When you enter into this thing called blogging, you wonder if what you're doing actually matters, means anything, if it gains traction with people, anyone really, or am I just putting myself out there to an empty audience. It is weird. Social media is weird. IT'S JUST WEIRD, AND I'M OKAY BEING HONEST ABOUT IT. It takes time to wrap your mind around it, but it's absolutely worth it to pursue a passion and dream.
In September of last year, I was reached out to by The Sparrow Studio to partner together. The Sparrow Studio is a marketplace based out of Denver that collaborates with artisans in vulnerable communities to create beauty and hope. Working with artisans in Rwanda, Ecuador, Haiti, and a few Native American groups, they strive to invest in the skills of those artisans and build a marketplace for their craft in the United States.
My connection to them is through Lost Valley Ranch, the guest ranch I worked on post-grad for several years and the place I met my husband Joel. This alone was enough for me to be like YES. A few hours after posting while wearing their Stay Golden Necklace, I received a comment from my friend Anna who went to Mississippi State with me, and was a Chi Omega in the pledge class below me.
Side note: Anna and I lived across from each other in the Chi Omega house my senior year, her junior, on the "short hall." Now, the Phi Delta chapter of Chi O at State is pretty fabulous with a new renovation, including such luxuries as beverages being available all day and a chapter room that doesn't have to be reset to eat meals (it is HIGH CLASS), with our "short hall" now a conference room. We LOVED the short hall. I mean, it provided a decent amount of privacy considering we lived in a house with 40 other girls. We even had little tags on our doors that we could flip between "Vacuum" and "Don't Vacuum" depending on if our 2 x 4 feet of floor space was dirty enough (Basically enough space to hold hands across beds with your roommate). It was an awesome experience, and I look back on it fondly and nostalgically with so much love.
Side note 2: During our time at State, Anna was unexpectedly interviewed and chosen to be in a Dr. Pepper scholarship contest. They asked her what she would do if she won a million dollars. She said she wanted to finish college, be in the Peace Corps, and go to grad school. Well, Anna ended up with her face on a Dr. Pepper can, and has accomplished 2 of her 3 wishes. How's that for pursuit of a dream?
My comment from Anna sent chills through me. I knew Anna had been living in Rwanda spending time in the Peace Corps. We had reconnected in 2015/2016 during my engagement when I needed her Rwandan address to send her a wedding invitation. In the comment, Anna told me that she was in Abraham's shop in Kigali, the artisan who made my necklace, earlier that day, and that she too had chills when she saw me in the necklace; she knew him. What?!?! DAH. He wondered how I had the necklace, and she was able to share my connection to The Sparrow Studio with him. I'm still wrapping my head around it. Of all the artisans! In all the towns! Anna knew him! I can't!
Fast forward a few months, to January 2018. I received a package in the mail from Anna. She had written me a card and included a necklace in the package. Her card read that she had shown Abraham my Instagram, and he had specifically chosen that necklace to give to me to wear. My partnership with The Sparrow Studio and my Chi O sisterhood with Anna had been that impactful.
So, all this to be said, it only takes one. Thank you Anna and Abraham (& The Sparrow Studio - who I look forward to partnering with again soon!) for teaching me and reminding me that what I'm venturing into is worth it. This alone was enough to rock my world. Thank you for the connection, the gift of the story this brought, and the reminder to follow a dream, just like Anna has with her 3 wishes that she's making realities, and Abraham is with his artisanship. So, fellow bloggers, non-bloggers, anyone needing to hear it...keep going! Encouragements like this come along and make it all worth it. And more than anything, they keep it all in perspective.