Dear Friends of the Weekly Letter,
It has been several months since my last Letter. In those months I’ve taken some time to figure out what I want to share here, knowing that our inboxes have become crowded and your attention is precious.
Here’s what I’ve been reflecting on: There is so much emphasis on what divides us in our country. I have found it very tiresome. So I am creating here what I have been craving–a place for us to come together and reclaim common values as Americans. Old ones like hard work, the immigrant story, frugality, sacrifice and new ones like equity of resources, inclusivity, sustainability and an abundance mindset.
As most of you know, I have been working for several years on an apparel line, designing apparel and working with manufactures, learning about the old models of creating fashion and the devastating impact outsourced apparel jobs has had on communities throughout the Southeast. I began to uncover a new vision for apparel –making clothing to individual women’s measurements that works with their unique beauty and using this innovation to bring high quality sewing jobs to communities that need them.
I tried to fit my round vision for a classic, enduring, novel, environmentally and socially conscious apparel line, into the square pegs of available tech start-up capital, resources, and guidance. I’ve ridden the waves of chasing after venture capital, prestigious accelerator programs, the attention of folks in the start-up space much more interested in apps and software than jobs and apparel.
Yet with the support and encouragement of the community here and on iFundWomen, we tested out a model for bringing it to life. Through the testing I learned every hard lesson about what it would take for this work to succeed [more on this here].
In the process of chasing after these opportunities, and having the privilege to test this work out, I uncovered a much better understanding of how transformational, durable, values-based businesses are built. The short version–very slowly.
And that is only the starting point. Now that I understand the direction we are headed –the long slow climb to something new and enduring– I want to take you with me on that path to discovery.
What are we looking to discover?
The search for American values in entrepreneurship and how values-based businesses are born.
This moment in time demands huge changes in our way of working in the world. We need to hear about and learn about what it takes to build something transformative and durable with a level of honesty around that path so that the way forward is not obscured, so that our peers can have a reasonable expectation of what it takes to build something and guidance on how to get there.
What types of content can you expect here? Weekly learnings about the slow, painstaking process of bringing a dream to life, no B.S. interviews from people who successfully built their dreams, articles on our power as consumers and ways in which we the people and the institutions we support can create the ecosystem that supports the sort of businesses we want to see thriving in the world. My brilliant friend Ryan Carey with BetterOn.video is helping me create tiny blog video content, which I will be posting on Instagram and LinkedIn–so please keep an eye out and let me know what you think!
In short, my intention here is to build a community and help each other find the courage to use our creativity to transform the world in a way that strengthens our connection to each other, to the Earth and to the Spirit we share together and to do so with entrepreneurship as our vehicle.
This site is a work and progress so please send feedback here!
Thank you for joining me on this journey. It is your love and support that gives me the strength and the purpose to do this work. I am intensely grateful for my family, friends and community who believe in my crazy dreams and support me to get there. I look forward to learning a lot together and helping each other transform our world into something great.
Go. Fight. Win.