There is an old adage that says friends should not work together. I don’t understand this aphorism, because friends – best friends – are the people you respect and trust the most. They are the folks who help you face fears and insecurities and showcase your best self. It seems to me, those are the very qualities you would want in a business partner. And I have proof it works, because my best friend Kim Vincenty and I had a successful art gallery together* and still collaborate whenever we can.
When moms and minds come together…
I had an opportunity to forward my thoughts on friends and business to Patti Hughes on Thursday night in Jacksonville, FL. Patti is the owner of the inspirational company Natural Life. Natural Life is a wholesale and retail purveyor of hand-crafted designs. Their corporate mission states they are, “Spreading positivity and free spirited style with inspirational treasures … designs [that] will inspire you to Live Happy.”
Patti agreed with me, about the friend thing, by the way. She works with her best friend and I was attending the launch party of the “Fearless” product line in her flagship store, because she was collaborating with my best friend. You see how things gel when great minds and great moms put their heads together? Let me explain.
Facing Fear (Face Everything and Rise)
After the gallery days, Kim got hit with a couple of whammies that would have sent most other people back to bed, pulling the duvet over their heads. Her son was diagnosed with debilitating Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and later, she had a string of serious health problems. But instead of hiding from the fear she was feeling, she faced it.
When she wasn’t dealing with her own medical issues, Kim researched OCD and Anxiety Disorders. She went onto the board of OCD Jacksonville. And she started an OCD support group and got the equivalent of an advanced degree in “street smarts” about the treatment of OCD and related anxiety disorders.
These days, both she and her son are actively and successfully fighting the “bullies” in their bodies. And that is where Natural Life came in. Kim admired the Natural Life brand for its colorful, joyful and uplifting messaging – something she tries to put forth on social media for OCD Jacksonville. She contacted Patti Hughes, because she also knew Natural Life featured “Give Back Collections” where a portion of the profits went to pet projects. (Patti is also a mom who’s biggest hope is that her daughters, along with girls and women all over the world, will discover their talents and passions so they can enjoy life doing what they love.)
Kim got ahold of Patti and proposed a product line that would speak to the mental health community – and the rest, as they say, is a Fearless Product Line… Not only does OCD Jacksonville benefit from the proceeds, each product tag has a link to a mental health organization resource page.
Why is it important to reach out to those with anxiety disorders?
One of my favorite products in the line is a mug with the words, “A worried mother does more research than the FBI”. It reminds me of Kim, who researches tirelessly for new modalities and treatment options for her son. And through her work with OCD Jacksonville and her OCD support group, she also helps others. The Natural Life connection expands the reach even more.
Why is reaching out important? Because, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million people. And for my purposes, substance use disorders (SUDs) occur significantly more often in those with anxiety disorders than in the general population. Think about it – if you are filled with anxiety, it is natural to self-medicate to deaden the pain. Alcohol dependence is 2 to 3 times more likely in those with anxiety disorders. And the correlations are even greater for drug dependence.
What could be more important for two mothers to do than to help educate, empower and reduce the stigma of anxiety disorders? And here’s an aphorism to add to the Natural Life product line:
Good Friends Should Always Work Together!
Congratulations ladies. It was a great launch party and an even better idea. I am proud to know you. And for those who would like to reach out to Kim’s support group, she can be reached through OCD Jacksonville – Support Group for Parents. Kim can also tell you about the support group for adult sufferers of anxiety disorders.
*In the spirit of “positivity” I have added this as a postscript. But I was an alcoholic mess for a lot of the Spiller Vincenty gallery days. Kim dealt with that gracefully too…
Today I’m not drinking, because alcohol is not medicine. In fact, alcohol makes anxiety (and every other problem) worse…
How come you’re not drinking?
E2E – We miss you and wish you were there for Kim’s big night!