Embracing the Power of Community

community building empowerment industry leadership overcoming adversity personal growth Jan 22, 2024

By Michelle Winters | Originally Published by Floor Covering News

The biggest victory of my life was prevailing in a family court case that was so wildly unusual it has since influenced legislators, law students and even Congress. And as I witnessed how deeply flawed the entire family court system was, I didn’t feel like there was any other choice but to do something about it. So I went for it, guns blazing, set out to dismantle the whole thing. The process of trying to make a difference made me a completely different person. What I learned was that the most important thing you can do to heal the world around you is to heal yourself. 

There were many moments along the way that nearly broke me, but that’s when I borrowed courage and strength from other women who saw my value when I didn’t. That’s when I learned the importance of community. I traded my life’s mission to tear down the family court system for mastering the art of building community between women. 

Happily Ever After doesn’t look a thing like the fairytale version I grew up being programmed with, and I’m not the only woman who has had to unlearn that lesson. Through community, connection and courage, I laid the groundwork to live powerfully ever after. 

It was at the height of that ordeal that, as a founding member of Women of the Flooring Business (WOFB), I started to experience community within the flooring industry. Without knowing it, that community pushed me toward my own healing. Hearing similar stories from other women of how this somewhat work-related group strengthened them and supported their growth through personal difficulties underscored the gravity of community for me. I believe it’s the most important thing we can do to build a thriving culture of growth-minded leaders in the industry—and that is the path forward if we want to see faster, more meaningful development across the board. 

More than 3,000 women have since joined us as members through our website and online community. The impact of our group coaching programs and trainings is well into the millions. I know how transformative it is for a woman to step fully into her power—it transforms systems, organizations, families. And because community is so key to that, I don’t think we could ever accurately measure the impact of WOFB. It’s setting more than a ripple in motion, we are talking tidal-wave-level impact. So, we are expanding our programming this year to ride that wave. 

My prediction for the year ahead is that as we see more women connect more deeply, we will also see a rise in women in leadership roles, an increase in revenue of women-owned businesses and greater levels of success. As our community grows, so will each of us and so will the industry—and that is not a coincidence. 

Michelle Winters has been in the flooring industry for years as a flooring store owner, founding member of The Women of the Flooring Business and industry consultant and speaker.


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"Being a member of The Women of the Flooring Business has given me a voice to feel more confident in asking the tough questions. I know that I have a safe place with so many women to support and encourage me. I know I am a better manager and leader to my team because of this group!" -R.B., Member, Women of the Flooring Business