December 10, 2009

The Power of Partnerships (It's a Giveaway!)

Whenever Jonesie, Ny and I are together and we meet someone new, the first question we are usually asked is "How did you all meet?" and "What gave you the idea to create Blogalicious?" The truth is that we started off as friends who met in college (Jonesie and I) and then law school (Ny). After graduation, real life quickly set in and we found ourselves consulting each other daily - even multiple times a day - on issues relating to marriage and motherhood. The questions we bombarded each other with over email ranged from: Am I making enough milk? How did you find your nanny? When on earth do you guys have time to fit in Date Night? to What's your favorite brand of diapers? Are Gymboree classes really worth the money? And so on and so on. Then, one day I came across this thing called a "blog." I loved that it was an interactive and fun way to share information with friends and before we knew it, Mamalaw was born.

Partnerships That Strengthen Friendships
The blog has really been evidence of the powerful partnership that is friendship. We counsel, support and lean on each other here for all that life throws our way. serves as a launching pad for other adventures, namely Blogalicious. Hardly a day goes by without someone wondering how we managed to plan and host a conference, while working and raising families. The answer is simple: we had a partnership. I'm sure any one of us would say that we would not have been able to pull anything off (except for our hair) had we been doing it alone. The beauty of our partnership is that there are three sets of shoulders to carry the load; three great minds that come up with all sorts of crazy ideas; three sets of eyes to go over everything; but most of all three good hearts that dream big. It's the power of that partnership that fueled Blogalicious 2009 and that is fueling the great projects that are to come.

Partnerships That Feed The Soul
There is one other partnership that I cannot neglect to acknowledge. If you attended the conference in October, then you got to see first hand the most important partners in our lives: our husbands. As Jonesie said, we really and truly would never have been able to juggle it all without having fantastic life partners holding down the homefront. Whether it was putting up with our myriad late-night conference calls, taking care of the kids so Mommy could go to a "meeting," or understanding that mom was preoccupied and that's why we were having spaghetti again for dinner, our hubbies weathered the storm and gave us tremendous support. It's the power of that partnership that fuels our spirits and inspires our kids.

Take a moment to reflect on all of your major accomplishments. I'm willing to bet that you didn't achieve those on your own. Was a study partner involved? A mentor? An editor? Somewhere, some kind of partnership was at play.

Partnerships That Cross Continents
A perfect example of a powerful partnership is one spearheaded three years ago by Willa Shalit and her company Fair Winds Trading. It's called "Path to Peace" and it developed an American market for Rwandan women’s crafts. It creates trade partnerships with artisans in recovering regions to bring the power of change to Rwanda and Indonesia. Shalit believes that women helping each other can change how Rwanda rebuilds its society, empowers women and sustains economic development beyond traditional development assistance. Earning, on average, nearly 14 times the national per capita income, the women are now able to feed their families and send their children to school. Through the Path to Peace project, the wonderful women of Rwanda fashion one-of-a-kind jewelry such as The O Bracelet. The bracelet, recently featured in O Magazine, is hand-made by two women--a weaver in Rwanda and a jewelry artist in New Orleans. Besides being a beautiful accessory, the message is all about partnership and the possibilities which occur when we work together.

Would you like to win your very own O Bracelet? Just leave us a comment describing a meaningful partnership in your life. A winner will be chosen on Wednesday, December 16.

Thanks to The BlogRollers Media for offering us this great giveaway!

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ParlinMom said...

I have a great partner in my life, my mom. She has been my biggest supporter, my best friend, my worst enemy, my doctor, lawyer, police office and most of THE best mother!!

She was a single mother that raised me through government support until I went to grade school then she fought a long fight to raise me just like all the other children in my upper class schools that I was enrolled in. Through credit card debt and hardship she taught me how to be a strong woman and ultimately a great wife and mother. She struggled and went without to teach me sacrifice and how to make the best out of any situation. She helped me understand how to pick myself up from heartbreak, death and destruction and walk away with grace and a smile on my face. She prepared me for life as an adult and what that would mean to my husband and my children. She taught me how to deal with step-son’s mother (without killing her) by showing me how she dealt with my father’s other women, she showed me how to deal with my mother-in-law (which hates me) by showing me how she dealt with my grandmother that was not sure about the light-skinned woman my dad was having a baby by and she taught me how to recognize that my husband loves me more than anything in this world. She taught me how to be a friend because she was/is my best friend but never letting me forget that she is my mother FIRST!!

That is my partner, my mother. She deserves this bracelet.

pam said...

I saw this braclet in O and love love love.

I had a teacher in elementary school that was my greatest supporter. My parents died when I was little and this teacher followed me through college.

My husband was my greatest influence. Unwavering support and love always. He's gone now too but I remember something he taught me every single day.

Thien-Kim aka Kim said...

I saw these featured in O magazine. I love the story behind them. Makes the jewelry more meaningful.

I am inspired by your partnership too. I love seeing you all together, both in real life and online.

My husband is my greatest supporter. We've been together for almost as long as I've known him. It'll be 13 years we've been together this January.

K. Rock said...

My greates partnership is with the hubby. I was just telling him last night how awesome I think he is. He is calm and collected and really knows how to handle things. He makes me happy.

Lay Witness said...

I have to tell you that I cringed when I saw this post today. I came home after my long and exhausting Business Organizations law school exam trying to unwind and read some of my favorite blogs... until I saw "PARTNERSHIPS"! AHHHH!

After initially and instinctively thinking co-ownership, capital contribution and sharing in profits and losses, I read the post and as usual, enjoyed it.

My most successful partnership is with my husband. He is my most loyal supporter and best friend. We definitely share in our profits, as well as our losses -- and I wouldn't have it any other way!


Susan said...

My partner (of sorts) is my best friend Michelle. We've been tight for almost a decade now. Not only is she a solid-rock, cool friend, she has also been a great mentor and sounding board for me as I launch my freelance writing business. She's been doing it for years and happily encourages and helps me whenever I need it.

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for your participation! We truly appreciate the support!

Lauren said...

Justices, thanks so much for sharing the story of the O Bracelets and for sharing some insights into your own partnerships. I'm really inspired by you ladies and your work. I'm involved with the Path2Peace project and am so thrilled that you're doing this giveaway.

CurlyHue (L.J. Miles) said...

I have a great partnership with my husband. We don't have family to help with the kids, so we "tag team" alot. When school or social events come up with the kids, we find out which one of us(if not both),can make ourselves available. It is very important to us that our kids have parental support, no matter how "minor" the occasion. Most recently there was "donuts with dad" at our younger kids school. Needless to say, there was no discussion needed...that one was ALL his.

~L. J.

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