Hustle + Gather

Hosted ByDana Kadwell & Courtney Hopper

Sister entrepreneurs Dana Kadwell and Courtney Hopper talk about the ups and downs of the hustle, and the reward at the end of the journey. Life starts at the edge of our comfort zone, and that’s what running a business is about - it’s completely uncomfortable and yet thrilling at the same time. Hear Dana and Courtney talk about the hard parts of entrepreneurship with other business owners going through the struggle as well.

The stress, the fight, and the ugly of all the 2020 cancellations: Conversations with Sisters

Courtney and Dana unpack last week’s episode with Hair and Makeup Artist Nina McCaskey, and talk about the cancellations of 2020, the fight for respect from clients, keeping it all together for employees, and the reality of the chaos.

If you haven’t listened to the conversation with Nina McCaskey from Wedding Kiss, it’s the episode before this one, on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any other podcast app.



Courtney Hopper: Welcome to Hustle + Gather, a podcast about inspiring the everyday entrepreneur to take the leap. I’m Courtney,

Dana Kadwell: and I’m Dana,

Courtney Hopper: and we’re two sisters who love business. On this show, we talk about the ups and downs of the hustle and the reward at the end of the journey.

Dana Kadwell: And we know all the challenges that come with starting a business between operating our own wedding venue, doing, speaking, and consulting and starting our luxury wedding planning company. We wake up and hustle every day.

And today we’re talking, just the two of us, about last week’s episode with Nina McCaskey, owner of Wedded Kiss, a hair makeup business in Raleigh, North Carolina. If you haven’t heard last week’s episode, go give it a listen and then come back to hear our thoughts.

Courtney Hopper: All right, Dana let’s get started.

Dana Kadwell: I think we’ve all kind of, I think when you get into 2021 It was like I don’t want to talk about 2020 anymore and it’s just so over the pandemic but I feel like really as an entrepreneur really shaped how we run our company, how we’re going to run our company in the future.  I was really grateful to go talk to her about how she pivoted and, went forward with it and that last story about how we like the very beginning got put through the fire.

We had a client that her wedding was the weekend that the world shut down, and she canceled her wedding five days before the actual event, and it was a mess. Obviously at this point the food’s been ordered, the flowers been ordered, I mean everything’s done, everyone’s just ready to execute and this client wanted a hundred percent refunds for every person.

Courtney Hopper: Yeah.

Dana Kadwell: And it was ugly.

Courtney Hopper: It was ugly, and I think at that point maybe we hadn’t been calloused enough, but it was so scary still to have somebody like speak negatively of you, or like you’re worried about a negative review, or like how am I going to handle this and not make this person so angry that they’re wanting retribution.

Dana Kadwell: Yeah, I mean honestly, like because it was my client so I was on the, I mean you remember I was on the phone for hours and hours.

Courtney Hopper: I know, it was so much time, for its weeks.

Dana Kadwell: Yeah, and just playing the middleman, trying to get this person to calm down, trying to get my vendors to like stick their ground because, you know, cause if we all said the same message, we felt like it would go smoother. But I think for me, I just remember feeling an overwhelming sense of sadness. Like I at one point she called me in the morning, I think it was a couple of days for her wedding was supposed to be, and she told me she was in she was canceling she wanted all her money back blah blah whatever. And I just remember telling her like I understand that you had to make this decision and I’m really sorry you’re going through this. Rescheduling is the best option so we can move all your money and you know we’ll reschedule it to the summer and there’s plenty of reasons why she didn’t want to do that.

And I was like I’m going to be honest with you Like there’s companies who have let, like let go their entire staff, like they’re people making really hard decisions right now, and you’re adding fuel to the fire at this point. And I just remember thinking like this person has no idea the amount of stress that we are under the amount of just sheer anxiety and just sadness, like I don’t think I cried because I didn’t know what to cry about, but I just was so heavy.

Courtney Hopper:  I think a lot of it was just the unknown at that time like we, and I mean I’m a very positive person

Dana Kadwell: She’s the eternal optimist.

Courtney Hopper: So, I was like this is going to be like six weeks like Wuhan got it control.

Dana Kadwell: She was like China has under control; they went they went on lockdown three weeks ago. It’ll be fine.

