Welcome to The Bicultural Podcast.
Atlyn Forde (00:37):
Hello, I’m very well, thank you. It’s amazing to be here with you today. Thank you for inviting me to the show.
Janina Neumann (00:43):
Ah, it’s a pleasure to have you here.
Would you like to tell us a little bit about yourself?
Atlyn Forde (00:47):
Yeah, sure. My name’s Atlyn and I’m a mother of two children. And I’ve had a long career in marketing, which has been amazing. Primarily working in the tourism sector, but also financial services, social housing, and also local authority, so quite varied in terms of my marketing. And more recently I have begun training and helping small businesses with their marketing and I’ve launched my own e-commerce business which I feel really encompasses everything I’ve learned throughout my marketing career. So that’s a bit about me. I’m based in London, west of London, and I’ve been in lockdown obviously for the last 18 months, but I do really enjoy walking. I’ve got a small dog, so I enjoy walking my dog and keeping active. So yeah, that’s a fairly comprehensive summary of me.
Janina Neumann (01:53):
That’s fantastic, and what made you be interested in tourism?
Atlyn Forde (02:01):
I suppose when I first kind of started my marketing career I knew that I wanted to be passionate about the product that I was marketing and travel, something that I always loved from a young age, but also my first real, I suppose, job within the tourism sector for marketing was for a tourism board and the Saint Lucia Tourist Board. And my family are from Saint Lucia. So I’ve been traveling there since I was a child and really loved the culture and loved everything about it. It just made me feel really warm and happy whenever I thought of the destination. And so when I saw that as an opportunity to do marketing, which I loved too, two things that I was so passionate about together, I felt that I was destined to be in that role.
Atlyn Forde (02:49):
And the interesting thing about it was that when I applied for the job, I kind of almost knew that it was mine in the beginning, just a bit instinct, but I started to second guess myself because I had my daughter was fairly young at the time. And it’s stated quite clearly in the job description that’d be traveling to the Caribbean, but also other parts of the world as well. And I was a bit concerned about that. And so when it came to the final interview, I said, I couldn’t go to the second, the kind of final interview, I had a couple of others beforehand. And the director at the time had called me to say that, you know, I was the top candidate and I really had to come to that final interview. And that was actually in Cornwall at the time, because I knew I wasn’t going to go to it, but I drove back from Cornwall to go to the interview. I got the job and at the time it was Marketing Executive. And I was there for many years and I got promoted to the Assistant Director. And then finally I was the Director of the Saint Lucia Tourist Board. So I think it was meant to be really, but it all stemmed from my love of marketing and my passion for the destination of Saint Lucia.
Janina Neumann (03:50):
Wow. What a great story. It’s always as if it was meant to be like you said.
Atlyn Forde (03:55):
Janina Neumann (03:55):
So tell us a little bit about the culture in Saint Lucia.
Atlyn Forde (04:02):
I think at the time when I first went there when I was about, I think, seven years old, I had no idea how important that first experience would be. At the time I was a child from London, used to the creature comforts. And when I went there, I stayed at my great-grandmother’s house and it was in the country and there was no electricity and there was no indoor toilet and the food was all very natural. So I was used to have, you know, breakfast was always cornflakes with milk, and my gran, who I traveled with, it was her mother’s house, so it was my great-grandmother’s house, but I traveled with my gran there, and then she brought my cornflakes with me, but obviously we need milk. And so I was looking forward to have my cornflakes, but when I had it, I was like, oh my goodness, it tasted so awful because they had literally milked the cow.
Atlyn Forde (04:52):
It was a cow, they had cattle, they had a cow outside and they’d milked the cow, and I had obviously the freshest milk that you could ever have, but obviously I was from London. So I was used to having my milk from Tescos. And so these are the kinds of experiences that I had really, my cousin and I used to go on adventures, just go off all day long, going through the forest, foraging for fruits, fresh bananas we used to have, and other things picking mangoes off trees and going to the beach. And yeah, it was freedom. I hadn’t had that kind of freedom in London before. And so at the time, it was very different for me. The outside toilet was a terrible experience. I’ll never forget that, but on the whole, it really had a big impact on me. And also, I just think the fact that everyone in my family thought of Saint Lucia, very fondly.
