This isn’t a scam! Cast your second vote of the week for Pre-Recorded Late Night and be entered to win! And you know what, I’ll throw in a little something special if you vote for one of my episodes, because that’s the kind of briber I am! You can also tune into the LIVE show on Sunday while hanging out in your pjs. It’ll be a blast.
Interview with Lyndsay Rae Meiklem, Small Business Owner and Artist
For weeks, I’ve been excited by the national Mission Small Business contest sponsored by Chase and LivingSocial, which will award up to 12 individual grants of $250,000 to 12 small businesses. The business application calls for a thoughtful essay and community (online) support, and the project with my vote (and hopefully yours! It’s easy!) is Lyndsay Rae Meiklem’s Meiklem Kiln Works / Centerspace Wellness Studio. With just under two weeks left to vote, I sat down with Lyndsay to learn more about her business philosophy and share it with you.
Jen Bokoff: When you started Meiklem Kiln Works in 2002, did you have any idea that it would be more than just a small pottery studio?
Lyndsay Meiklem: My vision of the studio when we first began in a tiny 700 sq foot building was that we would eventually outgrow the space and need to move into a bigger facility. At that time, I had not envisioned the yoga and wellness studio although I knew I wanted to gather a community of like-minded individuals who could collaborate and help one another to grow their businesses. The business wallet has not been as large as my vision through the years, but still, in 8 years we managed to grow from that original space to a two building, 6000 sq. ft. property housing our entire arts and wellness facility! Now, we’re thriving and that original community I had envisioned has encircled the property; we all embrace one another’s strengths and support one anothers dreams.
JB: Besides your parents, you credit the motto “Conceive, Believe, Achieve” for your success. Can you walk me through what each of those components mean to you?
LM: I’m a fan of motivational speakers like Dr. Wayne Dyer and Carolyn Myss, who speak often about the inner obstacles that can hold us back and prevent us from achieving our dreams. I have always been a visual learner, when I think of an idea, I think of it in pictures in my mind first; this is the conceive part for me. I conceive of what it is that I want to design, create, or set in motion, and then I take a step back and truly stand strong in the faith that it can happen; this is the believe part. You have to have a clear picture of what you are reaching for, and then BELIEVE you can get there. Once those two pieces of the puzzle are in place, there is a certain amount of surrender that needs to happen in order for the universe to create space to provide, which is the achieve part.
JB: You wear a lot of hats including business owner, instructor, potter, and event planner. What’s your favorite hat?
LM: It’s easy to narrow that list to three things that I love: creating artwork, teaching pottery, teaching yoga. I’m not sure I can honestly pick a favorite among those three, but each one feeds a different part of my soul.
JB: What’s the toughest challenge you face in running a small, creative business?
LM: Time. There is never enough of it. Every day, I wish the day were 10 hours longer so I actualy have time to create art, teach a class, AND get office work done. Many times, the office work consumes all of the daytime hours and this is a huge challenge. Even though I’m ready to delegate more of the ‘running the business’ work, the business can’t afford to hire full time employees right now.
JB: If you had a day to do absolutely whatever you wanted (and control the weather and other hindering factors), what would your day look like?
LM: Easy. Wake up and practice yoga with friends. Sit down to the potters wheel and create pots. Take a long lunch and lunchtime hike by a river. Spend some more time creating artwork. Shop for veggies at a local farmers market and make a wonderful vegan dinner for family! Finally, get a good night sleep of 8 hours!
If you’re inspired and have a spare minute, please add a vote in this contest for Meiklem Kiln Works (just search ‘Meiklem’ and vote; don’t worry, there’s no Facebook spam), and share with your network. I support this because I so admire how Lyndsay had a dream and went for it; isn’t that what we all want? And, it’s difficult to stay above water in a creative field, but it’s immeasurably important to have businesses like these in the community. Paradoxical, yes; doable, absolutely! You can also support the business and do some great yoga or pottery making (or other things, too!) by stopping by!
Walking for Water: Results and Reflection
Last week, I wrote about the global health issue of potable water access. I wore a pedometer for exactly one week and tracked all (8 oz) glasses of water consumed during that same time period. 25 miles and 30 glasses later*, I learned some things:
- I don’t drink nearly as much water as I should each day.
- I walk more than the average american (afterall, this is NYC) but not as much as I think I do.
- I drank ~2 gallons of water, which would be a lot to carry 3.7 miles one way. I would not have been able to get water just for myself in a less fortunate country, so to drink even the small amount I had, I would need to make the trip several times.
- The few times I couldn’t have water whenever I wanted and wherever I happened to be in those 25 miles, I felt annoyed. That’s maybe where #firstworldproblems came from, but there’s something deeper than this internet meme; people in 3rd world countries simply do not know the ubiquitous nature of potable water that can come out of a tap, in giant bottles, from people, homes, and workplaces alike, and to anyone regardless of status. This was a startling, uncomfortable reminder.
- I didn’t count ice tea for a few days or foods directly prepared with or including water. This was blatantly wrong; we use potable water for more than meets the eye, which is a luxury that is not fact around the world.
On a lighter note, congratulations to Jeannie Rose, who won the pedometer giveaway! She was the 10th person to share the last blog post. Thanks to all who shared and played!
*There were a few times I do not believe I was properly wearing the pedometer (darn stockings!), and other times that it may have been overly sensitive. I did not wear it at the gym so as not to skew the results as it relates to the purpose of this experiment. I also drank items like iced coffee, coconut water, and beer, which I did not include as water consumed. My step length was conservatively estimated at 25 inches. Some argue these decisions; it’s how I chose to do it.
Walking for Water: DIY Education and Chance to Win
Starting today, I am wearing a pedometer to track how far I walk each day and how much water I drink to put the global issue of potable water in perspective as Earth Day approaches. 2.2 million people in developing countries, most of them children, die every year from diseases associated with lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene, and 80 percent of diseases in the developing world are caused by contaminated water. Even when safe drinking water is available, women in Africa and Asia must walk an average of 3.7 miles to and from the nearest improved sanitation facility to collect it, and they of course can only collect what they can carry. It’s still not enough. I will report back on Earth Day, but my hypothesis is that the distance I walk in about a week would only get me 10% of the water I drink.
Raise awareness of this issue and win! The 10th person to link to share this blog post (however you’d like…twitter, facebook, tumblr, email…) and let me know will win a pedometer from Timex so that you can try this at home. It’s yours to keep, so you can use it for exercise, calorie counting, and more!
Also, watch this video from this campaign’s sponsor, Rotary International, explaining more:
In my Earth Day post, I’ll let you know some actions you can take to improve global access to potable water, and I will include any reader suggestions, too.
Josh is a buddy from the Internet who writes great reviews of board games and has a chunk of games to give away. It’s super easy to enter his contest…. just start following him or linking to his blog. Personally, I think he puts out great content and is well worth following. Hope you win*!
*mostly, I hope I win, especially Fluxx or Munchkin. Girl can dream, right?