Wochi all about then?

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Oh okay so I know that this is the blog that you’ve been waiting for. This is the question that you’ve been asking isn’t it? Wochi. Wochi mean?

So, some of you, knowing my fondness for a certain set of sic-fi trilogies from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away may think that I have sadly misspelt Wookiee and having done it I’m fronting it out. It’s a lovely theory and I have to confess I do love a Wookiee but no, that’s not the answer.

My fabulous friend and awesome Marketing guru Paul, (apologies if you wanted anonymity but you really need to take the credit for this) gave me invaluable help in working through how to find a name for this exciting new business venture of mine. I simply explained to him what my dream was and confessed I had no idea how to go about finding a name to encapsulate everything I hoped this venture would be. Paul, knowing me, my values and the values and principles that I wanted this business to stand for was the perfect person to help me navigate the dangers of nomenclature.

Let me confess now, I had tried to think of a name myself. I’d tried really, really hard. I spent hours wracking my brains. It was an unmitigated disaster. I was worse than the worst of teams on an episode of The Apprentice. I’m so embarrassed at my efforts that I can’t even share them with you, not even in the name of comedy!

Legend that he is, Paul gave me some great, considered, meaningful suggestions. But for one reason or another the initial options weren’t “the one”.

And then he contacted me again with a single, additional suggestion. Wochi. Wochi is a Navajo word, it means illuminate, the literal translation is ‘to light up’. Instantly my heart soared. Everything made sense. It felt perfect.

I tested it with some of my closest friends, the people I knew who would be really honest with me, especially if they didn’t like it! Their instant reaction was incredibly positive. The more I thought about it, the better it felt, the more natural it felt. It was the answer.

I am so happy to have such a strong, fabulous, meaningful name, that has heritage and values behind it.

Thank you Paul for all your support.

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The kindness of…

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The popular construct of ‘the kindness of strangers’ was probably made most famous and brought most sharply into relief for us by the damaged, and frankly quite terrified and terrifying character of Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire. (A rather odd juxtaposition is that Kate Adie also used this as a title for one of her autobiographies too…)

However what strikes me as a little odd is that very little is said in popular discourse about the kindness of friends or family.

I’d like to take a moment to redress this.

When I decided to take the momentous- some would say brave, others would say risky- step to set up independently the one thing that overwhelmingly surprised and delighted me was the support and encouragement that was offered to me so generously by my friends. From giving me advice on how to register with Companies House, to helping me decide on a name (more of that to come), to mentoring me on how to approach the strategy of my business, incredible advice on marketing, putting me in touch with potential customers and developing incredible design for my visual identity… Right through to listening to me debate and work answers  out for myself. The list goes on and on. I really want to name names but I’m not sure that my wonderful friends will be comfortable with that.

If I can ask for one thing from you it would be to believe; believe in yourselves, believe in your friends, it is truly priceless and deeply humbling.

Thank you all. You are incredible. I would never be so confident, comfortable or happy taking on this adventure without you. Thanks for your practical help, your support, your belief and your love.

 

The Wochi story : The dream…

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I absolutely believe in the co-operative values and principles, as anyone who knows me will tell you. For me, the (acknowledged) heritage of the co-operative movement, the story of the Rochdale Pioneers is the most perfect story that could ever have been written about a business model. Those of us that believe passionately in it have a duty to keep the principles alive in everything we do.

I am proud therefore to have worked for The Co-operative for over 16 years. I am also proud to have served as an elected member of the Group. I’m even more proud to have worked with incredible people to campaign for and promote the inspirational work that the Group has done, not least the ground-breaking Ethical Plan.

People have said that makes me a Co-op Geek, but I’m happy to wear that badge.

As a lover of language too, a flag-bearer, a pedant, a champion of the power of words and what some would consider a weaver of the spell of communication; I have been privileged to combine two loves in one for a long time.

For some time I have been dreaming of stepping out of the corporate world, following a dream and setting up independently. My dream has two pillars.

  • To set up independently to primarily offer communication support to charities, co-ops, credit unions and other values driven organisations
  • To become a co-operative to support the principle of co-operation among co-operatives

I’ve taken the leap to the first and I’m really embracing the challenge. My first two weeks have been exciting and incredibly rewarding. I will be striving to ensure it continues in that vein. The second will no doubt take longer but it’s the logical path so I will continue towards it.

your support and good wishes are so gratefully received and incredibly valued.

Thanks

Mary

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