This One's About The Money

Money. Money. Money.

There. I said it. The word that brings up so much for each of us, and yet a different story for all. Stories of scarcity, fear, pressure, abundance, pricing, value, inequality…Money’s such a tough subject that I have barely ventured to write about it yet. Until I saw a few patterns around money (both in myself and others) that made me want to do some myth-busting around common money issues.

“I see you and how valuable your contribution is to this world. And, I want you to be rewarded for it.”

“I see you and how valuable your contribution is to this world. And, I want you to be rewarded for it.”

Why this money pep talk? Because I see you and how valuable your contribution is to this world. And, I want you to be rewarded for it. Pure and simple. I believe from the bottom of my heart, that you’re worth it.

Here are four money myths that I’ve identified, and best practices for how to turn those myths around into valuable truth (and money in the bank).

Money Myth #1: You have to have everything perfect before you can start selling. A female entrepreneur I know was closing up shop. She couldn’t make the money that it takes to live in the Bay Area and she was shutting down her business to take a salaried job for a tech company in the city. Listen, I get it…we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do. But I wanted to understand what went wrong. “I just couldn’t make enough doing what I do,” she said. But, why?

She had amazing expertise, was an experienced consultant, had a sophisticated voice and point-of-view, had years of experience, and was certainly a thought leader in her field….so, what was she missing? Her business wasn’t producing enough revenue. I asked her a ton of questions. And the more she spoke about her business, it quickly became clear what was missing. She had avoided selling her work. She had named the company, created the website, created the opt-in to build her list, polished a list of services, created free content…she had done it all. Except selling…she had waited a whole year before she started selling her services and was reeling from a year with very little income. And there were all kinds of excuses for this…”I don’t want to be too pushy. I don’t want to be sales-y. I already told them how to buy from me, so they must not be interested,” to name a few.

As entrepreneurs, we have to flip the model…instead of being perfectly prepared and then selling, it’s imperative to make selling a priority, and then button up the myriad of other things on your to-do list later. In other words, sell EARLY. The website doesn’t have to be perfect, the offering can be a work-in-progress. But, flexing that selling muscle, and more importantly, telling your audience HOW to work with you and how valuable the results will be….that’s a critical step that can not wait until every detail is perfect. You need to start the exchange of value (money for the impact of your product/service) sooner than later, so that you can:

a) Learn what works.

b) Validate your offer.

c) Fine-tune your target audience.

d) Get a read on your pricing (too high/too low) for the time, energy, and value output.

e) Make sure you love it. By selling your work, you learn if this is the right project size for you, an audience you want to serve, the modality you want to do it in, etc.

f) Stay in business.

I’m not telling you to sell a sub-par product. But, in my experience, that’s not the danger to many entrepreneurs I meet. The pattern I see is that the product or service is READY to be sold, yet there’s a temptation to hide. Don’t hide your products or services. Put them right up front for your customers, so that the value exchange can begin.

Money Myth #2: I can’t set revenue goals until I’m making “real” money. A practical jumpstart for those that struggle with selling is to create a tangible revenue goal for next month. What do you want to make next month? Not next quarter, not next year, but within the next 30-45 days. You can create a monthly revenue goal based on your needs, and then work backwards from that number to create the action plan that will get you to your goal. It’s simple. Write your revenue goal at the top of a piece of paper. Write your products/offerings and their prices along the side. You’ll soon see how many sales you’ll need across your product mix to meet your revenue goal. And guess what? The universe loves it when you write things down. If you believe in manifesting (I do), start with the actual dollar amount that you want to see come in the door, and create the action plan to get there.

Money Myth #3: You can’t make money doing what you’re passionate about or what comes easy to you. Some of us have money blocks around how deserving we are of being rewarded when the work we are doing comes naturally to us, or flows freely. It took me over 40 years to realize that doing work that I loved and making money didn’t have to be mutually exclusive. My years as a dancer taught me subconsciously that making money meant I wasn’t a “real” artist. Well, guess what? I ain’t buying it. That thing that comes easy to you is a strong indicator of your zone of genius. And that zone of genius is unique to you. You’re the only one with the exact mix of passion, wisdom, experience, pain, joy, talent, and drive…thus, you’re the only one who can do it your way. When I’m mentoring someone on this concept, I like to remind them that if you withhold that magic sauce that only you have, you’re not just taking the opportunity away from yourself, but you’re keeping that value and expertise from the very audience that you’re committed to serve. In other words, if you can’t unleash your talent for yourself, then do it for us. We need what you have to offer.

Money Myth #4: Since I’m just starting this business, I’ll need to offer a lot of my services/time/products for free in order to gain credibility, customers, brand visibility, etc. Offering your services for free, or giving away your time in the name of gaining experience can go to far. Too often I see new entrepreneurs giving away their time and expertise over coffee for someone who wants to “pick their brain.” We often rationalize this by thinking that this free time will result in paid time down the road, or that they’ll recommend us in the future, or that we simply have to give away our time because we know the person asking for it (they’re a friend, colleague, family member, or friend-of-friend). Listen, I know that you’re gracious and hard-wired to serve…but let’s not give so much time away that we leave ourselves with little time to do the work, and be rewarded for it. Limit your “pick your brain” conversations to a short time limit that works for you, or a certain number of complimentary conversations per month. That way you can go on being your gracious self, AND know that you have the boundaries required to honor your expertise.

 

“Money itself isn’t the problem. Money itself isn’t bad or good. Money itself doesn’t have power or not have power. It is our interpretation of money, our interaction with it, where the real mischief is and where we find the real opportunity for self-discovery and personal transformation.”

― Lynne Twist, The Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Life

 

Today I felt compelled to lay the money cards on the table and dispel some common myths and patterns that I see occurring around money, especially from some of our newer entrepreneurs. Let’s continue the conversation around money and help each other as a community continue to honor our worth and respect the wisdom and value that each of us bring to the table. Because frankly dear community, I need to know that you are being rewarded for your work. And, I need you to challenge each other to hold true to the value that you provide. What are some of your hiding strategies around money? Or myths and patterns that may be holding you back from charging what you’re worth?

Want to talk more about the deeper meaning and soul work of money? You’ve come to the right place. On April 2nd, we will be welcoming Lynne Twist, bestselling author of The Soul of Money and Sara Vetter, The Soul of Money Institute Business Development Director, to The Hivery stage. Join us for The Hivery Circle: Soul of Money Gathering Tuesday, April 2nd.

xo,

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p.s. Next up in the money conversation…let’s talk about raising your prices. Who’s in?

Hivery Circle: Courageous Women Open Mic • March 12, 2019

This month we celebrated International Women’s Day with an Open Mic of amazing stories and inspiration. Check out the slideshow below….

Bravo and enormous gratitude go out to the incredible group of talented, authentic, and surprising(!) women who bravely opened their hearts on The Hivery stage to share their stories, their fears, their adventures, and their courage. From exquisite descriptions of sacred places, to authenticity, stillness, and self-care, to speaking truth to power, these women showed us real ways to live with courage every day. We wanted to give a special shout out to each of them:

Dr. Sweta Chawla: "It's not materialistic to love beauty."

Michelle Moquin: "It takes courage to be an authentic person."

Cristol Barrett O'Loughlin: "Sixty million mothers on the planet are living with courage every single day."

Cindy Carrandi: "Finding value in stillness."

Allison Schoop: "I'm a butterfly. I need to fly."

Amy Gragnolatti: "I had no formal experience and thought I had nothing to offer, but I took the jump and my life is now richer than I ever thought possible."

Thais Derich: "Get your seat at the table and get in a position to make decisions and support other women who are."

Laura Vidal: "Communicating with each other can reduce some of our fear."

Denise Blondo: "Courage doesn't come in big Oprah moments,
it comes in the small spaces."

Katie Macks: "We are not meant to be alone, we are meant to be in community."

Dr. Sarah Dihmes: "Every person has the right to feel good about themselves.
It's not vanity, it's sanity."

Pamela Weymouth: "I found the courage to follow my gut."

Dr. Vera Amore: "Your angel will protect you. Always trust your soul intuition."

Fiery adventures, hitchhiking with cats, journeys through disease and the path to loving the person in the mirror—these bold, badass sisters shined their lights last night and for that we are forever changed and grateful.

We encourage everyone to follow their example —share your story and use your voice.


With Gratitude to our Event Collaborators:

 
 

Photography by Kim Thompson Steel
Audio/Visual by MavMedia
Flowers by Sara Florals

Three Internal Warriors to Fight the Battle of Fear

There’s a line by Judy Dench in the Second Best Marigold Hotel where she says, “I don't know if I'm excited or terrified. Sometimes it seems to me that the difference between what we want and what we fear is a width of an eyelash." … I heard that, grabbed my journal, and furiously wrote it down so that I wouldn’t forget. It’s a reassurance that when the fear kicks in, pay attention. You’re probably on to something.

I’ve learned in the last couple years, that there are a few key warriors to employ in the inner-battle with fear.

The first thing that fear really can’t stand…the one super hero that shoves fear into the corner and lets courage step in the ring…is connection. Fear loves loneliness. Fear loves isolation. But fear can’t stand people banding together to support each other’s work. Alone in our thoughts, we can talk ourselves out of the very essence of who we are and what we are here to do. But with connection, the voices around us can support and distract from fear.

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I can’t tell you how many times I have watched a woman nod her head in workshops or events at The Hivery, simply by hearing someone else reflect something that she too was feeling. It’s as if a thought bubble rises above her to say, “I thought I was the only one…” and with that simple realization, the inner-fear voice has been hushed. It’s so much easier to be afraid when you’re all alone, with just you and your laptop. Often that voice that is telling you that you aren’t ready, aren’t prepared, aren’t good enough, or whatever list of no-good-very-bad-things is racing through your mind, can be quieted through connection with someone else.

The second thing fear isn’t crazy about is discipline (the artist formerly known as showing up). The repetition and commitment required to be your true self…it takes work. When you show up fully AGAIN, it’s that resilience that can knock the wind out of fear’s sails. I think back to my days as a ballet dancer when my favorite sound was the clink of my ring on the ballet barre when we were about to start class. That clink was the signal that I was home. Nothing could take me down if I simply overcame the resistance, and showed up. How I danced at class was barely the point…it was that I got there, every, single day, even when I didn’t feel like it, even when I felt like crap, even when it felt impossible. I showed up, and that very simple (yet complicated) action mattered deeply in my internal battle to put my best self out there.

Lastly, fear doesn’t like to hang out in sacred space. Fear likes to keep you feeling lost and out of sorts. Creating a space in your home or work environment (or enjoying your nook at The Hivery) is a critical piece of the concept behind Joseph Campbell’s bliss chamber.

