Honest Conversations About the Hard Things

Deep female friendships are one of the greatest blessings of my life. But I didn’t really have meaningful friendships with other women until my late 20’s.

Then I discovered what a gift it is to have judgement-free, deeply thoughtful conversation partners who engage in honest conversation about the hard things—sex, the patriarchy, aspirations, feminism…

And for the next few weeks, I am sharing some of those conversations with one of my best friends, Cary Fortin.

Today, Cary describes the genesis of her business, New Minimalism, explaining the psychology behind letting go of ‘stuff’ and the ins and outs of a service-based business. She shares her incredibly difficult parenting journey, discussing how dealing with the loss of two pregnancies shaped the person she is today and taught her how to have honest conversations about complex issues. Listen in for the story of our friendship and understand the value of being open with close female friends!

The Startup Pregnant Podcast Episode #081

Some quotes from the episode

  • “I realized that if I cut back a lot on shopping … if I sold some of these things that I had that I wasn’t using, what might that look like? It would be a big tradeoff, but in return I would get to have a lot more control over my days.”
  • “From the very beginning, I think we knew we were on to something special with this merging of our two interests and talents, mine being the psychological process of letting go and hers being really mindfully creatively designing spaces with what people already have.”
  • “We can look at stuff and just see stuff, but what the person who owns or has those things is really processing something totally different, something much deeper.”
  • “It was really beautiful. It was an honor to be let in people’s homes where they’re feeling vulnerable, to touch all of their most personal stuff, to help them process that, and then to leave them at the end of the day … psychologically, spiritually, emotionally, and then their space—looking lighter and brand new.”
  • “The recession made people view their money and their stuff differently… What do we value? What IS really important?”
  • “It was excruciating. I think a part that people don’t consider when we talk about pregnancy loss is—even if it’s just a couple of days, a couple of weeks—there’s this part of your brain that starts traveling down this path of what the future’s going to look like.”
  • “What’s come through it is my ability to have honest and meaningful conversations around hard things.”
  • “I just found such a safe, judgement-free, but also deeply thoughtful conversation partner in you.”
  • “Not all times or years in our lives are created equal: Some take up a lot more space than others, and these past couple have taken up a ton of space in mine. And you’ve played a huge role through that.”


Cary Fortin is the co-founder of New Minimalism, a simple living website and provider of declutter + design services. New Minimalism brings together the fields of psychology and sustainable design to create holistic, long-term solutions for clients looking to simplify and renew their homes and workspaces. The firm’s work has been featured in Design Sponge, Apartment Therapy, and Yoga Journal, among many other publications. Cary is also a writer, editor, and lifestyle expert, and she is the co-author of New Minimalism: Decluttering and Design for Sustainable, Intentional Living.



Community makes all the difference. So, at Startup Pregnant, we have launched a mastermind program for women who are interested in going deeper around questions about parenting, motherhood, and business. To apply for the Spring 2019 session and receive my free email series, go to https://startupparent.com/mastermind.

All of our sponsor offers are available on our website for you to grab the perks and discounts offered to podcast listeners: https://startupparent.com/sponsors.