Sixteen Years Ago . . .
Sixteen years ago today, a nameless person at the U.S. Internal Revenue Service date stamped a letter granting a new small business its Employer Identification Number. I'm sure that person didn't put any thought into what October 3, 2000 would come to mean for me, a person miles away, opening my mail in my little apartment. But to my co-founder Dennis and I, that letter symbolized that someone acknowledged that we were a real business. We chose that date to mark our founding and I have used it as a day of celebration and reflection ever since.
October 3 has become full of meaning for me. The date reminds me of the good times like hiring our first employee, putting our first five-digit check in the bank and dressing up in ballgowns to be honored by peers. It reminds me of the tough times like searching for enough coins in the couch cushions to buy baby formula, having to let go of talented people and making tough decisions that would be questioned by the people I most respected.
This date represents the highest and lowest moments in business and life for me. It captures the full journey: the richness of taking risks and the challenge of trying to build something in my likeness that represents the values and hopes and spirit of me. It marks the sixteen years of courage and vulnerability I've mustered to keep swinging, over and over again.
Why We Celebrate
Since the beginning of time, human beings have created celebrations to mark important steps in their journeys. The purpose of these celebrations isn't just to have a party; there's something deeper involved. These celebrations connect us to ourselves through time: they tell us where we are in our journeys and they remind us of where we've been. They create comfort through continuity, add depth by acknowledging hardships and build community by connecting us to each other.
Our celebrations can remind us of the toughest times in our personal and collective history. We celebrate years of freedom from addiction or months being cancer-free. We celebrate anniversaries of the ends of wars and beginnings of movements that uplifted the oppressed. Reflecting on these moments of overcoming hardship shows us how resilient we really are.
Celebrations can also remind us of who we are when we are being our very best selves as we relive our personal and collective accomplishments. Reflecting on these moments can help us see that we are best when we are bold, connected and full of hope. They remind us that we are part of something bigger than ourselves and that all of our actions are part of a legacy we are leaving for others.
The next time you celebrate a landmark in your life, whether it's a birthday, a holiday, a celebration of years on a job or an anniversary of an accomplishment, take a few extra moments to consider what the tradition of celebration is trying to teach you. What were you doing when you were being your best self? What hardships did you overcome that prove your ability to bounce back? What lessons did you learn that have given you new wisdom to tackle even greater challenges?
When we can appreciate that the years aren't just slipping by, but they are teaching us, expanding us and preparing us for the next step, we have more power to become bigger and bolder versions of ourselves as we march through time.
So on this October 3, I'll be raising my glass of champagne to the whole of the experience. I'll toast to the best, worst, and mediocre moments as teachers preparing me for the next steps of the journey. I thank all of you for being a part of this rich experience with me. I look forward to unfolding along side you as we both grow into our futures.
Did You Know . . .
How We Got Our Name
Today seems like a fitting day to share how we got our new name. (We started the company as Belmont Design in 2000, changed it to Belmont, Inc in 2004 to reflect our growing services and renamed it in 2015 to symbolize a rebirth.) Almost two years ago, we made the smart decision to treat ourselves like clients. Sometimes our clients ask us to help them identify a name that will become their company's or product's brand. This is a fun endeavor, as it is like naming a child: the name can shape the personality and style of the person or thing it is representing.
We started with our archetype, or organizational storyline: The Lover. The Lover encourages others to follow their bliss and live with passion. We brainstormed how to capture the vibration and energy that come with being fully alive. It conjured the idea of bubbles in a glass of champagne, infinitely rising from an unseen source. The energy of "effervescence" captured our imaginations.
We liked the sound of a truncated version of "effervescence." It mimicked the word "Essence," another term for the core, or soul. We shortened the word to begin with the letter "V," and modified the spelling. It was then that the name Vessence was born, a perfect name for a company vibrating with the energy of life that helps others find their essence and give it voice.
Need to name a company or product? Give us a call. We'd love to help you find the perfect name to bring your brand to life!