A Thank You
There are jobs and then there are growth opportunities. There are coworkers and bosses and then there are people who fight daily for you to be the best version of yourself possible.
Because I had only ever modeled as a job previous to this summer, I had never known what it was like to be part of a team. To show up daily to a space, working collectively with a group of humans towards a common goal. It’s a beautiful thing when you think about it, especially when the people building the team place tremendous consideration on making sure that group of humans will complement each other.
In my first week at my new job, I awkwardly tried to find a seat at team lunch - a regular activity that truly helped bring the team together. There was only one seat left at the head of the table and one of the founders had not come to sit down yet, so I pulled up a tiny stool to the corner of the table and sat down. The other founder looked at me and said, “Heide! Sit in the comfortable chair!” I hesitated, but shifted over to the chair at the end and shared my discomfort aloud. “I don’t feel right sitting here.” After a beat, she shared with me something I think she truly believes: “I think the most powerful companies are the ones where you can’t tell who the boss is.” I almost fell off my big comfy chair. Do bosses like this really exist?
Over the following weeks, as I learned the ropes, I was met with patience. I was met with kindness. I was met with a smile if I interrupted to ask a panicked question. And on our team offsite when I had a bit of a breakdown about my social anxiety, I was met with, “How can we support you?” I still can’t get over it.
My job over the summer was with ADAY. Yes, it’s a fashion company so from the outside it appears as though their main focus is clothing. But that is so not the case. ADAY is working hard to achieve so much more. They are building community. They are leading by example. They are not just selling clothes - their beautiful, sustainable, functional clothing is just an incredible byproduct of what they are exemplars of: great humans.
Every piece of goodness that this team embodies comes across in their branding, their marketing, and their pieces (down to the sustainable and ethical practices that are consistently at the forefront of their minds). It comes through in their interactions with customers and their events that seek to bring people together. And it came through in a big way when I told them I had to leave.
When I was hired, I had only anticipated taking one class this semester in school. However, a change in certain life circumstances allowed me the opportunity to go full-time and I knew I had to. I felt sick. How could I walk away from these people? I had grown to love being around their inspiring work ethics and spirits every day and had grown addicted to how just being around them pushed me to be better. But in their fashion, when I told them, I received nothing but support. Go crush it at school. Thank you for being real. You will be so missed. I knew that my leaving would make things harder for them. I knew they would have more to pile on their already full plates. And yet, not once did that come up. Only love.
Initially, I was nervous when I was hired to an all-female team. The reputations we have as women - judgmental, gossipy, back-stabbing - I was bracing myself for them. And yet every day I showed up to the presence of women whose movement through life is actively dissipating these stereotypes. I learned so much about business in my time with ADAY. I learned so much about myself in my time with ADAY. But most importantly, I learned through watching this team of humans the impact that a group like that can have. These women, in all their goodness, are warriors in so many ways and I will truly hold their examples in my heart forever as a reminder of 1) how lucky I was to work beside them and 2) my responsibility to bring what they taught me wherever ago.
Thank you team ADAY for the most beautiful ride. I pray that whoever joins you in the future near and afar realizes how lucky they are to work with you.
All my love,