"[Sacred space] is an absolute necessity for anybody today. You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen.” — Joseph Campbell

Space is a metaphor and indication of how we live life. Beautiful spaces create invaluable, subconscious reminders that YOU are light-filled, expansive, filled with possibility, bold, visible, and beautiful in ways that are so much deeper than the surface. You are bright, with unexpected dashes of color. You are in a state of transformation. You are lofty, constantly changing, and filled with texture.You have the power to move the furniture around in your soul, and you will encounter chapters when the coffee spills all over the floor. You aren't afraid to change it up, rearrange it, and create beauty in a different way. You're not just "pretty"...that's the exterior, which is lovely, but on its own, kinda' boring. “Pretty” is incomplete, not the full story.

The deeper "space" that you are willing to inhabit, whether that’s through your connection with others, or your commitment to showing up for yourself, is the courage, fearlessness, kindness, humility, and compassion of what it means to be a human. You're willing to go deeper and deeper into the truth of who you are. And that truth is beauty. Do not be afraid. Embody that deeper beauty. Take up space. And let fear step aside.

xo,

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Blessed Unrest

“You strike me as a woman who’s never been satisfied.” sings Alexander Hamilton to Angelica in the infamous musical. That lyric has always had my attention. Is it true that we ALL feel that search for internal satisfaction? We often experience a yearning, a tugging, a wonder. There is a constant curiosity, an everlasting what-if? 

That feeling can be uncomfortable, and I've even heard women say things to me like, "Why can't I just be happy with how things are?". There is nothing wrong with you (quite the contrary!) in feeling this unrest. An artist is never pleased. I have been captivated and guided by this concept, so much so that I put the Martha Graham quote that references this idea directly on the wall (see the quote below). 

Never being satisfied is different from dissatisfied, and far different from ungrateful for what we have. Never being satisfied is a quest to uncover, to reveal, to scratch the surface, to do it differently, to do it again.

It requires repetition and conscious inquiry to uncover the truth. And it's part of our process of discovering who we really are. 

I put my left hand on the ballet barre thousands and thousands of times to begin each ballet class with a simple plié. Every ballet class for 400 years has started with this simple movement of bending the knees. But, it wasn’t until I’d been doing it for ALMOST 40 YEARS, that I learned that every plié was different. Every time, another opportunity to realign the body, come back to center, re-explore and begin again. Repetition is the mother of skill, an opportunity to create and maintain boundaries, that ultimately loosens the vice of limitations. You have to focus, in order to be free. 

That yearning, that tugging, that wondering about what you were put on this planet to do, must be attended to. Only you can tend to your garden. You have the seeds, you have the soil, you have everything required to plant the flowers. But, ultimately it’s up to you to explore the “blessed unrest”.

What is it about you, your hopes, your dreams, that lies in that blessed unrest category? That soulful desire that just won't leave you alone?

xo,

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Blessed Unrest

There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening
that is translated through you into action, 
and because there is only one of you in all time, 
this expression is unique.

If you block it, 
it will never exist through any other medium 
and be lost. 
The world will not have it.

It is not yours to determine how good it is; 
nor how it compares with other expressions. 
It is your business to keep the channel open. 
You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. 

You have to keep open and aware directly 
to the urges that motivate you. 
Keep the channel open. 

No artist is ever pleased.
There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. 
There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction; 
a blessed unrest that keeps us marching 
and makes us more alive than the others. 

-- Martha Graham to Agnes De Mille

Expression as a Daily Vitamin

As I sat down to write yesterday morning, I found myself looking at the blank page for a long expanse of time; maybe it was only a few minutes, but it felt vast. I didn’t know what to write.

I’m trying to uncover or unlock the passion I have for writing that has been obscured a bit these past couple of years by a common roadblock of creativity…busy-ness. We know intellectually that we aren’t our best when our days are chock-full of the “shoulds” and to-do lists that leave us exhausted and feeling aimless. How many of you have felt those days that feel packed and busy and futile? The kind where you’ve done “all the things” yet feel like you got nothing done, or didn’t do any of it well? It’s exactly that feeling that I am consciously steering myself away from as I re-frame what I want my days to look and feel like. Being busy can feel like a trap, and a strong one with a powerful lure.

Because this has been a conscious process for me, I felt compelled to explore and name it. What is that state of flow and why is it that I can feel it so strongly and beautifully in various areas of my life, and conversely miss it and feel the intense void of it? Finally I understand that the flow is expression. Expression. And for me (for all?), it is a vital ingredient of the human experience, and must be tended to daily.

We need expression because we require an outlet. The world and this life are asking us to process so much and at warp speed. Our minds and our hearts become taxed and overwhelmed by the weight and the responsibility of all this stimulus. Without some sort of expression, we become bottled up, clogged if you will. The root of the word expression, to express, to let out, tells us all we need to know. Our bodies, minds, and emotions have a capacity for what we can hold and process. Without expression, we are filled to the brim with no room for flow. We feel stuck, stagnant, and in the “I don’t know what to do next” quagmire.

Expression is how we release the valve, take the pressure off, and regain flow. And the beauty of that expression is that it takes all forms. It’s a state of being, rather than a state of doing. It negates “busy-ness” and revels and thrives in consciousness. For me expression is in writing, dancing, conversation (especially those balanced with curiosity and listening). And, it’s also in unexpected places like making breakfast, making study cards with my daughter, and on walks in nature. Expression comes in the form of ideas, movement, sound, art, and even the way you arrange your personal mementos on your dresser top.

Why does expression matter? And, why must we consciously create awareness for expression? Because without it, we are confined to the parameters of our to-do lists, our schedules, even our bank statements. Our scope becomes narrow and we get that feeling that something is missing.

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Your assignment for today? Express yourself in a way that feels in flow: verbally, visually by making something with your hands or body or through words. Whether it’s a meal or a blog post or a business plan or a painting or a speech or a bracelet, make something before noon today. You don’t have to complete your expression as some expressions take time, but you do have to begin. Mine was this piece of writing, expressed through my pen and journal in the early hours of the morning. There. Feeling better already.  

xo,

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The Hivery 'We Rise' Scholarship Awardees 2018–2019

Inspired by Maya Angelou's poem, Still I Rise, and the powerful, brave work of women everywhere, The Hivery launched the 'We Rise' Scholarship Program in 2016 to empower, contribute and support passionate, bold beings who work tirelessly toward equality.

We are thrilled to tell you a little bit more about the amazing work of our 2018-2019 Scholarship Awardees!


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Amy Gragnolati

Amy, what are you working on?

I am the co-founder and COO of a local non-profit, LONA. Our mission is to invest in women’s ability to create economic opportunity for themselves and others. Our programming is simple but impactful: through grants, pro-bono services and access to "social capital," we offer the support a woman may need to jumpstart her education or entrepreneurial dreams. We emphasize supporting women whose plans include impacting a broader population of women and girls. This emphasis is really important to us, and it’s how we view our work having a far-reaching impact on the Bay Area. If we can empower one woman, she can empower others around her and spark systemic change within the community.

Currently, we are working on growing our grantee portfolio, developing a list of supporters willing to offer pro-bono support to our grantees, and growing our presence in the local Bay Area community. The Bay Area is an amazing place to live and serve, and we feel lucky to grow LONA’s roots in this community.

How do you feel The Hivery will help you achieve your goals?

In addition to my work with LONA, I am a clinical pharmacist at Kaiser San Francisco where I specialize in internal medicine and addiction medicine. I love my job, but unfortunately my work as a pharmacist does not always translate into the skills I need to continue developing LONA. I am excited to join The Hivery community and learn from a network of women with backgrounds in marketing, consulting, finance, social media management, etc. I know I could learn a lot from women with diverse careers and skill sets, and I am excited to use this knowledge to grow LONA.


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Denise Blondo

Denise, what are you working on?

As the owner of Better Choices Training,  I develop and deliver professional workshops, coach individual speakers and provide Lead coaching.

And, as the founder of a grassroots donation program, I provide patients with free Chemo Cold Caps, to prevent hair loss due to chemotherapy treatments.  In 2014, I began collecting and providing chemo cold caps to patients in need.

How do you feel The Hivery will help you achieve your goals?

The Hivery has been the single best investment of my career! Now, I am connected to business women on the rise in Marin. And, I’m excited to collaborate with the Hivery to develop business workshops to meet the needs of our community.

 


Cristol O'Loughlin

Cristol, what are you working on?

There are 7000 rare genetic diseases in our country, affecting 1 in 25,000 births and 30 million Americans.   My company, ANGEL AID cares for the caregivers— in particular, mothers living with the difficult financial, physical and social realities of raising a child diagnosed with a rare genetic disease.   

I originally started ANGEL AID in 2000 as a passion project with a purpose -- to raise funds to cure children diagnosed with a rare genetic disease called Mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) or “Hunters Syndrome.”  MPS claimed the life of my three older brothers. Randy, David, and Jared passed away at 12, 18, and 19—and in many ways our family is still recovering from the difficult decisions and realities of caring for them.  Together with my UCLA Pi Phi Sorority Sisters, ANGEL AID has raised $125,000+ over 20 years through personal donations. It has become a clear calling that there is more we can do to support mothers during this journey.   

In November 2018, ANGEL AID was incorporated as A Nonprofit Group Enriching Lives, Inc. and I broadened our charter to offer research, relief and inspiration services to all rare disease families, with an emphasis on mothers.    

How do you feel The Hivery will help you achieve your goals?

Launching a company is a daunting endeavor—a journey with a thousand paths and ten thousand decisions.  I am thrilled to join The Hivery and tap the collective skills, experience, and inspired creative energy of this unique women’s collective.  It is truly an honor to be a ‘We Rise’ Scholarship recipient.

The goal for ANGEL AID is to source research, relief and inspiration for children and families living with chronic disease. ANGEL AID will uplift these families by caring for the caregivers, in particular mothers. We will achieve these goals through three measurable metrics (**Thank you Grace #womendoingcoolstuff & #selinatobaccowala for #TheHivery Entrepreneur’s Circle Jan 17th!)

  1. Grow our email database through regular communications

  2. Engage families in a connective online network

  3. Host 1-2 Sustainable SuperMom retreats in 2019 at historic Barrett Family Ranch.  

To create these offerings, I hope to collaborate with Hivery members and engage a myriad of skills: business operations, website design, social creative/posting/amplification, product design, technical development, user experience, retreat programming, grant-writing, storytelling, videography, etc. Working in an inspired space brings inspiration to your work. Grace’s Incubator program will no doubt help accelerate our relaunch.

I simply cannot wait to meet all of you!


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Hayley Leibson

Hayley, what are you working on?

