It has certainly been a week unlike any other. 

Alongside our portfolio companies, founders and partners, the West team is adjusting to a new working environment, daily routine, and so much more. So as we calibrate to this new “normal”, we’ll use this space to share our thoughts, musings, and reflections on the journey. Read on for thoughts from four of our West team members.

"I have been texting, calling, and scheduling video calls with those who I care deeply for but have been too busy to catch up with. A short text message takes <10 seconds but can spread lots of positivity and deliver a smile on someone's face.

Also sharing that a former West team member, Sejal Parekh, and her partner started this grassroots effort called #helpyourhood (IG handle @helpyourhood). Our local businesses are the fabric of our daily lives and I want to call on myself and others to support our communities as best we can during this weird time."

- Jess Wen

"Something that gave me a reason to smile this week:

With everything going on and probably too much news playing in the background, I was struggling to get into a focused mind space and “get into character” for a copywriting exercise. Searching for a quick hack to channel my inner mother and knowing that the rest of my family in Detroit and New Jersey were similarly sheltering in place, I reached out to both my own mom and stepmom and asked if they would take a few minutes to jot down ~100 words about their experience of being a mother. Maybe each of them just had some extra time to think these days, or perhaps as a mother one just has this exceptional stream of consciousness constantly at the ready. (I wouldn’t know, I am so far just a dog mom of a 5 month old cockapoo puppy.) Either way, the responses I received absolutely blew me away in their loving rawness.

My takeaway? Motherhood, like love, is a verb. And now I am curious to know others’ hundred word definitions of motherhood..."

- Stacy Tarver Patterson

"I recently stumbled upon this Nat King Cole compilation album called, The Unforgettable, and I've been listening to it on repeat this week. There’s something about the romanticism of the 1950s captured in the lyrics and the lushness of the orchestral arrangements and that have been soothing during these uncertain times. Maybe it will help you too."

- Brandon Hightower

"I have a couple friends in the restaurant industry and this week it has been my personal goal to support each one of them. We had dinner from Bon Nene last night (I recommend the Maguro Bowl) and it was such a delight to see the team. Tomorrow we are planning a "date night at home” and ordering Che Fico (my best friend, Allie, works there) for dinner. It isn't much, but it feels like a small step to supporting the businesses we love.

In our work, dial-ins don't always need a purpose. A co-worker and I have had a daily 1:1 where we just check-in for 15 minutes. This gives us a cadence of communication that doesn’t feel forced, and is a substitute for our in office banter. Another colleague and I use a dial-in for work sessions. This means that our videos are on and we are sitting together for a couple of hours, but there isn’t an agenda and sometimes we aren’t speaking at all––-just sitting and working in silence “together”. Having that presence (even digitally) is comforting. This kind of collaboration models sitting in a conference room together. It makes space for creativity and brainstorming. My takeaway here is that if you have a nut to crack, treat it the same way you would treat in-person collaboration, just include a video call link. Sit together, throw ideas at the wall, and don't feel the pressure to always talk. It's okay to just sit with each other."

- Delfina Sitar