The philosophy behind finding “I Grew That” moments in your daily life is one of gratitude and appreciation for the small victories. Success is an experience that doesn’t have to look a certain way, or be shiny and grandiose in order to be celebrated; finding the joy to celebrate even the smallest of successes, the smallest of victories, is the greatest acknowledgment of growth and appreciation.
Donna Letier, co-founder of Gardenuity, teaches us about recognizing “I Grew That” moments, and shares with us her journey with gardening and helping others through gratitude and growing good.
What Inspired the Start of Gardenuity?
When asked this question, Donna answered, “Julie and I think wellbeing and growth truly rise in tandem. If you sit back and think, ‘What impact can I make on the world?’, we’ve found that the world changes by gratitude. Wellbeing and growth come from a variety of places, but they are certainly found through gardening.”
When Donna and Julie embarked on beginning the wonderful experience that is Gardenuity today, they had the common goal of bringing not only gardening, but health, wellness, growth and joy to as many people as they could. Donna explains, “Making the gardening experience accessible for everyone is our goal; so real people can benefit from, and experience all the joys of growing. This changes the world.”
“It’s a great stress relief to be able to help other people grow.”
How did “I Grew That” Moments Begin?
“I always say it sounds good in any context,” Donna explains about “I Grew That” moments, “If you ‘grew’ a child, a bank account, a business, an organization, a movement, or a garden, I grew that is this beautiful feeling of satisfied accomplishment.”
Gardenuity encourages people to strive towards recognizing every small (and large!) success as a moment of growth and appreciation. Regardless of whether you’re growing your family or your resume, you are making a positive difference in your life, and ultimately, the world we live in today.
“Every ‘I Grew That’ moment helps you find gratitude,” Donna shares, “The idea that you have to put one foot in front of the other, and when you did, you found growth.”
Donna tells us, “There’s an upside to failure, there’s an upside to challenges; ‘I Grew That’ moments are the moments we can use to build new ways of living that create a more humane, a more just and a more sustainable life.” The ability to grow through the challenges, and perpetually see the upside to a situation is a practice; it’s not easy to see beyond struggling or pain, but when you can strive towards gratitude, fulfillment is just around the corner.
When asked about the mission of Gardenuity, Donna told us, “If I had to sum up our mission, it would be to grow good; it’s pretty simple,” she says, “I think we’re in the right place and the right time. Our entire team practices gratitude everyday with every customer experience. It is part of the culture and DNA of our brand.
At Gardenuity, a community of people who wish to grow with gratitude and grow good is constantly coming together to celebrate what we’ve been able to grow, and extending that welcome to everyone who wishes to participate. It truly is so important to surround yourself with those who encourage you to continue your journey towards becoming the best version of yourself. Additionally, remembering that you have that power to be the influence in someone’s life which encourages them to do better. Your community is everything; build it up!
“It’s about onboarding somebody to a new way to live. And now – in this time of stress, it really is about finding those moments to be so appreciative.”Donna Letier
“You go through life quickly,” Donna shares, “and some things in life make you slow down. Having a child with such severe special needs, that probably shaped me the most. My appreciation of little moments stems from Madison and Jillian. Madison has this uncompromised love for her sister in the midst of a society that celebrates perfection – she got to celebrate a different kind of perfection. I think that taught me a lot because perfection comes in so many different ways. And growth comes in so many different ways; there are a lot of winners.”
Sometimes we recognize all that we have to be thankful for to late in life. In this world that values perfection, beauty, strength and being the “best”, we lose sight of what brought us joy or motivation in the first place. The story that Donna shared highlights why we need to hold closely what is important to us, because it is those people and those things that will give us the joy to continue pushing towards building growth in the long run.
A Favorite “I Grew That” Moment
“My first “I Grew That” moment with Gardenuity is when a customer called and shared her moment of appreciation. “She told us she’d never gardened, and that she picked radishes because they were ready to harvest fastest amongst all of the vegetables available. Her garden delivered a robust harvest of fresh radishes and she shared with us that even after growing and harvesting radishes she still hates radishes, but now when she goes to Whole Foods, she shared that she has a new appreciation for the farmers who make these vegetables available to us all year. Gratitude for other’s work, and awareness of what farmers are doing for us 52 weeks a year – now that is a win.”
“This moment is about more than just the harvest. It’s a reflection of everything that Gardenuity strives for; it goes beyond just picking a vegetable. It’s connecting people to growing good.”Donna Letier
Donna’s Growing Good Advice
“People who are able to have a center of gratitude – they can see the world a little bit differently,” Donna says. “You have to have faith. The team at Gardenuity brings a lot of faith and hustle to every single day. You cannot undervalue the idea of hustling. It is not for the faint of heart.”
Donna shared with us that it’s important not to forget that helping yourself and others achieve growth can present itself with a multitude of faces. “If you lean into the idea that we all have the ability to nurture something,” she says, “It can really shape your mood. Sometimes all it takes is saying something really nice to somebody else – it just feels good.”
“One thing that I say a lot, to reap benefits of something, you have to do it, you have to participate. To reap the benefits of gardening, you have to do it. We’ve made that accessibility available to everyone,” Donna states, “Finding wellness today involves seeking a set of experiences which add up to the eventual transformation of who we are. You can develop a practice of gratitude by actively searching for things to be thankful for – and no better place than your time in the garden.”