Dear Anna Fisher,
Businesswomen like you inspire me.
The Valley is full of hardworking, smart women who are offering their best to the world. I’m watching. I’ve been trying to figure out how to invest my strength and love right here into my home, while offering my abilities to benefit the neighborhood and build a good quality business, too.
So far, I’ve learned three things: it’s hard work and it’s slow work, but it’s meaningful work.
You planned such a wonderful evening: you said, let’s gather at Old Gregg Community Building, bake two kinds of cookies, learn new cooking techniques and tools, play games, and socialize with friends, old and new alike. (Your helpful friend, Debbie, was an angel to put her muscle behind your dream, too.)
Your passion to gather people together reminds me of Joan Karp of Blueberry Hill Academy Fitness, with her Z*mba classes, coaching, and over-the-moon inspiration to countless Penns Valley families.
Your hair pulled back, your classy apron, and your pink decorations looked so pretty in that big old gymnasium.
Your ability to add a touch of beauty reminds me of Brenda of Steiger’s Early Americana, who – season after season – keeps creating a beautiful space right there on Pennsylvania Avenue in Centre Hall. (Does she know her store is like a haven?)
You loaded a big, white van with – what was it, 15 enormous boxes full of inventory? – and unloaded it at Old Gregg, organized all of the bamboo over here, all of the aluminum steel over there, the spices just so, and table cloths smoothed out.
Your industry reminds me of Kim Bierly of Main Street Yarn in Rebersburg, faithfully building a store full of gorgeous yarns and useful supplies, promoting handmade industry through her knitting circles and beneficial facebook posts.
Your fun ideas to play Pampered Chef Memory, the Family Game, and that dice game (you know the one where doubles wins a person the pen to begin writing “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8…” so fast – all the way to 100 – until someone else rolls doubles and steals that pen away) were right on: what a blast!
Your fun side reminds me of Martha Hoffman of The IngleBean in Millheim, inviting people to sit by the fire, sip hot beverages, and play games on a winter’s evening.
You created this great event, advertised all over town, updated your Pampered Chef webpage, and even recently added Young Living Essential Oils to your business, hoping your guests would enjoy sampling some of these ancient wonders. (I think that this is a smart move: lots of women are interested in essential oils and would benefit from learning how you’ve discovered so much success and health from using them yourself.)
Your strategic, brainstorming, give-it-a-try spirit reminds me of Julie Smith from E & L Supplies who says she lays awake in the middle of the night just thinking up great business ideas.
When the clock struck 6 and no one came, you kept bustling around, heating the oven up and preparing… just in case. But no one came. And no one came. 6:30, 7:00… We started to wonder why. You said that planning this event was difficult because you don’t have an email address. When you want to work online, you use your friend’s computer and check into your Pampered Chef account there. That’s tough. Besides, you may also be a wee bit busy – what with your big family, the four horses, the Jersey Cows, the chickens, the orchard, the jams-and-jellies, and who-knows-what-else you help with at home?
Yet, you handed me your card with a smile on your face, hopeful for the next time.
That’s when you reminded me of me, Laura Booz of PennsValleyFamily.com, just starting out, working in the midst of limitations, feeling the immense challenge of getting a business off the ground.
I handed you my card, too. (I have boxes and boxes of them at home: must improve at handing them out!)
What you and I can learn from the Penns Valley businesswomen who wake up every morning offering their best to home and community, is that it’s possible to earn the community’s respect and support, as well as a paycheck. I bet they’d all say, “Don’t you dare give up!” In fact, they do say it through their day-in, day-out dedication.
As far as I can tell, you’ve got all of the makings of a great businesswoman: a heart for people, an eye for beauty, incredible industry, a sense of fun, and a mind for strategy.
Anna Fisher, I bet this is just the beginning.
Thank you for the inspiration, the example, and the plate of cookies.
Enjoy your home,