For The Girls February 19 2016, 0 Comments
The message was breathless.
That’s the best way I can describe it, and although I don’t remember it word for word, Tamara’s reaction about receiving chocolate pretzel granola in her mailbox was nothing short of euphoric. The package she received on that November afternoon in 2013 had made her day.
Tamara was one of several friends around the country that I had enlisted to beta test the four inaugural flavors of Hippie Chick Granola for me. In each shipment, were four to eight variations of a single flavor along with a questionnaire for the testers to complete about taste, texture, and preference. Tamara was and still is one of the biggest cheerleaders I know. She’s a good friend, and one who always has a compliment or encouragement or at the time, a non-stop dialogue of supportive words about my starting the business.
Tamara had made it sound as if she had found gold in her mailbox, the day the chocolate pretzel granola arrived. She was so through-the- roof excited in her message, that I remember thinking to myself, “If this granola makes it to the shelf, I need to name it Tamara’s Blend.”
And Boom. There it was. The big idea.
I would name the different granola blends after women who were special to me.
The women whom I celebrate through the names of the Hippie Chick granola blends are just a handful of women who have inspired me, empowered me, and supported me through highs and lows and challenges. I can tell you this with certainty: I can face just about any obstacle thrown at me when a posse of women have my back.
I am blessed with a wonderful circle of female friends, friends who listen, friends who empathize, friends who show up, and friends who keep my secrets. I know how fortunate I am to have this and I honor these relationships.
I’ve met a number of women through the years who have chosen to avoid close relationships with other females due to betrayals in their past that have interfered with their ability to trust. We’ve all had negative experiences with friends. There was someone, maybe more than one, friend in middle school or high school, who gossiped about you or stole a boyfriend, or compared herself to you or put you down to make herself feel superior. And it doesn’t stop there. There are a number of high school “mean girls” who transition into insecure adults, who spend their lives comparing and competing and manipulating.
But their game has nothing to do with us. It’s their own misery that causes it. And every time you deny yourself an opportunity for connection with other people due to a former bad experience, all you’re doing is allowing a piece of your past to hold power over your present.
This is one of the most important lessons that I will teach my daughters:
To seek female friendship and to nurture those friendships. And while it’s ok to walk away from the drama queens and the saboteurs and the emotional vampires, hang onto the solid friends, the trustworthy friends, the positive friends, with everything you’ve got. And just as important: be that friend to others.
During the third week of February in 2014, the first set of flavor blend labels for our packaging arrived.
They were the labels for Tamara’s Blend, our chocolate pretzel granola.
During a month where I had second guessed much about the direction I was heading with this new business, those labels felt so right and they looked beautiful.
They were a tangible reminder that I was on track. And that so much of the reason I was on track, was that I had an amazing group of women who had supported me.
Every time I place a bag of granola on the shelf of the bakery emblazoned with the names of the “Hippie Chick Girls, “ I get to tell their story, and I get to tell their story in relation to how it intersects with mine.
I also get to tell the story that I want for all of you. It’s a story about opening our hearts and letting love in and dropping our armor. It’s a story that reminds us that we’re all more alike than we are different and that whether we choose to realize it or not, we’re all more connected than we are separate.
It’s a story that begs for our input. So let’s give it all we’ve got and make it a good one.