Recognizing & Practicing Self-Care as an Entrepreneur – Or Giving To One You Love

Recognizing & Practicing Self-Care as an Entrepreneur

Have you ever read the 5 Love Languages book? Whether you are in a committed relationship or not, the ideas presented in the book are ones that I come back to over and over. The book is rooted in Christianity but applies to anyone. The premise of the book’s philosophy is that there are five love languages and most people have a couple that they identify with most, they are: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time and physical touch.

The idea is that each of us possess a few of these as our dominant “language” and that most often our partners language is different than ours. The book tells us that we should seek to frame our expressions of love in the way that our partners will most intuitively receive and recognize and likewise we should be aware of our own languages and needs. So for instance, if your top love languages were acts of service & physical touch, all the red roses in the world may not register to you as the expressions of love that you need. You (though grateful) will probably still feel lacking in those other more dominant needs. As a parent, it’s also interesting to think of this idea and how you communicate with your child. It’s also interesting to think of it as an entrepreneur.

Giving Someone Flowers | Gather Goods Co

My primary love languages are words of affirmation & quality time, with words of affirmation being the most dominant. Though I don’t feel like I go around fishing for compliments, I do in reality need a lot of words of acknowledgement that I am recognized and seen, to feel whole. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I need to hear grand affirmative statements (though those are amazing – ha!), instead, simple recognition’s and thank-you’s and “hey, good job” go a REALLY long way for me. So when things get tough and I feel like I am pouring my whole self into things and don’t get that in return, business wise, it knocks me off balance. As an intensely introverted entrepreneur who feels like I am constantly “putting myself out there”, my ego can sometimes be especially fragile, as I’m sure are the egos of most other entrepreneurs who face tough decision making and intense output daily.  This is why it is especially important to seek out those around you who will lift you up when you need it and have a network of friends, supporters and encouragers behind and around you.

Affirmation Greeting Cards by Gather Goods CoAt it’s best, entrepreneurship is the most fulfilling thing, being able to follow your passions, skills and effort toward change and a world that you would like to put your stamp on. At it’s worst it can be a harrowing struggle of doubt and faith. I liken entrepreneurship in some ways to being an explorer in a jungle; you are in the middle of a new land, you have a vision and a plan, you know in your gut that promise lies just ahead on the other side, you are frantically cutting down tall plants with a machete, not really able to see the path ahead, but trusting, and listening to your inner compass and intuition, that it exists. The key I think in some ways, is not stopping and looking around you or you will begin to realize that you are in the middle of a jungle, in a potentially scary place with low visibility and unknown threats lurking around each corner. You begin to think “Will I ever get there? What If I am wrong?” And then sometimes, sometimes, you look behind you and realize that you have forged a new path but now you’ve even got some people following you which can be both inspiring and terrifying. That’s when the real panic starts to hit in, “what if” you think “I am leading these people astray – what if all of this path forging has no value or purpose?”

You are my favorite greeting card by Gather Goods Co

Clearly, this line of reasoning shows that I could use a mentor and maybe even a therapist. 😉 Most paths have already been trod by someone before, and I, or other entrepreneurs, shouldn’t have to seek out the totally unknown on my own own. This is valid, I should seek out that wisdom from other more seasoned entrepreneurs, but, as that introverted entrepreneur who feels like I am expending every bit of my energy in seeking and cutting and forging, I oftentimes don’t feel like I have any additional energy to expend on anything else business-wise. I know a lot of other entrepreneurs at this stage of business feel the same way.

So what is the short-term solution? It is in knowing what my primary love languages are and how they relate to me as an entrepreneur and because mine is “words of affirmation”, asking to receive the encouragement I need from those around me when it feels especially lacking. It is also in giving back to those around me: my employees, my network of encouragers, my customers, in the ways that they need and actively thinking about that too. Likewise, if you haven’t yet, think about yourself, and just as importantly, those in your life: your friends and those you admire too, especially the entrepreneurs, in the “Love Languages” perspective. How can you give them what they need so that they can feel validated and continue down the path that they are forging? Do they inspire you? How can you inspire them back? How can you be an encourager to someone who encourages you often in small ways that you might take for granted? What can you give back to them to enrich their lives too?

