From the December 2001 issue of Startups

Instead of cleaning house or running errands while their husbands watch football games on Sunday afternoons, some women in the Washington, DC, area get together and have brunch. They talk about their lives, jobs and the different excursions they have planned for the week, anything from a spa day to a museum exhibit. "It's just nice to have women come together in a positive environment," says Farrah Ashline, the 27-year-old founder of GirlsGoingOut.Com, the part Web site, part event-planning business that's responsible for bringing these women together.

Ashline got the idea for GirlsGoingOut.Com after hearing Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" on the radio. "It made me think about how I wished there was some sort of organization or club in Washington, DC, where you could meet other professional women and do a lot of different activities," she says.

When she couldn't find the organization she was looking for, Ashline decided to start her own. Launched in February 2001, GirlsGoingOut.Com (formerly GirlsNightOutDC.com) plans weekly brunches, visits to flea markets, museums, clubs, fashion shows, dinners and day trips for women in their 20s to 40s. The site features an advice column, horoscopes, a "Wonder Woman of the Month" and a bachelor of the month.

To cover event and administrative costs, the site charges for events and recently began offering $35 annual memberships. Ashline hopes the company will someday be able to profit solely from ads: "We're hoping we can get memberships all back to free as well as keep events at cost so that women of all different backgrounds and ages can take part in our activities."

While the site is growing to include girls of different ages, don't expect guys to be let into the party anytime soon. "I thought about starting a pub night [where] one time a month the members would get together and the guys who were interested in getting together with those girls could do it," Ashline says. "I don't want to turn the site into something that's more of a dating thing; the real point of the site is for women empowerment."