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Carlette Cormier holding her Savannah Toile handbag.

I spent the early part of this week visiting my good friend Meredith Gray at her new bungalow in Savannah. We invited a fellow Savannah-ite to join us for breakfast Tuesday morning at the Sentient Bean.

Carlette Cormier and I had met in 2003–I as a speaker, Carlette as an award-winning designer. She recently took my webinar, so our friendship was re-kindled and visiting her in GA was a must. Her focus now is in developing her Savannah Toile business, which she’s doing with great success.

Carlette is a born story-teller. She was describing a big job she’d installed a few years ago at an elegant restaurant in town called Ele. As a designer, she was tasked with creating upholstered walls for one of the dining rooms. I asked her how she had received that opportunity. Carlette’s next door neighbor is a masseuse and the owner of Ele regularly received massages from her. Carlette’s neighbor happily made the referral. As Carlette so succinctly put it:

“You never know where your next referral is coming from.”

Carlette’s upholstered wall panels for Ele

My friend Meredith Gray is moving to Savannah soon and created a bucket list of activities in the northeast before her relocation. When I heard one of the items, I enlisted to join her for a visit to the Met to see the Alexander McQueen show- Savage Beauty.

We didn’t know it would be 110 degrees when we chose 7/22, but we managed to survive the line to get in and the crowds. Forewarned that it was a popular event, we chose a weekday, arrived at the museum nearly 1/2 hour before it opened and jumped onto the queue on the left side of the building. Once the doors opened, it moved very quickly and we entered the delightfully cool space and extraordinarily cool exhibit. By the time we got in, the line extended more than a block in each direction and the holding ‘pens’ in the museum were packed.

This man’s work is genius as both an artist and designer. If you can arrange to see the exhibit, I promise that you will have the experience of standing before a giant. That’s the impact of this man’s work. Pure awe.

…appreciating people on a daily basis. I signed up with SendOutCards a few months ago. I recently heard one of the industry leaders speak and since then have been sending out two cards a day to people I want to acknowledge. Sometimes it’s a birthday card, a thank you for coming to my networking event (left), or simply I’m-thinking-of-you. I LOVE the reactions I’m getting and the fun I’m having getting creative with the SOC inventory and my digital images.

I want to share some of them with you.

I sent this one to my dear friend and wardrobe consultant Scarlett after she wrote an excellent blog post on  thinning hair–

And this one to my good friend Meredith who brought her documentary NAKED for a screening in my media room, where she provided wine, snacks and popcorn for the attendees–

And this one I created for a colleague who, after hearing my daughter Lindsey’s audio foreword to my book, sent me a photo of her daughter and said she hoped that one day that little girl would grow up and provide the foreword for her mom’s book–

Well, you get the picture. While I’m busily creating these fun ideas for the people I appreciate, I’m also helping to spread joy–a commodity in short supply these days.

I really do appreciate and care about so many people. I know how important it is to let them know, so am grateful for the SendOutCards ease of use and convenience. (Let me know if you’d enjoy hearing more about this cool service. I’d love to share it with you.)

When Meredith Gray (not that Meredith Gray) received a diagnosis that she had breast cancer for the second time, rather than dive under the covers to hide, she mobilized into action to deal with her illness. She documented her process and progress in a brand new film entitled NAKED. On Wednesday night I had the extreme privilege of hosting an Artsy Girls viewing of Meredith’s documentary.

I had been a witness to parts of Meredith’s experience as a friend and colleague, but nothing compared to seeing her journey from beginning to the present exquisitely filmed by Lisa Simmons of Fingerpost Productions.

We see Meredith interviewing numerous physicians regarding her options for surgery and reconstruction. We watch her being poked with needles in hospital rooms, and another day modeling for art students at the Silvermine Guild Arts Center as a way of preserving her breasts through their paintings.

Over and over what struck me and the women in the audience was Meredith’s courage, determination and strength of character.  She took on insurance companies, dealt with pain and even coped with her dog’s medical needs, which didn’t take a hiatus just because she was ill,  in between chemo treatments.

Meredith emerges from it all victorious and vibrantly healthy. I highly recommend this film to every woman out there, whether she’s been diagnosed, knows someone who has, or simply wants to be in control of her healthy future.

To purchase your own copy of Meredith’s film, click here.

Pierce Ball Gallery hosted the Second Annual Artsy Girls Show – A Common Thread with an opening on Saturday that drew a steady stream of patrons plus a slew of Artsy Girls. I’m sitting on a bench in this jewel of a gallery space along with Naiad Einsel, illustrator, Meredith Gray, fashion stylist, and Laurie Klein, photographer.

We’re seated below gouache illustrations from Marisabina Russo’s children’s book Always Remember Me and a collage by Leslie Mueller.

The exhibit features original art in a variety of media from a couple of dozen of our members, including yours truly. Liz mounted my decorated eggs and jewelry in a way I wished I had back in the day.

I was touched to see a photograph from our youngest Artsy Girls member, Nicole, who has been an apprentice with Laurie Klein for several years. Below is an image of Nicole visiting the exhibit with her family.

Liz Ball curated the show, hosted it, created all of the press around it and also exhibited her extraordinary photographs. The Artsy Girls owe her a debt of gratitude for putting us on the map in such an elegant manner.

When Meredith signed up for my Transformations through Transitions group this spring her goal was to bring her breast cancer story to the public’s attention.

She talked about creating an advisory board–more like a support posse–which stimulated Meredith’s drive to get help and share the journey. But the bigger challenge, the one she really wanted to be held accountable for, was to create a trailer for the documentary she’s having filmed throughout her experience.

Since I teach people how to set realistic goals, Meredith knew she was stretching the limits considering that she was  still showing up at commercial photography shoots  to do her styling work, plus continuing with her chemo treatments which are a job in themselves. Was it really realistic to also edit down the hours and hours of video footage to create this marketing tool?

Meredith walked into our session last Thursday on fire. She had the trailer completed! She showed it to our group. Watch it! It’s amazing! Not only that, Meredith has speaking engagements lined up, too, and networking events where she can meet others interested in publicizing this disease.

In addition, Meredith is putting out requests for others help and support. I offered to assist her in that endeavor. Here’s what you can do:

  • Meredith will be speaking at a Relay for Life in Westport, CT on Friday, June 26.
  • Watch the trailer. Click any of the highlighted trailer links in this post.
  • Pass the trailer onto any and all interested parties.
  • Send your healing prayers and thoughts to Meredith on June 18 when she will be undergoing her final chemo treatment. For three days after she experiences such toxicity in her body that she is only able to lie in the fetal position, closely watched by her favorite animals, and allows time to pass.
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