On my flight home from Austin, I pulled out a pen and paper. I started writing the names of women who consistently purchased Elegantees. Their support was all I had now. Could our existing community have a greater impact than selling in a large retailer?
Moments before the rejection. Austin, TX. November 2017.
I FLUNKED AT GETTING INTO WHOLE FOODS.
To backtrack, the Apparel Buyer of Whole Foods reached out to me in 2017. After realizing it was not a scam, I then spent the next several months pouring into the presentation I'd make at their headquarters.
A large retailer like this could open another sewing center. I was devoted to acquiring Whole Foods because it would be a huge order. I flew down to Austin where I had the best street tacos I've ever had in my life. It would be a very fast trip though because I was nursing my son (if you know, you know)!
I was nervous. This one presentation held so much weight in advancing our mission. What if this would be the day that I could tell our partners in Nepal to hire more seamstresses?!
Well, it was the worst presentation I ever gave. I couldn't get my words to come out right. Perhaps an angel kept me from speaking coherently.
A DIFFERENT DOOR WAS OPENED.
As I write this with tears of gratitude, I'm recalling how my flight home that day was a defining moment. I got off that plane hopeful. To arrive there, I didn't question God with a “why?" I asked “what should I do instead?”
All the women that came to my mind on that flight ended up saying yes to helping promote Elegantees. I created the Facebook group Elegantees Insiders
We now have advocates that announce to their own social media followers about new styles. Little did I know that the group would also turn into a community. We even see photos in their pajama bottoms because they just couldn't wait to share their new top with everyone in the group.
The painful rejection grew into something more focused and beautiful than a yes would have. Our sewing center has expanded. I know it's because of these women supporting women.