Gratitude Friday IX: A Thank You to Will

Author: Danielle Schoen

Typically on Gratitude Friday, I transcribe while Will reflects on what he is most grateful for that week.

This week, I decided to take the opportunity to write a letter of gratitude to him.


I ran into Will at a bar in Asheville about seven months ago. I recognized him from the Blue Ridge Hemp Instagram and decided, completely out of character, to run up to him, introduce myself, and ask if the company was hiring. 

Throughout this whole conversation I’m pretty sure that I called him “the Blue Ridge Hemp guy.” A highly professional move.


Will was looking for someone to work in the store on weekends, and we met the following week to discuss a part-time job. 

One of the first questions Will asked me in our initial interview was how much my rent costed each month. He then calculated how much my hourly pay would need to be so that my part-time work could help to cover my rent and more each month. 

This one genuinely thoughtful question made a huge impression on me. I realized that I had an opportunity to be part of a company with a culture of compassion and care, and I wanted to seize that opportunity in whatever form it took.


Seven months later, I am now Will’s assistant. My role in the company and the level of responsibility in my work have changed tremendously, but my immense respect for Will and gratitude for working with him has remained. Additionally, I’ve come to be deeply thankful for him as a friend. 

The genuine passion that he displays for serving others is just as compelling in person as it is on the Vlog or Instagram live streams.

The letter, and the jasper stone on the left (red)

I am most grateful for the ways in which Will’s kindness towards me and all of Blue Ridge Hemp’s employees has inspired me to be kinder toward myself.


 In a culture so fixated on perfectionism and, thereby, judgement, it is healthy and relieving to spend time around people who truly encourage and accept others. 

I am tremendously thankful for the culture of encouragement and acceptance that Will has created in our wonderful team.


A few weeks ago, after a particularly tough week in my personal life, I was feeling especially struck by Will’s gracious support of my wellbeing. I wrote him a letter of thanks that I thought might be a perfect summation of my gratitude on this Gratitude Friday:

Dear Will,

Thank you for your incredible generosity and kindness. It is hard for me to find works to express how your gentle and accepting nature in moments where I am struggling has impacted me. To have someone I respect so tremendously treat me with such grace on a hard day inspires me to be kinder to myself. I am so grateful to be your friend and to work alongside you on this awesome adventure. Your adherence to your values in your personal and professional life inspires others to do the same. Thank for 6 awesome months working towards a mission that I am honored to support. Here’s some jasper — the great nurture stone — to support you as you nurture so many.



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