This past Friday Anne and I hosted a launch party for Illume. We hatched the idea a month earlier with the thinking that it would be a great way to promote our new company. Quite frankly, we both needed of a little (or a lot of) levity!
While levity the first goal, we also wanted to promote Illume quickly after our launch. Despite our fears of becoming lost in an active and busy industry, we found ourselves quickly surrounded by an industry of friends. We were taken in, supported, and embraced. Rather than feeling lost, we found ourselves overwhelmed with an incredible sense of gratitude.
The event was a fascinating mix of industry and family. Implementers mingling with evaluators. Evaluators mingling with implementers. All mingling with our parents, children, and partners. We felt gratitude for our friends and family who pulled us through the very rough and disappointing moments that came in those first few weeks. We felt gratitude for an industry that overwhelmingly chose to applaud and support us. We felt gratitude that when we took a leap, there were many hands to support us and (re)introduce us to the industry with the same excitement and daring that prompted our launch. Most of all, we felt gratitude for having found each other, a shared vision and the courage to chase our dream.
And so our launch party morphed into a celebration of thanks. Our friends, family and colleagues from nearly a dozen different firms working in the energy efficiency space surrounded us on that night. They moved picnic tables, made food, hung lights and arranged flowers. What was meant to be a party for Illume became a party for this industry, a gesture of gratitude and a celebration of a professional environment that is inherently supportive, and that (as I have said before) appreciates and cheers for the risk takers. An industry that knows, in the end, this is all bigger than us.
Many of you could not make it, but your presence was felt and our gratitude extends beyond those who attended to all of you who continue to drive, support and inspire not only me and Anne, but this industry.
I would be remiss if I ended this post leaving you all with an impression of a somber and emotional gathering. We felt gratitude and we celebrated it grandly, the food and festivity was more than enough to give us the levity we hoped for, the celebratory launch we desired. Cheers to daring to change!