Atlyn Forde (05:38):
My mother had come to the UK when she was about 12 and the way they spoke about Saint Lucia as home, it felt like such an amazing place. I was excited to be there and to see what all the talk had been about. And from there, I got to go again a few years later, and obviously it was sunny. It was always fun when your in the school holidays and I got to meet my cousins and have fun and that freedom. So it was all a very positive experience. And to this day I still call Saint Lucia home. And I always look forward to going and I haven’t been to Saint Lucia now probably for nearly two years. I was due to travel last December and I’ve had to keep changing my flights because of the COVID and the pandemic. So I’m really looking forward to getting back out there to experience everything that I love about it, the people, the food, the language, the humour, the dress. There’s just so many great things about the destination that I love.
Janina Neumann (06:33):
Wow. That sounds so interesting.
Tell me little bit more about the dress.
Atlyn Forde (06:38):
Yeah, so it’s a traditional dress called the madras, the madras cloth, and it’s kind of derived from our kind of cultural heritage of Saint Lucia. So in the beginning, I suppose when the slaves were brought to Saint Lucia, they were brought by the French and the British, and the French and the British kind of came to the island. The Indians were there and the Caribbs were there, and I suppose they’ve more or less been wiped out now. I think there’s still may be some aspect of them there, but not very much, which is really sad. There were the original people of Saint Lucia. And so when the slaves came from Africa, they brought some of the African culture with them, but also they started to take on some of the French and the British cultures from the colonisers.
Atlyn Forde (07:29):
And so the Creole is all about that mixing pot of cultures, and it’s just grown really. And so the madras cloth actually, I think, was from partly from India, because they also brought Indians over as slaves as well. And so, again, it’s just this melting pot. And during the month of October, we celebrate our Creole heritage and that is through the dress, the traditional madras cloth, which is like I suppose it’s like a kilt kind of pattern if you’re familiar with the Scottish kind of design, but the colours are very rich. They’re very reds and golds and blues. And so there’s some beautiful patterns and you have like a full skirt. And then you wear a white blouse usually, and I’m a shawl, and then I had a beautiful headpiece. And the headpiece represents your status, whether you’re married, single, engaged.
Atlyn Forde (08:20):
So it’s wonderful. And then during their celebrations, they also do a traditional dance called the Kwadril dance. And it’s kind of a pairing a man and a woman, and then you normally have four peoples, it’s called a quadral, four couples that do a dance to traditional music. So this is something you also see during the Creole or Kwéyòl, we call it again because of the French influence or Creole heritage month in October, and the wonderful food as well from the traditional kinds of food, like bouillon, which is like a broth of soup that we have, the ground provisions that we have like green banana or fig we call it, and salt fish. And many of these dishes were derived from the times when people were slaves and were able to make food that would last a long time or they’d be using the foods that were available to them, and that’s why they created the broth because that was just picking up different things that were available to them at the time. But it’s some of the most tasty food you’ll ever have.
Janina Neumann (09:19):
Oh, wow. That is a huge impact on culture there.
Atlyn Forde (09:25):
Janina Neumann (09:25):
And I find it really interesting how they took on, you know, parts of the French and British culture, even though they were enslaved by these cultures. So how many people know about the heritage side of Saint Lucia?
Janina Neumann (09:43):
I think it’s a big thing. I mean, I think the tourism is really big thing in Saint Lucia, and if you come to the island, you can’t miss the culture. The language is also a big thing. And this is also where you’ll see the mix of the African and the French and the British. So they speak a Creole language which is a mixture of all those different cultures. So if you’re French, you may understand some of it. Again, if you’re British you understand some of it as well, but the language is spoken widely. English is the official language of Saint Lucia, but the Creole language is also spoken widely. And so you will hear it being spoken. And so if you come to the island on holiday, which most people do when they come to Saint Lucia you, will no doubt experience the culture because it’s all around.
Atlyn Forde (10:30):
And I think that’s one of the highlights to the point that there’s such a thing called culture tourism or heritage tourism, but people actually come to immerse themselves in the culture of a destination. But obviously in Saint Lucia that will take the form of going on historical walks and understanding the history of Saint Lucia and why it is as it is. You can also actually go back even further and you can see some of the artifacts from the Indians and the Carabbs on the island, some of the carvings that they did as well. But you have the cultural center. And again, it talks to you and you find out more information about the history and culture of Saint Lucia. Or if you go for the carnival, you can kind of see the expressions of the culture through the parades and the masquerade bands. So yeah, I mean, these are things I think culture is such a rich thing. It’s such an emotive part of any destination and of any people and the people of Saint Lucia love sharing their culture. They’re so proud of their culture and heritage that any visitors that come to the island, you know, they are invited to enjoy the culture of the island as well.
