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I Am Enough

May 10, 2017

Hello everyone, I have a little story to tell you today. I was thinking recently about my trip to Zurich last November, when I worked for Blickfang, and how I fell in love with a very special little owl. Would you like to know more? It’s short, and sweet, and just may make you feel all the feels but my goal is that maybe my story will make you see that you are enough, too. So there I was at a shop in Zurich, I cannot recall the name of it but it was so well curated and honestly, one of the best I’d seen in all of Zurich for interiors. In a corner, there sat a little owl and many of his friends. A real owl? To me, yes. But to everyone else, he was only porcelain and merely a decorative object for the home.

I Am Enough

That little owl represented more in my eyes though, so I looked a bit more closely to examine his details. Why was this little figurine calling to me, beckoning me to take a closer look? Upon closer inspection, I understood why I felt a heart connection with this lovely little bird. Let me explain.

Do you see the little mouse he is holding under his wing so gently? In nature, the mouse would have been devoured in a moment, owls are not vegetarians! They’re hunters and must be in order to survive. The artist who made this owl though, Babette Maeder, is of course allowed to tell stories through her creative expressions; to alter reality to create a new idea, a new way of looking at the world. That is the only job of an artist, if you can even call it that – to spark a reaction. If someone is drawn in, the artist accomplished a goal.

When I stood before the little owl, I was a little girl again. Not a strong woman with a family and a company. I thought about the owl as if it were going to start moving about on the table, making its way over to sit on my hand. It had a magical quality, but again, most likely only to me because the other shoppers walked on by.

I realized in that moment that the owl represented me but I couldn’t quite figure out why. I thought some more. Perhaps it was tied in to my desire to heal, protect and show love. To be liked, to please others. To be kind. I am a caring person yet I often forget to show it and can come across as very headstrong – like I have no fears or problems, like I have it all under control. Yet, I have suffered from feelings of self doubt since I was a child. I always wanted to be protected and loved but losing my father when I was 18 was devastating. Not because he died, he didn’t, but because he divorced my mother and started a new life and I never saw him again.

Over the years, I wanted to protect and heal everyone as a result so they didn’t hurt as much as I had hurt. I didn’t realize that getting hurt was character building and if faced and resolved, getting hurt can be a huge stepping stone. Guarding people from getting hurt emotionally is less important than helping to support them through the pain. It’s like a caterpillar emerging from a cocoon, pushing its way through a tiny hole, the force of it all, the struggle, is making it stronger so once it emerges, it can fly. Did you know that if you cut the sack right before the butterfly appears, it will be limp and just lay there and most likely, die? This is because the force of pushing itself out is what the wings needed to become strong.

I read a quote once from Brene Brown that resonated with me, “You are enough”. When I met the little owl in November, he reminded me that I am enough. That being human is okay and to focus on others and to guide them, while also caring for myself, is okay. But now in my life, the most important thing is caring for my son, being a watchful owl, a guide, a consistent source of love. He is my little mouse, I am his mama. That is enough because to him, I am enough. This owl made me see that I don’t need to heal the world, I really just need to be there for my child and then, everyone else can come later as time allows. This was a refreshing perspective for me and a first, for sure.

I Am Enough

Flashback to Zurich in that little shop… So you won’t believe this… The next day after encountering the little own, unknown to me, I ran into the artist at the Blickfang fair! In fact, I was a jury member and we had to pick nominees for an award. As I roamed the fair searching for a winner, looking at hundreds of products, there was the little owl! It couldn’t be! And the artist was there with it and all of her other creations too. I was so shy to say anything to her, so I only grabbed her business card and later, returned to meet with the other jury members and told them, “I nominate Babette Maeder!”.

Months later, the little owl still stayed on my mind. I thought about it nearly every day. Then one day an email arrived and it said, “It was very nice meeting you at Blickfang Zürich. I would love to invite you to my open studio this Friday, if you are in Zurich!”. It was from Babette. How could it be? She remembered me? I felt that the little owl was working behind-the-scenes. I felt he somehow wanted to live in my home.

