“We welcomed December! New month, new chapter, new page, and new wishes! May the month give you courage, strength, confidence, patience, self-love, and inner peace. May every day in December fill your days with Hope, love, sunshine, and energy. Let there be Joy, Fun and Laughter!” — Anonymous
It’s hard to believe that 2021 is almost over. For some, this year has been the best of times. And for others, you guessed it, it has been the worst of times. In this time of reflection, many search their souls and decide to do “it” differently. Some look for new jobs, others resolve to be healthier, while others decide to turn an idea into a business or expand their current business.
I think we’ve got a good thing going here.
Seriously. As I reflect on our community, I am struck with how much we have been doing “right.” This shouldn’t be a new thought, but I’ll admit I spend my days (and some sleepless nights) thinking about all our community needs to do and how to be better. I strategize ways for us to overcome big challenges. I pray for this community’s success. But perhaps I spend too much time planning, worrying and organizing, and not enough time celebrating.
December marks my one-year anniversary of starting with the Hayden Chamber. There have been many changes, challenges and opportunities over the last 12 months. More than 50 new members have joined us, and four new networking events had been added to the calendar! We were finally able to get back to our in-person Networking Breakfast & Connection (NBC) meetings, as well as our ribbon cuttings, groundbreaking ceremonies, grand openings and Chamber After Hours.
We also welcomed Deb Wheeler to the Hayden Chamber! Most already know her as she has been a part of the Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls and Hayden business communities for more than 20 years. Deb had been volunteering and working part-time at the Hayden Chamber since July and as of Nov. 1 is now our full-time director of operations. We are excited to have her join us. These are all definitely reasons to celebrate!
I recently met a colleague and friend for lunch at a locally owned restaurant. As we chatted, we noticed the owner of the restaurant going around to speak with patrons. He asked about their grown children, their new promotion at work, and introduced himself to new customers. It felt like we were at his home, in his kitchen and we were all his special guests. My friend and I commented on what we were watching. As amazing as it was, we easily named other local businesses where we felt the same way and had seen the same sorts of things.
Since my lunch, I am now more aware of those types of interactions. Call it good customer service, being neighborly or small-town charm, most of us can share an example where we’ve seen it or felt it. It’s a great feeling when you get to experience something like this. It doesn’t exist everywhere, and it certainly isn’t easy to recreate. So how do we not lose it? How do we nurture this thing that makes us so special as a community?
The value of the local dollar is a phrase I’ve talked about before. But I think more appropriately I ought to say the value of a local neighbor, the value of a local business. My favorite places to eat out at wouldn’t keep their doors open if myself (and all of you) didn’t spend money there. These places couldn’t hire our neighbors to wait on tables, tend bar or cashier if we didn’t spend money there.
Our local businesses are what makes our community great. How do we keep those local businesses? Spend money with them! Thank them for their hard work. Tell your friends about their business. Post a review about the great thing a local shop made, or repaired, or fixed on your social media page. Spending your dollars here is what is going to keep our community strong. It also makes all of us a little more thankful for all we have going right. During this holiday season, as well as any time of the year, be kind, have patience and have fun!
We were excited to have our Chamber After Hours in November at Maximum Exposure Wraps where we also did their Ribbon Cutting at their new location in Hayden.
Welcome our new members Madrone Beauty in Hayden and Pollen & Petal inside the Silver Lake Mall.
It was an honor to attend the Veteran’s Day Ceremony, where the city of Hayden presented the Distinguished Veteran of the Year for Hayden to Helen Kinder, who is not only a member of the Hayden Chamber with the Manuel Schneidmiller American Legion Post No. 154-Rathdrum but is also my mom! So proud of her and her service to our country! Well-deserved award!
The Hayden Chamber’s Networking Breakfast & Connections (NBC) had a wonderful guest speaker for the month of November, Nichole Mischke, founder of UNCOVERED. She shared stories of overcoming toxic shame and the struggles so many of us experience as humans but are often too scared to talk about. What a powerful message it was and I think there were a few tears that were shed!
Poinsettia Delivery Day was a magical experience for our Legacy and Platinum members. Here we have just a few of our stops with our Ambassadors!
Watch for pictures next month from our Outdoor European Christmas Market and our Ugly Sweater Christmas (NBC) party.
I don’t know about all of you, but I can’t wait to see what 2022 has in store for all of us! I wish everyone a wonderful, prosperous and safe holiday season!
“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.” — Hal Borland
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Andrea Fulks is the president/CEO for the Hayden Chamber of Commerce.