You Are A Season. A Season Of Becoming: Interview With Adrienne Watts, One Of The Inspiring Women Behind Women's Bean Project

Sisterhood Shopping is only possible because of our amazing partners and the organizations behind your quarterly boxes. Preparing for the Spring Awakening Box allowed the formation of several new and inspiring connections, and one of those was with Adrienne Watts from Women’s Bean Project in Denver, CO.

When I first spoke to Adrienne, I was so amazed by this passionate and bright woman whose personal mission is to build empowering relationships with women. Not only does Adrienne work to create opportunities for chronically homeless women through Women’s Bean Project, but she is also looking ahead to earning her MBA in social enterprise so she can help more women become financially independent!

Although Adrienne and I have not met in person, these months of planning and working on the Spring Box with the women of Women’s Bean Project have brought us together and I knew I needed to share the strength and inspiration this amazing woman brought to me this year…so grab your chocolate covered espresso beans and read all about the incredible work of Adrienne and Women’s Bean Project:

(SS): Can you tell me a little about how you landed on your current career path with Women's Bean Project? 

(AW): I moved to Denver as a lover of the mountains and wanting to try something completely new. By total chance, I found an opportunity at Women's Bean Project, helping create jobs for chronically unemployed women in the Denver area. Some say I am 'fiery' and have always felt strong about women's empowerment (growing up with 3 brothers will do that to you!), so it just felt like the right fit. I knew I wanted it because as soon as I got the offer I ran around jumping and yelling in my apartment!

(SS): I find it so incredible that you knew what was coming would be challenging on a personal and emotional level but just felt complete euphoria about the opportunity. What would you say is an inspirational quote(s) that gets you through hard times/good times?

(AW): 
Do not fast forward into something you're not ready for. 
Or allow yourself to shrink back into what's comfortable. 
Growth lives in the uneasiness
The in-between
The unfinished sentence.
You are a season, 
A season of becoming.

(SS): OMGosh I love that, definitely going to write that down in my journal! So, I’m curious, what has been the most empowering moment in your journey with Women’s Bean Project?

(AW): Every Monday morning, all staff and participants join the conference room to share their goals for the week and something we are thankful for. This experience is constantly humbling, hearing the obstacles our women overcome. Some women are celebrating getting to work on time every day the previous week, and some are thankful for getting their own housing for the first time in their lives (keep in mind the average age of our participants is 38 years old). It’s empowering to see women of all backgrounds celebrate the wins of all women. It’s a constant state of championing one another.

(SS):  Yes! I’m always reminding myself that empowerment isn’t about showing when you’re up but showing how you rise and support others in that journey. I love that this is a weekly reminder of community and support! So, when life does get tough and inconsistent, what has empowered you personally to stay on this path?

(AW): The answer is simple: It excites me and I see the potential that is in empowering women. At Women’s Bean Project, we often talk about how when you change a woman’s life, you change her family’s life too. In my opinion, focusing on women is one of the most sustainable ways to create a return on investment. As there is more and more focus on sustainability as the foundation of our future and if you’re concerned about creating the largest impact on the world, it’s about tapping into the potential of women—which I might add is over half of the world population. 

(SS): So true! Couldn’t agree more. So lastly, I would love for you to speak ‘directly’ with all the women you’ve touched through Women’s Bean Project and now Sisterhood Shopping, especially as you find yourself charting a new chapter through your MBA.

What would you say are the three most important things women should consider when charting a new chapter in their lives, and if you could give the next generation of women one piece of advice, what would it be?

(AW): If it aligns with your purpose (or your North Star), the change is helping you grow as a person (if it makes you feel uncomfortable, that’s great!), and it just feels right in your bones (never underestimate your intuition).

(AW):  Everyone else’s opinions of your life is background noise. At the end of the day, you’re the one laying down in your bed and have to be happy and proud of the decisions you’ve made. Don’t let how others want you to live your life affect how you choose to. Actively make decisions to pursue what you want in life, and all other opinions fall by the wayside.

Paola Berisso