So I was walking down the streets of my new hometown – Chicago – which I’m loving by the way and I ran into a young man who asked me ‘do you love art?’ And he was a young man of african-american descent (not that it matters, for real) and I said yes – I do love art. And he told me was selling art and I asked for what purpose and he said his mom told him to sell some stuff to help pay for his new iphone. I saw his owl photo on top of the stack and I said – I will pay you for that one. $0.75 came out of my purse and I was all the lighter for this cool interaction.
I just want to give a shout out to my 4th grade art teacher – Mr. Bowen. I don’t know where you are now or if you remember me but it was a Life Changing experience when you took me aside and said, ‘it's okay if you are different from all of these other people and that's okay – you are gifted and talented and go with that.’ I paraphrase but that was the feeling. You helped me believe in myself and pursue my individuality and I am eternally grateful to you for that. Thank you Mr. Bowen!!!!
It has certainly been an interesting year as I reflect on 2017. One of the fundamental things I know about myself is that I have to feel a certain amount of ‘momentum’ in life . . . . a sense that I’m going somewhere and learning something – and making a difference in the world. And I’ve been doing that on a certain level for a long time now but I feel that I’m ready to move to the next level – and it’s very exciting and grounding at the same time.
In this past year I learned a whole lot about digital innovation as I created and led a project in my family business to overhaul their sales and marketing processes and invest in new systems. I love systems – I have to admit. I love things that make your job easier and make more sense and allow you to focus on the real stuff . . . such as generating new business – creating new ideas – or finding new ways to do things. Along the way, I’ve learned that it truly is a crazy world we live in these days. I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve heard about automation and artificial intelligence and machine learning in the past year . . . and I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. But I also feel a calling to help make these things both palatable and more human for us all. I love innovation and technology just as much as anyone else . . . but I also appreciate the old school values and knowledge and history of not just where we are going but where we came from.
It feels that things are changing at an increasingly fast pace and I embrace that but I also want to emphasize the need – for myself and others – to stay grounded in who you are and why you are here. For a very long time I have believed in and cared about the empowerment of individuals and this intention and energy is behind all of the products I make and sell. I’ve always said that my real job is consciousness. I do believe that every individual on this planet has unique gifts and if you can awaken them and be in line with your own true nature – we will all make a better planet, together. As Steve Jobs once said, “if you think you can change the world, you will.”