‘We’re Not Really Strangers’ (WNRS) is the latest movement to make a statement and emphasize meaningful human connections and everyday thoughts. HOLR Chats with founder, Koreen Odiney, on the brand’s latest collaboration with Bumble.
You probably have seen or heard about this account on Instagram. If you haven’t seen the account, you’ve most probably seen the artwork being spread throughout the realms of social media. @werenotreallystrangers is a growing popularity online — a platform that creates an open dialogue and really makes you think when looking at certain posts. Why? It’s raw, and meaningful. It has a sense of realness to it, and genuinely disrupts the shallow facades of social media.
Ultimately, WNRS is a platform to share human connections and vulnerability, a side you don’t necessarily see all the time on social media. HOLR had the pleasure of chatting with the founder, Koreen Odiney, to discuss the platform’s main messages, inspirations, and the collaboration with Bumble (which you’ve also probably heard of), a social and dating application that also highlights connecting people with each other — whether it’s for personal use, or career-focused!
Interview by Ivana Chavez, Digital Editor
HOLR: What inspired you to start the social media page/movement?
Koreen: I wanted to create a platform where like-minded people could come together and share their passion for human connection and vulnerability. About a year ago, I was dealing with terrible anxiety – paranoia, racing thoughts, a lack of appetite… all of that stuff. I wasn’t okay and I desperately needed to know that I wasn’t alone. I created an online poll and asked strangers if they could relate to what I was experiencing. The response was overwhelming. Hundreds of people participated in the poll and I received so many messages from strangers who shared their stories with me. By simply seeing these responses, I felt less alone. Maybe I wasn’t crazy – just human.
I had hope that things would get better… and they did! I continued with this personal project of mine and the numbers started growing. We’re Not Really Strangers (WNRS) has grown to over 800,000 people today. Those who are a part of the community are so beautiful, both inside and out, and I feel so lucky to be part of this.
HOLR: What’s the main message the movement is trying to get across?
Koreen: We have more things in common than we think. With WNRS, I want to empower more meaningful connections in everyday life to help us see ourselves in others.
View this post on Instagram
I’ve currently been a mixture of excited but also majorly overwhelmed. Lots of growth happening in my life. Lots of moments of “Wait what?” “Wtf” “Idgi” and other emotions. Working on taking deep breaths and remembering that regardless of how frustrating something feels, there is always a lesson. The “reason” things happen are up to us to decide for ourselves. Are things happening for us or to us? It’s a choice we get to make everyday. If you’re in a WTF moment right now, can you find what it’s teaching you? Quote via Tumblr: 214214214214
HOLR: How did your collab with Bumble come about? What was the process like?
Koreen: It was a dark time in my life. I hadn’t released the WNRS card game yet and I was second-guessing everything that I was doing. My friend Chloe dragged me out of the house and made me attend a panel about entrepreneurship, which was moderated by a Bumble executive.
At the end of the panel, Chloe pushed me to go up to the speaker and introduce myself. I was terrified but I gave the Bumble executive a copy of my game, which was barely known at the time. She told me, ‘be shameless in what you’re doing – if it’s something you truly believe in.’ That really stuck with me.
Often, I can be so timid with others. Not wanting to bother them with what I have to say or show. She played a huge role in reminding me to push past that fear and let your ideas be known. I’m so grateful that I made the first move by approaching her.
HOLR: How does Bumble align with the movement?
Koreen: Although Bumble started off as a dating app, it’s grown into so much more through Bumble BFF, its friend-finding platform, and Bumble Bizz, for professional networking. Bumble emphasizes that all relationships are important – not just romantic ones. I’m a strong believer that one connection can change the course of your life and I know that Bumble facilitates millions of new connections every week.
HOLR: How does the card game reflect human interactions?
Koreen: Oprah has a great quote. She has said that in all of her years as a public speaker and interviewer, she has interviewed hundreds of people who are all on different walks of life. However, at the end of the day, all of these people just want to feel seen, be heard, and receive validation that what they say matters.
The WNRS card game is a purpose-driven card game and movement all about empowering meaningful connections. The card game is made up of three carefully crafted levels of questions and wildcards that allow game players to deepen their existing relationships and create new ones. The three levels correlate with Oprah’s quote. Level one is ‘perception’ and focuses on whether you are seen and how you can read others. Level two is ‘connection’ and asks questions regarding your life story. Level three is ‘reflection.’
HOLR: What can we expect from you in the future?
Koreen: I’m going to continue focusing my efforts on empowering meaningful connections, no matter what shape or form that avenue looks like.
HOLR: If there’s one piece of advice you can give younger Koreen, what would it be?
Koreen: Document the journey. And please, organize your desktop!
For the latest in fashion, lifestyle, and culture — follow us on instagram @HOLRMagazine.