I was approached by an amazing group of people who organize flea markets, bazaars and cocktail parties around Denver and was cordially invited to participate in one of their events where the main goal is to support several amazing, non-profit organizations; Crafted. I love doing events like these where local talent, creativity and entrepreneurship are celebrated. I was especially excited about this one because when you get a chance to get exposed, personally interact with your clients and/or vendors AND support amazing non-profits at the same time, you hit the trifecta. It’s literally a win-win for everyone. And so, I happily accepted the invitation and attended, knowing that this one would be special in the sense that I would get to meet amazing people that are truly making a difference in the world; I wasn’t wrong.
Like many of us, I like to think of myself as a kind person; I donate to charities; I open and hold the door for people, I give up my seat to someone that looks like they could use it more than me and I always try to help in the best possible way when someone reaches out to me. Nothing extraordinary; I simply try to be a decent human being. I pat myself on the back every now and then for doing my part and feel pretty good in general about giving and exposing my kids to good examples regarding kindness, generosity and warm-heartedness. On this beautiful Saturday I got to meet Susan, my booth neighbor, who graciously let me share her story with you. And so, when the market was over, I could not wait to get home and tell my kids about her and about the other amazing people that I met that day.
Susan is a retired empty nester who lives in Denver with her husband. As she states, she now has extra time on her hands. She also has a good friend who is an interior decorator, and what she has is extra upholstery fabric. They were talking one day, and her friend was telling her how she always ended up with unused extra fabric from her projects and how she wished there was a way that it could get utilized as opposed to just discarded. Our good friend Susan knows very well how to handle a needle and thread and so she asked her friend to give her all the fabric leftovers that she had. She started to design and sew beautiful handbags and now attends local markets where she sells them for $20 and donates the entire profit to organizations that need it.
Susan’s story made a big impression on me. When I asked her why she did this, she simply replied, “Because I can. And because it’s my turn to give back as I have been very lucky in my lifetime and always had everything I needed.” Again, I was humbled, moved and inspired, and came home feeling incredibly lucky for having met her. Yes, her answer made sense; she does it because she can, but she doesn’t have to. She could be doing so many other things now as a retired person, and yet she chooses to do this, without getting anything in return, except for maybe the satisfaction that she must feel in knowing that she is “doing her part”. I don’t know about the sewing process, but I do know that these events are hard work. You have to set up your booth, a lot of the times you have to brave the elements (on this particular day, it was extremely hot), you don’t get a lunch break and pretty much are on your feet all day. As a vendor and maker, I do it because I am passionate about my products and venture, and because I love the interaction with my clients. BUT I also make a profit in the end; Susan doesn’t. Amazing, isn’t it?
I knew I had to share Susan’s story and the story of people who organize events like Craft, but I wanted to do it in a way that will evoke hope, inspiration and optimism in a world that seems to have lost its ability to be compassionate and where most people are cynics to what is happening around us. I think that telling these stories is vital because we all have to believe that there is more to humanity than what we see happening in the news every night; and there is. I will not end this post asking you if you could be doing more; I know I could. The point here is not to induce guilt or even to compare ourselves with altruistic humans like Susan. I will simply say that running into people who so generously and unselfishly give their time and effort like this to good causes like Crafted are what keep, at least me, inspired, hopeful and motivated to believe that most of us humans, can indeed be awe-inspiring and extraordinary when we want to be. And I also simply want to express my gratitude to these beautiful Coloradans who truly are making a difference in this big and beautiful world of ours.
Thank you, Susan, from me and from everyone that benefits from your generosity. Thank you Crafted and Party B Cause for bringing together amazing humans and causes like these. And thanks to all who read and will share this post. I for one, will take their testimony with me and take a turn, like Susan does now, to be more generous, kind and warm-hearted.