Ep. 75 Vulnerability Is Our Superpower: Mental Health & Entrepreneurship with Sara McNally of Constellation & Co.

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Happy #SeekTheJoy Tuesday!

On the podcast this week is Sara McNally, the owner of Constellation & Co, a letterpress stationery company and brick & mortar gift shop located in the Seattle Fisherman’s Terminal. Constellation & Co uses the power of words and the magic of snail mail to connect people and make us all feel less alone. Their line of cards and gifts are inspired by the events and occasions in life that are made sweet by close, honest relationships, and their work at Constellation & Co. is built for sharing joy and holding our loved ones close in the middle of pain.

In this week’s new episode Sara and I chat all about the connection between mental health and entrepreneurship, Sara's mental health journey and how it continues to inspire what she creates and shares. Sara shares how she takes care of her mental health and wellness, why we need to be honest about what we're experiencing, and embracing discomfort as a gift. We talk about vulnerability as our superpower, the power of words and empathy, changing our markers of success and growth, and learning to embrace our vulnerability and celebrate every aspect of our journey. Plus, Sara shares her journey with entrepreneurship, her someday dream that became Constellation & Co., the impact her business has had on her life, joy in her life, and so much more!

It was so much fun to have this conversation with Sara, and I can’t wait to hear what you think! PLUS we’re doing a giveaway! To celebrate our conversation with Sara, we’re giving away 12 (yes 12!) of her favorite encouragement cards. Head over to our Instagram page (or click here!) to enter before it closes on 9/13!

Make sure to join the conversation on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!

I think the more that we are able to admit that we will struggle, the more that we can really relish the times of joy.
— Sara McNally
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Sara and Constellation & Co. uses their love of snail mail to bring people together. Their line of cards and gifts are inspired by the events and occasions in life that are made sweet by close, honest relationships. Weddings, holidays, etc. are important to Sara and her team because of the people we share them with, and they make life’s hardest times survivable.

Sara’s work at Constellation & Co. is built for sharing joy and holding our loved ones close in the middle of pain. The many lived experiences of their team—infertility, cancer, new beginnings, sudden grief, weddings, babies born and adopted, saying goodbyes and getting to know each other better. These shared moments in our lives make their line about more than just paper, but about people.

As a letterpress stationery company and gift shop, Constellation & Co,’s line of unique greeting cards and paper gift items is designed and printed in house and is sold both retail and wholesale. They have a storefront space in sunny Seattle, Washington that is home to their letterpress print shop, office and gift shop.

Sara writes cards for feelings that are too big for a card. She writes cards for the situations that are too complicated for words. She strives to put words to the love that brings color to our life. She writes cards for exactly you, and exactly how goofy or awkward or sincere you feel today. She uses typography, ink, paper, and pressure to say the things that shouldn’t go unsaid.

The part of life that trips me up is that the steps from there to here, look very different from what I expected. It’s not the destination that’s different from what I hoped, it’s that the steps along the way were longer, harder, and more treacherous. But I wouldn’t be who I am without every single one of those difficult steps, so I’m grateful for them.
— Sara McNally

Sara started Constellation & Co. after realizing that there aren’t a lot of greeting cards out there that help you say something when you don’t know what to say. She creates products in the hopes that they will help you through life’s most difficult moments. She gathers up all those words and presents them to the world as something to slip into an envelope and put in the mail.

Constellation & Co. is her dream. From recession unemployment blues, to her first studio, to buying and refurbishing her first press, to her first wholesale catalog, to her first trade show, to becoming a mom, to opening her brick & mortar shop, to today. Sara is living the dream she’s saved for someday, right now.

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Sara’s journey with her mental health has inspired what she writes, creates, and shares. Life inspires her, in all its beauty and ugliness, and in all its joy and pain. In this week’s new episode we have such a beautiful conversation about the connection between mental health and entrepreneurship. We talk about the role its played in her journey, how she’s learned to embrace the highs and lows, and why it’s important to be honest about what we’re experiencing.

The truth is vulnerability is our superpower. When we allow ourselves to open up and be vulnerable, to share the highs and the lows, we remind others that they’re safe to do the same. How beautiful and powerful is that?

Vulnerability also provides a beautiful opportunity for relationship. When the person next to us recognizes that what they’re struggling with is similar to what we’re struggling with, it builds connection and community.

If we are honest about how we’re doing, then when someone in our life is struggling next week, next month, or next year they’re going to know we’re a safe place because we’ve experienced that too.
— Sara McNally

Sara has learned that life will be joyful and wonderful a lot of the time, but there will also be moments of struggle. As Sara so beautifully shares, when we’re able to admit and embrace that we will struggle, that more that we can really relish in the times of joy.

Watching the impact of her cards and vulnerability on other people’s lives has been life-changing for Sara. It’s allowed her to step into her truth, authenticity and joy - and embrace her struggles at the same time. It’s truly inspiring, and a reminder to all of us to lead with our authenticity and vulnerability, always.

I loved what Sara shared too about not being able to separate her work life from her personal life. If she’s writing cards about infertility, it’s because she’s going through infertility. If she’s writing about grief, it’s because she’s experiencing grief. She writes from experience, always, and tries to gather up all the wisdom she can from what life has sent her way and in turn, shares those experiences and wisdom through her cards and gifts.

Sara truly believes we’re all better when we’re working together. But beyond words on paper, what she wants most of all is to share a moment of gratitude with you. Every hard fought, beautiful, complicated, challenging, and delightful day of this life is a gift - and that is the beautiful truth.

I had the best time connecting with Sara and I’m so grateful for everything that she shared! This is such a fun and important conversation - I can’t wait to hear what you think about this one!

 

 

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To learn more about Sara and Constellation & Co. check out their website https://www.constellationco.com/ and you can find them on Facebook Twitter Instagram  and Pinterest!

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Sydney WeissComment