EF BLOG #4
Seven years later. Amy Hall, EILEEN FISHER director of Social Consciousness calls. OK she didn’t exactly call, but she did choose to attend the Webinar I did on Integrating Sustainability from the Inside Out linking the inner work of personal healing with the outer work of global transformation. With Ashley Welch, inspired interviewer as partner I described four key inner practices that I refer to as, Unplug, Go Wild, Feal and Heal, and say Thank You and how these link to outer practices essential to social change leaders: Vision, Living Systems, Diversity and Abundance consciousness. (More on all this in another blog or you can check it out on the Webinar with Ashley.) Meantime the cool thing was that Amy came to the webinar! She must like the idea of linking inner and outer work! And as I described on last week’s blog, I was courting EILEEN FISHER as my ideal business partner.
Ashley said, “Call her!” Now I didn’t want to be a stalker, but I did want to connect big time. I wrote Amy, “I’m so happy to see that you came to the Webinar. . . It’s been seven years since we last spoke! Are you available for a catch-up call?”
Several conversations with Amy and 18 months later I found myself on an Amtrak ACELA heading south, hurdling towards EF headquarters in New York City. Remember I LOVE their clothes. And yet I had nothing to wear! It was pouring rain and I was a drenched rat dragging my roll aboard luggage from New York Penn Station the 15 blocks south to EILEEN FISHER’s headquarters. No luck in that weather hailing a cab, so by the time I got to 111 Fifth Avenue, my destination. I was a soaked, shivering, and frazzled mess. Can’t show up for my first meeting at fashion headquarters that way!
I had learned the hard way about proper client fashion during my first time as a consultant at Nike in 1998 when I had the naiveté to come to an initial meeting in my only pair of sneakers that happened to be Reeboks. What was I thinking?? That move was like showing up at a Red Sox game with a Yankees cap on. I paid for that poor fashion taste for years to come, never quite feeling accepted as a member of their tribe, never quite comfortable on their home turf. I knew better now to show up in EF’s finest. But psychologically this was no stretch because– have I told you? -- I LOVE their clothes!
What to do? Then I had an epiphany that people from my rural town -- where the only place of commerce in is our Country Store -- rarely have: Go shopping! I remembered from my Google Search for headquarters that there was an EF retail store right across the street!
Embarrassed by my lack of style, I sheepishly entered the EF Fifth Avenue store. I knew from the store closest to our hood in Northampton MA that one of the great things about Eileen’s retail stores is that the women there treat you like family so I found my courage and approached the New York City chic sales ladies. “I’ve got my first-ever meeting across the street on the 13th floor with your EF senior team at headquarters in two hours. Can you dress me in your finest Winter fashion?”