You can read more about each of the 5 love languages and take a quiz to find out which ones are yours here.

Air Plant Care Instructions

I often get asked how to care for air plants & keep them healthy. It’s really quite simple if you keep the following two things in mind: light (bright – but not directly in a window), water (once a week is ideal). That’s easy, right?

How to Care for Air Plants | Gather Goods Co

First of all what are air plants? Air plants are cool looking plants that don’t need soil in order to grow and thrive. They are a unique organism called an ephiphyte, which  basically means that it lives quietly alongside other plants but doesn’t depend on them for sustenance. This is unlike most plants which need to absorb the nutrients in dirt and soil to grow.

Because they don’t need soil, air plants can be displayed in a variety of ways: they can be hung, perched on a shelf, put inside a glass vessel, all without the need to “plant” them. They are native to places like Florida where if you look up into the trees you can see them gently attached to the branches.

How to Care for Air Plants | Gather Goods Co

Light: Air plants need bright light but shouldn’t be placed directly in a window or the leaves might burn. If you notice brown tips on your air plant it means that it is drying out or that it is too bright. Luckily, you have an easy fix, just bring it a little ways away from the window and spritz your plant with an air plant spritzer, such as the ones in our shop here, to give it some moisture. I recommend spritzing your air plants once a week, but they can stand a little neglect, which is one of the things I love about them. They are a really low-maintenance plant with a lot of impact. Another thing to keep in mind in regards to light is to not keep your air plants in a basement or bathroom that is dark and doesn’t have good air circulation.

Glass Plant Mister for Air Plants & Succulents | Gather Goods Co

Water: Air plants don’t like to be too moist, and again, I err on the side of neglect with mine, often going a few weeks without watering them. Ideally, they should get a gentle soaking bath once a week. I like to immerse them in a pan of shallow water for about twenty minutes in lukewarm water. Just like us they can get shocked if the water is too hot or too cold. After soaking for the twenty minutes dump out the water (or reuse it to water other plants) and let your air plants dry out for a few hours.

How to Care For Air Plants | Gather Goods Co

Maintenance: All plants will develop some dried out leaves as they grow over time, these are normal and should be gently pulled off and discarded to allow room for new growth. Also like us, they are affected by extreme temperatures. Air plants need air to grow, so make sure they get good air circulation and aren’t kept in a closed container like other terrarium plants, instead put them in an open top container. If you are feeling ambitious and especially nurturing you can fertilize them once a month with bromeliad fertilizer. If you fertilize them, only do so once a month or the fertilizer can also burn the plant.

How To Care For Air Plants, Blooming Tillandsia | Gather Goods Co

Blooming: A few of the hundred different varieties of tillandsia air plants bloom, so if you have a blooming air plant, enjoy it, as it is a one time thing in the life of the plant and can last anywhere from a week to a month, but most likely won’t happen again.

How to Care For Air Plants | Gather Goods Co

Overall, if you feel like you don’t have a green thumb and are looking for an easy introductory plant to test out your houseplant skills, I would highly recommend these cool plants that I have fallen in love with. We have a lot of air plant varieties in our shop space in downtown Raleigh and some online too. I hope these tips help you on your journey towards a greener thumb and a house filled with lush plants.

Recent Exploring Around Town, Raleigh, NC

Croissant at Boulted Bread in Raleigh, NC | Gather Goods Co

One of my favorite indulgences comes from Boulted Bread here in Raleigh, NC. Their ham & cheese croissant is heaven in a flaky, buttery crust that crumbles into a messy but delicious heap. They recently got named one of the best bakeries in the U.S. by Bon Appetit and for good reason.

