The Iris Sisterhood

How tedious would life be without the company of women? As a lucky younger sister, no moment of my existence has been spent without a woman at my side providing joy and laughter and ease for my sorrows. But as well as family, it’s female friends that have provided the solid foundations upon which I build my life. It is the love of a sisterhood that has the power to alleviate fear - we give one another the courage to go out and seize life by the horns. 

This month I asked a random handful of readers what SISTERHOOD means to them. Here's a selection of replies:

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1. Name:  Alex Bott

2. Age: 28

3. Profession: Research Director, Asset Management

4. Briefly describe your sisterhood Despite having two biological younger sisters myself, who obviously I dote on, the term sisterhood to me represents my girlfriends, without whom I wouldn’t know what to do! 

5. How have your female friends helped you in your life?
A friend once told me that different friends will have different roles in your life. I believe this is very true. Whilst all my girlfriends never fail to make me laugh, I have different ones I will call on for advice on different topics.

6. Which film/song/book sums up sisterhood for you?Perhaps a cheesy choice but I would say Cyndi Lauper ‘Girls Just wanna have Fun’. 

7. Iris is an online community where we share ideas and inspirations. What do you get out of reading it?
I love when Iris lands in my inbox . Not only does it serve as a welcome distraction from work but I love all the different segments; it’s very digestible. It's better than other publications because I love reading recommendations from people I can relate to.

8. Is there anything in particular that you rely on your sisterhood for?As a single person I would say a sisterhood is incredibly important for advice , whether it be dating, career or even health related. Whilst my parents’ are good at helping with some things , I’m probably more inclined to go to my friends with certain things , even if my mum does think she’s always right! 

This picture was taken in a photo booth during a recent trip to Brighton with two members of my sisterhood. They came to support me in a triathlon and I think it captures how much fun we had pretty well!


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1. Name: Claudine L.

2. Age: 28

3. Profession: Project Manager

4. Briefly describe your sisterhood I have two core sets of "sisters". One is my oldest girlfriends from growing up; and when we get together it feels just like we're 16 again. Only difference is now we can legally drink and afford to go out to better dinners. My other are my city girlfriends, in every memory of my adult life. I literally cannot imagine life without them.

5. How have your female friends helped you in your life? Behind every strong woman is a WhatsApp group of girlfriends... I swear we have consulted each other on everything from what to wear for interviews, how to deal with drama (exes, friends, colleagues), and sharing any happy moments too.

6. Which film/song/book sums up sisterhood for you?Summer Sisters by Judy Blume. And, Follow Rivers by Lykke Li. It reminds me of dancing late at the Jane Hotel with my girlfriends, singing along at the top of our lungs. 

7. Iris is an online community where we share ideas and inspirations. What do you get out of reading it each month? May be very American of me to say, but I notice a distinct difference in English women! You have such varied interests and pursue your hobbies. I feel totally inspired to "do things" after reading Iris; instead of my usual NYC routine. 

8. Is there anything in particular that you rely on your sisterhood for? Cheerleading. My husband is wonderful and supportive, but words of affirmation don't come naturally to him. My girlfriends are always far nicer than the voices in my own head when I'm doubting myself. 

Any other thoughts on the matter...? I'd be remiss to not mention how F'ing awesome and cool the Women's March in NYC was last January. I walked with two of my best girlfriends and it was unbelievable. Being surrounded by that many women (and their partners) was something I will never forget. I totally believe that women can change the world. 


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1. Name:   Louisa Ingham        

2. Age:  28

3. Profession:   Lawyer

4. Briefly describe your sisterhood: Defined by our Whatsapp group name ‘Byron Craving’, we send between 78 and 1,564 messages a day, frequently meet up for burgers (the usual order being 10 skinny burgers, with a side each of onion rings, fries and mac’n’cheese) and know the whereabouts of each other's brothers, mothers, pets and most definitely boyfriends, usually before they do.

5. How have your female friends helped you in your life? If one of us has no plans, they never, ever leave a sister alone on a Friday night. 

6. Which film/song/book sums up sisterhood for you? Chalet Girl (top vote from Byron Craving)

7. Iris is an online community where we share ideas and inspirations. What do you get out of reading it each month? The variety of features and the interest which each writer clearly takes in their research makes it an enjoyable read each month and something I look forward to receiving. It’s entertaining and often prompts me to try new things.

8. Is there anything in particular that you rely on your sisterhood for? Telling them how I actually feel, not the parent-boyfriend version which comes with a little sheen or a little extra drama added for effect, just the real version. Asking for blunt, ouch-type advice. A sister will never hold back…

Any other thoughts on the matter...? Long live sisterhood.


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1. Name: Domenica Marland       

2. Age:   20    

3. Profession:  Student 

4. Briefly describe your sisterhood: My sisterhood is my counsel, it is something that epitomises love.

5. How have your female friends helped you in your life? They have helped me in so many ways I wouldn’t know where to start. But probably that they have always made it very clear that “I’m not alone”. 

