“THE MORE I USE MY STRENGTH IN THE SERVICE OF MY VISION, THE LESS I AM AFRAID.” – AUDRE LORDE
It's been over a year since I dove into entrepreneurship with Ethel Studio. While I've had some small tastes of selling my wares in the past, nothing compares to the deep dive I took with Ethel Studio after moving to Minneapolis in 2018. It's been a wild ride so far, with more twists and turns ahead, but I do know one thing for sure: Entrepreneurship is …. HARD.
It's consuming, exhilarating, liberating, terrifying, frustrating, confusing, murky, depressing, and yet deeply fulfilling.
One moment it uplifts and the next it slaps you in the face and pushes you to the ground.
I now understand first hand how I've heard people say being an entrepreneur is the most spiritual experience they ever had: because it requires you to go there. To the depths of yourself, breaking you apart, and testing to see if you can still hold yourself together. Testing how much you can handle and testing if you're listening enough to your body to know when you've got to take a break to rest. It makes you question everything and requires you to see your flaws, strengths, weaknesses, mistakes without filter. A wise person once told me they would never wish entrepreneurship upon their worst enemy. But somehow I’m still here, still going, loving it and wanting more.
Ethel Studio has seen a lot over the past year: lots of e-commerce orders and a growing number of dear wholesale partners and ambassadors. I've interviewed individuals for the Why I Meditate interview series which has been such an honor and privilege to take time to speak with incredible people about their lives, how they found meditation, and what their unique take on meditation is. (More interviews coming soon!) We've saved A LOT of fabric from landfill or incinerator (actual numbers also coming soon!) in our initiative to eliminate pre-consumer textile waste. We've worked with local designers and university students in finding solutions for their fabric scraps, which is so rewarding to me to spread the fabric scrap love and inspire zero-waste design. I've brought on an amazing assistant, Katie Oberton of West Ash Designs, who has contributed hours of sorting fabric scraps and offering much moral support to me along the way. Thank you, Katie!
So yes, entrepreneurship is the hardest thing I've ever done, but hands down the most rewarding and strengthening thing I've ever done. I find myself more easily trusting my gut response to things - something that was masked by my inner critic in the past is something that I am starting to tune into more and more. The relationships I’ve been building along the way and the feedback I get from customers of how they are now meditating consistently or their back issues have gone away, is worth every drop of blood, sweat, and tears.
For this I am truly grateful.