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I’m a big believer in making your own opportunities. I’d been doing it forever in my entrepreneurial business when I heard Terri Lonier name it in her top ten tips for SOHO’s (Small Office Home Office business owners). “Make it up!” she asserted.
That’s exactly what Kathryn Doherty did recently, with a generous assist from Leslie Mueller. Leslie, the creator and host of Connecticut
CabIevision’s award-winning program ‘Art & Style,’ saw an opportunity for gallery space in a local upscale restaurant. She tapped Kathryn to fill the walls, which she did exhibiting over twenty-five prints and paintings at the Greenwich Tavern Gallery (formerly Palomino Restaurant at 1392 E. Putnam Avenue in Old Greenwich) until August 31.
Of course, we had to have dinner there to celebrate the occasion. I got to see Kathryn’s work in a way I never had before–displayed as art. In the past I’d seen only slide presentations and trade show exhibits, but this was like being in a museum. The night we went, Kathryn brought several replacement pieces for the ones that had sold.
Six months ago, Kathryn didn’t know this opportunity existed, and here she was selling art in a down market and reinvigorating her design career. The collection of work is named “Transitions”, and focuses on contemporary images.
Doherty’s company, Kathryn Doherty Design, LLC has published her fine art with Modern Art Editions and designs for home furnishing manufacturers in the rug, textile, and tabletop industries. Kathryn’s multi-disciplinary background includes fine arts, graphics, illustration, ceramics and product design. Her work has been distributed internationally and shown in LDB Textiles, HFN, Furniture Today, Home Accents Today, Home Décor, Metropolis, and The New York Times.
Almost all of the attendees from Monday night’s event hung out for a long time after the official 7:30pm close. To me, that’s the sign of a successful program. If folks are streaming out the door at the final bell, you can be fairly certain that they weren’t fully engaged. But, when the crowd interacts and takes their time moseying out, it’s a measure of accomplishment.
Based on that theory, the Remarkable Women’s Network held at Troy Art and Framing in Fairfield was a resounding success. Denise DiGrigoli, pictured here in the middle between Leigh Scott of Leigh Scott Parenting and me, is the owner of Troy. She was our inspirational hostess.
At the centerpiece of her showroom was a stunning visual presentation Denise had just completed exhibiting the capacity and talents available at Troy. In addition to Denise’s computerized display of their capabilities, each woman attending had the opportunity to tell what she does and share recent good news. We heard breakthroughs, heartfelt happiness–like a child’s upcoming wedding–and positive financial reports. All of it positive and inspiring.
Nancy Moon, owner of Moon Public Relations–a PR firm in NYC and CT–always has her camera on hand and took the shot above before handing the camera off to Denise to capture us. At the end of the event, when I asked for feedback, Nancy said, “I’d love to attend these monthly.”
I’m working on it!
You can tell when someone is thriving. There’s an aura about them, a strong sense of direction and engagement. That’s how I would describe my client, friend and colleague Betsy Krobot who has been on a misison for the last several months to create a green vision in her business.
Betsy’s company, BetsyK Home Choreography, has her working in people’s homes and helping them not only de-clutter and organize, but also reach their visions which have been blocked by all the stuff in their way. On a daily basis she loads up her van with cartons and furnishings that are taking up space. Also, on a daily basis, she sees where those items can be used and appreciated. Betsy’s mission is to be the conduit between that supply and demand.
This past weekend she took a giant leap of faith forward and held her first ever Swap Shop Event. There were multiple successes for Betsy:
- She appeared on Channel 12 News Saturday night as a feature story.
- She formed an alliance with a colleague that added excitement, ideas and clarity to her vision.
- She enlisted several potential employees to see how they would work out in a low-risk environment.
I was particularly excited about Betsy’s project based on the success of other entrepreneurs who’ve done quite well for themselves. My sister Barbara worked for Dick Hoehn at the Free People’s store in Philadelphia in the 70′s where a ‘free bin’ existed with a similar intention of giving back to those who need an item. That shop morphed into Urban Outfitters. I also reminded Betsy of a few other small businesses that began in the owners’ garages–like Microsoft and HP.
