WHAT WAS THE NEST?
The Nest was a Play & Stay, Creative Cafe designed to function as a modern day community center & membership club for women and families. The Nest brought together in one centrally located “hub,” everything that matters to women and children. I recognized in the years leading up to The Nest that one of the cornerstones of being a woman is motherhood. We love our children; and let’s face it, when they are not happy, we are not happy, so I decided to create a new and innovative woman and child experience where I had identified a huge hole in the market. I wanted a place where mom could nosh on a Greek chop salad and sip a glass of wine; the kids could go into childcare, take a class, or play in our indoor play community and tree house. I like to say, “think Starbucks meets Kindercare.” It was truly an incredible and category changing idea. The Nest offered both membership programs and daily drop childcare, classes and activities in addition to upscale open-dining and cocktails. The 5,400 square foot, multi-level facility offered everything from yoga & art classes to birthday parities and showers. It was a monster of a project with so many, many different elements that needed to be managed and operated…I guess you could say I tried to run before I had ever learned to walk. Some BIG ideas are simply too big to be able to executed in a way that can be sustained, and unfortunately, The Nest was only open for a little under one year.
The Nest was a gigantic risk and looking back I can say with confidence that I truly poured everything I had inside of myself into that big dream. To see something come to life that once only existed in your mind is a rewarding experience like none other. I wrote the business plan from scratch, I drove a oversized U Haul across multiple states to transport furniture, I hand painted the chairs, I touched and tasted and collaborated to personally choose every single item we offered from the cups hand picked from garage sales, to the activities and events we dreamed up daily. I met a group of absolutely incredible women whom I am blessed to still call friends ,and who have changed my life in more ways than one. I was blessed to have people believe in me enough to get behind me and support me (not to mention $$invest$$ in me, and it was those same people who stood behind me as the risk proved to be too great and never once made be feel less than a complete and total success. I also encountered the most difficult professional relationships and hardest personal and professional adversity that I had ever experienced in my entire life. I learned through that failure how to stand strong against some other individuals that sought to hurt me and wanted to see me fail. Ive always said there will always be haters in this world, and like the time old says goes, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. I like to say it was the Nest of times. 🙂
Our motto was: Come Join Our Flock. Learn To Soar. Build a Little Birdhouse In Your Soul.
And I like to think that The Nest did indeed build a little house inside of my soul that will remain there for the rest of my life. It was the biggest challenge I had ever attempted to win, and it will probably forever remain the largest professional failure of my career. People always want to soften that word….FAILURE. But after many years and a lot of therapy, I stand proud in my failure. I am proud to say, I dared to dream. I took the fall. And guess what….I got back up and tried to ride again.
Taken from Fast Company: Last year, Brown gave a talk at Pixar Animation Studios, where president Ed Catmull (who helped save Pixar with Toy Story) and his team explained that the middle of the creative process is the hardest part. In the script, for example, it’s where the main character must face a tough journey to learn a lesson. That shaped her theory: You can’t skip the second act. “People don’t recount the middle of the story often,” Brown says. “[It has] the most potential for shame. But it’s where everything important happens.” Good leaders can become revolutionary ones when they take charge of their own narratives. “The moment we deny a difficult experience, it owns us,” Brown says. “If we are brave enough, often enough, we’re going to fall. Rising Strong is about what it takes to get back up and keep being courageous with our lives.”