Looking back, I have much to be thankful for in my life. I was born at the very end of the Baby-Boomer generation, the first in my family to graduate from high school and college.
I realize how lucky I was to be able to achieve that goal and with that comes the responsibility to give back. From the time I reached adulthood, I have been seeking ways to volunteer, specifically encouraging and supporting young girls in their quest for knowledge and self-realization. Some of my most rewarding moments occurred as a girl scout leader and science mentor.
As a boutique owner I find small ways to be thankful for what I have and to give back to others. Whenever possible I buy products from small scale producers both here and abroad. Buying fair trade puts the money into the hands of the women producing these items. Ceramics from Nicaragua, metalwork from Haiti, scarves and pouches from Guatemala are just some of the items available in our boutique. Products hand made in the USA can be found scattered through out the store: soap and jewelry from Quakertown, and hand-crafted jewelry from up and down the east coast.
The most rewarding part of owning a boutique is seeing a woman shine in an outfit that seems to be made just for her. As we get older it is more difficult to find just the right outfit, we do the work for you, looking for quality construction that makes you look good and feel confident. As Barnes states in his book, Face to Face, “Looking good leads to feeling good, feeling good leads to empowerment. Feeling good commands respect”. “There is a direct correlation between inner beauty and outer beauty – the way you see yourself is the way others view you also”. I use this principle often in my job, I have outfits that make me feel powerful, when I have a scheduled meeting that I am feeling somewhat apprehensive about I put on one of my “power outfits”. That boosts my confidence and I am here to tell you it does work.
I love when a woman comes back to tell me she receives complements every time she wears an outfit from our boutique and I am thankful for that. As you shop this holiday season give yourself and someone else a reason to be thankful. Spread the “thankfulness” as far as possible. Somewhere in the world a small artisan is thankful for your purchase that feeds her family. We are thankful for your purchase which supports our family, you are thankful that you have the means to support others and those who love you will be thankful that you “shine” in your new outfit.