Janina Neumann (11:40):
Wow, that sounds wonderful. And I’m just thinking about, you know, how the culture has been preserved through all this time.
Tell me a little bit more about, you know, why it’s important to preserve the culture, the heritage culture, and also how you can approach that as well.
Atlyn Forde (12:01):
Well, the culture is what makes you unique, and this is what makes Saint Lucians different to other people from other places, even our neighboring islands, which are similar, are not the same because of the unique culture that a destination has. And I think this is what people appreciate now. It’s all about living in the moment. It’s all about having these authentic experiences and you can’t get more authentic than someone’s culture. Because it’s real, there’s no hiding it. And I think that’s the great thing about retaining the culture of Saint Lucia. There was a time when I think, there had been ideas about suppressing it. And so in school, my mother was growing up, she was told not to speak the Creole language at home or at school. But now that’s all changed.
Atlyn Forde (12:52):
And you know, it’s celebrated and people are actively trying to learn and retain the language. I, myself, can’t speak it very well because my mum didn’t speak it at home, they were told that it wasn’t good. But I think there’s been a whole reversal now. I think people are really embracing culture and realising how important it is because it’s part of your identity, as I said, it makes you unique. And yeah, I think everyone’s culture is special to them and it evades every part of you. And I think it’s really important that we do retain it and we encourage our children to celebrate it and see the positive side of our culture and my children, who are 12 and 21, have been to Saint Lucia multiple times.
Atlyn Forde (13:38):
And that’s partially the benefit of working in the tourism sector that I got to travel, not only to Saint Lucia but to other countries. And I think that’s also when you start to really appreciate your culture, even more, is when you see how unique it is when you look at other places. And I think the other thing about it is that when you’re away from that culture. So we grew up in London in the UK. My mother came to to the UK when she was child I think. If even more so, you then celebrate it and want to hold onto your culture even more. And this is kind of partially where the idea for my business came from because it’s all about celebrating cultures and people’s heritage. And my audience are people who are displaced or away from their cultures.
Atlyn Forde (14:27):
And so I find they grab onto it even more. They really want to showcase their flag so people know where they’re from. It’s a conversation starter. And then when you have that conversation, they will gladly tell you all about their amazing country they’re from. I also have a range of products, authentic products from Saint Lucia and other countries. And what we’ve found is that some people’s cooking styles have become more adventurous, want to try different things from around the world. But what that has led to is that manufacturers within the UK have started to create products that are originally from other places. And so it’s meant to be like a replacement or try this, you know, sauce or seasoning instead of the original. But for people who know, they want the authentic product, although the UK based one may be cheaper.
Janina Neumann (15:24):
And they’ve tried to make it look like it’s authentic. We know it’s not and authenticity is the most important thing. The flavour won’t be the same, or just knowing that you’re supporting a business from your home country or from another country. And that will make a real impact and every difference. And so I think people are really valuing authenticity and valuing small business and value in the work that people put into making a good quality product, rather than just getting a replicated product from someone copying who may be, could be from a large conglomerate or something as well, the quality and the care and attention just isn’t there. And I think that applies to many different products and also experiences as well. So in Saint Lucia and other countries, you have a lot of tour guides and attractions, and you have, yeah, some of these larger companies that were putting on tours. But isn’t it amazing if you could literally find a local guide that could take you around the island and talk about their own experience of living in the destination and showing you fruit trees and plants and things that can be used as kind of herbal remedies, and to this day are still used.
Atlyn Forde (16:34):
So if you have ailment, they will take you to the bush and pick out some leaves and boil it and create a broth for you, a brew sorry, to make you feel better. You know, these are the kinds of things that people are almost going reverting back to wanting to have these really natural organic products rather than, you know, having the mass-produced products from factory. And so this is again, all about why people want to come to these destinations to have that authentic cultural experience.
Janina Neumann (17:03):
Oh, wow. There’s so much to unpack there.
