Every year for International Women's Day, I try to do something to bring local women together. After recently moving to my cozy new home in Dunedin, FL this past year, (where everyone I've met along the way has been BEYOND welcoming and encouraging of my Freelance Graphic Design Company), I knew we had to do something special for International Women's Day! After all, most of the business-owners who I have met via networking and created logos for, have in fact, been women!
I decided I was going to paint a mural! This would be Kay Coastal's first public mural
(on the Pinellas trail no less), so the message had to be good! Wait... my FIRST mural?!?! I can't do this! As doubt started creeping in, I remembered one of my favorite can-do quotes of all time:
"She believed she could, so she did."
And then it hit me like a ton of bricks. What better message to paint to encourage women, than the message I use every day to encourage myself! It was so obvious. If it resonated enough to get me to paint a wall in public, then surely it would resonate with other women on some level!
With design in hand, I instantly began looking around for a local company, small business, or basically anyone with a blank wall to spare that believed in my message! I asked a few friends in the area and one woman's name kept popping up: Bren! Bren is one of the owners of Cueni Brewing Company, a Dunedin brewery tucked off the trail that makes all of their best stuff in house. My friend offered to formally introduce me to Bren to see if she would be interested in the painting!
I started to explain my event and International Women's Day, when she stopped to inform me that they release a beer every year on March 8th specifically for International Women's Day! I could not believe how perfect this was! The mural had to be here! And it had to be that quote! Done!
Not done! I still had to paint the thing! I was nervous and excited all at the same time!
Now, I'm not one to typically LOVE process. I personally love product. You hear about people saying that they "love the journey" and all the effort and work that goes into a piece! Don't get me wrong, I can certainly get lost in a project, but if I'm doing my job right, my favorite part is seeing a happy client with a logo they love in hand! So when I say that painting this mural was one of the most fun art processes I've ever experienced, I mean it! It was truly one of the most exhilarating things I've ever done.
The outpouring of love I received from the Pinellas trail passerbys and the Cueni Co. regulars on that busy, bustling Sunday was SO amazing and encouraging! Total strangers stopped to interact with the garage door, take pictures, ask about the meaning of the quote and say they'd come back for the Happy hour in a week to see the finished product! Women and men of all ages were extremely supportive and unnecessarily kind, solidifying in my mind, just how amazing and unique this town of Dunedin was!
Even as it was getting dark (and I still had 2 letters left.. YIKES), a good samaritan stopped on his bike ride home, shined his bike light onto the mural and insisted to stay until I was done with the painting, just so I could see what I was working on! Now... that is Dunedin!
I truly want to say thank you to everyone who helped with this project from concept to creation! Thank you for encouraging me to do it in the first place, believing in the mural's message, and helping make it happen! From Bren at the Brewery to Mike with the bike light, and everyone in between... thank you!
I hope to see everyone at our International Women's Day Happy Hour on Sunday, March 7th from 1 - 4 PM at Cueni Brewing Company off the Pinellas Trail! Check out the Facebook Invite here!
Tell your friends and family and all the badass women you know! Let's celebrate what it means to be a woman, and the idea that you can do anything, if only you believe that you can. :)