I am cofounder and COO of Lunchclub, a platform that makes mutually relevant in-real-life professional connections. Users sign up and indicate their home city, goals, and interests, and opt-in for meetings on a weekly basis. Our machine learning algorithms work the magic from there. We are now in SF Bay Area, NYC, LA, London, Seattle and Austin with many more cities around the world on the way in 2019! The results of connections made through Lunchclub are truly inspiring: cofounding relationships, startup and entertainment investments, hirings, new friendships, consulting and advising, our users getting into Village Global and YC, speaking engagements, and more.

I am also the founder of Lady in Tech, an award-winning tech and lifestyle platform for women, and co-founder of Female Founders Community—the largest online community of women entrepreneurs. I write a column for Forbes that inspires, motivates and moves millennial women to enter the tech industry and build impactful products at scale to improve the world. I speak around the world about diversity and inclusion in the tech industry.

How do you feel The Hivery will help you achieve your goals?

I am extremely excited to join The Hivery’s incredible community and ideate, collaborate, create, and dream up ideas with members to forward women in the workplace and make the tech industry a place that is more inclusive and attractive to people of all ages, races, sexual orientations, and cultures. I am also really looking forward to attending all of The Hivery’s events and programming, as well as the opportunity to work from the gorgeous and inspirational space in Mill Valley.


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Sarah Dihmes

Sarah, what are you working on?

I am creating a company that specializes in the science of beauty. Built to help women spend less time in front of mirror and more time in their lives, Beauty Bootcamp will revolutionize and transform women’s beauty routines.

My programs enhance women’s lives by helping them create and maintain their own unique identities. Through education of beauty options, professional trainings for at-home maintenance, full-service pop up salons, and personalized services I’m creating strategies for women to design and sustain their everyday appearance.

We opened for busy women who want beauty services, but do not know where to go or which procedure is right for them. Specializing in the most innovative devices and products we help clients achieve natural looks. Our programs were created to encourage women from all walks of life to embrace their inner and outer beauty.

My first workshop will be right here in Marin, March 30 & 31. I’m bringing the salon to the client. Celebrity hair stylists from LA, the best semi-permanent make-up artist from Romania, and some of the Bay Area’s top dermatologists and make-up artists. In addition, ladies will learn how to do their own lash extensions and quick fix make-up & hair in less than 30 minutes. We’re giving our clients back the power so they can spend less money and less time sitting in salons and more time doing what they love in life.

How do you feel The Hivery will help you achieve your goals?

As a psychologist, breaking into the business world is foreign. I’m excited to embrace my inner entrepreneur and become empowered to network, market, connect and help other women. I know I have many challenges ahead of me. From learning how to design a user-friendly website, embracing social media, creating logos, programs, workshops, and financing I’m ready and excited to start this adventure!

I’m so excited to be able to work on my company at The Hivery! I have been searching for a collaborative and supportive community that would encourage me to work on my passion project in a stigma-free, female friendly environment. I’m registered for Grace’s incubator and look forward to learning more about marketing, branding, and business development for my new beauty program. I feel blessed for the opportunity to learn from fierce female leaders about how to start and grow a company.

Q.U.E.S.T. - Quiet Your Ego So That...

A few days ago on my morning walk (omg, my morning ritual is on fire!! but more on that later), the word “quest” kept coming into my consciousness. In and out as if trying to send me a message, the word quest, quest, quest. I am personally on a quest right now to take myself into a deeper layer of my work, both my professional work and my inner work. So, the fact that this word kept entering my mind makes sense. But, as I walked, the word seemed to spell itself into an acronym that I had to share with you.

Now, I love a good acronym as a tool for remembering a framework or structure, but my creative (sometimes wild) brain doesn’t typically work in an acronym-loaded way. But, this one seemed to be handed to me like a little soft thought bubble falling out of the redwood trees. The letters appeared before me and they look like this. 

Q - Quiet

U - U/Your

E - Ego

S- So

T- That….

And the rest is up to you. Quiet your ego so that…

  • You can heal.

  • You can forgive.

  • You can overcome resistance.

  • You can say yes.

  • You can say no.

  • You can love.

  • You can grieve in the time and way you need.

  • You can make something.

  • You can try something new.

  • You can get unstuck.

  • You can cry.

  • You can stop crying. 

  • You can ask for more.

  • You can overcome shame.

  • You can love your body.

  • You can love yourself.

  • You can rekindle a relationship.

  • You can begin anew.

  • You can walk away.

  • You can walk back in.

  • You can say you’re sorry.

  • You can love more deeply.

  • You can create a new ritual.

  • You can quit.

  • You can persevere.

Or, whatever is required. This Q.U.E.S.T. is about quieting the “shoulds" and the expectations, the patterns and the hurt. To quiet your chattering mind so that you can move forward or look back. 

I hope it’s a useful tool for you. For me, it’s been occupying my mind all morning. “Grace, quiet your ego so that you can write this blog post today. Quiet your ego so that you can take a morning walk before you commit to anything else. Quiet your ego so that you can go easy on yourself as you get back to work”. And so on….enjoy the QUEST. We’ve got this. 

xo,

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It's my birthday.

This weekend I turn 44. Even my son was surprised...he thought I’ve been 41 “for a long time.” I’m sure I’ve missed some deadlines in the quest for eternal youth...my forehead still moves, I’m hardly ever vegan, and I don’t love Soul Cycle (sorry, not sorry). As I reflect on these recent years, I’m in awe not of the numbers on my birthday, but of what’s happened in this human experience. What I’ve learned. What I’ve lost. What has grown. And, what I’ve shed.

As I’ve shared with you my dearest community, my sister, Maggie, died in May. Running my business amidst this personal crisis was hard and I became overwhelmed with stress and self-doubt. I don’t think I slept for what felt like most of 2018. The flip side is that I have never felt nor imagined the depth of love as I did during the precious time I had with my sister.

Losing my sister and trying to participate in day-to-day life was a bit of a blur. I wandered. I cried. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t write. I resisted going to dance class. I was hurting and wanted to stay away from anything that brought me close to the deep places in my soul. My ability to manifest what I wanted felt broken; my magic touch no longer available to me. I became angry. I started to hate clichés and positive mantras...even the ones I had made up myself (and probably told you to do). I couldn’t be kind to myself, practice self-care, or show up fully...all of the things I prescribe to others. Darkness. 

During that time, a few leases and opportunities to open new Hivery locations fell apart. A guy in a shiny VC office mansplained that I had to open another Hivery fast in order to scale and “be relevant.” Otherwise, my work wouldn’t matter. I refrained from calling him a douche bag (victory bell!).

The days felt heavy. People that I never expected stuck to my side like glue, some showed up in a blindingly love-filled way, and conversely some wandered off (or lost my phone number). Even with a tribe, the road felt dark. People often said, “I know you have so many people around who love you...” as if to say that I’d be fine, but the loneliness was intense.

Through the cracks came faint melodies that started to sound like courage. We gathered 350 women for our Entrepreneur + Inspiration Lab event in San Francisco that finally reminded me again of my creative zone. I learned that if I don’t express myself, I die a little inside. Very good to know. Life hack...don’t forget. Another victory bell would soon be in sight when the location we’d been working on for over a year in SF finally came through.

That day at our big event, I felt the sunshine. That day I also met a world-class doctor. After meeting with her, to review my breast cancer risk (off the charts is what she called it, I believe), I decided to have a preventative double mastectomy. A couple months later, she held my hand and sang “Dear Theodosia” while I went under anesthesia. I woke up different, and in pain, but quite proud of myself for not chickening out. Glennon Doyle, you say “we can do hard things”…but geez. 

So, that’s what I’ve been up to. During these past two weeks of recovery, I’ve watched 18 movies and entire seasons of “Fixer Upper.”  I refuse to look at my iPhone screen time report as the boredom has led to an insane (and inane!) amount of scrolling. I am in beta mode right now, striving for Grace 2.0...I think I need to design a 2.0 t-shirt. I’m entirely sick of bone broth.

And the weirdest part? I’m happy. Confusingly, slowly, like moving underwater, humbly, happy. Hopeful. Willing. Ready. Alive. No longer attached to expectations, but thrilled to be here. Grateful for the love of a community I created, and just as grateful to be part of a world that I’m only a tiny molecule in.

Here I sit, surrounded by the massive love in my house and in my life. In awe. More willing than ever to walk through the door of what’s possible. Compassionate for all those whose struggles and battles are so much harder than mine. It is not a comparison of hardships, but on the global scale, I know I’ve had it easy. My hurt softens me to the hurt of others, and for that, this whole thing has been a whopper of a gift.

I see it again...the road ahead. And I’m squarely on it, facing forward. The rear view mirror is there to remind me of my fear, sadness and all that has been endured, but can be tilted away so as not to obstruct my view of the light. Licking my wounds, and putting a soft hand on yours, I have been beat up, broken-hearted, and reduced to pieces. I know you have, too. And I’m still here. With you. With so much love to give and so much more life in me. 

Screw resolutions. I’ve earned wisdom. And I intend to use it to create magnificent, bright spots on this curvy and unexpected road of life for as many humans as I can. As Pema Chodron writes, “Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us.”… That’s the quest: to humbly accept fear, to know that we don’t know, to have courage to stand on shaky ground, and to love fully and deeply, anyway and always.

Even with the unexpected. Even in the dark. There’s light. Don’t worry. Whether near or far, we’ve got each other. With unrelenting commitment, we’ve got this.

XO,

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ARTISTS SPOTLIGHT: Truth To Paper's Kate Nicholson and Rachel Hebert

Thanks to the talents of Kate Nicholson and Rachel Hebert, those looking for deeply moving, strikingly beautiful, profoundly original artwork need not look any further than the walls of The Hivery.

Kate and Rachel are the talents behind Truth to Paper, a creative agency focused on bringing poetry and art into the world. On Nov. 6, the duo premiered their first combined show at The Hivery with an impressive collection of visual art. The show is scheduled to last into January, and all works are for sale (note: several works have been sold, as of this posting).

The creative pair met eight years ago when their daughters (each has two) went to the same school. Both artists themselves—Rachel a dancer and painter, Kate a writer and photographer— they quickly found themselves in deep conversations about the process of moving from full-time moms back into the world of art making.

Both were fascinated by poetry—reading it and writing it in their personal time. In fall 2017—by then BFFs—they decided to go into business together and, at The Hivery’s 2017 Holiday Market, launched Truth to Paper.

“We wanted to bring poetry out of books and out of our private worlds,” said Rachel. “There is definitely a thread of wanting to reclaim language, and bring more beauty to the world, particularly in response to what we are seeing in the news right now.”

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The initial vision of Truth to Paper was to create small poem cards for table settings and greeting cards, but that quickly morphed into something much larger. Inspired by the 2018 Women’s March, Rachel and Kate created special poems and art pieces for the event. In May 2018, they worked with vulnerability researcher Dr. Brene Brown on a poem that would serve as her introduction at Mom 2.0, one of the world’s largest parenting blogging conferences.