One of the things I’d like to start with is what do you think has caused this change, this shift for people to actually embrace, you know, their personal identities a bit more and look into, you know perhaps where their parents came from or how they identify with different cultures.
Atlyn Forde (17:25):
I think people, I suppose, are more curious now. I think as we’re becoming, I suppose one world, the world’s becoming smaller, you know, through traveling frequently, people are, you know reaching out for those authentic experiences. And even if you look at social media some of the most popular posts are these experiences where people are going to these amazing remote places, you know, it’s all about, you know, I’ve done something maybe not everyone else has done. And I think people are now really rather than going down the line of following everybody else, we want to be unique. And I think that is why people’s identity is so important to them and the rise in people doing these, what’s it called, the genealogy where you do your sample and you can find out where you originally from. You know, people are really curious about who they are, their histories and exploring other cultures as well.
Atlyn Forde (18:32):
And we got the opportunity to do that. Travel had become more affordable. You know, there’s a great world out there and I think people really want to explore it now more than ever. And I think the other thing that the pandemic has done, I think has also enabled people to actually want to explore their local communities more. I think as well as obviously exploring, you know, where you’re from, I think, you know, people also want them to embrace their local communities more and seeing what’s on their doorstep because I think we’ve just so caught up in the nine to five work, work work. And I think that balance has changed now. I think people are really focusing more on that work-life balance and when they have time, their own time, their free time, wanting to really ensure that they have a memorable experience during that time. You know, we all have Netflix and that’s great for killing time, but in terms of creating lifelong memories, this is from going out and interacting with people and going out and being at one with nature, going to new places.
Atlyn Forde (19:35):
These are the things that stay with you. And as I said, at the beginning of the show, I’ll never forget that trip to Saint Lucia that I went to when I was seven. It’s ingrained in my mind and I never knew at the time what an impact it would have on my life later. And that was, you know, the most authentic experience you can have as a child and has stuck in my mind much more than any TV programme or any other kind of experience. And I think people have really come to realise the importance of those enriching experiences and the impact they have on life. And people are always reaching for those experiences. So I think, yeah, that’s probably a number of different reasons there why I think people want to find out where they’re from and are wanting to have these authentic experiences.
Janina Neumann (20:21):
Yeah, that’s really interesting. And I’m just thinking, you know, for those who are quite new to, you know, cross cultures and meeting people from who would consider themselves to be cross-cultural or bicultural or multicultural like they find it difficult to like, they want to get to know someone. And I would just be curious to find out, you know, we talk about, you know, where are you from, and for example, my approach is to let that person reveal that themselves.
How have you found it, for example, you know, growing up in London, but you know, in the back of your mind, you also had Saint Lucia, you know, and those experiences, how have you approached it when people have asked you, you know, where you’re from? Or how do you approach it when you want to find out more about someone?
Atlyn Forde (21:14):
It’s almost one of the first things people always ask, actually, it’s a real connector. And people are looking for those connections, those similarities, some kind of common ground or point of interest. And I think that’s why people often ask where you’re from. And then I had posted about this actually a while ago, when people say, where are you from? What is your answer? Do you say you’re from London? Do you say you’re from the UK? Do you say your parents are from Saint Lucia? My father is also from Jamaica. So I’d often say my family from Saint Lucia and Jamaica. Although I’ve been to Saint Lucia many more times. I’ve been to Jamaica once. And I feel like Saint Lucia home because of the experiences that I’ve had there. But for me, that will be my answer, if someone says, “Where are you from?”, I’ll say that my family are from Saint Lucia and Jamaica, because, you know, those, those are the things that are really important to me.
Atlyn Forde (22:05):
And some may say, “I didn’t mean that. I meant where’d you live?” And I said, “Oh, you know, from London, from west London”. But I think the first thing that comes to mind, and I think it has a deeper meaning for me, and I think it says more about who I am when I say about where my family are from. And people often say, “Oh, I’ve heard of Saint Lucia”. They’ve got this perception of it, you know, as this beautiful Caribbean island and they’re intrigued, they want to find out more, or they may say they’ve been there. Lots of people have been to the islands, just small island.
