Our Story: Creating Lustre and Community
By Karen and Erica
When we were working, we were very much in and of the world and, we now realize, also in a kind of bubble. Our lives and our time were focused on work and family. New people came in and out, of course, but all of them revolved around these two hubs.
When we retired, we knew our families were not going to occupy every waking moment of our lives. Even if we wanted that, they would not put up with it. And we did not want that. We wanted to continue to be engaged with the world. We founded Lustre to build a community of retired career women who would join us to challenge the status quo and change the way the world sees us. Lustre was our new purpose, and of course we needed an official place to work. Setting up our office--Lustre Global HQ--and bringing Lustre to life helped us create a new post-career structure for our days.
We were on our way to finding out new place in the world. What we didn't anticipate was that Lustre, and having the amazing ability to control our time, was going to give us more than just new identities with which to navigate. Because Lustre touches on so many aspects of retirement and age, we have not only widened our lens on the world but we have also widened our community, and our perspectives.
How has that happened? Two ways.
One, lots of people--of all ages, backgrounds, races, genders, professions--want to talk about what we are doing, our mission and what we hope to accomplish. Everyone has an interest because everyone gets older if they're lucky--and even if they can't imagine it they see that their parents do. And retirement affects all working folks and their families. For career women, both are a whole new game, without role models for what retirement and aging can and should look like.
So everyone wants to talk about their perspectives: media professionals who are angry about the absence of images of folks like us, and the uniformly negative images of older women; doctors who want older women to be aware that they are medically different from the men upon whom most drugs were tested; photographers and artists who appreciate the Lustre imagery; makeup artists who have tips and tricks for people like us; financial professionals who have found their calling in the philanthropy world; young women entrepreneurs who want to hear how to jump hurdles more effectively--or to profit from this emerging demographic, an objective we applaud.
Two, we have the time to say “yes” and to develop relationships. We’re not screening introductions. We have time to meet everyone and make new friends.
It’s the doing of something interesting that has opened this wider world. We have a new community. We’re gratified, enriched and fulfilled in ways we never expected.