stands for and was trying to achieve.

“I can say with heartfelt sincerity that in Deborah and the Henpicked team I could not have found people more in tune with Carolyn’s vision for t4w. I believe it is now in the very best hands to fulfil that vision and I have no doubt that Carolyn would have felt the same”.

Garlick added: “We have big ambitions for Henpicked, aiming to grow the existing communities to 100,000 by the end of the year.  We want to encourage more women to share their wisdom and grow the number of active, contributing writers to over 1,000. The new site henpicked.net combines the best of both Henpicked and t4w, offering women over 40 a voice. There are also opportunities for networking, regular offers from our partners and also a monthly book club.

“We will also be launching our first book in October, ‘Menopause – The Change for the Better – Henpicked’s simple guide to the menopause’ which we hope will break the taboo around discussing menopause and give women (and interested men) a resource to turn to for a rounded perspective. We will remain true to Carolyn’s legacy and continue to build a community that we can all be part of”.