Courtney Hopper: And like there were these countries that like got on lockdown, and they were like are off lockdown and seemingly back to normal. I mean everyone wore a mask which I think, you know, not to get political that’s where we went wrong.  But they all were going about their business, and like with a mask and whatnot, and living life. So, I thought for sure it was just going to be like you know a blip like six or eight weeks, so we’re going to accommodate these brides in the next six to eight weeks but like come May, June it’s going to be fine. So, I think also the thing too, to note at that time, is that everybody was as generous as they were ever going to be at that point, like pick a date, pick a time I’ll do it all for free, I’ll eat the cost of this, just let’s move it on Because I think everybody was thinking wow like sucks for these next five or six weeks but for sure I’m going to be able to recoup this business and, you know the summer and that just wasn’t the case.

Dana Kadwell: No. I mean everyone was in the dark I mean even our clients didn’t know what was going to happen, and I think you know.  I remember exactly like I called Nina and I said Hey this client’s going to call you and they want a full refund, and I’m telling you this is what every other vendor is doing just so you’re aware. This is the line they’re taking, and she called me afterwards It’s just like in tears like just this woman just like destroyed me.

Courtney Hopper: She was very mean.

Dana Kadwell: Just like and not because she believed it, but I think it was just there was so much coming at her at one time. And I just, it made me so angry. I remember being so mad, like how can you talk to somebody like that and call them a terrible human and an awful person and say that they are evil and a bad business person, and when you’re looking, anyone will tell you that she’s like the kindest most generous person and so my immediate thought was,

Courtney Hopper: She doesn’t even eat animals, she’s a vegan.

Dana Kadwell: I know but my thought was if someone could think that about Nina, like they’re coming after me, and they’re coming after me hard.  Because there’s no way I can have that same amount of moral goodness, I guess I should say

Courtney Hopper: Fortitude, moral fortitude. Worn down.

Dana Kadwell: I know but it has been hard I mean I think,

Courtney Hopper: I think that was, that’s the hard part is that it’s, one, in the wedding industry, like for most people they consider this the most important day of their life, right. So, you’re going into a business arrangement with someone who’s a little delusional about this day, right. People think it’s the most important, the end all be all, like the biggest party that they’re ever going to throw, in A lot of cases that’s the case. So, there is that emotional piece but then there’s also like the business side of it. Like none of us got into the wedding industry, although not by looking at our books in the first couple of years of C&D Events, but no one got into the wedding industry to be a 501(c)(3). Like we’re not a nonprofit organization, like we’re here for business. This is how we make money. This is how we pay our employees. That deposit that you put down on this wedding, and I know the world’s falling apart but that was spent last year, right. And that’s how you keep your business moving, so It was very much a dichotomy between like how emotional our clientele is, and for good reason like they’re brides and planning weddings, but also like having strong business practices to kind of weather this storm and flip on the radar.

Dana Kadwell: Yeah, and to be honest like, so it’s so funny because when we built The Bradford it rained at least once a week from the October to the April of the year we opened.

Courtney Hopper: It was so muddy.

Dana Kadwell: It was so muddy; it was so disgusting. But what was frustrating about it is that we could never put in our septic system because it would finally stop raining. Environmental health will come out and say hey it’s good to dig, you can put the lines in, and then the next day it would rain. And I just remember looking at Courtney I was like we picked the shittiest year on the face of the earth to ever go through any construction. Never again. So then we open up whatever and we weren’t fully finished as we were adding the alcoves and it was this fluke like winter where snows.

Dana Kadwell: It never stopped snowing, and it was so cold. So, they’re like oh we can’t brick because it’s too cold for the mortar to set, and I was like what’s you’re going to do is you’re going to build a tent, and you’re going to get a kerosene gas heater, it possibly could blow off The Bradford, but

Courtney Hopper: We’re going to risk it.

Dana Kadwell: We’re going to risk it. I need you to turn it on and this needs to happen because we have this client that’s getting married in March, in two weeks to be exact, and this needs to be finished. And I remember thinking then like do we have the worst luck on the face of the earth when it comes to construction. So, then we were like okay we’re going to do this renovation, I just I told my husband I was like there’s going to be some freaking shit thing that happens this year that’s going to prevent this from finishing on time or working out or whatever.

Courtney Hopper: And that did not happen. We were on time, and it wasn’t raining. It was like the driest winter. It was going swimmingly

Dana Kadwell: So, well. And then the pandemic hit.

Courtney Hopper: Yeah.

