Written by our Founder and CEO, our Celebrations Pulse Sunday Letters aim to engage with our community. From sharing stories to welcoming your ideas, we want to help you to express, connect, and celebrate the important people in your life.

International Women’s Day is Tuesday, and it’s an important reminder for all of us to honor the social, cultural, and economic achievements of women. We’re especially excited this year, as we’re marking the occasion with iconic singer-songwriter Dolly Parton.

As many of you know, Dolly Parton wrote the hit “I Will Always Love You,” which put her on the Billboard Hot Country songs in 1974 and again in 1982. In the 90s, Whitney Houston’s famous rendition of “I Will I Always Love You” in the film The Bodyguard secured her a place on the Billboard Hot 100 for 14 weeks and earned her two Grammy awards. Jim has always enjoyed both renditions of “I Will Always Love You” but found a new appreciation for the song and Dolly Parton as an artist while watching Off the Record on Netflix, where he heard “I Will Always Love You” in a way he hadn’t before. Dolly spoke the song aloud line by line. It became clear to Jim that the song lyrics were imbued with emotion and that each word reflected Dolly’s love, thoughtfulness, and care.

Dolly embodies everything International Women’s Day stands for. Besides being a global music star, she’s an actress, humanitarian, businesswoman, and cultural icon. We have been following Dolly’s music and movies over the years and greatly respect the business she has built.

To help celebrate International Women’s Day, we’ve teamed up with Dolly to curate three rose bouquets. Our community can also express their appreciation for all the women in their lives with digital messages of strength, perseverance, and hope with quotes from Dolly Parton herself.

Graphic inviting visitors to send a digital message to mark International Women's Day.

Our International Women’s Day celebration with Dolly is just the first of many exciting things to come in the months ahead as we build our relationship with the country music legend.

“I couldn’t be more excited to team up with 1-800-FLOWERS especially for International Women’s Day. I’ve been lucky enough to have been surrounded by many incredible women throughout my life. They have shown me that there’s nothing we can’t do if we put our heart and soul into it.”

– Dolly Parton

Dolly has always loved flowers. When we asked about her favorites for her special collection, she told us a story that was music to our ears!

“I remember as a little girl, running into the meadows behind our house so I could pick fresh flowers for my mama. I loved the smell and that they felt like a little ray of sunshine that I could share,” she recalls. “To this day, I feel the same way. I’m partial to yellow roses, but I love all different kinds of flowers. So, join me and send a little bit of sunshine to the special woman in your life with 1-800-Flowers. Plant a seed with love.”

A banner inviting people to mark International Women's Day

Advice for reaching out on International Women’s Day

Speaking of wonderful women, we reached out to Connectivity Council member, Dr. Chloe Carmichael, a psychologist who focuses on stress management, relationships, and self-esteem. She is the author of Nervous Energy: Harness the Power of Your Anxiety.

We asked Dr. Chloe, a relationship expert, how women can mark the day in their own way and in their own lives. “First, women should always be allies for each other,” she said. “And often women will ask me, ‘Well, how can I be an ally?’ and there are several ways to do that.”

Reach out and touch someone

Dr. Chloe suggested that Tuesday presents a great opportunity for women to reach out to other women whom they haven’t spoken to in a while, or other relationships where reaching out might seem a little awkward.

“You can use International Women’s Day as a basis for initiating that conversation,” she said. “For example, you can text, email or call this person and say something like, ‘Hi, you know today is International Women’s Day, and I know we haven’t talked in some time, but I thought today would be an excellent way for us to reconnect and move past any awkwardness that might exist.”

Maintain relationships on a regular basis

We’ve often discussed the need to create a plan and touchpoints for our relationships. It’s a good idea to keep conversations ongoing by creating a calendar of when and who to reach out to throughout the year.

Said Dr. Chloe: “You can suggest, either to a person, or perhaps a group of women – neighborhood moms for instance – that they’ll be one day out of the month designated as a touch base day, so you maintain contact with the important, or favorite women in your lives. It’s really rewarding to be a connector and be the instigator in keeping the conversation going.”

The benefits of networking with other women

One of the other elements of women being there for each other, and offering support, is through utilizing existing networks or social channels. “You might mark International Women’s Day by going on LinkedIn and using the ‘recommend’ feature to call out professional attributes of important women in your lives, or using Google business review to write positive assessments about women in your life who own their own businesses,” said Dr. Chloe. “Or seek out businesses that align with your interests and connect to them by networking.”

Join a local women’s group

Another great way to show support and stay connected, according to Dr. Chloe, is by joining local women’s clubs, like small businesswomen’s groups. “There’s a real importance associated with getting plugged into your community and meeting other local, professional women,” she says. “Maybe use International Women’s Day to join the Chamber of Commerce, in order to meet and share with other women in your community.”

If time is precious, then donate

Donating to a women’s organization is another way to show support. “There are so many to choose from like Dress for Success, which supports homeless women who are going on job interviews, or Junior Leagues. And give within your budget. Even $100 goes a long way.”

Dr. Chloe shared the story of how she supports Dress for Success. After the law firm Baker McKenzie gave over 300 copies of Dr. Chloe’s book to their employees, she was inspired to make the book available to less advantaged communities. She is now working with Dress for Success to help provide copies of the book in the Confidence Kits they give to women who are seeking jobs. Learn more here.

Remember to use your power to make all the women in your life feel special on International Women’s Day!

And if you’re looking for more ways to express yourself this International Women’s Day, you can purchase one of Dolly’s specially chosen rose bouquets. They’re a nod to her latest album and novel “Run, Rose, Run.” With each purchase, fans will also be able to add an exclusive digital download of the album, which features 12 new, original songs to sync up with the book, written with James Patterson.

Dolly and Dr. Chloe – thanks for being an inspiration to so many.

All the best,

Chris and Jim

Author

Jim McCann is the founder and chairman of 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. as well as a business leader, author, and philanthropist with a passion for helping people deliver smiles. Devoted to helping others, he also founded Smile Farms, a 501(c)3 organization that provides meaningful jobs in agricultural settings to young adults and adults with developmental disabilities.

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