Oak City Cycling at Boulted Bread, Raleigh, NC | Gather Goods Co

I spotted Gather’s neighbors, Oak City Cycling there on a recent weekday morning before we all began our work shifts about a mile away on Franklin Street.

Preserved Creatures at Holder Goods, Raleigh, NC | Gather Goods Co

Next door to Boulted Bread is Holder Goods, a wonderfully eclectic shop filled with vintage ephemera and beautifully curated vignettes.

Preserved Creatures at Holder Goods, Raleigh, NC | Gather Goods Co

I especially love these preserved creatures cast in resin blocks that I spotted there.

Summer Porch | Gather Goods Co

Summer is on its way out, though the weather has yet to turn and my porch is still holding on to the season …

North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC | Gather Goods Co

On the days when the weather dips down into the eighties you have to leave the house and get outside because it is a rarity. Somehow despite living here fifteen years, I always forget that the weather stays in the nineties from June through the end of September. On the last nice day, my family and I explored the North Carolina Art Museum and walked their grounds.

North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC | Gather Goods Co

The museum already has an impressive outdoor area with walking trails that are dotted with sculptures and interactive buildings but is in the process of adding on even more with an unveiling in early November.

Market Imports, Raleigh, NC | Gather Goods Co Another fun place to explore is Market Imports near the Farmers Market. The shop is filled with garden pots, and imported home decor mostly made of iron, metals and wood.

What have you explored recently in the Triangle?

September Sounds, A Music Mix

September Sounds, A Music Mix | Gather Goods Co

For the past few years the shop has been using my Spotify account for the music in the space. When I’m at home or in the car, I’m constantly getting logged out so I finally created a dedicated account for the shop. Huzzah for small victories! Currently I just have one playlist, the one you see here which you can listen to below or at this link, but eventually there will be more. If you want to follow the account here for when we post new mixes, our username is gathergoodsco.

I love making and receiving music mixes and they were a staple of my growing up years. There is something about changing seasons that always inspires a new one. This playlist features most of my recent favorites that I have been listening to for the past year. Hope you enjoy. What have you been listening to lately?

Upcoming Classes, Fall

We’ve just listed the first half of our Fall classes online and it’s a great lineup.

Make Your Own Moccosins | Gather Goods Co

Leather Moccasin Workshop
Tuesday September 20th, 6:30-9:30pm
$45, includes all materials

In this class, you’ll design and construct a pair of moccasins, perfectly made to fit you.  Beginning with a pattern, you’ll chose the style of shoe, the color of leather or suede and will piece your materials together by hand.  We’re ready to trade in our sandals for something a bit cozier, what about you? Click here to purchase directly.

Create Your Own Perfume | Gather Goods Co
Intro to Perfumery Workshop
Saturday, October 1st
2:00pm – 4:00pm
$ 60.00, includes all materials

Smell is the most elusive and misunderstood of the senses, yet extremely powerful and built into our lives in more ways than we can count. A smell can trigger deep-seated emotions, warn us of danger, entice us to a lover, and enhance our dining experiences, to name a few of it’s many effects. In this intro to perfumery, we’ll delve into the history of scent, discuss how perfumes are built, do side-by-side comparisons of synthetic versus natural fragrances, and top off the workshop with scentfully crafted cocktails by sommelier Nikki Pletcher.  After the workshop, each guest will have the opportunity to have a custom perfume designed by Liz Hull. Each session takes about 20 minutes and is first come, first served. Click here to purchase directly.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:Liz Hull likes to smell stuff. Good stuff, bad stuff, all the stuff. Despite studying art history and working in the contemporary art world for the past 15 years with artists like Jeff Koons and Takashi Murakami, Liz grew to love perfume and knew it was her calling. Liz’s approach to perfume is less of the Sephora counter variety and is more of an all-encompassing approach to smell. She links the fine arts with the scented arts, relating the conceptual nature of perfume to our basic human instincts. She’s worked in two perfumeries over the past few years, Persephenie and Sarah Horowitz Parfums, both based in Los Angeles, where she designed custom perfumes for a range of clients. 


