When I set out to start a company and began conducting research to determine the brand messaging for Everyday Dishes & DIY, I made the statement: “I’m going to Pottery Barn this!”—meaning, I intended to infuse my own company with the sensibility and style of one of my favorite brands, and aim for the same demographic. I have always admired Pottery Barn, not just as a store that sells great merchandise, but as a place to go to be inspired. The level of creativity and vision that springs off the pages of their catalogue and the beautiful design of their showrooms has always been spot-on in my eyes.
In fact, I am such a junkie that the phrase “Pottery Barn” has become a verb around the office (Let’s Pottery Barn this town tonight!), an adjective (I think that table needs to go a little more Pottery Barn…) and even an adverb (This is Pottery Barn awesome!) Let’s just say, Pottery Barn is my hero.
So you can only imagine how excited I was to go on a 19-Pottery Barn, 17-city book tour across the US in June. It was a whirlwind 20 days, but the tour was an amazing gift for me. Watching people who came to the demonstrations light up as I shared ideas from my book was about as gratifying as it gets. But an unexpected surprise for me happened slowly, gradually and cumulatively with an unexpected audience: the amazing staff at Pottery Barn.
From store managers across the country, to associates in every city I visited, I was humbled again and again by how professional, enthusiastic and wonderful each and every team member was. From the many kindnesses I witnessed directly toward me and my team, to the creative tidal wave these beautiful people comprised, I found myself wondering again and again if this could be real! Was I really living this dream?
Needless to say, when I was asked to present at the Pottery Barn general managers conference the following month,
I did handsprings around the office I was over the moon. And when I arrived, I could barely scrape my jaw off the floor. I walked through the doors and felt as if I were “home.” You know, that place where you belong? I could feel the love times ten! This place is a magnet for the best talent in the world. As Chris, their creative director, walked me around the ballroom, guiding me through their messaging and purpose for the conference, I felt as though I were truly being mentored for the first time in my life. The whole experience was nothing short of an honor.
While I can’t quite equate this to an athlete’s experience qualifying for an Olympic team, to me, this opportunity has been an experience of a lifetime—the chance to work with and be guided by one of the very best in my field,
is like eating an entire tub of ice cream without the calories is a dream of a lifetime… just like an athlete works and hones her skills for such an opportunity, this experience is a goal I have been working toward my entire life. And whether or not they know it, each of Pottery Barn’s team members has been instrumental in bolstering my confidence, in encouraging me to use my talent, to fight competitively and to persevere through the challenges that arise in my journey. I feel touched by so many in this company, as though each and every voice is like a stand full of eager spectators and well-wishers hoping for the best… hoping I’ll win the race. And it is that support, that belief in me that has made me feel like I’ve just qualified for an Olympic shot at the gold.
Thank you, Pottery Barn!