A Blue Chip NFT Collection Supporting Independent Artists & Web3 Education
World of Women (WoW) is a non-fungible token project that needs little to no introduction — at least not for Web3 enthusiasts. The female-focused generative art collection launched in the summer of 2021 and quickly rose to fame due to its novelty, original artwork, and dedicated team.
In a short period of time, the floor price for one of the 10,000 WoW NFTs rose incrementally — once touching 13.2 ETH at its peak on March 20, 2022. On January 24th, 2022, one collector paid 260 ETH, or $615.9K, for a rare WoW NFT.
NFT enthusiast and internet celebrity Gary Vee has repeatedly called WoW his favorite project for the long haul, and WoW has landed several partnerships with major brands and celebrities — including a partnership with The Sandbox metaverse and an upcoming collab with Reese Witherspoon’s film production company.
But beyond the glitz and glamor, WoW has shown it’s a collection and genuine community that has what it takes to survive a bear market and evolve in Web3. It’s also dedicated to spotlighting independent and emerging artists, as WoW’s founder, digital artist Yam Karkai, once was herself.
Last week, I was fortunate enough to catch up with Shannon Snow, Chief Operating Officer of WoW, to talk about the journey, how the team made it through the crypto winter, and what lies ahead for what many consider to be one of the most important NFT projects of all time.
The following interview with Shannon Snow has been edited for concision and clarity.
WoW is one of the most well-known NFT projects in the world. What has the ride been like for you and the team so far?
It’s been an incredible experience. I came into World of Women in June of 2022, about a year after the project launched in July 2021. And we went from being a new project to getting a lot of early support from some influential and exciting people like Gary Vee. And just looking at that rocket ship ride, it’s been unbelievable.
And the lead artist from World of Women was not making a living from her art before WoW. To go from not knowing if you can make a living from your art, to at one point being the highest selling woman NFT artist in the world — I think it’s something that’s only possible with Web3.
How did WoW survive the bear market?
It’s been about a year since the Terra and Luna collapse, so it’s almost a year of the bear market. And for us, it’s really forced prioritization. We saw a lot of projects that didn’t anticipate the market turning, and then with creator royalties really changing and being diminished, especially accelerated by Blur, it forced a lot of projects to think through what’s the monetization beyond creator royalties. At WoW, we had always planned on that.
We had always thought through our business model, really focusing on IP licensing and partnerships — things that will help us scale to a mass market.
But it’s been interesting as COO because it means focusing on the business and diversifying revenue, with a continued focus on finding ways to invest and reinvest in our community. But also invest in what’s going to achieve the mission of making this not just one of the most known projects, but a lasting and generational brand and business.
I’ve noticed WoW is focused on helping other creators in the space. Can you tell me more about that?
WoW hosts Artfest to celebrate art and creativity every season around the time of the full moon. The online festival features 15 artists from around the world showcasing new work.
This year, we’re focusing on empowering not only up-and-coming creators, but some of the creators that have been really popular in the collection, members of the WoW community as well and creators that have their own collections.
Sara Baumann, who’s the Founder of Women and Weapons, is included in Artfest, and we’re getting really positive feedback on that. We are also running an art contest right now where anyone can submit art on social media that has not yet been minted, and we are going to draw art from that art contest to do a co-curation between ourselves and Makers Place, which is our partner for Spring Artfest.
WoW members will be able to vote on the top artists and two will win cash prizes and a selection of the top five will be considered in the next Artfest. And that’s in the spirit of wanting to uplift members of the community and give new people opportunities in the same way that, yeah, was given to us.
WoW has supported over 350 artists since our inception, through purchasing, or showcasing them in art fests, art drops, or co-curating. It’s important for us that we continue to use our platform to elevate the next generation of artists.
Check out Artfest by World of Women
Can you tell us about some new projects?
In the last month, we launched a collaboration with House of Harlow, which is Nicole Richie’s fashion line. Our goal with IP is to allow WoW and our branding to scale beyond the Web3 market. So, it’s really key to our strategy to partner with brands to produce products that are outside of the realm of NFTs.
We launched a small capsule collection with Nicole Richie’s House of Harlow Brand. It was the first time that any WoW products were available in the open market or available for non-WoW holders. So it’s super big for us, and it’s a sign of what’s to come.
We are lucky in a sense, that WoW’s brand is very marketable because of the strong commitment that we have to women and girl’s rights and philanthropy. What I’ve seen in the market is that a lot of projects are having trouble collaborating with brands outside of Web3 due to cooling in the market and NFTs sometimes becoming a point of caution for traditional brands.
