When I was a sophomore in high school, I won homecoming queen. I was so excited to have my dad there that night because he and my mom were divorced and he didn't get to come to a lot of my events (and I was involved in everything). I think I still have the basketball necklace and the crown somewhere, but you know what I have that is most treasured from this night? My dad's advice.
After the crowd of congratulators died away, he walked up to me and gave me an awkward hug (he wasn't a hugger). And he looked me in my eyes and advised me bluntly, "don't let your head get big".
He was proud of me, I knew it. I could see it written on his face and in his crooked smile. But he knew that more than I needed a fake crown on my head, I needed to be reminded that other people matter more than my popularity. His advice that night became etched on my heart and I hear his words every single time I accomplish something (or fail). This little accomplishment of homecoming queen at a small school in a tiny town became a huge lesson about life for me. "Don't let your head get big" is my reminder always to stay humble and to put others before myself.
Fast forward to today; running a business, building a brand, and working to contribute to the lives of women in my community. As my competition races past me with more followers or more likes or more sales...I just keep reminding myself that PEOPLE (real people not "@ people") are more important than profit. Maybe I didn't gain followers today, but did I connect with the girls who were right in front of me? Maybe I had fewer sales, but were the sales I did make genuine and valuable to the customer? Maybe everybody isn't buzzing about my shop today, but am I celebrating the girl who is getting the attention? My heart is to create a space and place for each of you who follow me or shop from me to feel like you matter. My heart is also to connect with and support women who are in the same business as me, and even the ones who aren't.
I'm so thankful for my dad's advice on the night of Homecoming 1993. His words (and his character as a man) have shaped me into a woman who cares little about medals and awards, and more about the hearts and emotions of the people around me. That makes me feel kind of odd in the world of gaining all the followers and killing all the sales, but you know what - what my dad thinks of me matters more than all that. And he would not stand for me flaunting insta numbers today or bragging about being a queen in 1993. His reminder to stay humble has become a very core part of who I am ... and now a foundational part of how I am building Gold+Gray.