This fall, Kate and Rachel designed The Hivery’s Empowerment Studio, the new space at the end of the hall in the Mill Valley location. If you haven’t seen it, please check it out—the design and artwork (including a massive mural of a dancer) are not to be missed. (And, if you’re interested in renting this beautiful space, more information is available here!)

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Then, in October 2018, the pair created the entire visual integration for The Hivery’s Entrepreneur & Inspiration Lab at Fort Mason. Remember the rainbow Instagram wall? The custom poem on the back page of the program? The language behind the stage?

That was all them.

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The current show is a natural extension of their work combining written and visual art, and an exciting development for Truth to Paper fanatics (of which there are many!). Each piece is an original, many cut from vintage books with use of gold leaf and burning techniques. A few of the larger pieces are slate in color with words found—if carefully looked for—and gold spreading like veins.

“Kintsugi, the Japanese tradition of fixing broken pottery with gold, was one of our inspirations for the show,” says Rachel. “We love the idea that a mended piece is more valuable because of its breaking.”

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Among the pair’s many pieces is one titled “First Matter,” which, from a distance looks to be a large circle with lines coming out of it. Upon closer inspection the work reveals itself to be an intricate series of phrases—unhelpful messages Rachel and Kate received from childhood have been written and then burned out. Phrases they’d like their daughters to absorb are written on the other side of the lines from where childhood phrases are burned.

“We were making stuff and somehow ended up in the territory of things our parents said to us and implicit messages we received,” says Kate. “It became an intensely personal piece. We spent the day crying and burning things.”

As for future plans, Kate and Rachel are keeping their options open. They are considering a book project, but regardless of what the future holds, they are enjoying the collaborative process of art making, saying it is incredibly freeing to step outside their individual studios and work together.

“Watch this space,” says Kate, “because we are just getting started.”

Wrap-Up - The Hivery's 2018 Entrepreneur + Inspiration Lab

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The Hivery’s Entrepreneur + Inspiration Lab on Sunday, October 14 in Fort Mason, San Francisco was amazing beyond our wildest dreams! From the keynote speeches (hilarious to tears and back again), to the yummy lunch from Greens Restaurant, to the connections made in the afternoon workshops, to walking between buildings on the incredibly beautiful day looking out at San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge, and then at happy hour where we were blown away by an intergenerational choir. WHOA. Sunday was a day we will never forget.

A special thank you to our generous sponsors, without whom we couldn’t have put on this unforgettable event, including Boon Supply, Eileen Fisher, True Myth, Tangent, Madison Reed, and the many others who gifted goodies and services in our gift bags.

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We cannot send a huge enough thank you to each of our speakers, workshop leaders, and collaborators. Your insights are changing the world and you made magic on Sunday. Here are a just a few of our favorite moments from the day (we could fill a book with them all!!):

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“The time is now. The time is now to step into that deep inner rumbling that tells you that you were made for something only you can do. Change doesn’t happen when we’re in our comfort zone. We are stepping in, we are being bold, we are using our voice. YES WE ARE!” - Grace Kraaijvanger, Founder of The Hivery

“You are like a unique strand of DNA. You bring experience, knowledge, wisdom, and passion in your package. No one else has what you have. I won’t ask you; I will demand of you. If you don’t let it out, the world will not get it. You are truly the only one. Step into your boldness.” - Grace

“I believe we are artists of this life. We get to be creative, start over, make mistakes, and change mediums. Each of you is a masterpiece.” - Grace

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“One day I was working on the floor of the Stock Exchange and I went out for coffee, but instead of a coffee shop, I went to the nearest church and bawled my eyes out. I was miserable. I called my father and he said, ‘You have to find something you love. If you don’t love what you’re doing, you need to quit.’ His words were so freeing and inspiring, and helped me start my search for my true passion.” - Marie Forleo, Entrepreneur, Host of MarieTV and Founder of B-School

“Everyone has self doubt, even the most successful, famous people. The most important thing is to realize where it comes from. You have so much goodness inside of you.” - Marie

“Simplify to amplify.” - Marie

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“I believe that inside of each of you is a genius. That doesn’t mean everything will go perfectly, though. Failure is your best friend.” - Amy Errett, founder of Madison Reed

“Have I been discriminated against because I’m a woman and I’m gay? Probably. But I don’t give a s***. The greatest equalizer in the world is when you feel competent and centered in who you are, when you know you’re amazing, you put out an energy. You feel it.” - Amy

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“I had a spiritual awakening in that moment. Finally there was a vernacular for committing to my potential.” - Rosie Acosta, Founder of Radically Loved: Yoga, Health + Wellness

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“All I think about in my life is women's empowerment. Women are the game changers.”
- Dr. Tererai Trent, Humanitarian and Founder of Tererai Trent International

“Dreams are greater when tied to the betterment of a community.” - Tererai

“When you believe in your uniqueness, in your greatness, the heavens open.” - Tererai

“My dear American women. I need to tell you…November, November, November.” - Tererai

(We hear you, Tererai.)


If you couldn’t join us this year, we would love to see you next October! To get a taste of the day, check out our Facebook album.

Photos by Sophia Mavrides and Jacquelyn Warner.

Hivery Circle: Radha Agrawal, author of BELONG • September 2018

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Our September Hivery Circle with Radha Agrawal was one for the books! It was a deeply inspiring evening focused on belonging, and our universal need to come together in community. Known to many of us as the co-founder and CEO of Daybreaker, a company that puts on sunrise dance parties all over the world (if you haven’t gone, sign up for the next one - they are EPIC), Radha took to The Hivery stage with our very own Grace Kraaijvanger to discuss her latest creation, her book BELONG: Find Your People, Create Community and Live A More Connected Life.

“The first sentence in my book is ‘When I turned thirty, I realized I didn’t belong,’” she told the crowd. Radha’s vulnerability didn’t stop there. She explained in detail how, at 30, she’d found herself surrounded by people who weren’t inspiring, and doing things that didn’t reflect her values. She spent the next several years building a more nourishing community and launched Daybreaker in December 2013, a community that has now extended to more than 25 cities and has upwards of 500,000 members.

In addition to explaining her background, she offered clear, actionable takeaways on how everyone can build the communities of their dreams. Just a few of her nuggets of wisdom included:

  • Her CRAWL method, an acronym for how to build a community, but also a message of patience. “It’s a reminder that building a sustained community takes time,” Radha said. “We built Daybreaker over five years.”

  • The importance of rituals in community. At Daybreaker, participants are greeted by hugging committees rather than imposing-looking bouncers. “I cannot tell you how many people have cried on my shoulder over the years,” she explained. “We all need human touch; I think I’ve hugged upwards of 10,000 people in five years. It is so powerful.”

  • When building a community, Radha explained that it is paramount to choose people wisely. “We launched Daybreaker by creating a carefully curated list of 300 people that would define the energetic mix of our core community,” she said. “When creating a community, those choices must be very thoughtful to create the energetic centrifuge that you want.”

  • She also talked about the so-called “mean girls of our minds.” “We all have a cafeteria in our minds where there are mean girls sitting at a table with their pink jackets on filled with comparison, judgement and perfectionism,” she said, to a laughing (read: knowing) crowd. “It’s up to us to find our soul sisters and sit with them instead.”

More than anything, Radha explained the importance of creating community from a space of authenticity. “If you want to build something, it has to be from the heart.”

We are so thankful to Radha for sharing her wisdom and her time.

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Click here to see more photos from our September Hivery Circle on Facebook.

Grace's Corner: A Tribute to Maggie

Dearest you,

I’ve spent most of my four years since starting The Hivery as open-hearted and transparent as I know how to be. Telling my story seemed so safe among the kindness and love of a community centered on elevating each other. You always made me feel like I could lead so openly.

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But I’ve been quiet these past few months and the weeks since the heartbreaking death of my dear younger sister, Maggie. She died a little over a month ago, and I’ve wanted to say something for a long time. And like a long lost friend, I have felt the urge many, many times to reach out and write to you. Like when you pick up the phone to call and then set it down because you don’t know what to say.

Sometimes it was because the pain was too great and the emotions too raw to tell my story. And sometimes, especially when Maggie was sick, I had to choose between sitting down to write versus spending precious moments being present with my sister. And as the moments became more and more fleeting, I had to choose Maggie.

Now, as I grieve and try to process, I feel “ready” to begin to share. I don’t yet know the fullness of this experience, but it has begun to feel, only recently, like it is needing to come out. Glennon Doyle, a favorite author and activist of mine, talks about how she is able to be so transparent in her writing by not sharing her story in real-time. She allows some time to pass so that the rawness isn’t in the moment, but can be recalled with the slight safety of distance. I understand that now. I’m still raw and my heart is fragile and ripped open, but I feel called to express my love for Maggie and to begin to tell her story and mine, too.

Maggie was diagnosed with breast cancer last September at the age of 33. The day that I found out, I was shattered with worry… I remember vividly how I crumbled; I sat and cried in the shower at what she would have to go through to get through this. I was angry and sad for her that she would have to put her life on hold, take time off from a job she loved, and possibly have the opportunity to have children taken away from her. At that time, I never thought she would die.

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She was living in LA with her boyfriend, Brandon, and with him and my other sisters, we created a schedule to go with her to every chemo. I loved being by her side and was amazed at her determination to conquer this chemo thing, stay strong, and keep her routine. She worked full-time throughout chemo (she was a chef and the director of catering for a chic LA restaurant group). She was determined to show up as her best self, both for battling cancer, and for her future. She admitted often that this "cancer bullshit” was the most traumatic experience she’d ever been through, yet all she could talk about was how lucky she was to be so loved, to have healthcare, to have a second chance. She kept us laughing throughout her chemo treatments, making jokes with the chemo nurse that she’s here for happy hour, and requesting a margarita in her IV bag.

One morning, during my visit for her fourth round of treatment, I was leaving Maggie's house in LA…it was early, and time for me to go to the airport. Maggie was still sleeping, so I quietly tip-toed into her room and sat next to her on the bed. “I’m leaving,” I said, and kissed her on the cheek. Her eyes opened, I rubbed her little, bald head…it was the most perfect, little head I’ve ever seen. Bald and sleeping, she couldn’t help but be adorable. “I miss you already, Mags”, I told her.

“You need to go. You’ve got stuff to do. Keep doing what you’re doing, Grace. You’re doing the right thing.” she said. And then, “Mom’s proud of you."

“Mom’s proud of you, too.” I told her, as the tears welled up. My heart hurt and my heart was bursting at the same time.

