Kindness for Kindness

by Courtney Ruscin

Recently a family friend reached out to me to see if I would be willing to help her with a few things in regards to her very successful interior design business. Of course I jumped at the chance without asking any questions, not only because has she been in the industry for 25 years and is someone I greatly admire, but mostly because she is a very dear friend and in my mind friends help friends whenever they can.

I felt so honored that given her experience she was looking for input, advice and creative direction from someone like me who was still getting their feet wet in the interior design industry. I thought maybe she was just being kind and throwing me a bone knowing this is something I’m passionate about and knowing I need all the experience I can get. Nonetheless, this was a monumental moment for me. I wanted to do all I could to return the favor to someone who has always been so generous to me, even if it meant putting other projects on hold and giving up weekend time.

Upon our first meeting, I expected to just be given direction and told what to do, kind of like an internship. But instead, I felt like I was already a part of her team. Over a glass (or two!) of wine, we bounced ideas off of each other, I shared my own experiences and although decades apart in age with different design aesthetics, we were able to relate to each other and teach each other so much in unexpected yet extremely natural ways. She treated me with respect, admiration and kindness, making me feel comfortable in my creativity. This completely eased my insecurities, boosted my confidence and I left that first meeting feeling empowered and energized.

We have since worked on several projects and she has helped me spread my photography and interior design wings. We are supporting and encouraging each other and both learning a ton about the ever-changing design industry and ourselves. Her support and belief in my talent has pushed me to finally pursue other opportunities that I was previously scared to do before and I’ve helped her to create and grow an online presence while introducing her to fresh, new ways to grow her business.

What we both thought of as just a small favor for a good friend has turned into so much more – all because she gave me the chance and all because I took a chance and was willing to help with nothing expected in return. This is kindness for kindness. This is proof that giving without expectation can be the most rewarding way of them all.

This guest post was written by Courtney Ruscin, Founder of Sunday's Arrow for the blog be kind.

Courtney is a lifestyle & designer blogger and photographer. Beautiful interiors and coffee keep her going – exploration and frequent travel keep her sane. (Images are her own.)