4min readPolitics 05 August 2019
Marianne Williamson is certainly the most unique competitor to join the campaign trail with a mission of bringing love into politics. While we often hear her plans for transforming America, E! News surveyed the presidential candidate on what has helped transform her into the powerful, revolutionary woman she is today.
The 2020 presidential campaign has seen an outstanding lineup of candidates from all walks of life vying for their party's nomination. While they're usually seen hashing it out on the debate stage, offering up their political stances in effort to persuade the American people, E! News got more down to earth with the candidates to find out who they are through the lens of today's pop culture. While most shared some not too surprising details about what their motivations and interests are, one candidate certainly stuck out the most with some unique responses.
Whether or not you have familiarized yourself with her work, there is no denying that her vision for our country, and humanity, is unlike any we've seen on the political stage thus far. As an activist, entrepreneur, New York Times best seller and most recently, Democratic candidate for the 2020 presidential elections, Marianne Williamson has extensive, well-rounded experience and knowledge on an array of topics ranging from wellness to politics.
In a survey conducted by E! News, Williamson revealed an interesting ritual she practices before public speaking which is to pray for the happiness of the audience. While the other candidates typically practice a ritual that calms their nerves or better prepares them for their speech, Williamson takes the selfless route in wishing others well rather than turning her focus inward. While her personal ritual is intriguing in and of itself, such a selfless act is unsurprising of Williamson, who has dedicated her life's work to spreading love and deepening our commitment to world peace. Positive thinking and prayers of happiness have been a longstanding ritual for the activist. In a 2012 interview with her friend Oprah Winfrey, Williamson shared that before a meeting, job interview, or any event in life, it is important to send love in our minds to the situations and people involved. She expressed, "the only thing going on here is, I am going to bless that person, they are going to bless me. I don't know if I'm supposed to get that job. My only agenda is that God's will be done."
There's no doubt Williamson's approach to politics and presidency is far from that of our current president. In fact, her mission for this campaign has been to bring love into politics by falling in love with what America can mean. In an interview with Carrolspaper, she stated, "Trump has turned fear into a political force. We must turn love into a political force." She strives to achieve this by bolstering the awakening in American consciousness to overcome the Trump administrations reign of fear with love, as opposed to combating hatred with hatred.
In addition to her ritual, Williamson shared that A Course In Miracles , scribed by Dr. Helen Schuman, was the book that made the most lasting impact on who she has become. The three-volume religious text serves as a "complete self-study spiritual thought system" that teaches universal love and peace. Unlike an autobiography or traditional written work that the other candidates favored, A Course in Miracles requires readers to transform into more conscious beings who knit love into the framework of their beliefs and actions. Not only has this book inspired Williamson to lead a better life, but inspired her to become an author and teach her understanding of the text to others on a global scale. The lessons learned from A Course in Miracles have laid the foundation for Williamson's current political platform and have set the tone for how she believes the country must be run and where it must be led in order to be successful in functioning for the greatest good of all.
Williamson's selfless acts and wishes for our country is certainly a refreshing break from the negative banter between the current presidential cabinet and the public. Rather than focusing solely on temporary results, Williamson's hope is to encourage spiritual growth among the American people, restore our connection to nature, and equip us with the tools needed to fulfill our life's purpose.
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When their frustration with current fabric care options had fashionistas Gwen Whiting and Lindsey Boyd worn out, the two entrepreneurs made it their mission to start a new niche and launch their very own at-home, eco-friendly laundry detergent line.
With a mission of turning an everyday domestic chore into a luxurious experience, these entrepreneurs not only conjured up an idea for an unconventional product line, but they successfully built their business while turning down the offer of every venture capitalist to knock on their door.
Gwen Whiting and Lindsey Boyd co-founded The Laundress in 2004 after dealing with their own personal frustrations with limited clothing care options. Whiting, having worked at Ralph Lauren in design and Boyd having worked at Chanel in corporate sales, soon accumulated a stylish wardrobe of designer pieces as perks of their jobs in the fashion industry. However, the duo quickly realized that the maintenance required for upkeeping these items were far from adequate. Laundry products on the market at the time did not cater to delicate textures and fabrics such as tweed blazers, cable-knit cashmere and silk blouses. Taking their clothing to the dry cleaners also proved hopeless as their clothing would often come back with stains or even be ruined despite the overload of chemicals used to clean them. With nowhere left to turn, Whiting and Boyd were determined to create their own laundry solutions designed for specific fabrics.