Dana Kadwell: And in the moment of it I just remember thinking of course because we were in construction. Like we obviously tested the gods, and they said F you, look what I’m going to do, like you can’t do anything, you can’t open, you can’t have your party. We never even had like a we had like a Bradford opening. We had been open for like four months, like you can’t do any of it. And I remember telling Sam I was like we’re not going to survive this Like there’s no way like we have we just took on almost triple our debt that we had before.

Courtney Hopper: It was quadruple but that’s fine. Whatever.

Dana Kadwell: And I don’t know how we’re going to do it We don’t have this We don’t have money coming in and it honestly, oddly enough the construction is what saved us. It a hundred percent saved us because one, we booked the shit out of it because everyone’s like it’s new, it’s shiny, it’s

Courtney Hopper: I mean and it’s beautiful.

Dana Kadwell: It is beautiful.

Courtney Hopper: It exceeded my expectations.

Dana Kadwell:  It did, but we were able to, so when everything hit, we said hey we don’t have weddings till May, like let’s slow it down. We did a lot of the landscaping ourselves.

Courtney Hopper: Yeah, when you talk about like how did we survive It was like we laid that damn patio for the third time, and like I could not have imagined that there was going to be any circumstance where we would be picking up those stones again Like I just couldn’t fathom. But then, at that time, I had never fathomed a pandemic either. So, I could say maybe in times of pandemic you do things you don’t think you’re ever going to do.

Dana Kadwell: We were able to do some of the projects ourselves which saved us some money. But then our bank, at the same time we were going through financing, said hey your best bet is to go through this SBA process.  You guys are great on paper, you guys are very financially conservative.

Courtney Hopper: We’re great not on paper.

Dana Kadwell: are and we’re very they were very financially conservative. And so, when the pandemic hit SBA was like, and we had not quite closed on the loan. So we didn’t close the loan until August, and she said oh the Cares Act is in effect, so in the SBA loan you don’t have to pay for six months. And I was like what, and that’s like over half of our financing

Courtney Hopper: It’s like half and half. Half bank, half SBA.

Dana Kadwell: So, half our mortgage got deferred to March, and then now got deferred to October.

Courtney Hopper: For the year of 2020 we actually ended up paying less of a mortgage loan than we had before building that project like literally,

Dana Kadwell: Which was like 4 times the amount of our mortgage before.

Courtney Hopper: That’s four times the amount of the mortgage but our payment has been less for over a year now Yeah Which was kind of like a miracle.

Dana Kadwell: It was a miracle, and I remember like after we signed the papers and in like September- October and like we were starting to kind of like ease back into weddings I was like okay, like we made it through what I feel like the hardest part was just spring and summer, and people were starting to have some faith and they’re starting to do their weddings a little, albeit with masks on and with under a hundred people or whatever. But it was happening, and I just remember thinking I can’t believe we did it.

Courtney Hopper: No, it was just like I felt that way too. Like what a blessing that it just like perfectly lined up where we had this amazing product. A product that, like I think back on building The Bradford and how it was always supposed to have two of the smaller ballrooms that we lost alone, and we can only do one and like how devastated we were at the time. And thank God like thank the Lord that we don’t have to useless ballrooms We just have one that is a lot less useless now because it’s attached to a much grander one and it makes so much sense. And I could never fathom that, so without like that “failure” and mishap like we wouldn’t have ended up where we’re at today which is a much more amazing product for our client.

And then to add like icing to that cake we didn’t even have to pay for it right away. We were just able to book it and basically the government paid for it, a big chunk of it So it was like this very strange like lining up of stars that like we couldn’t have planned any more perfectly even though we didn’t plan it.

Dana Kadwell: Right, but I personally feel like it’s like almost like a turning point because I don’t for us, I always felt like we’re very hard workers.   We work really hard and I think we have great business ethics and are good people. And I said I say this all the time but you don’t have to be a good person You don’t have to have great business ethics to make money and to be popular and to be successful in the wedding industry.

Courtney Hopper: Which really messes around with Dana’s fairness meter. It is not okay with Dana.

Dana Kadwell: It’s not, I struggle with it a lot. But I remember there was a venue that was opening up very close to the same time we opened up The Bradford, and we went to the opening because we had brought a client there and it’s beautiful and it is amazing and it is like the place to go to. Like I remember going thinking like this is amazing, this is beautiful, I just, and it wasn’t jealousy It was just this is not our experience Like I can guarantee you that person was not up in the middle of the night putting up trim or planting plants or doing anything. They weren’t worried about where their next dollar was coming from, you know because they had investors and they had Hedge funds and you know whatever, and there’s something wrong with that. I’m not saying it’s still an easy path It’s it just made it feel like we were always fighting against something, to prove ourselves. And we were always working with our hand tied behind our back.

