12 In Women Now

Appreciating how women make the best connections

jewelry trunk show
P-a-r-t-y! Left to right, Sheila-Merle (hostess), Kathy and Ginny (artists) and me

I have a nearly complete blog post full of inspiration, illumination, amazing insights, but gosh darn it, it needs a little more work! I want to say the dog ate my homework and leave it at that, but no, I actually want to tell you things that make me appreciate women and how cool they are.

About that missing homework..!

I had an office day and Russ said, “What are you up to today? Homework?”

What a great definition of how this blog works. I loved school and I loved the homework. I think I’m remembering that correctly. But another reason I loved school is that girlfriends were there. I grew up on a farm in North Dakota with my three brothers. We lived too far from town for play dates so I’d have to wait for the school year to come around to have fun with girlfriends.

When Russ said “homework” I saw a correlation in current time. If I look at my life and squint a little, I’m still in school and I’m still doing homework. During “school hours” I am with my clients learning all about them, how their bodies are put together, what their life is like, how they think, and then using the language and science of fashion, I’m helping them dress for their activities. There’s that place where fashion, style, art, and women come together that is constantly fascinating to me. I learn new things every single day.

Doing my homework

That fascination is where the blog comes in. It’s where I get to share what I’m learning, like the anatomy of outfits, connections clothes have to style and style to fashion. Either before or after work or on the weekends, I do my homework: I write posts about fashion and style and modern women.

Ways women connect

I don’t see the faces of many of you who are reading my blog, but I sure feel like I know you from your comments. There’s such a loving community here. Sometimes I get letters, like one this month from Phyllis. Phyllis, I sure love what you shared with me. I’ve read your letter a few times already. I even xeroxed it in case I lost the original. You offered me great advice and I’m taking it!

Once in a while, I get to meet readers in person.

putting outfits together
Meeting Alice for coffee in Fergus Falls

There was the story of Alice I shared with you. Remember Alice from Minnesota? She was the woman who was introduced to fashion and style during the worst time in her life. With her sister, Ellen, encouraging her, Alice turned these new ideas into a project she could focus on during her healing. People have come up to me since I wrote about her and told me how inspiring Alice was to them. Do you see how we’re all connecting?

And then there are these delicious random moments…

It was the week I’d written the post about using totes and how to organize them. I was in San Anselmo and when I was leaving to head home to Sonoma, I crossed the street to my car and opened the trunk. I was shifting things around when I heard my name being called.

I stood up to see this lovely woman leaving the patio of an outdoor restaurant and coming toward me. Her name is Stephanie. She has the most sparkly eyes I’ve ever seen! She’s a fan of the blog and wanted to tell me. I felt like I knew her. I’m beginning to think in some way, we all know each other. Is that what they mean by a tribe? We giggled over the pouch she was carrying. It was a lovely connection.

The Sol Sisters trunk show brought women together in-person

A visit with my colleague, Karen

The story about how I met Kathy and Ginny—also known as the Sol Sisters—was told a few times at the jewelry trunk show hosted at Sheila-Merle’s house. You can read it here. As I remember, I was scared to death to approach them and ask them about their style, but I was sure glad I did! I knew I wanted Sheila-Merle to meet the Sol Sisters so the idea came up to do a trunk show together.

Here’s who came: old friends, new friends, clients, daughters of clients, friends of mine from Facebook, colleagues, people who knew each other and plenty who did not. Besides trying on jewelry people connected in fun ways.

Sallie came, remember her?

Here’s Sallie who you’ve read about as well. I wrote about going on a Beauty Bundle shopping trip with her. She was wearing her freshly frayed white jeans! I introduced her to Janet who lived in the same general area–the fire zone. They had chilling stories to share about the October 2017 fire in Sonoma County.

Debra’s French teacher turns out to be Sheila-Merle’s best friend. My Facebook friend, Janet, was born in Fargo, North Dakota. At one point I’d said goodbye to one of the women who needed to take off and then 30 or 40 minutes later I saw her deep in conversation with someone. I was delighted.

Kathy and Debra, making new friends

There was lingering, and sharing, connecting and swapping resources. It was amazing!

Veronica and her daughters meet Kathy

One-of-a-kind jewels may have been what enticed us to be together on that Saturday afternoon, but it’s the beautiful way women connected to each other that I remember most vividly.

Sol Sisters make one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces

Of course, it made me want to create more venues where women could convene. Field trips? I don’t know what it is but I do know I’d love more of that feeling.

Maybe I should stop with the idea generation and just enjoy the moment. I shall.

And that really well-thought-out blog post I was working on? It’ll be posted soon unless the dog eats my homework again. But that’ll most likely mean I’m with women like you having adventures somewhere and getting ready to share it with all of you.

What ways do you connect with other women, either women you know or strangers? We all want to know!


