It's About Living Better, Thoughts of the Day

Beautiful Hankies

When I was a girl, I remember seeing Grandma with an apron in the kitchen and a small hankie in the pocket of that apron.  In the hankie was a small round box of snuff. Close by was her coffee can (we won’t talk about that).  She had a quilting frame hanging from the ceiling and a sewing basket was always nearby.  She sat in “her chair”, sometimes with her feet propped up, always with a hankie in her pocket or sitting in her lap.

It was white, most of the time. Sometimes it had lace, or ruffles, sometimes it was thin and transparent. Sometimes it appeared to be more of a face cloth.  But, ALWAYS a hankie on her person.

On the other side of town, Great Granny (other side of the family) rocked in her chair on the braided rug. She died when I was about 9, so my memories of her are not as complete.  She cooked, sewed (in fact she smocked our dresses), and could tell good stories when she wanted us to take a rest on her big bed with the chenille bedspread and tufted pillows. She always wore an apron (hankie inside the pocket).

Mom gave me Great Granny’s apron when I started my Hope Chest, at 16.  It was the first item to go in! It hangs proudly in my laundry room on a faux clothesline.  The pocket has clothes pins in it, a safety pin through it and a hankie peeking out, of course.apron

Her hankies were printed, I know because I gave her some for Christmas. It was a box of three! I wanted to buy them because I saw her using Grandpa’s handkerchief once and it seemed so big in her tiny hands.  I was so proud to give her that gift. Mom let me deliver the Avon brochures to earn the $.75 it cost to purchase that box with the cellophane lid.

Her daughter in law, my Granny, used elegant hankies. Her’s were more costly, I supposed,  and fancy, as she was the first woman in our family to become a business woman. She was very fashionable, could design clothing and then sew them for the public.  She mixed face powder downtown in her regular job and later took up bowling tournaments to win a little on the side. She finally landed in Real Estate, joining the Million Dollar Circle when I was 14.  She pinned her hankie to her dress with a sweet brooch in the 30’s, kept one in her bowling bag at all times and I found one folded neatly inside her Bible when I was a child sitting in church. She used her beautiful hankie to wipe my mouth clean of the Ruby Shock red lipstick from mom’s Avon box when she came for a visit. And in her 90’s, she kept one in her hand or pocket to wipe her eyes as age related Macular Degeneration slowly and viciously stole the vision from her soft blue eyes.

My mother used hankies many times through the years. She tied my lunch money in them (until it became fashionable to use socks) and pinned it to my dress. She embroidered initials and sweet little flowers on the corners of some for gifts to give. She made dolls from them and we used them once for Halloween ghosts. She pinned one across the v-neck of my sweater for modesty when I was 12. And once, she lost a lot of weight during an illness and her wedding ring fell off. I watched as she tied her treasured black-hills gold band to a hankie and then tied it to her bra inside her work uniform.

When I was 18, mom really didn’t want me to marry.  But sadly, she participated with a smile and a hankie. Her mother, my Grandma, had given her a beautiful blue hankie with small pink flowers on the corner and a white edge. Grandma didn’t get dressed up to go anywhere anymore and this was a fancy, sheer hankie – made for a special occasion. Mom tied it to my bouquet so I would have all the generations of love with me. I kept it in my wedding journal with the pictures neatly pressed with the dried boutonniere  worn by my dad. Later, I tied that same hankie to my daughters bouquet in order to send generations of love down the aisle with her.  I made a baby cap with some purchased hankies for my granddaughter and my friends daughter and made hankies for work peers as gifts, back when I could sew. For a long time, I kept a hankie in my Bible, like Granny.  It came in handy with small children, emotional moments and emergency spills.

My friend, Rita, slipped a hankie in a card when my mother died. I was surprised to find it there and appreciated it at that moment.  I used it for months as her absence became more and more real.  What a lovely gesture of thoughtfulness. That one measure of kindness has added comfort to my life so many times. The same hankie comforted me as I bid farewell to my sister and a few good friends since then.  I used it when I was nervous, when I was sad, and when I was afraid. It’s like the tears in that hankie brought strength when I needed it most.

Yesterday, while cleaning a buffet drawer, I came across a stack of hankies. The fabrics are all different, some are printed and not, lacy and plain. hankie They are everyday hankies that were owned by some great women. I started collecting them as the powerful and loving women in my life left the earth. Today, I washed them fresh and pressed them (yes, with an iron) and made them ready to give someone else comfort. I hope the new owners will feel comforted by the generations of love carried within the tear-filled and lipstick- stained threads of the women who came before me- full of love, faith and determination.  My heritage.

I think it’s time these treasured hankies get back to work, don’t you agree?

 

Growing the Business, More Than Just Makeup, Products!

Play in the Traffic to Build Your Business

Building a business?

Whatever you do, MAKE A PLAN TO PLAY IN THE TRAFFIC!

We learn to make friends as children. Usually with our cousins or siblings, first. Then at day care or primary school. Remember, the teacher reminding us to be kind, to share, do our own work and to be fair?   Those rules in relationship building still work today, especially in business.hannah-rodrigo-320734-unsplash.jpg

So remembering those lessons, let’s consider our business contacts.  What type of person do we want as business partners?  How many new business partners will it take to make a positive change in your business?  What will my new business partner act like in our relationship?

Photo by Hannah Rodrigo on Unsplash

Having identified the type and number of similar behavior-ed partners needed, it’s likely you’ll identify their traffic pattern.

Where do they play?  Do they spend time at ball fields, on running trails or online?  Do they eat at great restaurants, shop at finer clothing stores, travel to places you love?  Do they love a great deal and wear your brand?

Where do they work?  Do they work in offices, dressing trendy? Do they work outdoors and have sun-kissed skin and calluses?  Are they tech-smart or tech-challenged?

Where do they live?  In apartments, with lots of people around them or in single residences, maintaining beautiful yards and entertaining others at dinner? Are they rural, soaking up the peace and quiet or in the hub of controlled chaos or excitement?

Discovery is important as you intentionally plan to Play in Their Traffic!

After you PLAN to create new contacts, build your strategy for meeting your new business partners. Having friends as business partners will definitely be a better way to live.

Practice giving compliments.  Genuine, beautiful statements of truth.  Take a couple of hours to play in their traffic.  Where are your ideal partners sitting on park benches? Where are they having coffee, what are they reading, which walking trail do they visit, which events will they attend and very important… may I join them in social media groups.

That’s where you meet people.  For every person you make eye contact, find an amazing attribute and compliment it!    “You have beautiful eyes”, “you should wear blue everyday”, “what an adorable bracelet”,  “precious children”, “I love the way you wrote that post”, “thank you for helping me understand” – –  be real!

When you make eye (or private message) contact,  your door is open!  

Now practice those relationship building lessons you learned as a child.

Be kind, polite, share, do your own work and be fair in all things. 

So… PLAN.   Choose a time and be prepared with information, conversation starters and yes, your short 30 second blurb about your business (in case the opportunity presents itself) . Enter your plan on your calendar and highlight it when you completed your task. Share your calendar with a partner who has agreed to ask you about your day.

INTENTIONALLY, sit in the traffic until you have met your goal of contacts.    That means you started the conversation, received their contact information and have their permission to contact them again!

How will you continue to build the relationship?

Connect through Social Media… text a “hello, I’m glad we met… here’s my link”, text.

INTENTIONALLY, revisit the traffic area, you’ll know them the next time. If there’s interest in the beginning, you may choose to visit the traffic weekly, monthly or maybe more. Go with your gut. Can this person be my friend, my business partner? Should I introduce this person to another partner?

Follow the rules of your youth: Be kind, polite, share, do your own work and be fair in all things.  BUILD the relationship from contact to friend.

Email or text:  ” I wondered if you’d like to visit when I see you at the coffee shop tomorrow” “I’m thinking I need to buy some new running shoes, do you mind if I ask what brand you wear”. “The friend I mentioned yesterday will be running with me next week, I’d like to introduce you”…  “I don’t know if I mentioned, but I …”

Mail:  Send cards for holidays, birthdays (it’s on FB), etc.  Write personal notes to your new friend, share experiences.

Consistently, work the plan to build contacts.

Consistently, work the plan to build the relationship with each contact.

Change, the “contact” label to “friend”.   By really getting to know your new contact, you’ll build a friend. We never have enough friends.

I’ve read that people find more jobs and opportunities by networking with those they know.  I personally find this to be true.  Every team member I have personally recruited started as a contact and progressed to acquaintance and then friend.  Sometimes it’s months before they need my business, sometimes it takes years. But, always, we are working on the progression of contact, acquaintance and friend. Maybe, they’ll choose me as a partner, maybe I’ll choose them by  being kind, polite, sharing, doing our own work and fair in all things. 

So, go Play in their traffic.  Remember the childhood rules of relationship building and enjoy building your own team… and growing a group of friends that fit in your life, and business, in a most comfortable way. It’s about living better!