Even after her own chemo treatment, in her pajamas, with her sweet, little face looking up at me like a Buddhist angel, she thought of me, coached me, encouraged me, and loved me. I sat on the bed that morning and felt through my veins what it means to love so deeply that it hurts.

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And, she did it…she did exactly what “they" told her to do. She did all of the chemo treatments. She continued an organic, vegan diet. She did yoga, she meditated, she went to acupuncture. She journaled. She practiced gratitude. She started telling me in November how scared she was and that she’d been thinking about what it means to face mortality, to think about being afraid to die. I reassured her. We read “The Hero’s Journey” by Joseph Campbell together and picked out where she was on the journey. She had accepted the call, she was in the dark night of the soul, she would reach transformation. She would use everything she’d learned for good and to make a difference. She got a double mastectomy in January. The end was in sight. She’d do a few rounds of radiation, go back to work, and put this horrible nightmare behind her. They scanned her breasts and saw no evidence of disease. We celebrated. She was worn out.

But, two weeks after her surgery, she just wasn’t recovering. She was exhausted and having debilitating headaches. They told her to come in to do a brain MRI, just in case. A few hours later, she called me. I was in a meeting with a potential investor for The Hivery…it felt like an important meeting until the phone rang. It’s amazing how life screeches to a halt when you get that call. “It’s in my brain.” she shrieked. “The cancer is in my brain!". I got on a plane to LA a few hours later. I laid with her in the hospital bed. “They told me that I’m going to die.” she cried. It couldn’t be true, it couldn’t be true. But, there it was. The truth.

I started to bargain in that unreasonable and unuseful way we do when we are desperate. “You can have my business. I will give up my house. I will do anything. I will start all over. But, please don’t take my sister. Please don’t take her from me.”…I’m not sure who in those situations we think will hold our business or our house as collateral, but we negotiate with the voices in our heads, nonetheless. We plead to the universe, to anyone, and to no one. We beg for the world not to be so brutal. Please no suffering, please no pain. Please don’t take my sister.

I tried to be strong for her. And sometimes I wasn’t. Sometimes, I was just her sister. And she felt for me, too. She asked me about our other sisters, “Grace, what will Abby do if I die? What will Emily do? What are you going to do?”…I told her that I didn’t know. I didn’t know what to do without her. I didn’t know how to raise my kids without her. I didn’t know how to have confidence without her. I didn’t know how to be inspired without her. I worried that I would lose my light, my soul, the flow of inspiration forever. That I would be sad for the rest of my life.

So, I stuck to her like glue. And, it was hard. I spent most of February and March in LA with her. She had brain surgery and a port put in her brain so they could inject chemo directly into her brain. We thought, “We can buy some time, and then we can beat this". She would be terrified one moment, and calmly tell me the next that THIS was not going to take her down, that she was not done. We got a second opinion at UCSF, and they gave us some hope. They would try other things.

“She’s young, and aggressive cancer needs aggressive treatment.” they told us. We drove her to SF in mid-March and she moved in with me. I was so happy to have her in my home. I wanted to take care of my little sister. My kids and husband were in it with me. We shifted from our family life to a life centered around focusing on hope and miracles. I have an amazing team at The Hivery that picked up the slack at work and allowed me to focus completely on her. The community rallied around her. The love notes started pouring in. We were all in with Maggie.

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We were determined to heal and created our days around the objective of thriving. Maggie and I created some beloved routines that I will treasure forever. We touched a redwood tree everyday. She wrote about self-love everyday. She taught me how to like green tea…she began her day each morning with our wonderful friend and meditation teacher, Rachel Rossitto. We lovingly nicknamed her “moonbeam” for the way she floated into our home each morning to sit with Maggie, sing, guide, drink tea, and meditate together. She saw my dear friend, Malcolm Campbell, a spiritual therapist. She was willing to go deep in body, mind and spirit to beat this. And, I was determinedly by her side. We drove to full brain radiation together every day for weeks. We decided we were the only weirdos who could enjoy the car ride to radiation as much as we did. We talked about the future. She got her appetite back. We rewarded ourselves with great meals, worthy of her foodie/chef palate. Our baby niece, Cici, was born. We flew to Minneapolis for her baptism as Maggie was the godmother.

Just before our trip, she had begun complaining about a back ache. The pain got worse. And worse. And worse. When we got home, they MRI’ed her spine. The cancer had spread again. This time to her spine. We held each other up in the hallway of the hospital when she got the news.

Her legs gave as she gasped, “Grace, I’m so afraid.”
“Me, too, sister.” I said. We hung on to each other; we stared at each other. The sounds of the city went silent. When we got in the elevator, we saw regular humans, who weren’t dying. They seemed like another world.

We shuffled out. We went home. The pain got worse and worse and worse.

We went to the hospital. They told us she was not going to be long. The moment that she passed in my arms, her spirit floated up and away from her physical body. I learned everything in that moment; I felt the closeness of the other side and went with her as far as I could. She was beautiful. I believe that she took her last breath, as if to say, “I’m ready."

The night before my sister’s funeral, I thought I might need to go to the hospital due to a piercing pain in my sternum. It didn’t feel like chest pains, but felt serious enough that I called a friend who is a Chinese medicine doctor. She explained that when loss is so great, it creates a loss of breath and that the breath can stay in the chest cavity and create tightness. She explained further and then said, “Grace, what is happening to you is that you are heartbroken. You are not having a heart attack. You are in the depth of the human experience and your body knows that this is the precipice of love and agony.”…Nothing ever felt so true.

I don’t pretend to have wise words of wisdom on the path of grieving. I have experience with loss but we are always beginners again and again when it comes to heartbreak. I know that I will go on, even when I don’t want to. I know that so many dear friends, family, and those before me have experienced the depth of loss. I watch them with deep respect; I feel the weight of their hearts. And I will live and survive, and feel joy again. I will create beauty and admire it, too. This level of sadness is not forever, but the agony is deep. And the questions are intense. “Why do I get to enjoy this sunset? Why am I the fortunate being that gets to be here?”…

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A few weeks ago, I was driving on the freeway and I admittedly cut someone off. I was distracted, likely crying, and pulled a lame lane-change maneuver. The driver laid on the horn. Many, many times. She was enraged. She flipped me off first with her left hand, then her right, then with both. My first thought? “Hmm, maybe her sister died, too.” Things had started to shift. My broken heart was softening. There would be light in the cracks.  

When I lost my mom seven years ago, the grief was intense. There was a moment crying on my living room floor when I searched and searched in floods of tears for who I could be and for what to do with the intensity of the loss I felt in my heart. I had to make something. I was certain. And from that, I made a Hivery. From this loss of my dear sister, I can’t see what might come out. But, the seeking and the willingness to let it out are what my sister wanted; and, I know deep in my heart it is the only way that I can survive.

So, now what? Where to go from here? How to rebuild or transform a soul that feels hurt, broken and tender. There is a pressure in the opening as if there is a new call to be. There is a searching and a gap, a distance between where I am and what I yearn for. And I’ve noticed that amidst the darkness, the cracks of light are starting to come back. I’m starting to hope again, to plan, to create, to think about ways to improve, and ways to go deeper.

As it relates to The Hivery I have, through this experience, been changed forever. And The Hivery is not “just” a business any longer. It’s not about where the next Hivery locations will be, although it is our intention to spread The Hivery love far and wide. It’s not even “just” a women’s co-working space. It’s a tangible, artistic expression of the human experience, specifically a community who is willing to boldly live at the epicenter. To use our talent, love, pain, and vulnerability for the service of others and for the depth of being the fullest humans we can be.

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At a time of agony for so many, children separated from families, people suffering unimaginable anguish, it has never been more important to live at the greatest level of our own potential, in order to make the most meaningful contribution we can. To soar with authenticity, love, and beauty, to dig deep in order to be fully alive. To stand with the wisdom of experience through the pain, the suffering, the anger, the fury, the hardship. To speak with bold voices, answer the calls, honor the opening of the heart. To know that you’ve felt the deepest love and the depth of sorrow, and yet, to know you must go on. To make something that helps people make an impact, make their contribution, do something that matters. And it all matters. That’s what I’m learning. I’m learning, each day with the help of my sweet sister Maggie’s voice in my ear… the crux, the depth, the gravity, the love, of what it means to be a woman.

xo,

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p.s. Many of you so kindly expressed interest in coming to Maggie’s memorial service and I know it wasn’t possible for all. I’ve attached a video of the eulogy that I was so honored to give for my sister. I hope it helps you know her a little better. There was no one like our dear Maggie.

Hivery Circle: Thriving in Midlife • May 8, 2018

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Dear Hivery Community,

Thank you so much for joining us for last night's Hivery Circle! We were so thrilled to welcome to the stage authors Amy Nobile and Trisha Ashworth, co-founders of Ash + Ames, to chat about their new book Just When You’re Comfortable In Your Own Skin, It Starts to Sag: Rewriting the Rules of Midlife, in conversation with our very own Grace Kraaijvanger, The Hivery Founder.

So many of you showed up for this conversation about "midlife" and we feel as though it's a conversation that needs to keep happening! Last night's discussion was honest and vulnerable and real—thank you for participating and making this an unforgettable Hivery evening. Amy and Trisha shared freely about their own experiences, the experiences of the women they interviewed, how we as women can redefine what the word "midlife" means, and how, by creating communities of women, we can change the paradigm of how the world looks at aging.

A few highlights included these insightful comments from Amy and Trisha:

“We are not our mother’s generation. We are not having our mother’s midlife.”

“We change the paradigm by first looking inside.
When your confidence soars, magical things start happening.”

“Our generation is so productive that many of us are achieving success far earlier than our mothers and asking ourselves why we don’t feel fulfilled. The truth is, our mom’s had different definitions of success. So many of us equate success with accomplishments, which don’t necessarily make us happy. What if we thought success was having an amazing laugh with a friend or taking time out for ourselves during the day?”

“We must ask ourselves, ‘What do I want right now?’
And then give ourselves the permission to go for it.”

It was such a pleasure to see you and welcome so many new faces last night. Thank you for showing up, doing the work, and making this such a supportive, authentic community of #womendoingcoolstuff.

With love,

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Gratitude to our Event Collaborators:

Wine provided by True Myth
Photography by Kim Thompson Steel
Audio / Visual by MavMedia
Flower arrangements by Sara Marshall Flowers

Hivery Circle: Being Boss • April 17, 2018

Emily Thompson (Being Boss co-author), Grace Kraaijvanger (Founder of The Hivery), and Kathleen Shannon (Being Boss co-author)

Emily Thompson (Being Boss co-author), Grace Kraaijvanger (Founder of The Hivery), and Kathleen Shannon (Being Boss co-author)

Dear Beautiful Community,

The energy from last night’s Hivery Circle evening event was electric! What an incredible night starting off with a moving dance performance from Stacey Printz, artistic director of the Printz Dance Project. And then a beautifully heartfelt introduction by Sophie Davies and Jenni Brown, Hivery members and co-founders of Prim’d Marketing. These dynamic, creative women set the stage for an incredibly fun and open discussion with Being Boss authors and podcast pros, Kathleen Shannon and Emily Thompson.

