January 12, 2023

Karen's Inspiration and Manifestation to Grasshopper Goods

By Karen Tardrew
Karen's Inspiration and Manifestation to Grasshopper Goods

I'm really excited to share this topic as it's timely with the spring themes and new beginnings. I wanted to touch a little bit about how the idea of Grasshopper Goods evolved in today's blog. I hope it provides you with some inspiration to dream big and realize anything is possible. 

Diving into my family history, I come from a family of entrepreneurs but a family  who weren't necessarily inspired by entrepreneurs but literally people who had to pivot their entire lives. My grandfather was an entrepreneur who did many crazy things... studied to be a lawyer (but never practiced) and then started his own company. He was an idea man full of energy! Two traits I certainly got from him.

My father was a major inspiration to me in starting my own business. He studied art and math in college and was planning on being an educator. However, my grandfather was a man of tradition and had my dad start in the Sears management program at the young age of 22 back in the 1960s. This was far from a fit for my dad who had this crazy idea that he wanted to become a pilot... he had never flown a plane in his life! Yet, in true Foersterling fashion, he went for it by going to pilot school which landed him as a pilot for Eastern Airlines... which became his ultimate passion and identity.

After 25 years, with three kids (two in college), Eastern Airlines was bought out and my dad lost his job and really his identity. This meant he had to reinvent himself in his 50s... and while it was far from easy, he worked the problem (as my dad always did). He sold repo cars, worked for his friends, doing whatever he could, which eventually evolved into many different jobs until retirement.

Fast forward to my own journey, I started as an educator! I started teaching special education after college to then receiving my PhD to teaching teachers. But through all of these different journey's, I always had this inkling I wanted to start something for myself... the Foersterling side of me was itching to act on some of my crazy ideas (thanks to Dad and Papa).

My manifestation of achieving Grasshopper Goods truly began as my kids were in school and growing up. No matter what the idea was, I would share them with friends and family always putting ideas out into the universe. When I began working at A Stone's Throw on Monroe Street, this was the time when the idea for Grasshopper Goods truly began.

My daughter, Kelsey (now GG's Digital Marketing Director), worked at A Stone's Throw and met Jenn Zutter (GG's Creative Director) who was a manager at the time. Kelsey introduced Jenn and myself and I began working at A Stone's Throw part-time - I had always loved and appreciated boutiques/small businesses.

And so, these idea conversations evolved as I evolved and my inspiration from travel and boutiques melded together into... what about a mobile-boutique?

I think the biggest takeaway, is that you don't have to know or have one big idea or dream for something to happen. My ideas evolved with me and I truly never had a specific "idea" I knew I wanted to pursue. People tend to think you have to know... but guess what... most people who pursue anything are usually figuring it out as they go.

No matter what ideas you have, put them out here. Write them down. Talk to people about them. Because I promise you... they can happen. The world needs dreamers, doers, and believers.