Emily McMonagle & Chary Sathea - thecnnekt

Emily McMonagle & Chary Sathea

Photo credit: Alyssa Kirsten

Photo credit: Alyssa Kirsten

Emily McMonagle and Chary Sathea are the dynamic duo behind thecnnekt - a platform that features all voices through digital and IRL interviews to build and nurture a cultured community. thecnnekt all started with a question - how do grown ass women make friends in New York? (#tooreal)

Emily and Chary met online through a story written about being newly transplants and finding other women who share the same quirks, mindset, and interests. Inspired by the genuine connection and sense of community they found, Emily and Chary decided to create the same but better opportunity for women to make meaningful relationships in New York. They wanted to create a space for like-minded individuals and take that digital interaction offline to foster authentic relationships. Together, they’ve built a community that far extends New York, and “connects” women online through content and offline through events.

Through their online platform, Emily and Chary are showcasing various voices who make an impact in the world. They’ve been authentic in their approach from day one, and I LOVE what they’ve created. They’re dedicated to diversity and inclusion, spotlighting underrepresented voices, and making an impact through sharing real, honest, and authentic stories with their community. Through authentically sharing their voices, Emily and Chary are encouraging other women to be vulnerable and share their voices too. I’m so grateful and excited to be connected with these incredible women, for the opportunity to share thecnnekt with you, and I can’t wait for you to follow along and learn more!

I'd love it if you'd introduce yourself, what you do, and what you're working on.

EM: My name is Emily McMonagle and I am the co-founder and creative director for thecnnekt. I also have a full time job working in visuals for the fashion industry but spend every break/ night working passionately on thecnnekt. So, that really is my main focus, however, I have been working on an interior decorating side business that has brought me such immediate gratification and has sharpened my creative skills. Through this, I am able to experiment and be innovative, which then comes back full circle to my full time job and thecnnekt. Its a win-win!

CS: Hi, I’m Chary, pronounced like the fruit. By day, I am a social media manager for a nonprofit and by nights and weekends, I co-run thecnnekt: her, him, them. A digital and IRL community. There is a lot of parallels in my world (between my day job and thecnnekt): to tell stories that creates an impact.

How did you get started?

EM: I went to school for fashion and have always been drawn to the artistic side of things. But, while working in the industry I discovered I wanted MORE. With all the Bad things going on in the world, I had a sort of guilty feeling about spending my days just working for corporate. I met Chary who had a similar mindset and we both knew it was important to highlight the people doing and creating the Good things- so it was then thecnnekt was born.

 CS: It all starts with an idea. This desire for creation and an appetite for something more and really bringing people together. And one fate led to another. I met Emily, we talked shop, and here we are. Almost 3 years later!

What inspired the work that you're doing?

EM: The community. We started off posting pieces, poems and interviews on cool women. Through this, we cnnekted with so many amazing folks who opened our eyes and inspired our work to grow and evolve. This resulted in what we are doing now - focused mainly on interviews that have expanded to him and them. We were truly doing ourselves and our community a disservice by excluding him and them, especially when they have such important stories to tell and journeys to share.

CS: As a natural storyteller, I just felt there was a gap in other voices. I’ve been observing media for a long time (it’s my background in college), and upon reading these stories, there wasn’t enough representation. Why are these publications only covering white billionaires of big corporations? What about the local mom and pop shops? The local organizers who work hard at a grassroot level to fuel macro changes? What about those voices? I think thecnnekt serves the community well where we extend our platform to all voices, from big establishments, to emerging entrepreneurs.

What is your biggest passion? Do you feel like you're living your passion and purpose?

EM: My biggest passion is to give back. I make sure I find a way to incorporate this in everything I do. Whether it’s marching for women’s rights, volunteering at a soup kitchen with thecnnekt, giving blood, I am there for it. It not only helps others, but feeds my own soul.

CS: Preach, Emily. My passion is to serve the community, in any way I can. Shout out to my mom who taught me grit and empathy. Yes, I do feel like I am living my passion and purpose. I realized how privileged I am today where my life revolves serving different communities and sharing available resources.

What is your joy blueprint? What lights you up, brings you joy, and makes you feel the most alive?

EM: This may be a bit of a typical answer, but my joy blueprint is my family and friends. Surrounding myself with people who care so much about me and vice versa, makes my life is so full. No matter where I go next, I know I have that constant love that keeps me alive.

CS: A lot of simple things, but really new adventures with my loved ones. Whether it is taking the 7 train all the way to Flushing to find bomb food (my life revolves around food), or roller skating to Gowanus to Hip Hop and R&B. I guess it’s creating new experience and memories with people I love.

How do you live intentionally? Are there tools/resources/practices that you rely on to help you stay mindful and grounded?

EM: I will be completely honest and share that I struggle with this a lot. I get so wrapped up in my day to day and to-do lists that sometimes I forget about ME. I feel like I do a lot for others and many rely on me to keep them afloat, whether they know it or not. So I spent a lot of time helping others live intentionally, but not myself recently. Does that make sense?

Chary does a lot better of a job at this than I do, but I’ve tried to take a page from her book recently. She writes a lot and takes days to herself and when I practice this, I feel much more mindful and grounded.  I’ll be working more on this so ask me again in a few months:)

CS: Thank you for the kind words, Em! I have no shame in my game: I go to therapy every other week. Prior to this, I write in my journal every Sunday, a private space where I can be myself freely and reflect on thoughts. Before bed, I list out what I am grateful for from the day; this practice helped me to be positive in dark times, and it’s a gentle reminder that life isn’t all so bad. Being alive is a blessing itself.

What would your younger self think about what you're doing now?

EM: She would be beyond proud. Shocked, but proud. I grew up in a white, Irish Catholic surrounding so I didn’t know half of what we write about or half of the people we feature on thecnnekt existed. NYC and our platform has taught me so much about life and love and people. I am still learning and growing, but want to continue down that path.

CS: I like to think younger me would be damn proud of the woman I’ve become.

Do you have a go-to mantra or affirmation?

EM: Just breathe. Some deep breaths in and out can change anything in just a few seconds.

CS: If you have not heard of Alex Elle, you need to look her up. She comes up with the best affirmations.Right now I am leading 2019 with this: validation must start with the self. - Alex Elle. (It’s deep! I know!)

What is your biggest dream?

EM: To be a mom. I want to build a family and raise cultured, wonderful, ‘woke’ children who will one day change the world.

CS: Buy that house for my mom and fulfill her American Dream. (And then to see and learn more from the world).

To learn more about Emily & Chary and thecnnekt visit their website thecnnekt.com and you can connect with them on Instagram @thecnnekt and @emilyrose_mc @charypie and on Facebook here



Joy Corner is a new interview-style blog series brought to you by Seek The Joy Podcast. Our mission continues to be a desire to share your stories, truths, joys and inspiration in your words. We invite you to join our corner, and share your joys, passions, and moments of inspiration as we continue to seek the joy, together. Join this series here

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