Courtney Hopper: I distinctly remember walking out of that party for that opening, which was a great party. And I looked at Dana and I was like I can’t wait until it’s our turn and day and it was like it’s never going to be our turn. It’s never going to be like that.

Dana Kadwell: And it wasn’t. It was a great party, but it was not like that party.

Courtney Hopper: It’s so funny, dana always says like you’re so optimistic and I was like you’re so pessimistic, but then when I look back on like actual stories and replay them like I am always optimistic and she is always pessimistic. It’s not just a word it’s actually like in deed too, and belief.

So yeah, I mean it was it was definitely tough but like I definitely think that the timing of that renovation, because we were supposed to do it the year before never got our shit together so we didn’t do it. But the timing of that renovation it was just money, literally.  It didn’t make it any less difficult like walking through, rescheduling like something like 70 or 80 events. Events that canceled, people that asked for money. One of the things that she touched on, talking about giving money back and whatnot. That was always super hard, like I have a very like people pleaser nature.

So, like having a hard conversation with a client that I know is angry, and not that I go into them lightly now. I don’t, but it would give me like fear and trepidation. Like I wouldn’t be able to sleep, like it just I just want him to get it over with like a shot. Like when you’re a kid and you’re getting ready to go get your flu shot like you know what’s coming like just give it to me I want it over with. So, like knowing that those things are coming down the pipeline really gave me a lot of anxiety because I didn’t want people to be upset, I was afraid of what they thought, and are they going to write a bad review and blah blah blah. Or are they going to take me to court Like I know how much my lawyer costs.

And so, this has really like honed that skill, like I am not one to be bullied into a decision. So, it allowed us to like really exercise our contract prowess, you know negotiation skills and being able to stand firm as the bosses that we are.  And realizing it’s not just a reflection of me, but our decisions represent lots of people like the girls that are in the office the C&D girls that work for us on a part-time basis. Like The Bradford, the other clients, like it’s literally not about my bottom line but what I say and what I do represents so many other people and factions and just gave me a lot of confidence in how we were handling it. And when I go into a conversation now, I mean I don’t like going into conversations with angry clients, but I don’t have that same like fear about it.

Dana Kadwell:  No for me it’s, I probably too much to have a black and white view of life I don’t have a lot of gray area. I believe in justice, and so I always struggled with the fact that it’s just not fair, like it’s just not fair. Like why am I supposed to absorb everything about this pandemic? Like why do I have to pay for it? Like I didn’t bring it on I’m not the one that brought it over I’m not the one. I’m wearing my mask I’m doing all things I’m supposed to be doing, like why am I having to pay for it? And I remember we had this conversation with this dad who just angry or whatever, and he, in the middle of conversation, was like well if you can’t take a bigger…

Courtney Hopper: Well, if you can’t take a bigger K-1 this year then that’s not my problem.

Dana Kadwell: That’s like you don’t fucking talk about my finances that way. Like you don’t know, you know the thing about me.

Like, you don’t know that I haven’t, that what we have been paying ourselves. So, I’ve never actually even had a K-1, we always said 2020 was the year we were going to finally actually cash the K-1.

Courtney Hopper: Spoiler alert, it wasn’t.

Dana Kadwell: It was not the year, like you don’t know what you’re talking about. I mean my husband says are you finally going to get paid minimum wage. You don’t even get paid minimum wage, like what your paycheck is. That’s actually probably very true Like I don’t even make the $7 an hour based on like what I get paid. Like you know nothing about me and like it infuriated me. Courtney was like okay okay okay, trying to bring the conversation back because I’m about to like lose it on this dad.

Courtney Hopper: I was like one of the things, kind of segwaying into, it was really really beneficial to have a partner during this time. Like it was so nice to be able to walk into those conversations together. It was so nice to be able to say let me consult my partner. It was so nice to be like I’m going to bow out of this one, like I’m going to lose it. It was so nice to have someone say calm it down, you’re sounding a little shrill, you know,

Dana Kadwell: you’re sounding like a Muppet over there.

