When we retired from our corporate jobs and started Elsie Green, JP and I envisioned a second act that would allow us to travel the world, spend our days together, be home for dinner with our family every night. Mission accomplished, for the most part. There have been many twists and turns in the road these last six years, but JP and I are living a quality of life that has less to do with money and more to do with experiences, relationships, and time well spent.
What we didn't envision was an incubator that would allow accomplished young women to develop their own dream jobs. But that is what Elsie Green has become. A place where women can leverage their talents, learn about small business, and find their voices in a creative field.
Of course everyone takes their turn at the packing table, the floors have to be swept, the deliveries have to be unpacked, and Alameda is always a grind. But in between, there is time to hone a new craft. Our smart and talented ladies have made the most of that time to become stylists, photographers, event planners, PR specialists, European sourcing experts...whatever they dream. They have become the engine that powers Elsie Green.
And we have become passive mentors, watching for and leveraging hidden talents as they reveal themselves.
Our journey these past six years has taught us many things. But most of all, we've learned that the right balance of guidance and freedom can create magic. And we have rediscovered the joy and inspiration that comes from helping others accomplish their own dreams.
We feel serious angst at the thought that each of these women will leave us at some point in the (we hope distant) future to go on and pursue their goals somewhere else. But we feel an immense amount of pride knowing that we will have played a small part in helping prepare them for whatever is next.
This process of building a small business has been full of surprises. Some good, some not so good. Watching our dream team flourish has been the very best kind of surprise.