This past Tuesday was a day I will remember for a long time. I was awarded The Business Woman Award by Veuve Clicquot Canada. The award was created in 1972 as a tribute to Madame Clicquot. The award champions the success of business women worldwide who share the same qualities as Madame Clicquot: her enterprising spirit, courage, and the determination necessary to accomplish her goals. The award is now awarded in 37 countries. I was thrilled. Thrilled. Over. The. Moon. I didn't realize how happy I was until they said my name.
I was first told about the call for applications by our Brand Manager Peggy who had read about it in several magazines. She knows I get nervous about these kinds of things. All my internal self talk comes out....nerves, not feeling successful enough for this, comparison to others, all that unproductive stuff that clutters our head. Likewise, I think I've felt a little disheartened by some of the awarding criteria and judging that goes on. But when I started to answer the questions posed by Veuve Clicquot, I got excited. There were the usual financial, # of employee questions, but then things transitioned into business philosophy questions, community participation, culture, values. It was an enjoyable process to go through. Very different than other similar experiences in the application process.
In the late summer I received notice that I was one of 5 finalists and I was blown away. Could I make myself available to be taken to Toronto for October 4th. Um yes. Yes yes yes. My favourite champagne, a beautiful brand heritage, a finalist with 4 other incredibly talented and interesting women. Yes I could! We were asked to create a maximum 4 minute presentation on ourselves and our company and being as passionate as I am about building and growing skoah, this was a challenge. But after meticulous editing, got my presentation down to 4 minutes.
And the night came, and they had the CEO of Veuve Clicquot on a large screen to announce the winner. And he said my name. And for a moment, I held my breath. Such an honor. I was thrilled, and then quickly realized winning wasn't something I had prepared for. An interesting lesson and observation about myself. Through the process, I had forgotten about that possibility. This bothered me some. One of the things I share with our krew members and with my kids is: Why not you? Why not you as the Manager of X, Why not skoah as the first Facial Shop Concept? Why not you as the champion of X? Why not us? What is different about us and others who have accomplished Big Hairy Audacious Goals? Yet here I was as a finalist not contemplating that I could win. And when I won, I celebrated! I posted a video on my facebook page and was struck by the encouragement and positive assumptions such as why not you, Andrea.
After the award was given, one of the judges spoke with me about the award. She had been a past winner, and her genuine enthusiasm about the award inspired me. She explained to me that the judges thought about skoah as a different take on a big industry, and the distinctness of what we did was compelling. She also explained that the strong company culture was really important. This made me feel so proud of what we (as in our skoah krew collectively) have created.