Indigo Shibori Textiles Class | Gather Goods Co
Indigo Shibori Dyeing
Saturday, October 15th
10:30am – 1:30pm
$ 50.00, includes all materials

Shibori is a Japanese technique of binding, stitching, and clamping fabric to create pattern when dye is applied. Loosely, you could call it “Japanese Tie-dye”.  Join artist Kimberly Kirchstein in this hands-on class in which you’ll learn the basics of this unique method of printing.  No experience is necessary, just come ready to learn and get your hands dirty!  At the end of class, you’ll take home this new skill and your dyed fabrics that could be used as tea towels, place mats or made into beautiful pillows for your home.

Make A Stylish Felt Hat | Gather Goods Co

DIY Felt Hat
Tuesday, October 25th
6:30pm – 9:30pm
$ 55.00, includes all materials

In this class, you’ll shape and form felt to create your own wide brimmed hat, perfect for Fall weather.  All work will be done by hand and no experience is necessary.  Join us!

Click here to purchase directly.

Cameras & Cocktails Class | Gather Goods Co
Cameras and Cocktails
Sunday, November 20th
1:00pm – 4:00pm
$ 70.00

Digital photography is fun and hugely rewarding, but can also be pretty darn frustrating if you don’t know how to take control of your camera. Cameras & Cocktails with local portrait photographer Annemie Tonken is a no-pressure, no-techno-speak, (but no fluff!) class designed to improve your understanding of both the technical and artistic elements of digital photography without making you crazy. Come to Gather for three hours of hands-on instruction on topics ranging from camera settings and equipment to exposure, lighting, and composition. You don’t need to bring anything other than your camera and an interest in photography…we’ll go through each topic step by step, and you’ll receive a .pdf download of the annotated presentation at the end of the class.  And just in case words like aperture and shutter speed give you hives, no worries: there will be cocktails. See Annemie’s work here.

Click here to purchase directly.

A note about the classes: All of our classes are limited in size to 8 students. Many of our classes sell out so we encourage you to sign up asap or in tandem with a friend if you both want to attend together. Alternatively, we can teach these classes privately at your location or ours on a date that is more convenient for you if you can pull together a group of three or more. Just email us if you are interested in hosting a private class.

Three Things: Beauty Tips

Three Beauty Picks | Gather Goods Co

My friend Amber always has the best makeup and beauty tips. She is the go-to among our girlfriends for new products & tricks we had no idea existed before but now we cant live without. Here are three such things:

Essie Penny Talk Nail Polish | Gather Goods Co

1. The nail polish Penny Talk by essie . I met up with Amber and some friends for a quick afternoon get together and she was wearing this nail polish. It’s perfectly shimmery but still almost a neutral. I picked it up and it doesn’t disappoint.

Three Beauty Things | Gather Goods Co

2. Lanolin (aka nipple cream) as lip balm. I use Lansinoh brand.  I know, I know, it seems weird, but trust me here. I was skeptical when Amber suggested it as well but now I use it too and there is no looking back. It makes a lot of sense if you think about it. And for purists, its only ingredient is wool fat, with no added ingredients or chemicals.

Oil Cleansing Method | Gather Goods Co

3. The oil cleansing method for washing your face at night. Have you heard of this? I hadn’t until Amber mentioned it. Another thing I was skeptical of, it is a technique that involves rubbing oil into your face and then wiping it off instead of face wash. Crazy, right? But it works amazingly. My husband, a scientist/chemist type said oil attracts oil like a magnet so that’s why it works. I had really clear skin in high school and then as soon as I hit my twenties I developed really bad acne that I still battle and have the scars to show for it. I tried everything and nothing helped. Oil cleansing has been hands-down a miracle for my skin.

What are some of your tried and true or new favorite beauty tips?