Not only did the entrepreneurs develop the business expertise needed to finally begin their own company, but they also shared the same educational background that equipped them to pursue their unconventional business venture. Whiting and Boyd met in college as students at Cornell University majoring in Fiber Science, Textile, and Apparel Management and Design. The pair was introduced by a mutual friend and instantly knew they would become business partners. "It was inevitable that we were going to have a business together. We are both extremely entrepreneurial by nature, and it was one of the connections that we instantly shared" said Whiting. After focusing on pursuing their own individual careers for a while, Whiting and Boyd quickly discovered a void in the fabric care marketplace when their clients would continuously inquire about the upkeep of their designer pieces.
The entrepreneurial duo was committed to researching and developing their own eco-friendly laundry products and soon launched their own at-home solutions for specific fabrics like silk, wool and denim, which ultimately eliminated the need for dry cleaning for those particular items. Despite their products filling a necessary void in the market, it quickly became challenging for the founders to persuade people to shift their focus away from traditional laundry care options in order to try their products. However, Whiting and Boyd believed in their mission for the Laundress and bootstrapped from the very beginning, refusing all venture capital funding with the goal of growing organically. In order to be successful, they had to get creative in fundraising. "In the very early days, we funded business development by hosting a 'for profit' party at a New York City restaurant and inviting friends, family, co-workers, etc. to support our new venture. That was pre-Kickstarter and an inventive way to make everyone feel a big part of our decision to be entrepreneurs," said Whiting.
While turning down VC funding as new entrepreneurs seems unimaginable, it is as equally unfathomable to consider how these women gained national traction without social media, all the while hustling to fund their business. For Whiting and Boyd, who started their business before social media existed, it was imperative that they promote their brand by leveraging the resources they had available to them. The CEO's were one of the first to sell consumer goods, let alone detergent, online with the goal of reaching a national audience. Despite having limited retail distribution, they leveraged the power of their website and became featured in publications on both a national and international scale. "Before social media platforms existed, we nurtured our own Laundress community with engaging content on our website, step-by-step tutorials on our blog, and one-on-one communication through our Ask The Laundress email," Whiting explained. With technology evolving and the birth of social media platforms, the founders expanded the conversation about their products from website, blog and email to platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
As female entrepreneurs, Whiting and Boyd faced additional hardships as misconceptions about their mission ultimately proved to disappoint more than it encouraged them. As women selling luxury detergent, there existed a preconceived notion that funding would be more easily attainable based upon their gender.
"Everyone thought it was easy to access capital as female entrepreneurs, but it was actually very challenging. We had this unique and disruptive idea within a very traditional space and it was hard to get people on board at first. It's been a continuous journey to educate people in fabric care and home cleaning," said Boyd.
Reflecting on their journey as entrepreneurs, the founders express no regrets about refusing to accept venture capital throughout the process. "Over the years, we could never quantify the cost benefit of VC funding so we continued to grow organically and remain independent by funding ourselves with credit cards and loans," explained Boyd. While their decision proved fruitful, the duo expressed their consideration towards other entrepreneurs who may not be able to fully fund their business as they grow. Because funding is a situational experience, entrepreneurs must ultimately do what is best for their business as no one path is optimal for every entrepreneur or every business.
With an increasing amount of women entering entrepreneurship with their own unique set of products or services, the CEO's offer up one piece of advice on how female entrepreneurs can be successful in their endeavors.
Whiting: "Our advice to anyone looking to build their brands: Have a strong business plan and vision. If you are not disciplined to write a business plan first then you are not disciplined to start a business. Get your ideas down so you ask yourself the right questions; it helps you get organized and plan next steps."
Boyd: "Create quality products without sacrificing the ingredients—no cutting corners. What you create should be the most important piece. Stay passionate, and trust your instincts and follow your gut—something woman are awesome at!"