The 12 Weeks of Rhone has officially begun!

For those of you who don't know, the 12 weeks of Rhone is something we do every year in order to bring the excitement of the Holiday season to you earlier than normal. Think of it as the somewhat less exciting adult version of sneaking into your parents closet to see what sweet gifts were in store for you that year.

Each week will bring a deal exclusive to our site, Rhone.com. For example, this week we are announcing sitewide free shipping from now until the New Year!

More importantly we wanted a way to get everyone involved. That's why this year we will also send out a weekly challenge on the Collective that we promise will make the season a little bit brighter.

This week's challenge is as follows: Think of friend that you've been meaning to connect with or haven't seen for a while, invite them to coffee, lunch, or grab a drink with them.

This challenge is all about opening those lines of communication that may have been shut down for a little while. Life gets in the way and we tend to lose touch with people who mean a lot to us. What better time of year to reconnect with one or more of those friends?

In the spirit of practicing what we preach, the Rhone team will complete each challenge a week early in order to share our experiences and provide some helpful ideas.

"Growing up, I lived at my friends houses. We were all on the basketball team together and did everything together — even on school nights. I used to have a really good relationship with my friend’s parents. They were like seconds parents to me. I haven’t seen or spoke with one of my favorite ladies (my friend’s Mom - Cathy) for over 13 years…until I recently connected with her on Facebook. She was so excited! She couldn’t believe I had 3 kids of my own. With this challenge, I really wanted to connect with these people who had such an amazing impact on my teenage years. I cannot wait to catch up with her. They say it takes a village to raise you and I know that is so true." Adam Bridegan, VP Digital Marketing

"My husband and I went out to dinner last night with a couple we hadn't seen in over a year.  It was a couple we used to hang out with all of the time but over the past year, schedules got crazy and timing just never worked out. Even though we were exhausted last night and the Badgers were playing, we went and it was great to reconnect. I got to learn all about my friends growing business, her kids schedules and activities and just had a great catch up. It felt like time hadn't passed and we decided to make an effort to get together more often. I was able to learn so much about their life and kids and we had so many great laughs. It was great to reconnect." Cortney Ansel, VP of Sales

"I'm home in Atlanta visiting with a sick relative right now and tonight we are all getting together to have a special dinner - it will be the first time in well over a year that my whole family eats a meal together, and we will be having fish that my dad caught in Alaska earlier this month" Laura Earle, Technical Designer

"I randomly thought of an old friend that I hadn't spoken to since freshman year of college and reached out to him. Turns out he is working in a closely related business field and we are going to sit down in the next few weeks to discuss a potential partnership. It was great to talk about past times, but possibly more exciting to hear what he has done with his own career." Ben Checketts, Director of Brand

"This week I met up with an old friend for lunch. We'd been trying to meet up for sometime now and something always got in the way. But today, we were making it happen. It was wonderful to take even a short break from the rigors and routine of daily life to just sit and listen and catch up. It reminded me to slow down and shift my focus and remember that the people in my life are the most important part of it." Jenni Guynn, Director of Operations

"This Saturday I had the pleasure of spending time with a friend who I met working at my last job.  Its refreshing to be able to go weeks sometimes even months without seeing each other and having the ability to pick right up where we left off.  We have very busy schedules and do our best to make time to see each other.  We went for a walk at our favorite spot at Waveny Park.  We walked around and chatted, catching up on little things.  I had these plans prior to hearing about this challenge but think it is so important to reconnect with those you haven’t spoke to in a while.  True friendships are hard to come by which is why I make it a priority to cherish and grow the ones I hold near and dear to my heart." Laura Romano, Account Executive

On that note, we hope you had a great weekend and that you will take these challenges to heart. If you do, you'll find that your holiday season is no longer a time of stress and shopping but is instead a time of charity and service.

Be sure to share your stories on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #12weeksofrhone or tell us about your experience by writing us an email at collective@rhone.com

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