Courtney Hopper: I know but when I get upset that’s what happens. It’s like the Kermit Miss Piggy comes out in me.  So it was, I look at people like even like Nina and I’m like, how do you do it by yourself? You know like how do you do it without the sounding board without like the people around you to bounce off of and to walk into these like hard conversations with. Like I’m glad I didn’t have to do that

Yeah, so yeah, I think that I think that’s how we survived, we survived together. We survived by a great contract I mean I think attorneys and contracts are way more important than I ever thought they were.

Then trusting that contract, it’s there to protect you. So, I think that was super helpful, and then obviously falling back on our OG skills of manual labor like saving money by doing it ourselves because at that point we had time, so it just made sense to.

Dana Kadwell: Right, we were on lockdown we were quarantining together as family. So yeah, what else are you going to do but lay out like 500 pounds of,

Courtney Hopper: 500 pounds? They were like a hundred pounds each.

Dana Kadwell: No, the grass.

Courtney Hopper: Oh yeah That grass is so heavy. The artificial turf, not a fun job.

Yeah, so what motivated you like during this time

Dana Kadwell: I don’t think I was very motivated

Courtney Hopper: Nothing. Alcohol.

Dana Kadwell:  It wasn’t even alcohol. I think that because the evening seems so long now that the kids were home all the time. It wasn’t like before they would get home and then you had dinner and then it was bedtime. So, they’re there all the time, and so if I would get home and like grab a beer or have a glass of wine like I couldn’t make it to bedtime. I was just tired and like mentally exhausted and that wasn’t fair. So, we started doing um we did Harry Potter time, we listened to audio books and we all had like a craft that we did and worked on or whatever.

That was good, but I don’t I don’t think I coped with it well. I mean if I’m going to be 100% honest like I think a couple of points in our entrepreneurial journey where I’ve had those moments of like what if I did not own my own business, like what if I did something else for somebody else and I could go home and I could let it go, and I didn’t have to worry about it. And I spent a lot of the year questioning my life choices of doing this, and it’s not because we didn’t have great employees. It’s not because We were like stressed about money, we were stressed about money but it wasn’t like the forefront of it.

Courtney Hopper: We’ve been more stressed about money than we were in 2020.

Dana Kadwell: Right but I think it, it was just the emotion of dealing with something. Not from the pandemic, I mean I think 2020 was emotionally hard all across the board. I mean it was it was the election, it was social justice, like it was the pandemic. I mean it, there was so much coming at you and at the end of the day I was like what do I do for this world. I have a venue, is that enough? Am I doing, and I think that was a lot of it was it felt so small like in the grand scheme of it, like am I actually doing something that matters?

Courtney Hopper: I’m going to take this time to let you know I’m running for office next year.

Dana Kadwell: I’m not.

Courtney Hopper: I’m joking, but seriously I did feel that way I was like I can do that shit better

Dana Kadwell: Yeah, but it’s not even that Not even I feel like you do better It’s just like am I am I fulfilling and doing something that I should be doing And I think there was a lot of like questioning why, I think everyone in wonders like why do you have to go through this Why do you have to like experience this hardship, like why do you have to feel this pain.  And I think the optimistic side of me is always like oh it will make you a better person And I’m just like no like I don’t think I just think it’s life.

Courtney Hopper: I think it’s just life

Dana Kadwell: I don’t know if it made me a better person, I think it would be more cynical.

Courtney Hopper: Yeah

Dana Kadwell: Like I don’t, I think that it made me more confident as a boss but it’s not like I’m a better person because of it.

Courtney Hopper: Yeah, I can’t say either way.

Dana Kadwell: I don’t know, Courtney is just much more optimistic over there than I am. I’m just like I can’t deal.

Courtney Hopper: Yeah, But I don’t subscribe to a control mentality in general, like I just think I’m going to try to make the best choices with the Facts in front of me and the information given but at the end of the day like I know that I don’t have control over it. So, there’s not any of that, but it wasn’t any of that like disillusionment for me in 2020 like I, I just do the best that I can do as I’m doing it Period Sometimes that’s good enough, sometimes it’s not, but it’s the best that I can do, right. So, I think that I operate with a little bit of like self-grace and people grace like as I’m walking through it which I think was helpful.

Yeah, I mean I think it was a super hard year Like I could not have anticipated it but I look at it as everybody was having a hard year. Like I didn’t see it through my, I didn’t filter it through how I was feeling about it. I filtered it just through the world’s kind of falling apart, right. So, it’s not just my world. My world is just a microcosm within a larger world and the larger world it’s falling apart. I really felt like, like come April it looked like it wasn’t going away anytime soon I was like I really think that we might be in the beginning of a dystopian novel, right.