6. Which film/song/book sums up sisterhood for you? Sex and the City

7. What do you get out of reading it each month? I get the joy of hearing what other women of such talent and knowledge have to say about London and the world. 

8. Is there anything in particular that you rely on your sisterhood for? I pretty much rely on my sisterhood for everything as I am always single. But that isn’t to say that if I wasn’t single I wouldn’t do the same. In the words of Charlotte York from Sex and the City, “Maybe we can be each other’s soul mates and then we can let men be these great, nice guys to have fun with"

Any other thoughts on the matter? I just wanted to say thank you to my sisterhood who have always been there for me. Although I don’t always see them, text them, call them, they will always be my favourite, most prized possessions in the world. 


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1. Name:  Megan  

2. Age:  28  

3. Profession:  Iris Illustrator 

4. Briefly describe your sisterhood: my school friends. They’ve been there since I was a 11 (although the hood expanded when I moved schools at 16 and found myself a few more sisters).

5. How have your female friends helped you in your life? They are EVERYTHING to me. They are true happiness and they are safety. Their support is unprecedented and they inspire me daily. 

6. Which film/song/book sums up sisterhood for you? Sex and the City the Movie. When Big doesn’t turn up to the wedding and then sweet Charlotte goes into lioness mode to protect Carrie on their way out - it’s tears for me every time. 

7. Iris is an online community where we share ideas and inspirations. What do you get out of reading it each month? I get a feeling of warmth and of sharing - and sharing is - I think - a huge and very central part of a what a sisterhood is. You share your problems, you share your secrets, you share your joys and your woes. And you will not be judged. 

8. Is there anything in particular that you rely on your sisterhood for? As above - a sisterhood is a sanctum for sharing. It’s a women’s community - it’s the family you’ve chosen for yourself. I feel female friends provide the support and warmth of a family but they’re your peers and your sex - they see things more similarly perhaps than the generation above or the opposite sex. 'I feel ya sista'. Amen.  


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1. Name:   Emily Brook

2. Age:    32

3. Profession:   Researcher for Korn Ferry

4. Briefly describe your sisterhood: I don't have a sister but I have several close girlfriends who I couldn't live without.

5. How have your female friends helped you in your life? Having grown up with two brothers I have always relied on my female friends for style, beauty and relationship advice.

6. Which film/song/book sums up sisterhood for you? Film - Sommer vorm Balkon - a German film about two friends in Berlin. Song - Never Forget, Take That - which takes me back to saying goodbye to all of my girlfriends at our school leavers' ball, with all of our mutual hopes and dreams. Book - The Virgin Suicides - a grisly theme but such a beautifuly written and evocative novel by Jeffrey Eugenides about the bond between sisters.

7. Iris is an online community where we share ideas and inspirations. What do you get out of reading it each month? I love reading Iris for inspiration on things to cook, books to read, exhibitions to go to etc, and often forward it on to girlfriends when I think of them when reading it. I also love that it is monthly (so refreshing in a world where you feel swamped by e-mail) - I savour the e-mail and take my time to read through the articles which are inevitably always beautifully written. 

8. Is there anything in particular that you rely on your sisterhood for? Letting off steam! There is something about sharing a bottle of wine with your girlfriends after a tough week at work that nothing or no-one can replace. 

Any other thoughts on the matter...? In current affairs, it is so exciting and refreshing to see women finally sticking up for each other and fighting for equal treatment in the workplace. That is the power of sisterhood.


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1. Name: Olivia

2. Age: 28

3. Profession: Publishing

4. Briefly describe your sisterhood: I only have brothers, but my sisterhood is the family that I got to choose. I find incredible joy in saying that my sisterhood comprises of the most unique pool of complete and utter weirdo’s. The most fabulous, loyal, grounding, hilarious and gorgeous group of weirdo’s.

5. How have your female friends helped you in your life? They have been my therapy. Nothing too small or insignificant for their ears. They help me get energy and laughter out of life.

6. Which film/song/book sums up sisterhood for you? ‘My Friends’- LAURA MARLING

The first verse:

"My friends, my dear friends
And lovers, oh my lovers
I'd leave you for them
They got a hand on my back”

7. Iris is an online community where we share ideas and inspirations. What do you get out of reading it each month? The perfect curation of charming things.

8. Is there anything in particular that you rely on your sisterhood for? I don’t think it is possible for one single person to fulfil every single need of another. Whilst some can come near to this, I think your sisterhood will always provide much needed stimulation in thought, humour, and interests that you cannot find anywhere else. More than this, they are a non-judgemental support, that has the power to cure practically anything in life!

By Daisy Allsup. The Iris Letter November 2017

What does sisterhood mean to you? Let us know by commenting below: