Truthfully, we didn't know what to expect when we applied for Purppl's Change UP event (you can read more about our selection here). We set our intentions and shared our story in hopes of being selected to present our social enterprise. The day, in fact, the moment, we received the exciting information that we had been selected we also heard the shocking news of what we thought at the time was the passing of a close friend. It was a profound mix of emotions as we truly felt our world's as small business owners and our personal lives collide. They're very challenging to keep separate, no matter how hard you try. Which I think is why we can share what we do so passionately - because it truly is authentically us. As it turned out, the devastating news was a false alarm, but a huge reality check. Our community and the individuals who support and encourage us and vice versa is something we hold so close to our hearts.
So our journey continued as we started to put our presentation together - a 6 minute pitch style presentation - for an intimate crowd of about 100 at a stage we watched so many people who inspired us in our journey so far share their stories and experiences on. We were lucky enough to sit down with Andrew from Purppl as well as Dana Bass Solomon and Joel Solomon who are entrepreneurs in residence and overall magnificently wise, kind, and intelligent humans. They helped us define some of our messaging and understand our focus going forward. How to ask for help, especially from people who believe in you. How to think big and be the catalyst for change, while staying grounded and true to your mission.
Michael and I have a very different way of preparing for events and presentations in that I prepare and he prefers not to. If he could, he would get up in front of a blank screen and talk the whole time coming up with it all on the spot. It's passionate, wild, and so difficult for me to understand because I'm the complete opposite. I need to rehearse and prepare in my own ways, a general idea of the flow of the presentation. So we compromised and ran through it together maybe a handful of times. This was a different environment than we were used to presenting in - or so we thought. As it turned out it was completely liberating because everyone in the audience (at least it seemed!) wanted to be there. Wanted to be part of social change and difference. It felt like every organization who got the chance to share their mission was understood and valued. As for the presentation, it went so fast we barely remember. But we got through all of our slides! And we wouldn't hesitate to do it all again.
Huge shoutout to the individuals who supported us through this process, reached out to us after they heard our story offering support and help, all of the presenters and organizations who shared their mission and story, all of the people who showed up for their community and continue to every day! And of course to Purppl and Valley First for creating this opportunity for entrepreneurs and social impact! Congrats to our current partnered charity for the #1MillionCampaign Connect Counselling and Happipad for being selected as recipients of the subsidized acceleration program!