These business besties, who run the podcast Being Boss (amazing guests, thought-provoking conversations and 5 million downloads) made us laugh, inspired us to show up, gave us practical tips, and pushed us to Get Out of Our Comfort Zone—our April theme at The Hivery.

Here are some highlights that stuck with us:
“We decided: let’s go on a business bestie vacation. And, what if we invited some of our podcast members? Seventy-five people came on vacation with us in New Orleans. Getting that face-to-face time with them was where the magic happened. Inviting your podcast to come on vacation with you...that’s putting yourself out there.”

“Routines can be what we rely on during times of transition and can carrying us through. ... And, sometimes we can routine ourselves into a rut. ... Give yourself room in your day for being creative for fun. ... Remember, we are creatives and creating can get us out of ruts.”

And, most importantly of all...
“We figured it out as we went. ... We didn’t polish any rocks. We threw stones through glass ceilings and saw what worked. ... You just have to hit publish.”

It was such a pleasure to welcome so many new faces to The Hivery last night. And, we want to remind you that we're here for you and we want to help you be as “boss” as you’d like! 

In community,

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Gratitude to our Event Collaborators:

Performance by Printz Dance Project
Wine provided by Belden Barns
Light Bites by Urban Remedy
Photography by Kim Thompson Steel
Audio / Visual by MavMedia
Flower arrangements by Sara Marshall Flowers

Collaboration Corner: Sheryl Ott & Monique Johnson

We are so excited to highlight Dare to Detour, a company that puts on transformational retreats for women, founded by Hivery member Sheryl Ott who collaborated with several others in our community to make her dream a reality. One notable partnership was between her and Monique Johnson, founder of MOJO Design, a branding and design firm. EXCITING NOTE! The next Dare to Detour retreat will be Sept. 13-16, 2018 at the Nine Quarter Circle Ranch in Gallatin Gateway, Montana.

Our conversation with Sheryl and Monique...

Sheryl Ott

Sheryl Ott

Monique Johnson

Monique Johnson

Tell us a little about your backgrounds?
Sheryl: I was born in San Francisco, grew up in Oregon and moved to New York City right after college on a dare. I worked in new product development for American Express, then moved back to the Bay Area about 20 years ago and fundraised for local non-profits until earlier this year when I decided to launch Dare to Detour.

Monique: I studied illustration in school, but soon after merged more into graphic design. After designing for many years, I gradually honed in on my true love: branding!

How did you first hear about The Hivery?
Sheryl: I read about The Hivery back in 2015 in the Marin Independent Journal and thought it was interesting, but it wasn’t until early 2016 when I saw a post on Facebook about the What’s Next program that I decided to sign up to see what it was all about. I took the class and met Monique there, who was also participating. I was impressed because she quit her job in the middle of the class!

Monique: I heard about The Hivery through a friend when we were talking about clarity around my career and that I was in need of work/life balance.

 

 

How did you come up with the idea to collaborate?
Sheryl: Laura and Linda, the What’s Next leaders, were really supportive of my idea for Dare to Detour from the start. I actually came up with the idea while driving to class one day. I felt as if I had no business being in the class with other women who were working in the “real world.” But they encouraged me. Monique also believed in my idea from the start. She was so supportive, it felt like the logical next step to ask her to help develop the logo, brand, and website. This, and the fact that she is so talented.

Monique: When I heard what Sheryl was brewing up, I immediately knew I wanted to be part of it. All aspects of the retreat she was creating were appealing to me personally and I absolutely thrive on helping new businesses get off the ground.

Who else have you collaborated with at The Hivery and why?
Sheryl: Dare to Detour has truly been a Hivery collaboration. In addition to Monique’s help, I’ve also collaborated with Laura Riordan and Linda Lesem of What’s Next to teach workshops at the retreat, Kelli Ronci to lead a creative practice workshop and the women of Prim’d Marketing for support. Also, Grace has been hugely instrumental with her encouragement since I joined The Hivery.

Monique: Outside of collaborating with Sheryl on Dare to Detour, I’ve worked with Susan George on the Big Picture project, which was really fun because it was in a new industry for me, and great for my portfolio. I helped Deborah Green with LiveaMoment clarify her brand and build her website, and most recently Grace connected me with Carolina Boutique, my newest client, on designing her brand and website.

What do you think it is about The Hivery that allows for such beautiful collaboration?
Sheryl: The Hivery provides a safe and supportive place for self-exploration; the environment really facilitates open communication and celebrates the strength and empowerment of women. It also helps that the atmosphere is uber positive and aesthetically beautiful.

Monique: The workspace is utterly gorgeous and inspiring, and the women that work there are incredible. Each has their own story and one is more amazing than the next!

For women who haven’t yet found a collaboration partner at The Hivery or elsewhere, what advice can you offer them?
Sheryl: Don’t hesitate to inquire, ask, and explore new relationships. Attend workshops, Hivery Circle events, and fully participate. Put yourself out there. I felt like an imposter for the first six to eight months at The Hivery. I was uncomfortable, but I put on my best outfits and put myself out there. If I can do it, you can too!

Monique: Sit next to someone new. Chat with people during lunch because conversation is the best marketing tool.

Why is collaborating so important to you?
Sheryl: For me, it’s always been about bringing together the right team for the job. I am more interested in facilitating the process, so having the right team to collaborate with allows me to focus on the things I do best and know that I can trust others to have their eyes on the end result.

Monique: I really love empowering entrepreneurs by building beautiful brands to amplify their message. It makes me proud.

 

International Women's Day Recap: What It Means To Be a Courageous Woman

The Hivery's March 8th International Women’s Day: What It Means to Be a Courageous Woman was one of the best events in Hivery her-story! Teaming up with Athleta to bring this amazing evening of The Power of She: United We Thrive to The Hivery community was not only inspiring and exciting, but also incredibly fun! We are still buzzing from the energy of the event and we wanted to share some of the highlights with you below...

Hivery Founder and CEO, Grace Kraaijvanger, opened up the evening with her new definition of courage, inspired by her sister, Maggie, who is battling cancer: “I learned something incredible from Maggie last week. I was talking to her about how brave she is and she told me, 'I’m not brave; I’m just showing up.' I realized that is what it means to be a courageous woman. That is what courageous women do, we show up.”

 

An excerpt from the evening... 

 

Gratitude to our inspirational panelists and event collaborators...

The Marin Girls Chorus opened our evening with their inspiring voices.

Susan Goss-Brown, VP, Stores and Store Ops, Athleta, expressed her happiness for her company’s dedication to placing women in positions of leadership: “There were no examples of women, or people in leadership who looked like me in my 30-year career. We must have diverse examples in leadership, otherwise people can’t imagine it for themselves.”

Emma Mayerson, Founding Executive Director, Alliance for Girls, talked about starting her organization in her early 20s and going to meetings with executives much older than she was: “Everyone believed in what I was saying; they believed in me so fully that I started believing in myself. I learned that our courage lives in our community.”

Nikki Silvestri, Founder and CEO, Soil and Shadow commented on the strength and importance of female relationships: “We act as mirrors for other women. When we support each other, we are at our strongest.”

Julie Castro Abrams, Founder & CEO, How Women Lead spoke and laughed about how excited she is about the global movement for women’s rights and her dedication to the cause: “I’m on fire about being a catalyst for women and girls and all bets are off, baby!”

Linda Calhoun, Founder/Executive Producer, Career Girls, explained how her organization helps bust ingrained cultural ideas: “We disrupt stereotypes of the ‘kind’ of work women can do every single day.”

Athleta sponsored our inspirational The Power of She: United We Thrive event series and Le Grand Courtâge poured lovely french sparkling wine to make the evening extra special.

We are honored to have celebrated International Women's Day and National Women's History Month with all of you this year!

In kindness and community,

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What Makes You Feel Courageous?

Courage can mean different things on different days. One day’s courageous act could be speaking truth to a family member, while another day’s act could be honoring the need for an afternoon nap. We've been so grateful to team up with Athleta for National Women's History month to bring some incredible events to The Hivery. And, the primary question we've been asking ourselves all month-long is: What does it mean to be a courageous woman?

We have been blown away by our Hivery community's willingness to share their battle wounds and the lessons they've learned with so much grace. Below we've included some of their incredible insights. And, Susan Goss Brown, VP of Operations at Athleta, joined us in our female-fueled coworking space on International Women's Day to answer that same question. In working together with Athleta this month, we are grateful to show The Power of She: United We Thrive.

 

Courage - Faye Wilder.jpeg

Faye Wylder

Describe a time when you felt courageous.
Honestly, I don’t ever really feel courageous. Most of the time I feel afraid and slightly confused. I’m an entrepreneur, an artist, a leader, a mother, and a human. And so, I act with courage most every day because most every day asks me to risk my reputation, my privilege, my ideas about the way things are, and my limiting beliefs about Love. The risk always pays off.
 

What feelings mix with courage for you?
For me, I think courage really shines alongside terror, which sometimes masquerades as jealousy, doubt, procrastination, righteousness, and sloth.
 

What advice can you offer other women looking to feel more courageous?
Courage exists beyond the doorway of fear, which exists beyond the doorway of pain. Say a prayer, take a breath, and open those doors. Every day. Every time. Those are the doors to God.
 

Courage - Sharon.png

Sharon Stahl

Describe a time when you felt courageous.
My most courageous act was to jump into New York advertising as an Art Director.  It didn’t seem courageous at the time. I was in shock. I was new. I was green. I was in over my head. I had no idea what I was doing.

There was a meeting of the Creative Department, which was 100 people strong, but only 4 were women. It took me a year to be able to talk in full sentences in meetings. The only thing that gave me strength was the inner knowledge that I could do my job well. I stayed 12 years. It was torture at times, but I wouldn’t have changed it for anything.  

What advice can you offer other women looking to feel more courageous?
Confidence is the nurturing mother of courage. With confidence, you can face risk and adversity and overcome your fears. And luckily, there are ways to boost confidence in whatever you do.

  1. Be so prepared that you don’t need notes.
  2. Be the source of the magic. Adding the magic makes you extraordinary. It makes you different. It defines you. Being the deliverer of magic gives you confidence. People love you for it. And, more importantly, you love yourself for it.
  3. Develop deep relationships with people with whom you share mutual respect and admiration. You will fail, but it is critical to have people around you that know it is JUST FAILURE and has nothing to do with your talent or self-worth.
  4. Never ever (not even once) be unkind.
  5. Learn from failures. Your failures are the ugly step-sisters of your successes and you can’t go through life without them, so you might as well put them to good use.
  6. Allow yourself what I call "My Minimum Daily Requirement of Misery.” I give it five minutes and then say, out-loud, "Knock it off!" and get back to work.