Betsy has the vision and the drive. I know that her commitment level and persistence will pave the way to her success.
Any item’s value is only equal to your need or love for it. Betsy Krobot
In June I made a financial and management decision–words not usually associated with yoga (my first clue!)–to stop going to my beloved yoga instructor in Southport 6+ miles from my home. Those classes were intimate and there was plenty of space to stretch out. The teacher adjusted my posture at each session (a good thing) and I felt like a million dollars on the way home and for the rest of the day. But the classes took over two precious hours out of my day and were $15-20 each depending on how many I signed up for at once.
For the same amount of money as one of those sessions, I could get a month’s worth of scheduled yoga classes at the local gym: 11 opportunities a week or over 40 offerings a month to choose from. The club is just a mile from my home office. I can go at 6am on three different weekdays, Saturdays at 8am before my weekend really begins, and several other times during the week. There’s never any traffic to get there so I can decide based on that day’s activities whether or not I can fit it in. Sounds perfect, right?
Here is what has gotten in my way to prevent me from going:
- My once-a-season 4-mile beachwalk with Rosalea superseded last Wednesday’s 6am class. One form of exercise a day is plenty.
- I stayed up later than usual last Thursday night so the 6am class on Friday I quickly deemed missable.
- Sunday night I was reminded of a commitment I had made for early Monday morning that had not been confirmed, so I opted out of the 6am session I would have attended.
- Things were hopping in my office yesterday afternoon, so good-bye 4:15pm class. I’m doing way too much business to leave my desk now.
- This morning, well, I could get up before 5, but…
And so it went.
I recognize my own procrastination and have recommitted to stop the excuses and go. Even if the classes are over-crowded and I don’t get the individualized attention, I still love the effects of yoga, the serenity of the room and being among others practicing this ages-old discipline.
Anything you want to tell on yourself about and recommit to?
Many years ago I listened to a set of tapes by Dr. Julie White advising women on how to build their self-images and self-projection. She had discussed a recurring frustration which she was able to turn around: waiting on an interminable line at the bank (pre-ATM days). Her self-talk suggested that she use it as an opportunity to practice poise. What a concept! Using what is to create what you want in your life. The Universe hands us unexpected educational moments daily. We can decide how to view them.
Julie’s words came back to me this morning. The two errands on my list, not of my own choosing but determined by the new moon or planetary distribution on this July day, were to get a new cord at Verizon to remedy my inability to synch my Palm and computer contact management database, and to exchange my router which seemed to be creating issues with my VOIP (voice over internet protocol–using the computer lines for phone connections). That meant long lines, wondering if I had the right passwords and if the account was in my name or my husband’s which may prohibit me from making the transaction at all.
I actually said a prayer before going into Verizon. Not only am I impatient, I’m also judgmental, critical and self-righteous. My mind says, “There should be more people available to handle this huge line. They’re not going to be able to help me. I shouldn’t have to spend all this time on my phone/modem.” Yadda, yadda, yadda. I don’t want to be like that. I don’t like those pieces of me. I want them removed.
Something must have happened in that moment I took to access my higher self, because when I walked into the phone store, I was the only customer waiting for technical service. The gentleman behind the counter heard my request and promptly handed me a new cord for synching my phone and computer. I was on a roll. I drove to Optonline and received a new router also within minutes of my arrival.
I’ve heard over and over again that we can choose our attitude. A memorable quote from Beverly Sills came back to me. She mentioned in a radio interview that a friend asked her incredulously, “You mean you have to get up at 6 o’clock every morning to practice your scales for two hours?” (or something along those lines…). To which Sills replied, “No. I get to wake up at that time to be able to perform later.” She saw it as a privilege, not a chore.
Today I got to take care of my communications issues and was blessed with the freedom and flexibility in my day to be able to do just that.
The Artsy Girls met last night at Ellen Highsmith Silver’s magical home in Rye, NY. She hosted our mid-summer event and gave us a tour of her creative surroundings before the program began.
