I don’t think I realized how important community was to me until very recently. In fact, I can pinpoint it to dinner on our last night of the retreat in Marrakech. That’s when the epiphany hit me—and I cried like a baby.
You see, for my entire life, I’ve always had friends, but I’ve always felt like kind of an outsider. Someone who was always on the fringes of a friend group, but never a part of the core. Someone who got along with loads of different people, but never really found anyone else who totally got me—I mean 100% got me. I’ve been a part of different clubs and organizations and teams for my entire life in an effort to fit in, and even though I met wonderful people along the way, I always felt slightly out of place. Kind of like a person to be observed, but never really understood.
Until I found not only Garance, but our community of readers.
When I first started to meet the people who read this site—at our Stationery Pop Up was probably the first real time we all got together like that—I started to see myself in the people I met. On the book tour, I found fast friends in those of you who stood in line, eager to have a copy of Love Style Life signed. Sometimes you would send e-mails or leave comments and it was always so special to me to engage with each of you, to be pushed by you and to be embraced by you. But when we went on our first retreat and I got to spend a whole week immersed with this group of 20 incredible women, I understood what had been missing in my life. It had been people like you.
My therapist even joked that I would actually feel more comfortable at my own wedding getting married in front of you, our dear readers, than some of my friends—those people who I get along with, but don’t totally get me.
So as I write this—teary eyed because this still gets me worked up—I know that when I think about Atelier Doré and what we’re building and why we are building it, it is for you. It is an effort to bring you together, to bring you closer to us, and if you’ve been feeling like me for all of these years, to show you that there is a whole group of people that live all over the world who get you. And now, in times that feel crazier than ever, it is so reassuring to know that there are grounded, intelligent, sophisticated people that come to this site and come to our events and join us on our retreats who get us, who we fit with, even thought fitting for us has never really mattered.
So this week we celebrate the community spirit of Atelier Doré. And as we think to the future, just know that we are working to create more ways for you to connect and get to know each other, and to tell your stories so other people who need to hear them and to connect with them can.