Kathy Edwards – Photo by Miranda Mayle Photography at McClelland Sculpture Park
When Kathy Edwards started Steppin’ Out Events, she was looking for a way to open her social circle and feel safe in the environment. Not wanting to relegate herself to the degrading swipe fest of online dating apps, she knew she couldn’t be the only person looking to meet genuine, single, like-minded people over 40 on the Mornington Peninsula.
“I’m a single mum over 40 with a background in policing, investigations, restaurant ownership and security, so most of my career has involved keeping people safe and assessing risk,” Kathy says. “To be able to bring that together organising and running exclusive and elegant events for singles over 40 is simply a dream come true.”
Although Kathy is the perfect host to bring people together, she never envisaged the direction, growth and challenges her company would face over its first two years. Before COVID, Steppin’ Out Events would attract hundreds of people at various locations around Victoria, including her hometown on the Mornington Peninsula, where she was proud to support local business. But once Melbourne’s lockdown restrictions stopped gatherings in large numbers, Kathy was forced to cancel what would turn out to be a year’s worth of events.
These lockdowns would be a difficult time for many business owners. However, Kathy took it all in her stride and turned it into a blessing, moving her offline business to a range of online events that have kept growing and evolving since. During COVID, the Steppin’ Out Events membership has tripled, with thousands of members in Victoria and Western Australia requesting to join the following groups:
• Open 20-30s;
• Singles Over-40s;
• Open Over-40s; and,
• Outdoor Activities.
Kathy now runs various events to cater to her different groups and even has a VIP membership for singles over 40 wishing for smaller exclusive events and looking to find a partner.
“We’ve had some lovely new friendships formed from these events. We even had a couple of weddings, and many relationships started during COVID too. Although our groups are friendship groups, the relaxed and welcoming environment makes it easier to form friendships and relationships. We can’t wait to see what happens when we hold large events again.”
With a new line of various shirts available for singles and a new value-based program that encourages mindfulness through honest reflection, Kathy is proud to support her community with not only individual meet-up events, but also daily journaling books, a create-your-own-values-compass program, and an action-based program where members birth their dreams into reality with real-world actions for health, wealth, happiness, weekend activities, friendships and more.
Kathy says she can’t take all the credit for the success of Steppin’ Out Events; she has an amazing team of people working for her, and the support, encouragement and assistance from her family, friends, and the business networking groups Peninsula Business Networking and BNI Carrum Downs are what help her create memorable moments for her members.