I just arrived back in Boston on late Monday night from spending nearly a week back home in Central IL with my family. It is a town surrounded by cornfields on nearly all sides, and defined by churches, baseball diamonds, and community centers. I have only been away for three years, yet I am amazed now when I go back the little things I notice that come with living in a small midwestern town.
For instance, when I was out shopping with my mom and sister, a woman came out of the dressing room and asked my fashion advice. Within three minutes, I learned she had two teenage boys, always wished for girls, and was told growing up she should never wear yellow because of her blonde hair color. After living in Boston for three years now, that amount of self-disclosure reinforced to me the human desire for connection and the importance of relationships, even among strangers. I loved it! And, btw, she was right, yellow wasn’t the best choice…I told her to go with the bright pink instead to contrast her skin tone. She followed my advice (I think).
Being back home always reminds me why I am working so hard on Swapfish, and why all the sleepless nights, missed classes, and overdoses on Dr. Pepper and Starbuck’s are worth it. Because so many families, especially in the midwest, are working so hard just trying to make ends meet. I have so much admiration for the bargain shoppers, garage-sale aficionados, and coupon-cutters. It’s time there was a way for these moms to save money while still providing safe and quality items for their child. It is my dream at Swapfish to make life easier, and a bit better, so perhaps rather than downgrading their phone plan to pay for new toys, or forgoing new clothes to buy a coat for their child, young families can stretch their dollars just a little further.