In a world where there’s a lot of energy around women rising strong together, there’s also a tendency to protect ourselves and compete with one another. Even though supporting each other and collaborating is my battle cry, it shows up for me too! I remember late last year, seeing on social media that a new DIY workshop, geared toward women, had opened up in town. I remember it well because I saw that they were hosting GNOs and if I’m honest, my heart sunk a little. Our HeartStories GNO was selling out month after month and somehow, hearing about this new workshop for women opening up, felt like a threat to that. I clicked the link and it was darling! AR Workshop is a “boutique DIY studio with hands-on workshops, parties and retail”.
From what I could tell online, Lindsay the owner, was fabulous in every way.
I made a note about reaching out to her, but it got buried in a million other things. Until one day, I opened my email to see that Rebekah, the founder of Fig & Goat was putting on a charcuterie board workshop with Lindsay at the AR Workshop. They were collaborating to make the actual cheese boards and teach the ladies how to arrange them with meats and cheeses. How fun is that? I loved it. Besides, anyone who is a friend of Bekah’s is undoubtedly a friend of mine. Then one day, in a random string of text messages, Bekah told me she had a friend who would be a good connection for me. “For artsy, crafty, woodworking things. . . her name is Lindsay Childress. I’ll connect you over email.”
That was all it took.
Suddenly that little tinge of competition or jealousy, I felt looking in from the outside, disappeared. Lindsay was now one of my people. After a couple of quick emails, we hopped on the phone and without hesitation, the “Gather ‘Round GNO ~a lazy susan workshop you can gather your people around”, was born. The name, I must say took a little more back and forth. It also encompassed a little snort laughing, music playing and other ridiculous shenanigans while for a moment we considered naming it “Right Round GNO”. . . we took the high road.
Here’s the deal.
Every time I discover a woman who is doing something interesting with her life that she’s willing to share with us, she undoubtedly has an incredible story. Thankfully Lindsay is willing to share her story, and her craft with us! Because after nearly 20 years of growing an incredible business with a VP level title in retail, Lindsay found herself burned out. She wanted to see her family more, she felt like she was missing so much. She wanted to spend time with her friends. “I reached a point where I realized, this wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life.” She loved to make things and had already been attending workshops at the AR Workshop in her town. When the opportunity to own the AR Workshop in Frisco came around, it completely changed the game for her.
One day, she looked at her husband and said, “I want to leave New Jersey, and I want to leave my job”.
Taking all her business knowledge and the money she’d saved, she signed a contract with AR and moved to Texas. As things often do, the slated opening of the workshop was delayed due to real estate issues. It pleasantly surprised Lindsay by being the best timing ever, because she got extra time to really connect with her kids during that unexpected waiting period before the workshop officially opened. Now that it’s open, she says,
“It’s amazing because it’s my happy place and I get to go here every day.”
Lindsay is creative, strong, and experienced in business. Yet, as with running any business, it’s still challenging and full of hard work. It requires sacrifice; blood, sweat and tears, to tell the truth. (There are some stories there!) But it’s so much more rewarding. Now at least her kids get to see her hard work and they get to see the end result. When I asked her for one of the biggest learnings, it has been “to raise her hand, to ask her friends for help”. Not only her local Texas friends, but the extended tribe of over 100 other women who run AR Workshops across the country.
For Lindsay, this journey has been about finding her people.
It’s been so refreshing and inspiring to be around women who empower each other. Through AR Workshop, Lindsay goes on an annual retreat with 100 women, who like to play with power tools and have business minds. They have a Facebook group where all the women connect, bounce ideas off one another, and ask questions about customers and projects. Even meeting women like Bekah by collaborating on a workshop together. . . all of it about women supporting each other and working together, instead of feeling the need to compete with one another.
“We put our heads together and figure out how we can help each other grow.”
That’s best thing that’s come out of all of this so far for Lindsay, and I think it’s one of the things women do best in all of life.
When we gather around to share our stories, connect, and collaborate with other like-minded women, it lifts us all.
We’re inspired. We find joy. We heal. We pursue our purpose. We don’t quit. We achieve our greatest successes.
A rising tide lifts all boats.
Choose to be part of the tide that is rising.
to more love,
P.S. We make that easier for you now than ever. Gather your people and join us at our done-for-you girls night out 3 weeks from tonight: “Gather ‘Round GNO”. Lindsay will share her story and lead you in customizing your own lazy susan to remind you of the beauty that happens when women, Gather Round.