At some point in our lives we’ll stop counting anniversaries and birthdays. The excruciating days will blend into weeks and morph into months that create distant memories that we tally off into years. Life will continue to evolve and as we pull over to the side of the road and utter, breathlessly, “How did we get here?” a car’s horn will blow or our pocket will buzz with a casual SMS from a distant friend, pulling us away from all memories and back what’s here and what’s now.
For the past is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and all words are cast in clichés and prose.
Four years ago this week, I stayed up way-too-late writing my first ever blog post and hitting publish.
Launching this blog was one of the best decisions I’ve made. It gave me a place to establish my voice and my personal brand, a platform to launch multiple speaking engagements, and been the link to a number of jobs (yes, the kind that comes with money).
It has also given me many late night sessions, freaking out about how to explain what the chaos I do here. It has given me endless amounts of jealousy towards all of the fashion and food bloggers in the world who can synthesize exactly what they write about in once smooth, succinct sentence. A luxury that I do not have, should not have here, and yet always want. (Sigh.)
This blog has given me friendships and access to some of the most inspiring people that I know. It has given me a place to tell the stories that I was born to tell and an outlet to let my creativity travel in a direction that I never knew was possible.
And it gave me the opportunity to come out as the person that I’ve been my entire life.
And where will it take me and where will I take it? Only the next chapter will tell.
Happy fourth birthday, lamiki! Thank you for joining me for the ride.
Happy to report that Shanley’s campaign was fully funded! Thank you for all of your help!
When your friends are bloggers located on the other side of the country, buying drinks to catch up after a hard day or to celebrate a monumental victory can be, well, impossible. And sending them birthday wishes after Facebook reminds you of their special day is so passé.
Let’s be real, thirty seconds of your time typing out “happy birthday” on Facebook is not meaningful.
A New Kind of Birthday Gift
Meet my friend Shanley Knox. Shanley is a writer and social entrepreneur. At 20, she launched her first social enterprise. And this year for her 25th birthday, she’s doing what other 25-year-olds are not: trading in her birthday drinks to raise money for her second social enterprise. This time, it’s to launch Olivia Knox, which aims to change the face of manufacturing through refined East African craftsmanship that will supply luxury and lifestyle designers globally.
Through Olivia Knox, Shanley plans to raise labor standards and provide regular wages for a group of 40 female workers in Uganda, an area of the world where women are often marginalized and abused in professional working environments. Not just one or two, 40.
In her words:
She’s less than $700 away from reaching her goal and has less than four days to reach it; her campaign ends on Friday, January 31st, 2014 at 11:59 PT.
I already bought a round of drinks. Want to grab the next birthday cocktail or birthday beer?
What do you say, shall we contribute a few birthday drinks to Shanley’s campaign?
You can make your donation through her campaign on Indiegogo, here: Have Birthday Drinks with Shanley for Uganda.
Photos courtesy of Shanley Knox
When I started working in book publishing, every week we’d hear about a local brick-and-mortar bookstore that was closing it’s doors due to the rise of Internet resellers and big box stores (RIP Borders) that were killing off our local independents. (Watch You’ve Got Mail if you missed this part of recent history.)
We aren’t naive any more. We learned through the grassroots “shop local” campaigns that gained momentum in 2007 and went mainstream when American Express launched Small Business Saturday in 2010. We know that if we want our favorite independent retailers to stick around, we have to put our money where our mouths are or these stores will disappear.
Meet Sheri Hauser, the owner of Tasty, an art and gift shop specializing in homemade, eclectic, and colorful collectibles located between the Greenwood and Phinney Ridge neighborhoods in Seattle.
When you walk into her shop, you’re greeted by bright green and pink walls and artwork from familiar faces like Justin Hillgrove’s Imps & Monsters intermixed with sculptures created from found objects. There are necklaces made with the most divine gemstones and handmade patchwork pillows that you wish your grandma knew how to make. As you move through the store, the walls are adorned from top-to-bottom with a mix of vintage, retro, and rockabilly artwork and style. It’s like you walk into a classic 1950s neighborhood shop but with 1990s edge.
On the last weekend before Christmas, I walked into Tasty for the first time. But before I could peek through the picture windows I saw the sign in big bold letters: CLOSING JANUARY 31, 2014. TASTY LOVES YOU, PHINNEYWOOD.
As I shopped, a regular popped into the store and greeted Sheri with open arms and asked, ”Aren’t you sad that you’re closing?”
And Sheri answered with a smile: “What are you talking about? I’ve been living my dream and now I get to start a new career!”
Sheri’s optimism at a time of change confused me. I have so many friends that have poured their hearts and souls into building their own businesses and the collapse of which would not leave them facing their customers with a smile. I needed to know more about this – about Tasty, Sheri, and the arts scene in Seattle. So I sat down to interview Sheri and learn more about the story of Tasty. Read the rest of this entry »
Prompt #28 (Nov 30)
You made it! Congratulations! Today, reflect on your NaBloPoMo goals and what you learned this month. Write about writing.
What they learned:
- Lessons Learned from NaBloPoMo 2013 by Madeline on Edible Joy
Prompt #27 (Nov 29)
They say it takes a village to raise a child, but it also takes a community to raise a person. These communities can get a traditional community and also a specific group of friends. What is one community that has helped you grow?
Meet these writers’ village:
- My Four Pillars of Community by Harmony on Harmonious Mess