We've been out of the mountains for 7 months now. Seven months, and I'm still trying to figure out what life's supposed to be like. Get into a routine. Reposition myself into this new life of the usual mother, partner, web designer roles, but also where I fit into my new roles in new friendships, business guru at the space, and as a part of our extended family.
I often find myself thinking a lot about my dreams for where I want to be. Full-time web designer, or full-time entrepreneur cheerleader? Or part-time each, and which gets what part?
Dreams. What's my dream?
What's your dream?
I talk about dreams a lot. Not the ones that you have in the middle of the night, and not just my dreams. I talk to David about his dreams, I talk to our Indies to help them discover their dreams. Goals. Path. Purpose.
Dream customers. Dream jobs. Dream experiences.
Monday David and I had the pleasure of being a recipient of a pint of the elusive Shirey Ice Cream. I'll be honest, sometimes, maybe more often than not, my dreams involve ice cream. And I know David's does.
This ice cream was a dream. And talking to the ice cream-maker, Reese, was a dream encounter. He's my dream customer.
Reese is finishing up his last semester of college, and as I penciled in a meeting date for after graduation, I wished him good luck with finals. He shrugged his shoulders, then said something to the effect of, "Whatever, I'm not worried. I'm going to be an entrepreneur."
If I could make every person who walked into the space live life with that attitude, I would be in a constant dream state.
Guys, here's the stuff that dreams are made of: passion.
Passion makes us realize what matters, what makes us produce quality products, and what builds our dreams. It allows us to see through the muck, and focus on our goal. Reese has the passion, and he's not afraid of it. And he's going to rock his own world.
I admire the hell out of that, and find it so inspiring.
For me, I'm working on my own passion, and figuring out how to best organize my time to be most effective. My passion for many years has been micro-businesses. Creative entrepreneurs. Through Indie Spaces and Indie Shopography I breathe, eat, and sleep my passion.
What's yours? What's your dream? What's your passion? Promise me that you won't be afraid of it.
Back in college we used to throw great dinner parties. I'd cook up a big meal of jambalaya or lasagna or white chicken chili, invite over a friend-couple and one of our professors, pop open several bottles of wine, and spend the evening chatting.
We'd talk department politics, actual politics, wine, books, research, wine, movies, local happenings, and wine. These dinners happened almost weekly and I loved them. So much.
At that time Lily was about a year old, and I was still breaking into motherhood. As a young mother with a young family, it was very gratifying to feel so grown up, with all the wine and cooking and politics. It made me feel good. Worldly, even.
Then, we moved to the mountains and life changed.
When we decided to move again, back to our hometown, I envisioned reliving these dinner parties every weekend. Nine bottles of wine, carbs, and good conversation. What more could a girl want?
But, the friend-couple now lives on the west coast and our lives aren't crossing with that of the professor very often anymore. My family's life has changed immensely.
However, I'm still getting that gratifying feeling, but in a very different way.
My new "dinner party moments" come from cups of tea, sitting at tables in various locations, chatting with kick-ass, local, young professionals. We talk about local politics, creativity, books, growth, creativity, movies, local happenings, and creativity.
You know, those moments when you just don't want to leave. The company is good and the conversations are better.
I have a new dinner party.
I wholeheartedly believe that significant growth comes from recognizing positive changes and pushing them forward. For me, it's recognizing my new dinner party moments – those moments in my life in which I wish I could stay forever – and making room for more of them in my life.
And I will be making more room.
For the past 3 months I've been working on a top secret project with Florence Main Street to launch a fundraising campaign to add movie projection equipment to the Shoals Theatre in downtown Florence.
The Shoals Theatre is an icon in downtown Florence. It's a fabulous theatre that was built in the 1940s, with bright lights, painted a brilliant red, and with a very ritzy, jazzy vibe that is exuded from all theaters built during that era.
It has always made me swoon.
This theatre was originally opened as a movie house, but when big movie theatre monsters moved into town several decades ago, the theatre scrambled, ditched it's movie equipment, and became a live production house, hosting musical events and plays.
Now, we want to round out the offerings of the Shoals Theatre to make it an all-around art house, offering music, plays, and film.
Starting February 1st, with a smashing event that will be announced just after the first of the year, we'll embark on a month-long campaign to raise the funds necessary to put up-to-date movie projection equipment back into the theatre. We're talking HD digital equipment. The good stuff.
Our hopes for the theatre is to offer showings of classic, indie, and foreign films. We're not about to compete with Carmike across town, but bring genres to the Shoals that aren't readily available.
Just picture it now: a Friday night downtown, having some yummy Italian (or Mexican, Asian, or American) food, strolling around through downtown shops, and then watching an award winning indie film that you couldn't see anywhere between here and Nashville.
Sounds fun, right?
Then get ready to help!
On Thursday, January 3rd at 5:30PM, I will be hosting a Community Interest Meeting for the project at my new Indie Spaces located at 112 N. Court St. in downtown Florence. We'll still be in the pre-opening phase, but are excited to invite in folks interested in helping Florence Main Street make this campaign a success.
We'll be discussing the project, the budget and fundraising opportunities, events, and be open to ideas for how to reach out to our community. Keep up to date with event info on the Facebook event page.
This will be a community-funded project, so the support and help from all Shoals folks will be needed to fulfill this very exciting project!
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com or Teryl Shields, the director of Florence Main Street, at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll both be very happy to help.
This week is a big and exciting week for me here at Indie Shopography. I've taken the week off of usual projects for a very new type of project.
This week, I'm hitting the town.
Over the next few days I'll be skipping around downtown Florence meeting with shopkeeps and inviting them to lunch.
My 3 in 30 free consulting campaign has been such a fun success I've decided to extend it to local entrepreneurs with a free lunch and learn campaign.
Just imagine it: me, you, a yummy boxed lunch. Chatting for a few about your hardest online questions, like how do you reach your ideal audience? In what ways can you stay true to your brand in social media? And, what website solutions will work best for your business?
The questions are so numerous, and I'm here to help you.
There's a fun and new little part of the Indie Shopography site just for you locals, too.
I look forward to meeting my local shopkeeps, inviting them for lunch, and guiding them through their online strategy. Here I come, Florence.
I have a confession to make: until a few weeks ago you couldn't pay me to drink beer.
I love wine. I love cocktails. I hate beer. That's just how it's been for as long as I've been a drinker.
However, since falling in love with gin, which I also used to hate, I've been mulling it over in my head that I need to give beer another chance.
Back in August I went to Chattanooga to hang out with La, and one night we went to Brewhaus. I did something crazy: I drank a pint of beer.
I will admit that I did it because I didn't want to be the only idiot in there drinking wine. I succumbed to the pressure to be just like everyone else.
And it wasn't bad.
Since then I've enjoyed a couple of specialty beers from our local wine shop, and I think I'm finally becoming David's dream girl.
Then, this past weekend, we were at a sad attempt of an Oktoberfest, sitting in the "beer garden," when I tried a locally brewed beer, Truck Stop Honey.
And it was actually really, really good.
So, a locally-made beer, with a cool design, a decent website, that I actually enjoy. Yea, I'll be stocking my fridge with it, for sure.
And so, I guess I'm officially a beer drinker.
I don't expect that I'll be downing Guinness anytime soon, but maybe someday.