I had a little chat last week with my friend Ashley VanBuskirk of Flora Stationery. To my surprise, this beautiful, outgoing, successful, social entrepreneur talked about how she still struggles with the doubts of believing she’s got what it takes to pull this thing off… to make the change she knows she’s meant to make in the world. Ashley says that her parents set her up to believe that she could do anything she set her mind to.
And she believed them.
The summer after her sophomore year in college she studied in Kosovo. While she was there, she met a young woman who was going to college part-time while also attempting to support her widowed mother and family of five. She was incredibly passionate about getting an education, not just to better her own future, but the lives of those in her family and community.
After that trip, she decided she needed to find a way to help fund her education, but also realized she was not alone. There were many women who immensely desired an education, but just needed some support to get there and Ashley had a desire to help them get there. This desire to “fund a future”, blossomed to the social business called Flora Stationery. Flora supports college scholarships for young women in Kosovo through the sale of unique stationery products.
By all means, a successful social enterprise.
Ashley’s story was highlighted by Ked’s, when they partnered on a pair of shoes last summer using the designs of one of the Flora scholarship recipients. They’ve been able to offer scholarships and “fund futures” for many women in Kosovo . . . and Ashley? She’s 23!
Her parents were right.
But doing anything you set your mind to doesn’t come without struggle, without doubt, without learning and growing along the way. It doesn’t happen without becoming someone different all along the way. Ashley has learned so much by pursuing knowledge. She’s constantly reading books and leaning on people who’ve walked the road before her. How does she find them?
She pursues them.
She pursues people who are experts. She doesn’t count on getting to the “big name” at the top of the list. She asks people in her network who’ve done things like this, for introductions. Then that person introduces her to someone else. And on and on. It takes a lot of time and effort, but she eventually gets the wisdom she’s seeking.
“For a long time, I really believed that I could just fake it until I made it. Until I realized that I needed people around me to give me wisdom. . . and for that to work, they needed to see the real me.”
Where are you faking it?
Maybe it’s time you let your guard down and let some wise people circle around you.
They can’t give you wisdom they don’t know you need.
to more love,
P.S. Ashley will be sharing more of her story on our panel at the Girl’s Night Out this Thursday. She’ll also have Flora’s fun line of stationery products available for purchase. There’s room for you! Come join us!
Let some wise and loving women circle around you.
It’s time sister.