Last week I wrote more about the journey of the entrepreneur during Covid. This week I would like to continue on that note. Last week I wrote about all the struggle that comes with starting a business in the time of Covid. But there is this interesting thing – if you preserver, a lot of good things happen too, even during the worst pandemic in 100 years. And so tonight I reflect on holding the brilliant, joyful, triumphs alongside the deep sadnesses occurring in my community and so many like it throughout the country. In Princeton, we are in the red zone in terms of Covid numbers. You can feel it. Things are as bad as they have ever been in terms of community illness, overflowing hospitals, friends and family members of community members becoming ill or passing.
Yet I wake up every morning to create something that will outlive this pandemic for many years, an apparel company that creates hope and joy and beautiful products for women. And we have had a number of major triumphs in the last few weeks. We will begin our first apprenticeship program next Thursday, September 30th. The team at the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing at Marshall University has generously donated high quality shirtmaking and tailoring supplies for our apprenticeship program and the 100 Blouses Project. The manufacturing incubator, CART Inc. is donating sewing equipment. I have found a beautiful, high quality and environmentally sound fabric to offer women who participate in the project. We have the space. I am making two blouses to kick it off for friends of mine to test the system.
And yet all these victories are tempered by sadness and anxieties about pulling this off during a raging pandemic. Will we have to stop and quarantine? Will our team survive this?
How do you hold all of these things together? Well I suppose all this comes from our heart – the vision of sewers working away in an innovative womenswear workshop, the blouses we create, the relationships we build with supporters, the relationships we build with each other and the deep sadness we feel in response to the hardships all around us. But that is where we are at. We are in the business of creating joy and abundance, power and magic. We do so because we need it. More than ever.
Go, fight, win