From left: Dalia Dalili, Trunk Show & Wholesale Coordinator; Susan Hull Walker, Creative Director; Hallie Stufano, Sales Associate; Marisa Nemirow, Sales Manager; Daniela Delgado, Sales Assistant; Hannah Shook,Marketing Communications Manager; Jamie Buskey, Production Manager; Austin Walker, All Around Rudolph

From left: Dalia Dalili, Trunk Show & Wholesale Coordinator; Susan Hull Walker, Creative Director; Hallie Stufano, Sales Associate; Marisa Nemirow, Sales Manager; Daniela Delgado, Sales Assistant; Hannah Shook,Marketing Communications Manager; Jamie Buskey, Production Manager; Austin Walker, All Around Rudolph

Surprise.  It is the molten center of a warm chocolate cake, your grown children arriving home early, the strange-shaped package under the tree, and the zing in our holidays.  

When Team Ibu gathered for our holiday party last week, we began to sing carols around the piano, warmed by the fire.  But I had taken to twisting the text beforehand, so that singing led to all manner of surprise for the particular person on the roasting pit.  At last we jingled our way into a scavenger hunt leading from one clue to another around my house until the team landed upon their final surprise in the form of Ibu: Year Four  - a book I'd created from the images of our year together.  We poured over it together and marveled and howled.

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I felt among us all a rich gratitude.  Gratitude for the many personalities who lit our way.  The artisans who stretched to grow with us.  Ali, who gave us her everything and set the trail on fire.  The brilliant hosts who offered us trunk shows around the country.  Charlotte with her amazing generosity and goodwill, not to mention good design.  And all of the essential players who moved the movement with their own particular muscle. 

At the close of this remarkable year, I am moved to reflect upon our gains, and upon the faces (you!) who make the endeavor shine.  Take a look if you have a minute at the whole of it, below. Know that we are all part of a large and startling movement, one of energy and focus and force.  

That, for me, is the best surprise of all.  That we are doing this, yes, moving as a great ocean of women toward a freer, more just and beautiful shore.  That you are with us.  That we are growing the way all good things grow - with heart,  and with one another.  

Thank you, ibu family.  May your days ahead be lit with love and surprising light.

All the best,

Susan Hull Walker and the entire Ibu Team