Atlyn Forde (22:36):
It has had a big impact. Many people have been there and had really positive experiences. So it’s immediately a conversation starter. They may talk about the Pitons mountains, which is like a world heritage site and you know, kind of a world-famous kind of mountains that we in Saint Lucia. So people often kind of recount that and their experiences on the island. And I love talking about it, you know, I can never have too much to say about Saint Lucia. So for me, when I introduce myself, that’s always the first thing I’ll say, and then people will say where they’re from, and again, it’s great when they say they’re from some of that I’ve been because I’m equally as excited to talk about my experience in their country. And that is the benefit of having been to quite a few destinations in the Caribbean and across Europe and America. I can talk about that.
Atlyn Forde (23:29):
I haven’t been to too much of Asia yet, but I’m really excited to do so. I’ve been to parts of Africa. I definitely have more to explore, but I think it’s such a great topic to talk about. I love people who have traveled or people who are interested in travel because it’s just such a nice thing to talk about places that you’ve been and why you enjoyed it. And I’m always eager to encourage people to visit Saint Lucia. Obviously, that was my job as the Director of Marketing for the Tourist Board, but I think even outside of that, I’m still always keen to encourage people to go because I know they are going to have an amazing time there.
Janina Neumann (24:03):
Oh, wow, well, thank you for sharing that. I think that’s great. And it makes me think of, you know, what you’re doing with the Culture Club Shop as well. It’s almost, you know when you have a souvenir from somewhere, but this is a souvenir from where you would call home because you don’t usually have access to the products as, you know, as easily as if someone’s investing their time into it, and I just think that’s a really nice thing.
But tell us little bit more about how you source your products. Like how did it all come together?
Atlyn Forde (24:39):
I think it was quite timely. It began at the beginning of the pandemic, early last year. About February, so in March time when the pandemic first started. And I think I’d always, as said, had a passion for Saint Lucia, and those were the first products that I had in terms of the flag fashion that we have. So we have accessories, footwear, clothing with different flags, all inspired by Africa and the Caribbean. But it all started with Saint Lucia and then Jamaica. So again, kind of reverting back to what I know well, but I think for people, like my customers, I feel that there is this sense of pride in showcasing where they’re from and they almost feel like it was very timely. Because I feel that in light of kind of Brexit and then you know, Donald Trump and all this, you know, the atmosphere, I think people were, I suppose in some sense, not felt that they wanted to hold onto their identities because society was almost making judgments about people from where they came from.
Atlyn Forde (25:58):
And people were often made to feel bad about not embracing their Britishness or their American identities. But I think there is a pride in where people come from and no matter what society says, I think people still always want to showcase that because it has such importance and meaning to them, it is part of who they are. And you know, quite often what’s happens is people buy a product of mine, they’ll start wearing it. And then their friends and family be like, oh, where’d you get that from? I’d love to have one of those too. They’re equally as proud of where they come from and they want to also showcase it. And they really want a good quality product. You’ll often find if you talk about souvenirs that they are mass-produced a lot of them and the quality just isn’t there.
Atlyn Forde (26:44):
And so you may go somewhere, pick up something, that’s got your national flag on it, but the quality just isn’t there. And for me, it’s really important to have a good quality product and to make things very wearable, not for it to be, I suppose, the styling is really important, the comfort. I want the products to be usable, not just to be put on the mantelpiece and forgotten about. But people want to wear the items that we produce because I know how important it is to people to be able to showcase where they’re from. So it’s really nice. I feel so happy when people are excited. They’re like, “Wow, look, oh there’s my flag”. You know, when they see that you’ve got products that got their flag on, you know, and if you haven’t got, I haven’t got every single flag, I’ve got a good selection, but then people almost feel disheartened when they see that you haven’t got their flag.
Atlyn Forde (27:39):
And I say, “You know, we’re introducing new flags all the time”. We introduced a new product and I say, “Oh, I love this product from my country. Do you have it?” And I’ll say, “I’m going to try to find it for you”. Because people, you know, it’s difficult to get hold of these things. And so I feel like, you know, I’m definitely fulfilling a gap in the market. But it’s just about creating that awareness so people know what we have, and obviously, that’s through the marketing and we are getting the word out there and our customer base is growing all the time. But yeah, it’s wonderful to see people so happy to have their products and to wear them. People often send pictures of them wearing the products, they are just so happy, you see them posting them online, which is just wonderful to feel that you can have this impact on somebody and enable them to kind of connect with the place that they’re from.
