January 24, 2017

Out In The Wild!

Last week, we had one of the coolest experiences since Speak Your Silence came to be!

Ash (my wife) and I flew to Denver to spend time with family on a purely fun trip.  No business.  And it was, indeed, fun!

We took the early flight on Saturday morning (which, for non-morning people, is deserving of an award, I think) to the mile high city.  We had a full day ahead of us, so our first stop on the way to the rental car bus was for coffee.

We grabbed our coffee and were about to step onto an escalator when a young woman suddenly approached me and hurriedly asked, “Are you the founder of The Stitch?!”

Ash and I were totally caught off guard, but I said, “Yeah!  Are you familiar with Speak Your Silence?”  She said, “Oh my gosh, I’m wearing The Stitch!  I’ve had it for a couple years!”

She turned around and, sure enough, she had it on the back of her jacket! (look closely in the image above)

Her name was Mikayla.  We got to meet her mom, dad, and sister, as she was heading back from Denver to Portland, Oregon, where she goes to college.

It was so surreal.

I remember reading Blake Mycoskie’s book about his first time seeing someone wearing a pair of TOMS Shoes in another city.  In his case, it happened at JFK Airport.  It’s all I could think about while we were chatting with Mikayla and her family.

What we loved most was that when we asked Mikayla how she first discovered Speak Your Silence, it was through her aunt, who we don’t know.  Quite often, connections like these come from friends of friends and we say, “Oh, yeah, we know them!”  But, in this case, we didn’t know the connection, which made this experience all the sweeter.  What it meant was that this is far beyond us and our social circles.  This is growing organically to other cities and other states, all thanks to you, the people who champion this cause every day!

I’m so glad we were thinking to capture a photo to share this moment with all of you!  Mikayla was so neat.  🙂

Ash and I wished Mikayla a great spring semester and we headed to our rental car van.  As we walked, we both kept saying, “Wow.  That was incredible.  I can’t believe that just happened!”

It was one of those affirming moments – one we’ll never forget – when you realize, “It’s working.”  I don’t know how else to describe it.  It felt so much bigger than Matt, Ash, Alanna, our board, our team of rock stars who make this all go.  It felt so much bigger than us.  Because it is.

I shared about this amazing experience with a few people this past week, and one shared about how when the founders of Warby Parker first had this experience – I believe they saw a guy on a train wearing their glasses.  They referred to it as seeing their product “out in the wild”.  And I just love that.  Out in the wild.

So, here’s to Mikayla, for wearing The Stitch loyally for 2 years and having no clue of how encouraging she would be to me by wearing it.  And here’s to each of you who wear The Stitch every day.

I always say, supporters of our cause – and people who wear The Stitch – they’re the most loyal and passionate of any cause you’ll find.  And this was the proof.

-Matt

To join Mikayla in wearing The Stitch and being a voice, click here.

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