This project started in anger and frustration. It felt like there were more challenges in the world we share than at any time in my life -- at a time when my physical and financial resources were least able to do anything about it.
Finding the Goddess bead, researching Vestonicka Venuse and identifying the six similarities between her and today's Goddesses and donating 20 percent of the sale of Goddess pieces to organizations that make a difference formed the core idea, but the structure kept evolving.
After a couple of months of designing with and dreaming about these beads, I started to understand Gepetto. The more I thought about all the Goddesses in my life -- and the gifts they have and share in abundance -- the less the beads seemed like Artisan Czech glass, color and finish.
FIRST CAME AGNES
Agnes would have never allowed herself to be called a Goddess -- but she was the first to step forward - solid, strong and unflappable. I could see the cloud of flour as she tossed the egg noodles for her perpetual pot of chicken soup and the warm cinnamon smell of her apple pies every time i picked up the amber glass.
My father's mother died in 1985, but is always close in my thoughts. Any time I have a hard choice to make, I think about the harder ones she made and try to follow her path. Her 1919 wedding picture is the focal point of my home . The feeling of having Grandma Mohn physically close again in that bead led to the final plan.
THEN THE REST
The beads for Cheryl, Tina and Emily had already named themselves before I filled three pages of a yellow legal pa, line-by-line with the names of exceptional women I have known in my lifetime. I felt rich and overwhelmed. Everyone of them had abundant gifts , inspired me and made a difference.
But when I went back to the six qualities, I was eventually able to narrow the list to the remaining beads in front of me. If my criteria was objective and choices more throughly vetted, perhaps other names would have emerged. But sometimes a girl has to go with her gut.
GIVING THE GODDESS GIFT
Once the group identified themselves, the idea emerged of asking each of them to pick a non-profit to benefit from Goddess sales- but it took several months of false starts to figure that part out. I didn't want it to be a fundraising competition or challenge -- simply a way of doing good with my customers while honoring these incredible women.
Getting to the simple solution was, of course, inordinately complicated. But the reboot starts today. Every time the Goddess Gift reaches $250 I'll draw a name from the list and make the gift to the nonprofit of their choice.
THE GIFTED GODDESSES
Their paths are divergent and some of their views and choices quite different than my own. But thinking about what they have done and will continue to do with their gifts brought my Goddess project from anger and frustration to celebration and empowerment.
I am grateful to each of them for what they have done in my life and others and invigorated by sharing with you and them the opportunity to make a difference together.
MY PART IN THIS
As a daughter of Buffalo, New York I'm a practical gal. Value and fairness are important. If I marked up the prices to make the donations that would be not be giving, but marketing. The Goddesses are about giving back.
The beads themselves are versatile gals and not one of the women I selected to represent them are the least bit selfish. Once you have a Vestonicka Venusa in your hand, i wouldn't be in the least bit surprised if you discover in her an identity more personal to you.
I'll bet you already have someone in mind...