Hi Rachel! Can you tell us more about what you do at The Post?
My name is Rachel Orr, and I am an art director and a designer on The Lily which is part of the emerging news products team at The Post. I actually came to The Washington Post to be a print designer and did that for about a year, and then after Jeff Bezos bought The Post, he wanted to create this emerging news products team, and then I switched over to that team.
We got together and tried to think of what would resonate with an audience that The Post wasn’t already reaching in a different way. So we started experimenting with millennials, and we realized that millennial women was this pocket that wasn’t being reached in specific ways, especially on social media. So we pitched The Lily and started it a year ago and we’re excited to see what happens in the next coming year.
What is the mission of The Lily?
The mission of The Lily is to expose diverse voices and perspectives and just empower people with news and information. We’re not just for women. We’re for everybody. We really try to tell stories and bring to life stories that are critical to lives of women. So whether that’s specific stories about women, or stories written and photographed by women.
What has your work meant to you?
The reason that I want to keep doing this is because we get these little messages… like, somebody messaged us on Instagram yesterday. I’m not sure where she lived, but was not in the US. She said, “I’m a teenage girl and I follow The Lily. Where I live, there’s nothing like that here. Watching women like you do something like this makes me feel like I can do it.”
Some people are numbers-based, like “Oh I like seeing the numbers,” but for me it’s the stories, and the personal things that people tell us about how we’ve affected their lives.
Another example of that is that we just had a foster care newsletter a little bit ago, and we got so many emails after saying that they were considering foster care now because of the women’s stories we told about their experience with foster care.
Empowering women to tell their own story has a snowball effect where it empowers other people and then it is just this big circle. It’s kind of like: you want to be nice to one person and then hopefully they’ll be nice to other people. It’s just a snowball effect, and I feel like being part of The Lily is a part of that.