By nature, I'm not a very open, vulnerable person. For most of my life, I've been pretty guarded. It's something I've always had to fight with internally...to be more open, to speak my truth, to let my true spirit shine. When you start your own business, you share a piece of your soul with the world. It can be scary, and it can be challenging. I'm working on being more vulnerable, on sharing more of me with you. Recently, I met an amazing local photographer, Aline Forastieri, through a mutual friend. Aline took interest in Buona Sara, and we met for coffee to share stories and backgrounds as 2 women entrepreneurs in Austin. As I started rambling on about me, my story, and how I got involved in herbalism, to my surprise, Aline was super engaged! I don't tend to share things openly because I don't want to bore people or take up their time and I tend to think, "who am I to talk like an expert?", but Aline really challenged this thinking for me. She told me I should be telling my story more, "people love this stuff." She offered to come over and take some photos of me "in my element" at my home and in my yard. I was super uncomfortable during the shoot, but as time passed, I began to open up more. I got the photos back from Aline and they're truly wonderful. I feel so honored to have been the subject of Aline's amazing talent. Why do I tell you all of this? Well one, I want to challenge myself to be more open, to tell my story more, especially as we go into the new year. And two, I want to encourage you to do the same. You are wonderful. You are amazing. You are deserving. People want to hear you. I need these reminders for myself, so if you need them too, I want to give them to you.