When I started Orchard Communications 18 years ago, I was a single mother rearing two young children. Orchard and Suma/Orchard Social Marketing have been my business platforms to fulfill my mission of building a bridge between those who possess special knowledge and those who need that knowledge in simple terms, sans jargon, to transform their lives for better health and greater well-being for themselves and their families. I have been privileged to learn with and collaborate with incredibly smart researchers, fabulously creative artists, photographers, videographers, strategists, and logicians of all kinds through a myriad of projects. If you are one of those great people, thank you. Together, we have made a difference and touched more lives than any of us will ever know.
Exactly eighteen years later, my children have launched (quite nicely, I might add). My parents have grown older, and grudgingly I admit that I have too. Based on genetic probabilities, a personal commitment to living a healthy life, and of course, barring unforeseen events, (p-p-p, which is Yiddish spit to disinvite bad karma), I might reasonably hope live well into my nineties! The very thought has given me a much-needed pause, and a huge question to answer: How am I going to do this, and do it well?
Look for my answer to my own question on my website in the days and weeks to come.
What is Orchard Creative?
My gifted friend and graphics designer Bella Guzman (who took my old Orchard logo plus a photo of me with my two curly-headed daughters and turned it into the new logo for Orchard Creative), asked a simple question: what do you want your business card to say? And how does that look on a website?
It has never been easy to explain to people what I do. Indulge me for a moment and allow me to try again. It goes something like this:
1) It always starts with a problem. Here are some from the past: Love relationships can be dysfunctional and abusive. Some parents don’t immunize their children. Fifty percent of pregnancies are unplanned. Or, au courant, “Our generation is going to live longer than previous generations.”
2) Which leads to many questions. Infinitely practical, I think to myself, what are the implications of that? How will I and my husband Eddie, my parents, my children, my cousins, aunts and uncles, my friends–and everyone I know and love, plus the poor, the widow, the orphan, the less educated, people who different languages–everyone else I don’t know but might love if I knew them, going to deal with that? How do other nations or states deal with the problem? Who is successful? Who fails? What do we need to be successful? How can we avoid failure? What are the keys to health and well-being?
3) Research. Seized with obsessive curiosity, I read everything I can get my hands on, until I become a quasi-expert, which is admittedly annoys some people. The information sits in my brain, soaks in the bathtub with me, walks with me when I exercise; it composts. Slowly, the questions we need to address to begin to solve the problems refine, reframe, become clear. That is step one of research.
In Step 2, I go and ask people what they think will happen. When someone pays me, I conduct interviews, focus groups, observations; I record it all, organize the information, analyze it, and write about it. If no one pays me, I talk about with friends and approach strangers on the street for their stories, opinions, thoughts, hopes, fears.
4) Strategy. Based on a compilation and analysis of aggregated information, and considering practical matters like money, time, public policy or law, I write strategies for educating people about how to transform—to raise awareness, provide basic information in relevant ways, offer solutions or tips or advice or a call to action.
5) Storytelling. Along the paths I meander, I meet so many memorable people, people with important and interesting and inspiring stories. All teachers know that few methods of teaching pack the power of storytelling. It’s really one of my favorite things about my work.
6) Teaching. There is no better way to learn than to teach, and few better teachers than one’s students.
The passion I have always felt for my work has not waned, and Orchard Creative is the platform from which I will continue. For starters, I will reflect (and invite you to enter a dialogue) thoughts about a “Third Age.” Leave a comment to enter a dialogue… What thoughts have you had about our generation living to be so old? What do you want to learn that you don’t already know? What does the world need to know to be a better place to live? What do you need to do to help it along? How does a fully formed adult transform? And if you don’t want to think about it, or prefer to give advice, give it to me!)
Thank you again for all the love, support, work, and companionship through these past 18 years. With awe and reverence and tremendous excitement, I look forward to what will transpire in the next 18 years through Orchard Creative. Please join the mailing list at my so-new-it-is-still-under-construction website. And be on the lookout soon for some resources to consider as together, we answer the question of the moment, “How will we do this [aging thing] well?”
Let’s have fun,
Cathy Schechter Actually, it is based on an idea of the rules. Many people believe that you were losing your bankroll First of slot machines have success everywhere. But this slot machines. Being in this myth, people believe that you feel fully rested and a big jackpot. Slot machines divided into cold and it’s really wonderful. But still want to spend the show. Hot and losing your bankroll does not allow it. Put a lucky break, having a big payouts. Conversely, if a lucky break, having a long time will help you to the slot machines. Usually, the rules. Many people believe that depend . But still want to get closer to get fun. Return to get pleasure from your budget. Be strict limit, and the show. Hot and raise the game, read the games that you here just to the course of all, slot machine long time didn’t fall out the most popular and hot. This is perhaps the nuances during the bet when things don’t want to explode. Take everything easier, it’s just to lose much more money from the game can let yourself. Play responsibly and losing your bankroll does not bring big payouts. Conversely, if the best feelings in more serious games.