• Katie

Again, We Rise

Updated: Sep 12, 2019

It’s funny: I wondered what my first blog post would be. I figured it would be about Goddessté – about WHY Jessica and I decided to do this. I figured I would share a little bit of my story, and she’d make a post sharing a little bit of hers. We’d do this in order to shed some light on the lives we’ve lived in our relatively short time on this planet. We’d let you guys into all the pain AND the joy, all the darkness AND the light, that led us to where we are today, building and running this beautiful business with its beautiful mission. And I guess, in a way, maybe that’s what this is, but I certainly never foresaw this particular spin I’d have to take on it. Three days ago, Jessica and I received an email from the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office), and this email informed us that, as of July 23, 2019, there is another company “looking into our application” and essentially delaying the finalization process for the trademark on OUR word. In addition to THAT lovely little bomb of information, we also discovered that there have been people selling shirts with our word on them, along with a slightly altered version of our definition. When I first wrote this blog, it was still Tuesday – it is now Friday, and we know a little more than we did then. A lot, however, is still unknown.

We initially thought they were actually trying to trademark OUR word, but that's not the case (PHEW)! As you can imagine, we’ve been through ALL the emotions over this news. On Tuesday, before we knew more, there were more than a few occasions during which I was shaking so violently that I thought I was going to actually be sick. We’re talking full-body shakes. I also got an immediate headache from what I’m assuming was my blood pressure skyrocketing so high so quickly. Jessica, too. I don’t know how many times that day we said to one another, “Dude, I’m gonna’ throw up.” I just know it was a lot. I had so many thoughts swirling through, within, and around my brain that night, but I’m here to tell YOU the good stuff.

I do my best thinking in the shower – I’m an insanely busy stay-at-home mom to four kids (boys: ages 6 & 3 AND twin girls: 23 months), who also just built, created, and launched (HALLELUJAH) a new company with my best friend. You can probably deduce that I don’t get LOADS of quiet/alone time - the shower is pretty much as far as it goes. So, that night, a shower was in order. My amazing husband, Morgan, took all four of “The Hopson Groupies” (my kids – this is how you’ll normally hear me refer to them, because they’re obsessed with me and follow me wherever I go) to his dad/step-mom’s house for dinner so I could have a minute to process and unwind. So, while in the shower, I was finally able to get quiet and have quite a few of what I call my “shower revelations.” Here’s what I kept thinking:

There’s no way this turns out badly for us. No way. It can’t. First of all, these people who are trying to capitalize off of OUR creativity and steal our word, will be easily dealt with once we’ve figured out the bigger issue: the people who are “looking into our application” to be sure we aren’t in any way infringing on their rights or their business dealings. We aren’t. I probably shouldn’t go into much detail past what I’ve already said, but suffice it to say they have seriously no grounds for moving forward to the next step. They couldn't have grounds. It’s simply not a thing that is possible. Secondly, and far more importantly, we believe with ALL that we are that we have been called by a power that is greater than we are to do this work. We believe in the work that we are doing, and we believe it’s important – necessary, even. There is a sickness that is imbedded within our culture that has women turning on other women, and THEY don’t even know why. We are SO entangled in this culture of competition amongst ourselves that some of us often can’t even feel genuine happiness for our friends when something really beautiful or great has just happened for them – but why? Because you want that thing to happen to you? Guess what? That’s life – sometimes you don’t get the thing you want, but since when did we stop being happy for our friends when they do? Why does celebrating another woman’s success or happiness even have to be about you at all? Is there not an infinite amount of happiness and joy for all of us to share? There’s certainly enough of the bad to go around.

And it’s not that I don’t understand jealousy – I do. I don’t think that’s what this is, though. At least, it’s not ALL this is. I honestly believe that it has become second-nature to so many of us, this constant criticism, the judgmental lack of compassion, and the implied competition among women. Frankly, we just grew tired of it. We saw something that was deeply broken, and we set out to mend it. Will we be able to fix it entirely? No. At least, it’s doubtful. This is a society that is full of, and run by, human beings - it’ll never be perfect. But…can we help? Can we create change? Anyone who knows anything about history and the way it works, can tell you that it’s almost always humans who do create the change that is lasting and meaningful. Now, some of you may say, “Well who are these girls to think that they have the power to do something this big? Who are they to think they’re going to be able to change the way female relationships function on a fundamental level?” To that, we say, “But who are we to not at least try?”

You see, I happen to have some REALLY amazing female friendships in my life. I would go as far as to say I have more genuine, real, pure female friendships than most, and I would also say with 100% certainty that I wouldn’t be able to do life, nor would I even be me, were it not for them. I know how beautiful our friendships can be because I have them. I KNOW how women will rally together to HELP one another because I have witnessed it. I have witnessed it more times than I can even count. Still, how many women have you heard say that they just don’t really have many girlfriends because girls are too “dramatic” and “catty,” so they have mostly guy friends? Better question: how many of you are women who have said that? I bet most have. I have. I used to say that regularly and then, one day, I remember thinking, “On whose experience am I basing this?” Have I witnessed cattiness to an insane degree before? Absolutely. But my friendships are AMAZING. They’re REALLY AMAZING. You guys will hear me say, time and time again, that I have the best friends in the world, and almost all of them are women. So, you see, we just had to try.

From the beginning, literally from the very first night, things happened over and over that made us both feel like there was something bigger than both of us going on here, and something far greater calling the shots. It has made us both feel, on a very deep and spiritual level, that we are doing what we were always SUPPOSED to do – we are living out our destiny. I’ve learned a thing or two in my life about getting in the way of my higher power’s proverbial “big picture.” So, we set out to follow the signs. There were times when it was almost like we had a map, all the steps just set out for us to follow - we just had to put in the footwork. AND, OH MY GOD, DID WE?!? There were times that were so hard and overwhelming. There was definitely a suffocating amount of fear involved. And there were countless times that we wished we DID have a map. This hasn’t been an easy process, y’all. It hasn’t even come close to “easy,” but we knew it wouldn’t be and were prepared for that. But our WHY has always been very easy and very simple, and it’s what kept us moving forward.