Dana Kadwell: We were at Lowe’s getting something, we’re like we’re going to be like that movie like oh that everything was fine, hunky dory we’re at Lowe’s grabbing the stuff and it was like that was the last day it was normal.

Courtney Hopper: Like we’re like look at these misguided people buying wood and steaks and things for their venue and the world’s falling apart, like so misguided.

Dana Kadwell: We were actually buying canned goods so we could trade. That’s going to be like the currency.

Courtney Hopper: I know, why were they not. Yeah, why were they not buying canned goods and stocking up on food. It’s I was just kind of felt like that, like we were kind of walking out our own like dystopia novel and then you’re just kind of at mercy for what the day brings. So, I don’t think people in dystopian universe think like what’s the long-term of this, they’re like let me get through today. You know like this hacksaw is going to help me today, you know they’re not worried about the artificial turf.

I don’t know that my mindset shifted so much in that it confirmed that I feel like life is a windy road and you have to flow, like if anything to me 2020 taught me that like got to keep flowing just got to keep going. So not that it was all roses, it was definitely dark moments and hard conversations, but that’s kind of how I moved through it. And I think too like I felt a real responsibility to keeping my employees motivated, to making sure that they felt positive, that we weren’t doom and gloom, that we are moving forward and we are doing everything that we could to protect you know their interests and keep them motivated and happy to be serving The Bradford, which I felt like they were. Like I felt like we did a really great job doing that.

Dana Kadwell: Yeah, I think, but I think it took an attitude shift from us to be honest. Like I think it was my first wedding, COVID wedding that I worked and I finally understood how emotionally exhausting it is to work a COVID wedding because you have to be, you have to be the asshole.

You have to be the one that some people put their mask on and to follow the rules, and it’s emotionally exhausting. I think at the time our employees, I felt like again we’re doing a fine job, but I didn’t understand like why they were so tired. I was like why are you so, you haven’t worked since November, or since April.

Courtney Hopper: What is wrong with you?

Dana Kadwell: I don’t get it.

Courtney Hopper: It wasn’t even April; it was like June.

Dana Kadwell: I mean and yeah because we shut down in November for renovation and so. It helped me understand a little bit more of that emotional toll it. And I think too, for us like we employ people that are high achievers, that love our company, and are nervous to make the wrong step. And so, I think that’s emotionally exhausting, like are am I saying the right thing? Am I representing The Bradford well? Am I, is this going to like do I have to like and Dana in because at times they saw how exhausted and stressed out we were and how emotionally distraught we were?

And they’re like well I don’t I don’t want to call them I don’t want to ask them for help. Like I just want to handle this, like no matter how I’m feeling it doesn’t matter, like if I had to be called an act to be called in. I’m going to handle it fine; it’s going to be fine. But I think for us like trying to keep them motivated was really just letting you know we’re in their corner and we’re not leaving them out to just handle it. Like if you’re having a bad wedding or you are stressed just call me. I live, me personally, I live seven minutes away, Courtney’s next door. You know like call us or say like this client doesn’t fully understand, can you please be present for X amount of time? You know let us be there for you.

Courtney Hopper: Like we were present at a lot of the walkthroughs. We were present at most of the weddings, like I have definitely, in some ways it was a step forward, but in some ways, I felt like God we’re right back here in the trenches. Like I thought we had moved on from this, right and yeah. Just kind of being there to support I think was super important.

Last thing I want to talk about is I just loved her comment to that mother and that conversation where said look at how you’re treating another human being. That totally resonated with me.

Dana Kadwell: And it’s so like, it’s all about me and it’s how I feel. Like you are hurting me and they and they have no concept of what’s going on around them, and even saying, cause even to me like when I like someone like an employee or even you are like being like not all there or off-putting or like maybe something’s going on Like my first instinct is not that they’re trying to be a complete asshole.

My instinct is maybe they have something going on that’s like causing them to be really stressed out right now. wonder what that is, and we’ve lost that. Like we can never put ourselves in someone else’s shoes.

