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Meet Meghan Conwell of Damned Damsels in Logan Square

Today we’d like to introduce you to Meghan Conwell.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I always knew I wanted to work in music, even in high school. I ended up going to the University of Delaware as an undecided major, thinking I would switch into their Music Management program. However, you had to audition to get into the program, and I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to work on the business side. So, I decided I needed to transfer schools.

When I was 19 I moved to Nashville, TN to attend Belmont University to get a degree in Music Business. It was probably the scariest and best decision I have made. I ended up getting great internships and was excited about what I was learning.

However, the music business is tough and Nashville, especially, is a competitive market (it grew SO MUCH as a city in the five years I was there) So, I decided to leave my mentor, who had hired me as her first employee, my friends and the city I had grown to love and move to a bigger, badder city, Chicago!

After a slew of what I like to call, fated events, I landed a job working at Firefly Music Festival, where I met my business partner, ex-boss, and best friend, Jordyn.

Earlier this year, we decided to create something, unsure of really what it would be and how it would look. But we are learning something everyday and molding Damned Damsels into something really special, with the help of an amazing support system here in Chicago.

Has it been a smooth road?
No, no, no. I wish I could say yes, but no. First off, we both are working full time, I am finishing graduate school and we’re both trying to maintain our mental health and work/life balance.

A lot of the struggle was describing what we wanted to do to other people. We would talk to each other and completely understand the idea, and then 15 minutes later be snowballing into what our empire was going to be doing ten years down the road. It’s awesome to dream and have those goals, but staying focused on those small baby steps is hard and tedious. (however, my graduate thesis class was super helpful- shoutout to all professors and peers who helped!)

Also, money. It’s always a struggle. How much we have to put into Damned Damsels and how our revenues streams are going to look is hard.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
We are Damned Damsels. Our goal is to equalize the playing field in the music industry. We are going to be throwing pop up events as well as roundtables and panels throughout the Chicago area.

Our business is aimed at anyone interested in a career in the music industry. It encompasses musicians, managers, publishers, talent buyers, audio engineers, marketing, anything that makes the music industry the music industry.

We are very proud of our mission and the community we are building. Equal is the keyword at Damned Damsels. We want to provide the same opportunities in the music industry to women, men, trans, nonbinary people and help grow the diversity within the industry.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I do think that Chicago is a good place for Damned Damsels! The music scene here, while legendary, could use a mix-up. It has some major players in the industry, and the DIY scene is great, but in terms of industry, it could improve (the whole goal of Damned Damsels is to improve the industry nationwide!) But the community is so supportive and people are eager to discover new music and collaborate within the industry.

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Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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