Guess what? The owl lives in Hannover now. He arrived right before the birthday of my son. Babette Maeder has a permanent spot in my heart now through this small bird. I’ve been wanting to tell you this story for months, but I’ve been so overwhelmed with travel in the past few months (Frankfurt, Hamburg, Cologne, Paris, Milan, Cuxhaven, Berlin, Oberhausen…) that I couldn’t find a moment to type all of this out until today.

Thank you Babette for putting your work into the world and for touching hearts, like mine. Thank you for letting this owl remind me that to my son, and even to those I work with, and to my family and friends, that I am enough. What I give is enough. And that all of you reading are enough too. Focus on what matters and let the rest wait.

That feels nice.



  • Reply bluebirdchicllc May 10, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    I love this post. Thank you so much for sharing – the quote is from Brene Brown – and her work has been so instrumental in healing for me the past year, too. I just love hearing that you still feel shy about approaching artists and putting yourself out there. Great reminder that it’s a practice and we never feel like we’ve “arrived”.

  • Reply Isabel May 10, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    I was really touched by this post. Thanks for sharing. I love the work of Brené Brown, too.

  • Reply Jacqui May 10, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    I too did the vulnerability workshop with Brene so of course your story brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for such a thoughtfully written insight. May you continue to be blessed.

  • Reply Te Esse by Velvet May 11, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    I really liked your story. It’s very touching. The owl found its way home. Unfortunately I think, we learn the most when we hurt. I’m happy for you and that you feel like you’re enough, it sounds like you’re at peace with yourself. I can’t say I feel the same way, not entirely anyway…but I try to listen to my instincts and keep this deep faith of mine that ‘it will all work out at the end’.

  • Reply sarah May 11, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    What a wonderful story!!

  • Reply Dodi Schwab May 11, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    Sweet post.

  • Reply sula362 May 11, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    it is a sweet little owl. I will look out for her shop next time i am in Zurich

  • Reply lavannya goradia May 12, 2017 at 8:20 am

    awww that’s the most beautiful and vulnerable story you’ve told. How authentic are you girl!!! Fabulous…. you touched my heart today.

  • Reply Amy Keller May 12, 2017 at 9:35 am

    Holly, that is a lovely story, thank you.

  • Reply Christine Gordon May 12, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    I love your personal posts – they always speak to me. I really appreciate your willingness to be honest and open. As an artist myself, I love when people make a connection with a piece. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Reply Valerie May 12, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    Thank you so much for this beautiful story. Artist touch our hearts with their unmasked truth. Just like children do. Just like you did with this article. Thank you for this powerful message!

  • Reply Cristin Wills May 15, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    What a sweet story of serendipity! We have barn owls who nest in our enormous date palm here in Los Angeles. During nesting season in spring, they make the most terrible screeching racket all night but make wonderful parents. We consider their feathers that sometimes drop down special gifts.

  • Reply Melissa May 15, 2017 at 10:24 pm

    Holly, thank you for sharing your story. I appreciate the reminder to slow down, question why things speak to me and to pay attention!

  • Reply mariaeugomez May 17, 2017 at 10:20 am

    This is a very nice post. It is been long time since I stop by your blog. And this post is a nice surprise. You have inspired me to do a lot of things, to open a company, to be resilient. I asked myself if Holly can do it been an American in Germany. Why can i not? Sometime the road is bumpy. But it is true, somehow we are enough. Thanks for the inspiration. Stay true to yourself. This really inspired others. At least it has inspired me! Hugs from Cologne.

  • Reply Paige May 17, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    Holly that was so beautiful, I’m sorry to hear of the challenging story from when you were 18, but I’m so happy you’re able to do things right with your own family, and this owl is a symbol of that.
    Best wishes, also from Hannover!

  • Reply Teddy May 19, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    Such a lovely story <3

  • Reply Madelyn Clough May 23, 2017 at 3:57 am

    This is a very heart-warming story! Thank you for sharing.

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