Last weekend I was in New York for my first market week, and I came back rejuvenated and more excited than ever to build this business.
Throughout my retail career, I believed I was most passionate about product. I love seeing what designers create, I love hearing the story behind the design and the inspiration, and I love envisioning how these products will come to life. Since I left my previous job, product has been very hypothetical, and my interactions with designers has been limited. Now, it's real again. I had the opportunity to speak with individuals who made some incredible garments - from concept to finished product - and discovered new brands that I would love to carry in Hazel & Rose (more on that in a future post).
However, after this weekend I realized: although I still love the product, it was being around people again that was motivating me. Not only did I spend time meeting designers in New York, but I also caught up with friends who now live there, and I made some new connections with bloggers that I've been following and for which I have a great deal of respect. These interactions kept me on task and alert, and they caused me to ask and answer questions I had not yet encountered.
I am an extrovert, and my career until recently was spent working on teams with which I connected and shared mutual challenges. I knew that working independently (and from the confines of my apartment) would be a change, but I did not anticipate just how big an impact it would have, because I had never experienced working this way before*.
I certainly cannot spend all my time with other people, because there's no one to do the work for Hazel & Rose but me. But I can be more intentional about how much time I spend alone and with others, both in a social and business capacity. As I plan my tasks, I make time for connecting with mentors and former colleagues, friends, and reaching out to new people with shared interests. It feels like a treat, but I know that it is benefiting both the business and my personal wellbeing.
*I talk to my dogs a lot more than I used to. Not, like, "doggy talk", either. I have deliberate, albeit one-sided, conversations with them. They usually just roll over so I'll rub their belly while I talk at them.