Courtney Hopper:  I feel like that was one of the things to me like concerning 2020 is I felt like everybody, I mean not everybody, I don’t really believe in absolutes like that, but I feel like a lot of people were filtering it through their emotions. Like how how’s this affecting me, me, me. And I think when you’re in times of survival it is like that like you’re just filtering like how can I best fulfill my needs, and I think there were some people who are in actual survival.

But I think there was a better group, better percentage of people that weren’t actually in survival that were going to survive just fine, but like their feelings were hurt or things that didn’t turn out exactly how they wanted them to be, and they weren’t able to bend and flex, and it just brought out like the awfulness and people like selfish people can be.

Dana Kadwell: Well yeah, so had this conversation I guess I could be honest I have conversation with my father when we were in Florida. So, me and dad are having a beer at the bar, and the bar you can drink outside that a mask on. And he’s just he’s like I don’t understand like masks, he’s like you know they don’t do anything if you’re wearing them, and I’m like well you are somewhat correct that like if you have COVID and I’m wearing a mask it’s probably not going to help me very much. But if you have COVID and wear a mask and I wear a mask have a higher chance of not getting it. So, I wear a mask not because of me because I know that if I was to catch it 99%, I would probably make it cause I’m a healthy person, I don’t have any like other underlying issues, like nothing. Like I know I’ll be okay, but I don’t wear it for fear of getting it, I wear it for fear of I don’t know if I’m spreading it to somebody else. I hate it, I hate wearing a mask. I’m like I it’s hot. I don’t love it I feel like sometimes especially in the summertime it was terrible, but I did it every single time because it’s not about me. never was about me, like I’m not wearing it to save me or to save my family or to save someone that I love because majority of people in my bubble probably would have been fine. But I don’t want to be the result of my best friend’s dad dying because I brought them COVID because I refuse to wear a mask.

Courtney Hopper: Yeah, I totally agree with that.

Dana Kadwell: And I feel like COVID brought that out. There was this huge camp of it’s about me, and the camp of it’s about everybody else. Like I’m going to do what I need to do because I love everybody else around me and it’s not about me.

Courtney Hopper: Well, I think, I think again not to get political, I had a similar conversation with that person concerning vaccine

Dana Kadwell: Our father?

Courtney Hopper: Yeah, he kind of said the same thing Like I was not going to get the vaccine because if I were to get COVID like I would be fine, and I was like yeah but our grandparents wouldn’t and our mother probably wouldn’t, and that’s why she gets the vaccine because you probably can filter it fine, and it’s going to be fine, and you won’t be a carrier so you can’t pass it on to the people that you love. I would probably be fine too If I got COVID. Am I going to get the vaccine Yes, I am,

Dana Kadwell: I really need to say that 98% of our people I could honestly say have been absolutely amazing. They have taken this in stride. They have said we’re going to do what’s best for our family. They have said you know what like I don’t even care, I am so in love I want to marry this person with 25 people and we’re going to have a wonderful day and they have been the sweetest and the most amazing weddings ever, and there have been people that have taken this pandemic and brides that have taken this scenario and have made it amazing and special and Just flowed with it. Even those that had to reschedule, they say you know what It is what it is, those who rescheduled for the fourth time, it is what it is. Like we understand it’s not free, we understand we have to pay these fees. We are willing to do it because this is our goal and our vision, and those people have been absolutely amazing. And it has given me honestly more faith in humanity.

Courtney Hopper: That’s good, 2020 brought Dana some faith in humanity that it can’t be all bad

Dana Kadwell: All of my personal twice when he brides I like one of them was like Oh you’re going to be available in 2022 I’m like I’m fine with that.

Courtney Hopper: One moved to 2022?

Dana Kadwell: I think one of them

Courtney Hopper: Oh my God I can’t handle that I can handle it.

Courtney Hopper:  Thanks everyone for gathering with us today to talk about the hustle. To check out Wedded Kiss or follow them on Instagram at weddedkiss.

Dana Kadwell: And to learn more about our hustles visit, or follow us on Instagram at canddevents. If you liked the show, be sure to subscribe and leave us a rating and a review.

Courtney Hopper: This podcast is a production of Earfluence. I’m Courtney.

Dana Kadwell: And I’m Dana.

Courtney Hopper: And we’ll talk with you next time on Hustle + Gather.

Full Episode Transcript

Hustle and Gather is hosted by Courtney Hopper and Dana Kadwell, and is produced by Earfluence.  Courtney and Dana’s hustles include C&D Events, Hustle and Gather, and The Bradford Wedding Venue.

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