But because WoW has very strong positioning and beautiful art, those deals are very much still in progress and a key part of our strategy. So, House of Harlow is live. You will also see our collaboration with Hasbro and Monopoly coming soon. And then the next categories are beauty and luxury… Our end goal is to have both physical and digital products.
I’ve imagined the team has grown a lot since the launch, and I’m curious if you can give me a day in the life of a team member.
We’ve been really lucky to grow the team. We are about 22 now at WoW, and we’re globally distributed. We have heavy concentration in Lisbon, Portugal, which is where a lot of the founders are. But we’re generally based in Europe and the East Coast of the US.
A typical day at WoW involves creating plans, but being very open about them in the Discord. If I look at Taya, our VP of products, who’s probably our best builder in public, she’ll spend a lot of time in the Discord working with holders to really understand their needs.
Other team members are focused on brand collaborations in the digital space, developing new products and software, and educational initiatives to onboard women and girls into Web3 and the metaverse.
It’s great to teach people how to get involved in Web3. But I imagine you must have to do it with a caveat, since there’s also fraud in the space. Is security a part of the education program?
Yes. One of the main points is around safety and awareness about security protocols. We recently did a whole experience and gamified learning quest with Ledger to teach about online security. Users had to answer a 30-question quiz about security and if they got all the questions right, they were eligible to win a free WoW NFT or Ledger.
But in all the curriculum we do, we’re focused on questions like: How do we onboard people to Web3 in a knowledgeable and safe way? How do we give them awareness about Web3 technologies? Whether it’s the metaverse, AI, etc…
People understanding technologies is really going to future-proof them and set them up for success in the next generation of their career. We want WoW to be something that can change the trajectory of some of these women and girls’ lives.
Web3 is a space that moves fast. It’s constantly evolving. Does the WoW team have a vision about where this is all going?
I think that the only constant is change in tech, that’s what I’ve seen. Look at how businesses have had to evolve across technology. People often talk or think about Web1, Web2, or Web3, as if that’s when business started, right?
But there’s a whole generation of businesses, especially in beauty and luxury, where WoW has a lot of pending partnerships, and they had a business before the internet. They had to learn how to get online, and they had to learn to show up on mobile. And now they’re learning how to show up in Web3 and how to own a corporate AI, or implement VR technologies.
One example of how we’re thinking about that is community in relation to trajectory to how much time people spend online. I think people used to really create their community physically around them and then next in maybe I’ll connect with those people on Facebook, or on LinkedIn…
At World of Women, people are finding their community online and then wanting it to show up in physical places. So, they’ll join World of Women, find their tribe and the people who they identify with and want to know, and then they expect that community to physically be there at events where they go, like NFT NYC.
Knowing that people are spending more and more time online, our bet is that people are going to want to find their community online. And I look at where WoW will be in next five years; I think it will be a powerful community of women that is Web3-first that connects people digitally, but also physically and globally.
How would you define the brand?
Internally, we define ourselves as a Web3 brand. I think for us, we view ourselves as a tech company — but art is really at the core. So, if you look at the pillars of our business: it’s art, community, IP, scaling, and education. For us, it’s really focusing on those areas and then growing them as much as possible because if we can create a large footprint, we know that it benefits all areas of the business.
Anything else you’d like to add?
WoW is very pro AI. For example, for the spring Artfest contest, we are empowering artists to use AI as a tool. We’re looking at integrating AI into new launches that we’re working on, as well as across our business. And it’s something that is really important for us. We see how the market is moving, and that this tool is revolutionizing all areas of our work in business. Looking forward, I think that you can definitely expect that WoW will be integrating AI into upcoming launches.
So, you see AI as a net positive?
I think that we appreciate that people are thinking it through, and asking questions like ‘How do we come together from a consortium standpoint and think through some of the negative consequences and be prepared?’ But ultimately, I think AI is a tool just as so many of the other technologies that have launched before are tools, and if we don’t embrace it, learn about it, and use it, we’re not going to be in a position to succeed as a people or as a business.
Snow also told us that the WoW community is 50% global and 50% based in the U.S., and that they regularly host live events throughout the world. Some notable events include NFT NYC last year, and a WoW Gala at Art Brazil, which saw over 1,200 people attend.
World of Women also has a second NFT collection of 22,000 NFTs called WoW Galaxy, which was launched with the mission to bring more people into the community at a price point that was more inclusive.
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