That all being said, there is nothing that could ever convince me to stand down and accept defeat. I know I speak for Jessica on this, too. Even if they were to offer us an insane amount of money for the word, we’d never consider taking it (not that that’s what will happen here, but you get what I mean). Never. Because this movement has never been about us getting rich. If financial freedom comes from this, of course we will be grateful (and ABSOLUTELY do as much good as we possibly could with that money), but this is about something much deeper and more meaningful – AND it stems from something far more dangerous. Goddessté is us in a business. We have poured our everything into building this for you, our sister goddesses.

Women have this really amazing ability to come together and bond over a common cause. We will literally carry our sisters through their hardest times. Women are strong like that – and when you put us all together, man oh man, some truly amazing stuff can happen. So, aside from the fact that we both feel as though we are being called upon to do this work, we are trying to create change where change is desperately needed. And, it’s already working. We don’t have a huge following yet, but go to our social media pages and read the comments people are making – read some of our features and the amazing support these women are getting when their features run. THAT’S what it’s about. It isn’t about the potential for money or the spotlight – it never was. It is about women uplifting, celebrating, carrying, and EMPOWERING one another. It’s about taking BACK the female friendship. We’ve let it stay gone far too long, and we want it back!

It also isn’t about being able to take credit for something because I don’t believe Jessica and I can – not alone, anyway. This is because the real work, the real impact, comes from YOU guys. Sure, we hope that telling our stories, selling the tees, and running regular features will help. But when we all join in together, the change is almost instant, the compassion is multiplied, the love is effortless, and the MAGIC happens inevitably. It’s when someone like Donna Duke decides to be brave enough to share her story (what Instagram’s character restrictions would allow of it - *MAJOR eye roll*), through us, for all the world to see just so she might be able to help at least one woman realize her worth and strength. It’s when someone like Chelsea Lauren decides to commit to helping other women and then decides to empower them in a transparent way. OR the way she responded immediately (and SO willingly) to get in on our cause and to help where she could. She was a total stranger in the beginning and, although we haven’t met her in person (yet), she is no longer a stranger. Or how about our sweet Carrie Williams, who posted about Goddessté, our mission, and her opinion on the whole thing so eloquently. She described our company and the WHY so beautifully, and she nailed it. She believes in the company, and in us, and so she wanted to spread the word and take a stand against the woman-against-woman problem.

My point is: this is not a two-woman operation. It only works when you guys jump in, in your own way, and for the right reasons. There is little to nothing that could make us back down from this now – there is nothing that would keep us from fighting, from getting back up every time we get knocked down. That’s who we are. It’s quite literally why we’re both still alive and able to share our stories today. After all, harnessing our inner goddesses doesn’t mean we never get knocked down, that we never stumble and fall. It’s about what we do next – it’s about rising to our feet. It’s what we do. We fight. We always get back up. We work tirelessly for the things in which we believe the most and the things in which we place the most value. This movement is now a part of who we are – it’s not just a part of us, or a piece of our hearts. It IS us. It IS our hearts.

Basically, to sum it up: giving up on Goddessté would be betraying what we believe to be our destiny. And it’s even bigger than that: it would be relinquishing what we believe to be our purpose. This is why we have put every ounce of our energy and love into building this thing. We have so much faith in this movement and our already AMAZING community of goddesses. We also KNOW in our cores that all of the things in our pasts, all the pain, fear, and darkness – those things were leading us right here, with all of you. We’ve made sacrifices, taken risks (huge risks), lost sleep (and our minds), researched, networked, learned, prayed, cried, screamed, danced – you get the picture. We haven’t taken any of this lightly, nor have we taken any of it for granted. I mentioned my obligations earlier that keep me so insanely busy, and I’m not the only one. Jessica doesn’t have her own children yet, although, she does know about that life because we regularly have wild, INSANE work days at my house WITH the groupies. She always jumps right in, never hesitating to help me with the kids. We do everything 50/50, because that’s what women who support their friends do. You do life together, 50/50. But J has also been working TWO other jobs, on top of building this company. That’s TWO full-time jobs, one of which being Goddessté, and one part-time job. This GODDESS trudged and kept moving forward because she knew she had to. She got up every morning and went to work her other full-time job, which happens to be physically straining and often incredibly thankless. This is all just to reiterate the passion and the drive we’ve had the entire time, because, dear reader, that passion and that drive both boil down to one thing: YOU. They boil down to us. All of us, together.

The irony is not lost on us that, while we are actively trying to build a company/movement that centers around empowering women in all aspects of their lives, and on breaking down the barriers that society has placed between us, that another company that is “for” women is trying to do to us the exact thing we are fighting against. Still, we stand back up, once again, and we fight. Only, this time, we’re bringing a few goddess sisters along because we KNOW we are stronger together. We KNOW we need one another. We KNOW that the good can win. Thank you all – everyone who has helped make this movement, and this community, a reality. THANK YOU! We will never forget the support we’ve received, nor the warm love that we’ve felt. It’s meant more than any of you could ever know. Shine on, my sister goddesses! Together, we’ve got this! We just know it! #goddesste #everydayisgoddesste #strongertogether #womensupportingwomen #againwerise #werise #gettingbackup #goddessesrisingtogether #girlboss #girlpower #empower #empowerment #empoweredwomenempowerwomen #tribe #goddesstribe #keepgoing

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