Rekindling the Romance of Business

February 8, 2017 | Lorraine Stewart

When Core Values Align with Work – Love Strikes

On rare occasion, true love strikes. In business, this compelling feeling happens when we see the opportunity to create something new and potentially meaningful for others in the world; when we get to apply our talents and core values, and working together with people we love and respect; when we can build a company and a brand that reflects our core values. For the serial entrepreneur, these things feed our spirit and inspire us to action.

My daughter Grace and I recently launched a new e-commerce-based business. From a marketing strategist point of view, the business meets a large unmet need, capitalizes on e-commerce and social media trends and taps into the lucrative, ever-active bridal category.

From a mother’s point of view, it’s a joy to define a new dimension to a mother-daughter relationship; one where we continue to learn from each other, empower each other and celebrate the contributions of all women we have come to know on our journey.

From a personal point of view, after a lengthy career brand-building for others, it’s gratifying to shape a message that stands for something important to me. Especially in today’s societal climate of angst and hostility, where unconditional love is hard to recognize sometimes.

From Something Old to Something New

Unbox the Dress is a new company that enables women to unbox their original wedding dress, likely forgotten and shelved in an attic or closet, and have it transformed into heirloom gifts and keepsakes for their loved ones. The recreation of one-of-a-kind products designed and reconstructed by our Graceful Sewers™ from vintage lacework and voluminous satin is quite lovely to witness. Trending now are the popular “I Do Getting Ready Day Robes” and “Beautiful Bouquet Wraps” from Our Wedding Day Collection. My personal favorite is the “Too Cute Tutu with Ruffle Bum Panty” from Our Littlest Darlings Collection.

I do find the inherent beauty of wedding gowns to be symbolic, fully reflective of feminine presence and power. They make the bride feel lovely and loved, as she deserves to be that day and every day. Yet, it is the act of giving something we cherish to another, made better and more relevant for the recipient, that is the more noble gesture.

Love across Generations

Grace and I recently exhibited at a local Bridal Fair, a popular post-holiday activity in the bridal industry category. The stories, shared memories and wedding plans we heard from newly engaged women, their mothers, sisters, grandmothers and fiancées made for a day of joy, validating our plans. One woman lingered over a sample lace christening gown, and her eyes brimmed with tears. Others hugged at the new found solution to incorporate something old from Mom’s dress (think circa 1980, Lady Diana-like with the puffy sleeves) into something new, like a modern cathedral-length veil embellished with the best parts of mom’s tulle and lace, to wear on her special day.

In this season of romance, it is a privilege to create beautiful, exquisite products for others, and to enable women to feel happy as they unbox their dress and have us transform it. Falling in love with an idea, and bringing it to fruition is an entrepreneur’s dream come true.

Let’s Play Cupid

I encourage you to look within your organizations for opportunities to couple your well-honed skills and your more private interests. If this isn’t possible within your workplace, evaluate your hobbies and mentor someone who shares your interests. It’s amazing how this can change your perspective on what it means to “go to work” – and may provide the perfect cure for any winter blues.

The romantic in me believes that our new business and its brand has its own unboxed potential to embrace a bigger platform. The marketer in me tells me there is more work to do. Fortunately, I relish the opportunity.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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