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  • Reply
    Ramona Puckett
    August 20, 2019 at 4:13 am

    I love your posts! Always learn so much and this one is a jewel! Thank you so much!

  • Reply
    Diane B
    August 20, 2019 at 6:01 am

    When we travel, I find that chances to connect with new people are everywhere. Recently, one of those people was from about and hour from my house. When we parted, exchanging e-mails, she said to me “meet me for coffee at a little town half way between us. Well, when I went, there were a dozen other women there as well. Seems that they have a group that meets every week and have been for years and years, new people getting added every now and then. What a great surprise and what is fun is that they range in age from 40ish to 80 and are so full of life and fun. There are chances to travel and socialize that I never would have known about if I had not just went for coffee. Women are the best! Now I just need to find some fantastic jewellery designers. Great post Brenda.

  • Reply
    August 20, 2019 at 6:19 am

    I have been connecting for years through the BLOG and INSTAGRAM!In fact YOUR HOSTESS and I had lunch a few months back!WOMEN NEED WOMEN…………..

  • Reply
    Elaine @ Following Augustine
    August 20, 2019 at 10:35 am

    Over the years, I’ve connected with women from my community in a variety of ways. Some of my closest friendships have developed with women from church, both the one we used to attend and the one we now go to. For 30 years I’ve spent one evening a month with my “craft night” girlfriends. The group was started by one of my former teaching colleagues and a couple of her friends. In the early days, we all worked on individual crafts while we sipped wine spritzers and visited. The hostess of the month always serves delectable snacks and over the years, we’ve tried out innumerable recipes on one another! Though we still laughingly call our get togethers “craft night” we started leaving the crafts at home a long time ago and just enjoy visiting together. Blogging and reading blogs like yours has been another wonderful way of connecting with other women. I’ve only had the pleasure of meeting one of the bloggers that I read in person, but I would love to meet more of them.

  • Reply
    August 20, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    Blogs such as yours allow me to share my joy of fashion with others that are likeminded. P.S. I’m so glad you got my letter!

    • Reply
      August 20, 2019 at 6:10 pm

      PHYLLIS!! There you are! Your letter brought me such joy and I so appreciated your ideas for me too. Sending you big love!

  • Reply
    August 20, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    One of my best gal connections was with you Brenda!

  • Reply
    August 20, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    So much wisdom here Brenda. Women used to live in villages together, cooking, making clothes, birthing and raising children together. We still long for those ancient connections and for the last many generations, women have been largely isolated by their gender roles. Now, we have more freedom than ever to find connections, especially via the internet and thanks to our feminist sisters who have fought a long hard battle to have our rights as human beings recognised and appreciated. La Contessa echoes my own words: Women need women. So true. Men need to be with men as well. My husband lives for his Saturday golf game. I live for my once a month ladies lunch club. And I connect with other women thanks to people like you and Sandi Sallin and Brenda Coffee who write quality blogs which are encouraging and not competitive in any way. I gave up Facebook 3 years ago, and refuse to open an Instagram account, because of the bad feelings I got of missing out – FOMO – Fear of Missing Out. I don’t get those feelings from reading your blog. What I see in these pictures is women expressing themselves in an individual way. And I love that this is what you encourage. We are all so alike in so many ways, yet we are so different. But that one common thread is the need for connection, just as our ancestors needed it to survive. Bless you and love to you. From this ‘Soul Sister’ in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Xxxxxx

  • Reply
    Susa Berg
    August 21, 2019 at 1:21 am

    Brenda, with this article you have excelled yourself! It is to be read so nicely, that female communities, solidarity, esteem and support are possible.
    Love to you and the readers from Cologne, Germany
    Stay tuned women!

  • Reply
    Ginny Heald (Sol Sister)
    August 21, 2019 at 2:19 am

    Lovely article, Brenda, and such a wonderful gathering of women. It was so gratifying to see how everyone interacted with our jewelry and with each other, selecting pieces that spoke to them. As we were leaving after the trunk show, Sheila-Merle commented how glad she was that she had hosted the trunk show and what a great energy had filled her home. We thought so too. Thank you again for bringing all of us together.

  • Reply
    Maggie Cotterill
    August 21, 2019 at 4:32 am

    Brenda I love your posts – they give me joy and inspiration that perhaps I’m not doing too badly with style. I’m trying to “shop my wardrobe” just now as I surely have enough! A good pair of black trousers would be a useful addition…. got to find them first. Women friends who also care about how they look are essential and they are a support and inspiration when days are a little darker.
    This comes from “across the Pond” with love and thanks x

  • Reply
    stephanie s lovette
    August 22, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    Hi Brenda, Such lovely and wise thoughts. Its about the connections and supporting each other. I so enjoyed our brief encounter in San Anselmo. I was nervous about approaching you but you were just as warm in person as you are in your writing. Made my week! Stephanie

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