Style. Strength. Sustainability - A Mother's Inspiration.

            It is hard to believe August is almost over. The months preceding August were busy with juggling preparing to send my daughter and step-son off to college. In the office, I’ve been developing current and future Leadership Development programs. And somehow, I squeezed in the time everyday to work on my dream that is now my business, Eco Eden.

            I have to ask myself, how do I manage to stay motivated and resilient in making so many important things in my life a priority? I am a wife, mother, professional and entrepreneur.

            My answer is simple:  It was instilled in me by my mother, Edwina. My mother was a social activist, caregiver, and entrepreneur. A woman with style, grit & grace. In fact, Eco Eden’s mantra “style, strength, and sustainability” was inspired by my mother.

            Her life was devoted to serving others. She did this by seeking equality and inclusion in the workplace and caring for women living in her group home in which she founded.

            My mom would have turned 83 today, August 30, 2018. She has been physically gone for five months now. The year prior to her passing, she could no longer give me advice like she had done throughout my adult life. When caring for a loved one with Dementia and Alzheimer’s you learn new ways to communicate. It was during this time I came to truly appreciate the experiences, advice and encouragement given by her as a teen, a college student and young adult.

            Edwina’s presence is evident to me every day. Sometimes subtle and sometimes obvious. I dedicate my first blog post to her by writing a love letter in an expression of gratitude, inspiration and strength.

Dear mom,

Happy first birthday in heaven! Thank you, mom, for believing in me. You showed me how to be strong, kind and courageous in the face of obstacles and resistance. You let me be authentically me. You helped me create my own style in middle school. Esprit and United Colors of Benetton were my favorite brands. I will never forget you driving me to the Columbus College of Art and Design in our little '92 white Geo Metro. You holding my daughter after she was born. The other day, a red cardinal appeared out of nowhere on my front porch. I knew it was you saying, "Hi". Mom, you inspired me to continue your work in building up girls and women. I cherish the memories and life lessons we had together. I wanted to write to you and tell you how much I miss and love you. Because of who you were, I can go on to be who you raised me to be and that is a woman of strength. I want you to know that the essence of my business was inspired by you. I know you will continue to be a powerful presence in my life as well as others who loved you dearly.