WITHIT: Women’s Leadership Development Network

 Learn, Grow, Lead, Encourage

OUR CAUSE: To Encourage and develop Leadership, Mentoring, Education and Networking Opportunities for Professional Women in the Home and Furnishings Industries.

Yes, WE were ALL THAT....here, at the opening cocktail reception.

The above “says it all” if you will, as far as what WITHIT is all about. What a delight to say that it is “All That” and that I am proudly a member of this organization, and if you’re a female in the Home Furnishing Industry, you should consider joining, if you haven’t already.

 Although a member for the past 3 years, “life” would have it (and the fact that I reside in Maine doesn’t help) such that I wasn’t able to participate much in organized events. In fact it was just this past May that I attended my first WITHIT organized event, that being the Inside Design Weekend in NYC, which I gushed about here, in a blog.  Happily I FINALLY made it to the Annual Leadership Conference/WOW Awards Dinner, which is held in Charlotte NC each August. Click here to check out fun photos at said event.

An evening gathering at Carol Gregg’s last Spring could count as my premiere unorganized introduction to the group as she orchestrated a dinner on her Red Egg porch, and go figure, all the women she invited, were, you guessed it, WITHIT members. Yes, wrote about that in a blog as well.

I’ve been in business 10 years now, (online sales of Chinese Antique Furniture, in case you didn’t know) much of it working in a bubble….from my home in New Gloucester Maine. Since 2004 I’ve been making my way to High Point NC to participate in the High Point Furniture Market. And when in Spring 2008, after I had finished moving my warehouse from Maine to North Carolina, I joined the High Point Design Centre, and their mission to have a relevant presence Year Round to Trade for those that like to use the many resources available in High Point…ie, it isn’t JUST  about Market twice/year.

Shannnon, myself and Carol all share membership in both organizations...we let Joanie in as part of the photo op 🙂

So, yes, the High Point Design Center group was my first forray into joining a network that would envelop and support  me and my business. And my affiliation with such would further offer opportunities for networking and growth with ASID Carolina’s Chapter as I “made myself known” participating in conferences of the latter, supporting mission of the former. It would be a chat with Kathleen Holterman (active member of both HPDC and WITHIT) that would introduce and encourage me to add WITHIT to my roster of valuable groups to join.  (In more detail in blog dated August 09, Withit: My Story Thus Far.) Didn’t have to be told twice…I was in…and yes I have found MY PLACE in yet another group.

Frankly it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that there are much more than a handful of women that have membership in both groups, which is a further delight to me.

My first social intro to the comrarderie of WITHIT members, Spring 09. Tx Carol.

All this to say what? All this to say that, if you haven’t already discovered the value in joining an organization where your own personal vision is supported and nurtered, then it’s time to do so. Oh sure, I did “ok” when flying solo…hopping in and out of High Point inobtrusively for Markets. But how much more gratifying is it to be greeted, enveloped, supported and uplifted, simply by opening up to the Gift so freely given, when joining an organization of Substance…and that is what WITHIT and HPDC are, Organizations of Substance….because they hold true to their “causes” and because their members unite in supporting their respective causes, simply by each of them being who they are and collectively remembering  and honoring why they exist as an entity.

There are too many people to acknowledge here name by name, but you know who you are. …

You are the Founders, who had the Vision.

You are the Members that fuel the engine by serving on a board/committee.

You are the Members that serve as ambassadors. (how hard is it to promote something you believe so strongly in?)

 You are the Members that join and become part of the growing whole.

You are those that welcome newcomers and make them feel like they belong.

You are those that share your path to career and personal success, paving way for recipriocity.

 

You are those the continue to Believe in the Power of Gathering, Uniting, Uplifting and creating a Voice.

Deborah Klein, WOW nominee for Mentor award. An honor indeed.

So, just thank you. I know that I, and my business , which just happens to be an extension of myself, are the better for all that these organizations offer, and am grateful to be a member, to participate and promote…any chance I get.

See ya’ll around…be it at Market, at one of the sponsored events and/or on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter. Yes, so nice to stay in touch online between “real world” visits.

Ruth

 

A well heeled and colorful group we are....

 

 

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