With confidence comes courage. Fear doesn’t stand a chance with those two on your side.

Be the best self you can be, take pride in your craft, say no to idiots, choose happiness, garner friendships that last a lifetime, learn how to make a good martini, and floss.

 

Courage - Cheryl and teacher.jpg

Dr. Cheryl Huang

Describe a time when you felt courageous.
Leading up to my 50th birthday, I gathered the courage to create a bucket list in writing. The item on the list that required the most courage was signing up for dance classes. To overcome my fears, I imagined the worst outcome: that I would look like an older lady striving to move her older bones to music.

I tried the classes and was hooked. They have turned out to be my go-to for fun, joy, inspiration, energy, and confidence. These days, I truly cannot imagine life without them. Fortunately, I got there because I cared more about doing what I wanted deep in my heart than what I looked like in the process. If I am lucky enough, I hope to be that 90 year-old who is still dancing like no one's watching!

What advice can you offer other women looking to increase their feelings of courage?Perspective has really helped me. Many of my older relatives were artists and intellectuals in Communist China and, as such, were persecuted by the Communists. My great uncle was an extraordinary photographer who captured the grace and beauty of Shanghai's women, and Communists burned all of his works. My great uncle ended up committing suicide because along with the photos, they had destroyed his soul.

So when I come to The Hivery and I hear everyone describe their hopes and dreams,  I feel so strongly that we must express ourselves and follow our passion projects. It is truly not about outcome (fame, fortune, awards, ego). It's about human rights, freedom, and opportunity. We should never give those up for fear or lack of courage. We really owe it to the world to share the gifts we all have and showcase the human spirit.

“Fall down seven times, get up eight.”
— Asian Proverb
 
Courage - Kate.jpg

Kate Nicholson

Describe a time when you felt courageous.
I hate to say desperation is the shadow of courage, but sometimes it feels that way. Only when you shine a really bright light do you fully notice it, but it’s always there, lurking. And not necessarily desperation as 'rock bottom,’ but more of a final realization that things just can't stay the same.

To me, courage is the desperate need for change. "Why do I keeping picking the same crap boyfriend, over and over?" becomes "Maybe it's not them, maybe it's me." Ouch. "Why is it so hard to pretend everything is fine when Dad drinks?" becomes "I’m done pretending everything is fine when I live with an alcoholic." Change. When things just can’t stay the same anymore, you have to turn it around and look at it from a perspective of momentum. "What can I do to change, because I can’t keep doing this."

That's what brought me to start a poetry company with my best friend. I know, you're thinking a) poetry company? and b) going into business with your best friend? You're not talking courage, you're talking crazy. And maybe so, maybe change tinged with a touch of crazy is exactly what courage is.

We never intended to start a poetry company. All we wanted was a little honesty. At first it was greeting cards, then it became much more. So how to have the courage to do that? You get really comfortable with your own vulnerability and fear, and do it anyway.

The thing is, as soon as we were real—as the words we wrote were honest and true and we scraped the protective covering off of our wounds and worries, and put that to paper, bare for all to see and read and feel, well, people felt. They felt us. They felt the truth to the words and, they responded. With tears, with sighs, they responded. And, they asked for more. So, out of a greeting card company, a poetry company was born. Now, as a company, we bring true emotions to events and fundraising dinners, to conferences and private parties in the form of poemlets.

That’s the funny thing about courage—it lays deep inside right next to the shame and fear you want to keep most hidden away. Everyone has their own version. I can’t tell you what courage looks like for you, I can only tell you what it looked like for me. It was using my voice, inviting people to hear my inner-most musings, taking the spotlight and shining it right on my words as if to think they had weight enough to matter to anyone else but me. It was the most, is the most still, uncomfortable thing I could do.

But that’s courage. Taking the naked part of you and offering it up for someone else’s gaze, to take in, to evaluate, even to judge. Funny, though, when you’re naked, you have nothing left to hide. Yes, you’re open for utter rejection. But, if you're accepted, it’s absolute.

What advice can you offer others who want to be more courageous?
The thing about courage is that, yeah, you may fail if you go out on a limb and let yourself be vulnerable. But you may not fail. And that feeling—inching outside of your comfort zone and succeeding—well, there’s nothing like it. And there is absolutely no chance of succeeding if you don’t even try. Remember, when it feels heavy and scary, that’s just a message from yourself on the importance of your decision to you. Will you be disappointed in yourself if you don’t follow through? If the answer is yes, then the decision is actually already made. Instead of "if" you’ll be facing the bigger question of "when?"

The other thing about courage is that it’s bigger than that naysayer bully in your head. A LOT bigger. Go ahead and stand up with your courage and wallup that bully down!

 

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Janet Crawford

Describe a time when you felt courageous.
Several years ago, I was beginning to work with a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley who had recently hosted a global conference on innovation. I noted that the percentage of women attending this prestigious by-invite-only event was extremely low (probably less than 10%).  From the inside of the industry, I started to note a number of disturbing trends when it came to including, respecting, listening to, and funding women.

VC is an extremely male culture and at the time, very little attention was being paid to the condition of women in the workplace (it was assumed that the issue was “solved”).  I was the only woman at the firm in a non-support role. I was a newbie to the culture and wanted to be an “insider.” I did NOT want to solidify my first impression as a complaining feminist. I wanted to be known as a leadership and culture strategist, not as the annoying nag constantly playing the gender card.

I’m not sure I would have described the feeling at the time as being courageous.  It was more like a compulsion, but I spoke up strongly and often to point out when women were being left out of the conversation, inaccurate assumptions made about us, etc.  It was simply unacceptable that we were in the 2000’s and this level of marginalization of women from the big conversations shaping the world was still happening, but even worse, happening at the hands of ostensibly well-intentioned men.

What feelings did you have mixed with courage?
Lots of heart-pounding, exhausting fear and anger, sadness, righteous indignation, mixed with hope, resolve, determination, satisfaction and pride.

What happened as a product of your courageous actions?
Two years later, at their subsequent conference, women represented half the speakers AND audience.

What advice can you offer others who want to be more courageous?

  • Do a lot of work on your inner compass.  Know who you are, what you value and what you will and won’t tolerate. Don’t let the outside world define that for you.
  • Know your goals and focus on the end game.
  • Put the situation in perspective. How will you feel about this 10 years from now?  What’s a real threat vs. an imaginary menace? Your mind can cook up some really scary narratives. Pay attention, because it may be giving you good information on how to protect yourself, but don’t let it spin out of control.  The story you tell yourself about what’s happening (or could happen) is often scarier than reality.
  • Take super good care of yourself. A well-cared for body, mind, and spirit are essential.
  • Surround yourself with a posse of support…people who will cheer you on, give you good advice, and reassure you that you’re not taking crazy pills.

 

Susan Goss Brown, from The Hivery's International Women's Day: What It Means to Be a Courageous Woman

 

Thank you Dear Hivery Community for your wisdom, for your support, and for opening your hearts to share your stories of courage.

In Kindness, Creativity, and Community,

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Collaboration Corner: Anne LaFollette & Kim Thompson Steel

The Hivery is not only a gorgeous place to work, meet friends, build community and get inspired. It is also a place to find potential partners. There are countless stories of members who’ve met and collaborated on projects—even built businesses together!


 

We are so excited to highlight
the amazing Hivery collaboration between
Anne LaFollette & Kim Thompson Steel

 

Anne LaFollette and Kim Thompson Steel

Anne LaFollette and Kim Thompson Steel

Tell us a little bit about your backgrounds?

Anne: After 20+ years climbing the corporate ladder at huge global retailers like Esprit, the Gap and Old Navy and achieving "success" at the executive level, I decided it was time for me. This also coincided with my son's departure for college at the Rhode Island School of Design. I thought to myself: he must have gotten his creative talent from somewhere. Maybe it's time I explored my own creativity! And I still have all those art supplies I’ve collected over the years in the basement...

Kim: I'm originally from Toronto where I started my career in animation before moving to California in 1995 to work at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM).  When my daughter was tiny, I was laid off and spent a couple of years freelancing and teaching before deciding that my storytelling skills might translate well in creating short, web-based videos. Photography was just a hobby for me back then, but over time became a passion that led me to where I am currently—pursuing photography projects that encompass my love of natural light, food, landscapes, and lifestyle imagery of makers and their work.

 

How were you two initially connected?

Anne: I met Kim at The Hivery. I was initially a little intimidated by her because she has this amazing background in photography and video from her years working at ILM. ILM and anything associated with George Lucas, the Star Wars films and Pixar is the holy grail! We got to know each other slowly through the concierge team and seeing each other in the space.

Kim: I met Anne through the work exchange/concierge program at The Hivery shortly after she joined. I was inspired by her story of completely switching directions to pursue art and pattern-making after her corporate career. Her enthusiasm and energy were so engaging, and I absolutely loved her designs!

 

How did you come up with the idea to collaborate? Why was it attractive?

Anne: I wanted to work with Kim pretty much from the get go! I would periodically see new websites she had built and they were always gorgeous! But I really couldn't afford her or I wasn't quite ready to make an investment in my business. I built my website myself along with all of my branding assets. But I really love Kim's eye and her photographic style and thought maybe we could collaborate on an "About Me" video and updated photography. It ended up being brilliant. I had so much fun working with her and my video and new product shots and images are absolutely amazing. I wish I had done it sooner and we continue to explore what we might do together next!

Kim: As soon as Anne approached me, I was on board. You can't fake loving someone else's work, and since I am making a conscious choice to work with not only people I like, but do work I appreciate, it was a no-brainer.

 

Who else have you collaborated with at The Hivery and why?

Anne: I'm a natural connector of people. Whenever I meet someone new, I'm immediately thinking about who else I know that they should meet. I haven’t collaborated with anyone else yet, but I've connected a ton of people to other talented women at The Hivery who hopefully will collaborate on something together. A few recent examples include Barbara Waxman, who needed a graphic designer. I sent her the names of five talented Hivery members. She eventually asked me to connect her directly with Monique Johnson of Mojo Design and Tina Wolfe of Treat Street Snacks. Another example is Marci Rinkoff who needed marketing help. I connected her with the fabulous Prim’d marketing team.

