A coffee with... Marcie Finney and Valerie Hausladen: A friendship steeped in admiration, success
I admit it: There are days where I have to make myself take that extra nanosecond to click "like" on a friend's Facebook item or dash off "happy birthday!" instead of just scurrying through my news feed so that I can get on to something else.
So that's why I'm extra impressed that Valerie Hausladen and Marcie Finney take two-and-a-half hours every Tuesday morning just to meet and offer each other support for their business goals and other dreams. Clearly, they're operating on some earlier definition of "friend" than the Facebook version.
I first talked with Hausladen, an executive turned author and career coach, almost a year ago when I interviewed her about her book, "Professional Destiny." I met Finney, a jewelry designer, last spring at a networking event. It surprised me not at all to later find out that they knew each other: The two share qualities of warmth, a serene, deep-rooted confidence and a positive energy that makes time pass quickly over huge mugs of hot tea at Dominican Joe, where I caught up with Hausladen and Finney about their latest projects and the friendship that buttresses all that they do.
Hausladen is working on her second book. For "The Whammy," she is collecting inspiring stories about people who have faced sudden crises, from illness to divorce. It was inspired by a Whammy of her own: A week after she announced she was leaving her corporate job to focus on writing and coaching, she found out that her savings were frozen in a Ponzi scheme . The financial cushion that she thought she would have in starting the new chapter of her life was gone. She credits Finney and other friends for supporting her in crisis. Though her first book was (beautifully) self-published, she's considering going with a conventional publisher this time because it would help her get in more bookstores.
Finney, meanwhile, is preparing to launch an e-commerce site for her jewelry. She currently sells through boutiques and private orders.
"I really wanted to have it on a bigger level for people to have access to it," she says. One of her favorite things is transforming those loved but rarely worn jewelry items passed on to us from family members into new pieces. For Hausladen, she worked with two pieces that belonged to her grandmother. Finney's new Heirloom Renewal Collection also features reimagines vintage pieces. (You can see it an other examples of her work at seedsforgoodness.com.)
The two met about a year and a half ago through a women's group and decided to start having their Tuesday meetups. The success of each friend thrills the other.
"We've actually had people notice our friendship and how positive it is," Hausladen says. "Other women notice it," and, sadly, remark that women aren't always so supportive.
Indeed, both have seen relationships with other women clouded by jealousy and feelings of competition.
"It really comes from a feeling of lack, that there's not enough" Hausladen says. She and Finney choose to believe instead in abundance. "We believe there's enough for everybody. Marcie's success is not going to stop my success. I love seeing her successful."
Finney adds: "I just love to see people doing what they love, being in that higher space of who they are. That's what makes me the most happy."