Atlyn Forde (28:28):
And even some people, to be honest with you, buy some of the items and they’re not from the destinations, but they know it’s an authentic product, especially the food products and things like that. People want an authentic tea from Jamaica. They know that the products have been grown organically and care has been taken to create a good quality product. And that the people who own the business are Jamaicans. And so many people who may be even not from that country will still appreciate that authenticity within the products that we have. And so we try to ensure that all of our products are authentic and from the Caribbean or Africa, because, you know, these are sometimes quite hard to get hold of in the UK.
Janina Neumann (29:14):
Oh wow, that’s so cool. And, you know having looked at your website, they’re so beautiful and you can tell the quality of them as well. And what I really like about it is that it’s still accessible. You know, if we think about, you know, how would someone get that product, you know, for an individual to get that product would be very hard. So it’s great that you give that platform for them to be able to purchase it from. But one observation that I found really interesting, you know, the home decor is such beautiful cushions, and now I’m just reflecting on this really that in the UK, you don’t really invite people round to your house unless you’re like quite close friends with them, but I suppose, you know, for people to feel, you know, comfortable at work and to kind of show off who they are, I love that you’ve introduced also the clothing side because then people can see, you know, through, for example, the patterns or the flags who they are, because, you know, a lot is said about ourselves when someone comes to our homes, you know, we might decorate it in a certain way. And I just love that, that people can express themselves at work as well.
Atlyn Forde (30:34):
I mean, I’m not sure where people are wearing the items. I kind of get a feeling that our products kind of more leisure-focused, perhaps people are. I mean, especially people working from home now. If you have got your leisurewear on and you’re on a zoom call, then I presume everyone will get to see that. And again, you can have those conversations, but I do feel again that your home is a really important place for people to be able to feel comfortable and feel that they can showcase their culture at home. And so I thought that the home decor items that I have enabled people to do that, to feel that they can access these products. Because again, quite often you can, you see things and maybe it’s not in the kind of modern style, so it’s not to people’s taste. But I think again, it’s really important when you do come into someone’s home and they’re able to express themselves through the way they’ve decorated their home. And I feel that you know, we do that as a business. We can make, give people the opportunity to purchase things that enable, that showcase, who they are. So that I think is really important as well about the home decor.
Janina Neumann (31:38):
Oh, that’s brilliant. And, you know, I just love how also presenters on TV are more comfortable with sharing parts of identity. Like I’ve seen quite a few times now where people wear earrings, which are shaped in the shape of Africa. And I think that’s really interesting about how they communicate as well, because what we see on TV, you know, also influences what we think is acceptable or what we can wear, even though it’s our own decision at the end of the day. But I just think that’s really encouraging as well that people are kind of showcasing their personalities little bit more as well.
Atlyn Forde (32:22):
Yeah. I mean, I think it is a statement, isn’t it? But I mean, I think the fashion, the earrings, I think are more of a fashion statement as well as having a meaning behind it. But obviously, Africa is one of the biggest continents in the world and its importance, it has a significance and a lot of important to many people, so it should be really no surprise that some people are wearing clothing with the map of Africa in the same way that people wear the Union Jack. I think it’s a positive thing and it should definitely be embraced. I think quite often I think Africa is hard done by, in terms of the way it’s represented in the media. So I think anything good to change that and to show the importance that Africa has to the world, I think is a really positive thing.
Janina Neumann (33:17):
Definitely, definitely. Oh, it’s been so good talking to you, Atlyn.
If people would like to connect with you, but also perhaps buy some products from you, where can they do that?
Atlyn Forde (33:29):
So the website is CultureClubShop.com. So you can have a look at our range of lifestyle products on there. And if you see something you like, you can make a purchase, we ship to the UK and to Europe. We also ship to the US but the shipping costs are a little high at the moment, but yeah, take a look. And if you want to connect with me, you can find us on Instagram, which is again CultureClubUK on Instagram and Culture Club Shop on Facebook and I’m on LinkedIn, under Atlyn Forde, if anyone wants to connect with me on there as well.
Janina Neumann (34:05):
Oh, fantastic. Well, thank you so much for sharing. I’ve learned a lot and I really enjoyed the conversation. Thank you Atlyn.
Atlyn Forde (34:13):
Yeah, so did I. It’s really nice to talk about where I’m from. As I said, I can never say too much about it. So thank you for inviting me on to talk about it. I really appreciate that.