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When I was a child, my family’s Christmas Eve gift exchange always culminated in the presentation of a small wrapped box to my mother.  Under the ribbons and tissue paper was a piece of paper, and on it a poem.  A rhyme, a riddle, composed by my father to lead us to another location in the house, find another hidden clue, which led to another and another until at last she and her Sherlock-savvy children nosed out the pearls behind a certain book in the library or a coveted set of china under the bed.

So, last week, when the Ibu Team gathered at my house for our holiday party, I carried on my father’s tradition.  Taking inspiration from The Twelve Days of Christmas, I wrote a ditty that led the above team around the house in search of clue after clue, each highlighting a month in our life together.  At the end, the group discovered my gift to each of them - a new ibu yearbook which recalls our life together in the year past.

After putting together these remembrances, I wanted to share a few with you - for without you, nothing is possible. Team Ibu is simply charting the course, while you are the movement. And we are so grateful for your great energies and collaborations and support.  You can click here to see the book in a digital form, or just glance through these highlights below, each calling to mind one of the Twelve Months Since Christmas at ibu.  How many can you identify?

 
 

Even if you don’t get all of the allusions, no matter, the team certainly did, and together stayed around the fire late into the night reminiscing.  I’m grateful beyond words for the movement to which I belong, the people who sustain me daily in friendship and alliances of good will, and the artisans with whom we travel down this exciting path.  

Here’s to a new year of even greater possibilities, bolder initiatives, and more women than ever growing into self-sufficiency, self-respect, choice, leadership.  

And joy.  As I hope for you.

All the Best,
Susan Hull Walker

The answers to the clues:

12. Beatrix Ost and Article 22 launch her jewelry made out of bombs.  

11.  Ali MacGraw with her team of holiday wrappers, Mollie and Sarah.  

10.  Allies listen to one of our four Fall Speakers:  Eric Mindling, Michelle Nussbaumer, Ali MacGraw, & Beatrix Ost.

9.   Jamie Buskey is a whiz at drawing out our designs, in this case, for Tiala of Nagaland & her husband, Harry.  

8.   Marisa packing up after a Trunk Show in Santa Barbara, or Santa Fe . . .  

7.   Ali shows Susan around the Santa Fe Sunday Market, looking for treasure for our holiday gifts. Austin & Tiala play there too.   

6.   Zero George Street invited ibu to do a Trunk Show and hosted a global dinner, creating a perennial favorite ibu cocktail.  

5.  The New Africa collection launched in April.  

4.   ibu hosted Madeline Weinrib, Charlotte Moss, Dining with Women, and Enough Pie, among others.  

3.   Charleston Fashion Week Runway Show:  ibu created 20 new designs from inspired by traditions all over the globe. 

2.   Wambui McKesson shows of her amazing jackets crafted in Tanzania.

1.  The Wow of Yao exhibit launched last January during theChinese Year of the monkey.  Allies wrote hopes on joss paper and clothes-pinned to the tree.  Time to do that again!