Kim: Even though I used to be a concierge (and thus did tours and greeted folks as they arrive), I'm actually a bit introverted and sometimes reluctant to stick my neck out...which is why my collaboration with Anne worked out so well—she did the hard work! I have also done headshots for a few Hivery members including Meghen Kurtzig, Marlis Jansen, Lisa Rueff, and Lisa Joss, as well as helped build websites in Squarespace for Lisa and for Thais Derich. I recently did my first fashion shoot for Lindsay Regan and her new activewear line. I also shoot many events for The Hivery.

 

What is it about The Hivery that allows for such beautiful collaboration?

Anne: There is so much talent at The Hivery. I feel blessed to interact with, learn about, and learn from the women who spend time in the space. Grace has definitely set the tone for collaboration by the events she organizes and the interactions she has with members every day.

Kim: I agree with Anne—the wealth of talent, and the variety of skills that our members possess is truly inspiring. I would be happy working with and for Hivery members almost exclusively. When I do tours on Monday mornings, we always start at the member photo board near the door because, for me, it represents what The Hivery is all about: the community and collaboration that has blossomed from bringing women together in this space.

 

For women who haven't yet found a collaborative partner at The Hivery or elsewhere, what are two or three pieces of advice for them?

Anne: Introduce yourself to someone new everyday. Tell them about what you are working on and show genuine curiosity about what they are working on. Ask other members to introduce you to other members they think you should meet.

Kim: Our online community board, with profiles of all our members and what they do, is a gold mine. If you are looking for a coach, a financial advisor, a photographer, a writer, or anything that your business or life requires, it's so easy to type in what you are looking for and reach out in whatever way is comfortable for you. It’s one of the best benefits of membership!

 

Why is collaborating so important to you?

Anne: Doing everything by yourself is lonely! And there is so much more power and talent that comes from people putting their heads together to solve a problem or develop assets. And it’s fun! Collaboration creates a deeper bond between people as well. I not only know Kim better now but I appreciate her talent even more after our collaboration because I witnessed her talent in action. It was a beautiful experience to behold! I can't wait to collaborate with her again soon.

Kim: As someone who worked in a team environment for many years, I often found the years of working from home depressing and demotivating. Working on projects with someone is inspiring and brings so much energy and deeply-needed light to my life. And even when I'm working on an independent project, coworking at The Hivery offers that sense of camaraderie that working alone at home will never offer.


The Video Story Kim created with Anne

Elle Luna and Susie Herrick on Freeing the Feminine Voice and Speaking Your Truth

We are so excited to host Elle Luna and Susie Herrick on The Hivery stage at the March 13th Hivery Circle to launch their new book, YOUR STORY IS YOUR POWER: Free Your Feminine Voice. We sat down with Elle and Susie in advance of this special event to hear more about their collaboration and to get a sneak preview of their upcoming book.   

We love the idea for your book! Where did it come from?

Susie: For me, the idea came years ago after having an interaction with my father that changed my perspective on how I should work with my internal world and my internalized misogyny. I wanted to get my dad to stop criticizing my mom, but every time I thought about saying something I realized that there was an underlying feeling of getting killed for standing out. It didn’t make sense until I did some research and learned that some of my ancestors were in the Salem witch trials. There was a transmission process of terror that had gone through generations.

Wow, that is fascinating. How did you approach your father?

Susie: I was having a phone conversation with him and he was arguing with my mother about how she hadn’t involved him in planning her birthday party, telling her she was betraying the marriage. It was at that moment that I knew something was wrong. I told him how I felt, we argued and I hung up on him—something I’d never done. I then wrote him an email telling him it was time to stop speaking and treating my mother that way and to start aligning with women.

He took it well, shared it with friends, sent me flowers, and emailed me back. It was the first time I saw what it meant to work internally and effect the external. I had an unconscious misogyny that I had been working at for a long time at that point. It ended up turning into my book Aphrodite Emerges: The Journey That Changed My Life – And Changed My Father’s Too, which came out in 2017. Elle illustrated it, which was magic.

Elle, what was it about the topic of freeing your feminine voice that resonated with you?

Elle: Right after the Women’s March in early 2017, my editor from Workman Publishing [the publisher who released Elle’s bestseller The Crossroads of Should and Must] reached out. She’d seen Susie’s book and asked if we wanted to do a book that would build on everything happening since Trump was elected. We started working on this new book in spring 2017 and finished it in early October. It was really fast.

I became passionate about this work because of the work that was rising to the surface in my internal world. Susie and I talk a lot about the moment we discovered internalized cultural misogyny. For me, it was my internal voice that pointed me to this. I used to call it my inner critic, but after a while I was starting to realize that it wasn’t just a critic—it was hateful and it was commenting on my femininity.

The more I worked with that voice, the better I felt. It was all about bringing awareness.

Why do you think the topic of freeing the feminine voice is so important right now?

Elle: I think things are coming up to the surface right now—the #MeToo movement, the election. In the book, we write about why feminine power is the best way forward. Women have so many natural strengths and gifts. Everything from the innate ability to create beautiful spaces, to stepping forward to protect the natural world, to coming together to solve enormous problems facing our planet.

Susie: I look at the proliferation of beauty that has come from Elle alone—what she has put out in the universe—and it has to do with her ability to look at herself and put out what is raw and what is true. I think there is a need for that right now. Women have an innate way of collecting together and coming up with exquisite things. I think the time is now to step into that power.


Elle Luna is a designer, painter, and writer, and the author of The Crossroads of Should and Must. She facilitates the global art movement #The100DayProject, and has previously worked as a designer at IDEO and with teams on apps and websites, including Medium, Mailbox, and Uber. Ms. Luna speaks to groups around the world and lives in San Francisco and online at elleluna.com and on Instagram at @elleluna.

Susie Herrick is a licensed psychotherapist, Enneagram teacher, mediator, trainer, consultant, and writer. She has taught, coached, and mentored more than two thousand graduate students in counseling psychology over the past 25 years. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Limited signed copies of YOUR STORY IS YOUR POWER: Free Your Feminine Voice will be available for purchase for $17.95 at the end of the March 13th Hivery Circle.

Please feel free to come alone and mingle with your Hivery community or bring a friend. ALL ARE WELCOME at this beautiful celebration of courage and The Power of She: United We Thrive! As seats are limited, advance online registration is required. 

Gratitude to our event sponsor

International Women’s Day: Courage

Happy March Dear Community! Over the next 30 days, The Hivery is celebrating The Power of She: United We Thrive with inspirational, empowering events and storytelling, starting with a panel discussion on International Women's Day, Thursday, March 8th. The event, What It Means to Be a Courageous Woman, will feature a performance by the Marin Girl’s Chorus, insights from a collection of incredible women, and an inspiring conversation with our community.

Recently, we sat down with three of the evening’s panelists to get a sneak preview and capture their thoughts on courage. Here is what they had to say...


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Nikki Silvestri, founder and CEO, Soil and Shadow, a project development firm working to create systems of change while improving relationships between communities:

What does it mean to be a courageous woman?
Having the guts to face life as it is—instead of life as we want it to be.

Who are some of the courageous women in your life and why?
My dear friend Vonda Vaden Bates, who lost her husband to hospital error and has taken on patient safety as a result. My mother, who has stamina for life’s challenges in a way I can’t even comprehend. My business partner Ryan, who pivoted from Olympic athlete to serving athletes through massage therapy—healing those who really need it.

What are some misconceptions about courage?
That courage and fear are mutually exclusive. Fear is strongest when we have the most courage.

What advice can you offer women who aren't feeling especially courageous at the moment?
What you are feeling is enough. Go deeper into it, and eventually you will move through it to the action you’re meant to take.

 


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Linda Calhoun, executive director, Career Girls, a video-based career exploration tool for girls that focuses on jobs in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM):

What does it mean to be a courageous woman?
Being courageous means that even with fear so great that it makes your whole body tremble, you summon the will, the resolve to do what needs to be done or speak the truth that needs to be heard.

 

Who are some of the courageous women in your life and why?
My paternal grandmother immediately comes to mind. She was born and raised in rural Massie’s Mill, Virginia, located in the Blue Ridge Mountains. She was one of eight children born to a very poor subsistence farmer and a maid. She never went beyond eighth grade, but after my father and three of his siblings all left the area to find higher wages and escape Jim Crow segregation, she insisted that my grandfather and the two remaining children pick up their stakes and join the rest of the family in Connecticut.

At first, my grandfather balked. Despite racism and poverty, he had an extended family that enjoyed some creature comforts derived from bootlegging. He did not want to leave. She responding by telling him that she was going to leave (with or without him) and take their two youngest children with her.

Understanding that she would not back down, he relented and went from earning 10¢ per hour in a coal mine to earning enough money to buy a truck and a suburban lot. She had the courage to uproot herself and her children, with no income and an eighth-grade education, to create a much better life for her family.

What are some misconceptions about courage?
The biggest misconception is that courage means the absence of fear. It is exactly the opposite. You take action in the face of fear. You believe in yourself, the world, and the universe that somehow you will be able to face whatever is on the other side of that decision.

What advice can you offer women who aren't feeling especially courageous at the moment?
My advice is to remember. Remember whom you are descended from. Remember what they endured or suffered to bring you to this point. Remember how you have overcome past struggles and obstacles. And, remember who you are. I know who I am and what is important to me. In addition, be pro-active. Prepare for the worst. Not only have a plan A, but also B, C, and D. Knowing that I have created a plan of action for every worrisome scenario gives me enormous peace of mind.

 


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Julie Castro Abrams, founder and CEO, How Women Lead, a Bay Area network for the promotion of diverse women’s voices:

What does it mean to be a courageous woman?
Women are conditioned toward certain behaviors like care taking, saying yes, pleasing others, and letting others have airtime. So truthfully, courage shows up in every day ways that may not be defined as courageous. Saying no can be an act of courage. Speaking your truth and asking for your fair share is courageous. When someone interrupts you and takes your words away, standing up and demanding to be heard is courageous. Standing up for your own family, your community, for their rights and safety is courageous.

Who are some of the courageous women in your life and why?
Today I am going to say it is Emma Gonzalez. She is standing up strong and using her voice. Emma shows us you don’t have to be THE expert and have all the answers to know the difference between right and wrong. She has a right to speak up and stand up.

What are some misconceptions about courage, in your opinion?
Misconceptions:

  • Courage is about guns and risking our lives.
  • Courage is stepping out regardless of the cost to others.
  • Courage is loud and white and male and heterosexual.

What advice can you offer women who aren't feeling especially courageous at the moment?
First look at your life with generosity of spirit. Identify three times you have been courageous in your life. Did you know you were being courageous at the time? What were the circumstances? Are you the same person? Thank yourself—be proud of yourself. Now think about three times this month you have moved out of your comfort zone to stand up for yourself or others to take action. OR…Just ask your friends to tell you where they see you being courageous. They know!

 


We look forward to celebrating
International Women’s Day with you!