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Making The Pilgrimage

October 02, 2017

Happy Festie Goers

Last weekend we took Complimentees on the road.  Technically it was like 10 minutes down the road without traffic, but setting up at The Pilgrimage Festival, in Franklin, TN was a big "on the road" and off the web opportunity for us to truly show 25,000 people from all over the country what we really are about.  

It was hot.  It was crowded.  And it was perfect.

I will say it over and over.  Complimentees is not just about selling more t-shirts into the world.  It's about making smiles.  It's about happiness.  Positivity.  Opening minds.  Encouraging the next generations to use their words for good and not evil.  And the Pilgrimage Festival was a great place to meet members of our tribe to spread the love!!!!


Sure, we sold a few t-shirts. I mean, come on....they are badass t-shirts!!!

 But first,  we made friends.  Three beautiful sisters from New York.  Two besties from south Florida.  A husband and wife from Virginia.  Some aspiring lovers from Oregon. And gaggles of girlfriends from Wisconsin.  They came from everywhere in all shapes, sizes, colors, and dialects.....but one thing remained the same about all who stayed to talk. They were happy people.  I love happy people.  Happy people + live music = perfection!!! 

You know a great way to get people to stop and talk?  Set up a friendship pin station.  Seriously.  It's like therapy.  Remember friendship pins?  Making pins with tiny beads for hours? Using color combinations that repped your school or your favorite clothing brands?  Handing them off to friends and either pinning them on your jean jacket (which you only had ONE of...not multiple options!) or lining them up on your shoelaces?  Well....we brought that back, if just for a day.  And it delighted the masses!!!!  It was so cool to see people remember it for the first time in years.  They'd make a few and come back later to make more!  Even better were the parents who taught their kids about friendship pins and telling them their "friendship pin" glory day stories.  I mean, I get that it's not "back when I was in school, we'd leave early to pick fresh apples to put in our lunch pails and Pa always put me on his shoulder to get the best apples from the top of the tree"....but it was real live conversation and engagement between two completely different generations! NO DEVICES NEEDED!!!

We planted a flower garden of positivity for picking and sharing and I have so enjoyed seeing the handful of givers and takers who stopped to post and hashtag on social media about receiving theirs.  Most from friend to friend, but a few strangers exchanged their flowers, too.  There were moments I had slight concerns of people getting poked in the eye, but I've not seen any posts about that so I think we are all clear.


My favorite keepsake from the festival was our Compliment Wall. I'm going to keep it just like this in the house for awhile. Both days we started from scratch and never did I have to beg anyone to stop and participate.  I always got goosebumps (could have been the beginning of heat stroke, too) when I didn't realize someone was writing on it and caught them out of the corner of my eye, sneaking in to leave their mark and then go on their way seemingly unnoticed.  Once I watched as a woman stood to just read it and she grew the grandest of smiles on her beautiful face and I said "That's EXACTLY the response I wanted."  Her reply?  "This just makes me happy."  Sigh.  I will admit my original plan/hope was that people would be so enamored by the happy that they would stop and use The Compliment Wall as a back drop for selfies and hashtag the love, which would set our mission on fire.  Not one single time did this happen.  But, many many times.....they smiled.

This mission....the journey we are on at Complimentees, it's not going to be a quick one.  There isn't a magical hashtag that's going to bring it to the world's attention.  It's going to take a thousand ideas and thousands of followers to make it a reality.

 It too, will be a pilgrimage and the little things we do along the way will, in the end, be the most important.

I Believe What I Wear!

Do You?






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