10 with a 10: Meredith White

10 with a 10 is a weekly interview series featuring strong women who run their gigs like a boss.

I ask 10 questions.
I take 1 Polaroid.
I put it up for all to see every Monday
 to promote their hustle with a wide community that should know about them.

This week, Meredith White, a brunette newlywed with an unwavering love for Bulk Barn and an unbelievable perspective on community, vision, service and grace. I was honestly taking notes reading over her answers.

1. What do you do and what does it give to people?

What I do to keep the roof over our head, pay off student debt, and support my very healthy addiction to Bulk Barn (AKA heaven) currently doesn't connect with my passions and truest goals. But working in the restaurant world is so fitting for transitional seasons. So, to finish your question: I give people food in exchange for cash. :)

What I love to do, and what fulfills the basic overarching goals for my life, is developing mens apparel and accessories for the non-profit organization, Cloth and Water. Profits from our designs go right into building water wells in developing countries, so basic needs that we are all deserving of are met.

Cloth and Water has massive dreams and a vision to be a high-end label with a passion for great quality, design and style. We want to stand out as a fashion-forward brand that just so happens to be super passionate about really and truly giving back. 
We want to combine the art of design and the art of giving to form a new standard in the fashion world. Cool, hey?

I have set this overarching goal for my life of serving others and serving God (always a work in progress), and using this as a filter for my decisions. Being a part of this organization allows me to do what I love while serving others and God.  

2. What's a piece of advice you consistently find yourself giving out but find hard to take yourself?

I really believe in peoples worth and value with flaws and all. I truly love accepting people as they are, loving them with grace and kindness.
Yet I struggle seeing my own value and extending grace to myself.

You know how you go through those seasons where so many things are stripped from you and all of a sudden things are exposed?
Yeah, that season is now and this is one extremely important lesson I'm learning. Having golden people around is so, so helpful for recognizing your value, because they are the ones that call things out of you that you can be blind to. Thank God for an amazing community, family and husband or I would truly be blind to so much within myself.

3. How do you rely on others to make you better?

Getting around the good ones! It's as simple as that.

And then being willing to be vulnerable; to rummage under the layers to get real (so I guess it's not that simple!) Just being in a wonderful person's presence isn't going to magically make you better. You have to dig together.
I reckon that at the end of the day, vulnerability (exposing yourself for the purpose of growth) alongside life-giving people, makes the best you.

4. Someone gives you 50 mill. What's the FIRST way your life changes?

Oh my goodness, I'm getting so excited like its actually happening to me! As if I don't answer this question seriously, it won't happen.

I won't lie, my immediate and truest thought is, "BUY OUT BULK BARN!" said in a loud voice. (The amount of little bags full of who-knows-what is getting a little crazy, but makes for fun ingredient surprises!) I really really believe living a healthy lifestyle is key and there is so much there to choose from! I stroll around there on my day off, chit chat with employees and ask for their discounts. Ok, not really, but I should consider it.

After indulging in a health-food-fest, I'd buy out a Ms. Vickies chip factory 'cause OBVIOUSLY. And become Ms. Vickies herself.

Oh, I guess I would allow my husband some privileges in all this, too. My guess is he would quit all work and dreams and become a professional Spike Baller. I don't know how this uses money but I think he would still commit.
In reality (cause this is soo real), I would love to buy him unlimited first-class plane tickets back home to Australia so we could visit friends and family there whenever we wanted to.

Then I would take my entire family, extended family and all, and go to some tropical paradise because that would so wild and hilarious! They're all such amazing people in my life and deserve it.

Ok, I need to stop 'cause I am creating a fantasy world that does not exist!
I think I also exceeded 50 million dollars. 

5. What has compelled you forward more than anything else?

What used to drive me before compared to what drives me now are totally different. 

I like comfort (sweats all day, everyday!) and that zone of comfort can be a place in which you operate out of, but then all of a sudden you're living a really unexciting and lacklustre life. You're not really a part of this beautiful story because risk is a bit too uncomfortable.

Life has really changed over the past 7 months for me and I've constantly been asking myself, "At the end of the day/my life, what matters most?"
This question altered a lot for me. Lifestyle changes were made and life is a heck of a lot more challenging but that step out truly matters; not only to my immediate life, but to those around me. 

I will stay cozy on a rainy day though!
Some things won't change.

6. Do you like when people ask you, "Where do you want to be in 5 years?"

Sometimes I get defensive about that like it's the silliest question to ask because who plans out the next 5 years in hopes that it will work out that exact way? But then I really admire people who do because that's inspiring and challenges my inner day-dreamer to get back into reality and hustle. 

It's quite wise to have a 5 year plan though. To keep yourself moving and accountable to those goals is important or else you'll go where the wind takes you; where your emotions take you.
Being intentional about where you're headed is important.

7. If someone was handed a script of your inner dialogue this week, what would it say?

My inner dialogue is nuts.

"I should probably say something so I'm less awkward."
"Get out of bed."
"Go to bed."
"Do I feel sick? I think I feel sick. I probably shouldn't go to work."
"I wonder if there is a parallel universe...but that doesn't make sense! Who thought of that concept?"
"I bet I could be a ballerina still..."
"I think I love the rain more than I love sun. I'm so emo"
"Thank you Jesus for Alex!"
"I need to clean the car. I should really clean the car. I'm gonna bake instead!"
"I learn a lot from the documentaries on Netflix!"
"WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE?"
"I really wanna know what our babies will look like, but if they have Alex's energy will I survive motherhood?!"
"Life is soo good with a car."

If that question was meant to be inspiring, then oops.
I should be a full-time day-dreamer. 

8. Are you spontaneous?

I am definitely a free spirit. Although, the older I get, the more I plan out the consequences of the actions and try to operate a little more wisely. But truthfully, planning is not my strength.
I am learning to strategize and get practical about decisions and not be flying by the seat of my pants. This is where marrying a total and complete planner really helps (or hurts if all you want to do is wing it!)

9. Are you failing differently each time?

I'm constantly telling myself, "It's okay it didn't work. It doesn't mean to stop trying. Give yourself some grace".
This is where having a strong vision comes in handy. If you know what you're meant to do, you must keep trying. Little road block failures don't mean to stop, it just means you have to get around it. It's hard to keep going if you don't have a destination in mind. 

The times I've failed and gave up was because my vision wasn't strong enough to keep pushing past failures or I had no vision at all. And the times I've failed differently probably means my vision was strong enough to find solutions to problems and outwork it until the road block was behind me.

I look at my relationship with my husband and, yes, we've had road block failures, but our vision for our lives with one another was strong enough to seek grace and find solutions. 

I'm learning in my personal life to seek and pray for bigger vision so that when I fail or failure comes knocking on my door, I am able to get back up, throw grace on and try again.

Can you tell vision and goals have been a huge learning curve for me?
Haha. It's seeping through all my answers.

10. Paul Newman or Robert Redford?

PAUL NEWMAN!! You kidding?
He's leagues above Robert Redford!!