In addition to the dozens of wooden pig cutting boards gracing the walls of her kitchen and dining room, my other favorite decor detail was the yardstick wainscoting in her craft studio. Everywhere you look in Ellen’s house, your eye falls on something whimsical, colorful and uplifting. The tour and our surroundings set the stage for an inspiring talk by Page McBrier.
Page has been writing children and young adult books for years, most recently in association with Heifer International. Their first collaboration produced Beatrice’s Goat which went on to reach the NYTimes Bestselling Book status. During her talk at Ellen’s, Page showed slides and talked about a recent volume she wrote based on her experiences in SW China, Winter in Songming.
I experienced Page’s joy as she brought to life the small village she visited, their customs, celebrations and personalities. What was so inspiring was how the particular poem she based the book on provided the lens through which she viewed her surroundings. She showed us the collection of images she took during her stay. Then she leafed through the published book with the illustrator’s interpretations of those photos and showed how they fit with the words she wrote bringing this quiet tale to readers.
The 20+ of us were spellbound and enchanted by Page’s adventure in this foreign land and how she wove together the seed of an idea with the village and life of its inhabitants.
Kate Eisemann, my wonderful photographer and good friend, has labored long and hard to alter the background in #1 (pale blue) and #2 (white) around my curly locks. If you haven’t already checked out her website, I highly recommend a visit and bookmarking. You can find her at http://kateeisemannpictures.photofolio.com/.
The overwhelming feedback from you turned into a very close race between #1 and #4 in my original post. Kate addressed the background issue, so here are the final three entries. Not to influence you, but, with the busy background eliminated and the other two shots previously in the running gone, I’m curious to hear your selection.
I’m deeply grateful for your input, support, kindness and time.
I had a super consciousness raising weekend starting on Friday when I attended a macrobiotic conference in Palisades, NY. The opening lecture, Living from the Soul, was given by Tom Monte who connected how we eat with our thought patterns.
You can visit his site and read more about his beliefs, but I wanted to share a phrase he used which struck me the most deeply. He talked about the mind as a Hungry Thief–what he dubbed “The Story of No”–that contradictory force within us that opposes intuition.
In coaching we refer to it as the gremlin or saboteur. Tom Monte filled in that picture by referring to this phenomon as an archetype (already it sounds much more important!) inside us. The soul is inspired and the mind says, “I cannot do this.” “It won’t happen for me.” “I’m inadequate.” In short, he called it the battle between the ego and the soul.
Why this topic comes up at a macrobiotic conference is that the American diet is in Tom’s words, “the leading anesthetic in the world” numbing us and taking us away from our feelings.
I realize this is a lot to throw out on a Monday morning. What I didn’t mention is that on Saturday I went to see the movie Food, Inc. which further underlined what’s happening to our nourishment sources in this country–in brief, they are being totally industrialized–reinforcing Tom’s message and my commitment to healthy eating.
The way to stave off the hungry thief? Eat well (locally, organically, chewing a lot) and continue to dream, have visions and take action.
For those of you reading comments to my blog on Macs, the problem of them getting cut off has been solved by my illustrious blogmaster, Lena West of xynoMedia. Thank you, Lena!
Kate Eisemann of Kate Eisemann Pictures, the talent behind my headshot selections, is busily de-mottling #4–a favorite among many of the voters on Monday. It’s a horse race between #1 and #4, so we’ll see if that makes a difference.
I’m taking the day off today to attend the Macrobiotic Conference put on by the Kushi Institute. I’ve been adhering to a mostly macrobiotic diet for two years now and feel healthier, more energetic and thinner. I will have some face time with Michio Kushi, the founder of the Institute, this afternoon when he meets with a group and offers his wisdom regarding their best health practices.
There’s a theme in this post–asking for help. It’s one of the hardest thing for us independent women to do. However, it has been so rewarding to me when I drum up the courage to ask that it’s become part of my daily practice to humble myself and admit I don’t know it all. What a relief!