A Day With Brené Brown


If you had told me a year ago that I would, in a year, be spending a day with Dr. Brené Brown in her Houston, Texas home I would have told you to shut the front door. And then I would’ve impatiently spend the next year crossing each day off the calendar like a kid waiting for Christmas.

If you don’t know who Brené Brown is check out her TED talk on vulnerability – take 20 minutes to watch it right now and then come back. It changed my life – along with the lives of over 9 million other viewers. I was already a fan of Brené when I went to Mighty Summit and received a signed copy of Daring Greatly. After reading Daring Greatly I was preaching Brené’s rallying cry to get in the arena, show up and be seen. I did a review of Daring Greatly on the Braid blog and tweeted it – Brené saw the tweet, read the review, and replied on Twitter that she loved it. It made my day.

A couple months later I became breathless when I saw an email from Brené in my inbox. She had been following our work ever since our tweet exchange and needed a brand overhaul before going on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday in a couple of months. She wanted to hire us for the job. There was lots of back and forth – she needed design work and didn’t necessarily have the time to commit to going through the entire collaborative Braid Method (the way Tara and I insist on working with our clients – every. single. time.)  The dream of working with a hero felt like a slippery fish in my hands. But eventually she said “Hired!” She knew we were the ones who could take her brand where it needed to go. I knew it too. Writing her name on our client chalkboard felt like a surreal dream.

The next few months involved lots of Skyping between Brené, Tara, and myself. I’ll never forget the time Oprah herself called Brené while we were in a Skype session together. Tara and I couldn’t wait to tell our mom and dad. (Though… now my dad thinks we actually work with Oprah.) And then there was the time Brené was video conferencing with us in her pajamas from a hotel room before a huge speaking gig – it was at that point that she felt almost like family.

And then just a couple weeks ago Tara and I were working, shoes off and side-by-side, with in her comfy living room knocking out a web project. Not only was Brené giving us enthusiastic approval on the designs we were creating for her, but she was bringing me plates of sugar cookies and strawberries. It would have been easy to get caught up in the stress or fear that comes with being a creative working for A Big Deal but instead I chose to take in the moment with all of my senses and radiate gratitude from every cell of my being. And when we needed little breaks from work we talked about life – and Brené felt like an aunt I’ve known my whole life. The whole thing felt like a dream.

After a long day of really hard work I asked Brené if she would mind giving me just a little bit of advice for bloggers who might be a little hesitant to show up and be seen. What she said was simple but golden. Read these gifts of wisdom straight from Brené Brown, for you, over at the Braid Blog.

  1. Jen

    Oh. My. Gahhhhhwd!! I have just been WAITING (hoping) for you to post about this since seeing the photo of the two of you. I love it when it when two of my internet idols cross paths and collaborate. It always feels like some sort of crazy kizmet. I fell in love with Brené’s work (like everyone else) after seeing her TED talk and love, love, love that you’ve been working on her brand. Her website looks incredible. This is such great proof that putting yourself out there attracts incredible, unexpected results. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • !!!

      It was truly an amazing experience. It’s funny because working with Brené feels so normal and natural now that I had to really remember what it was like to get that first email and really take time to appreciate how far I’ve come since starting on my own.

      Thanks for your sweet comment, Jen.

  2. Brené and Oprah!!! You hit the jackpot, twice. I love them both. They share so much wisdom that seems to hit home so many times. The Super Soul Sunday shows with Brené were fabulous! How do I even describe how much I learned, enjoyed, soaked in, etc from them.
    Congrats on the great opportunity to work with Brené too.

    • But I’m not actually working with Oprah! I’m one degree away, though. 😉

  3. OH MY LORD. That is so amazing. You’re a superstar.

    • I’m not sure I’m a superstar. I feel like I’m just doing my job. BUT! It was a trip working with someone I admire so much.

  4. Laura

    I’m smack dab in the middle of reading “Daring Greatly” and am loving it! (and also a bit terrified of it) You did a fabulous job on her website. Thanks for sharing the inside scoop. I haven’t seen her TED talk, but I’m about to…

    • It’s soooo good right? Check out her TED talk for sure. XO

  5. That is FABULOUS! What an amazing opportunity. Happy dance!!!!

    • Happy dance, for sure!

  6. Ffion

    I read her first two books and loved them, I’m dying to get my hands on the third but am waiting until I’ve finished with the books I’m currently reading. I turn into a book-buying maniac otherwise. But Daring Greatly is very high on my “to-buy” list 😀 Very much looking forward to reading it. Her TEDx talks were wonderful too.

    • Ffion

      And now I totally forgot to congratulate you. Silly me 🙂 I’m absolutely thrilled for you. What a wonderful opportunity! Nothing says vulnerability like a pair of PJs.

    • I’ve got so many books in my queue. I totally understand. In fact, I recently had to take a break from all the self-help and dive into a good fiction book.

  7. Bre

    SHUT THE FRONT DOOR. Awesome. 🙂

    • I KNOW, right!?


  8. Julie

    Since finding your blog a couple of months ago, I look forward to your new posts (as well as reading old ones) to see what new adventure or tidbit you have to share. This post brought me to the that wonderful TEDtalk and Brene Brown on a day when her words rang loudly and clearly through my mind. I immediately ordered her book as well. Thanks for sharing your adventures, I am always inspired by how you seem to embrace life so fully.

  9. Jacki

    How awesome! Her book has been on my “to read” list for a while. Time to pick up a copy!