As soon as she moved to the QC, she was back on the road working again – this time, managing events for the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Clinton family; then, supporting Arianna Huffington’s launch of Thrive Global.
When she did finally return-return to Charlotte, she experienced a realization.
“During all of this, I knew that I wanted to give back to shelters,” she remembers. “I had donated a lot of my things to the shelter when I left Georgia, and then I started to realize everything that was needed in shelters – everyday things like sheets and towels – and that’s when I really started focusing on this as a passion project.”
Despite her strong, professional background in relationship building as well as logistics and operations, Herdlinger had never done this before.
“I thought to myself, ‘I’m diving in; here I go,’” she recalls.
Thread Talk launched in October 2017. The organization’s mission is two-fold: one – sell blankets and donate a portion of proceeds for shelter wish lists; and two – create awareness for domestic violence in a different way so as to give people another way to talk about it.
“The name comes from this idea that we’re all threaded together,” she shares. “I didn’t tell my story at first – only a small group knew – but then when Sheryl started telling me story, people really started coming out of the woodwork to share their stories with domestic violence. I realized just how much we are all threaded together.”
For Herdlinger, it goes one step deeper.
“Through all the people I’ve worked with over the years, the number one thing I’ve learned is to be kind; there’s no room for crazy town,” she says. “Bring everyone along with you; when you slow down to help someone, you help everyone.”
At the end of the day though, it’s not about the blanket – it’s about the bright, guiding light of confidence and empowerment that each blanket makes possible for someone else.
“This is about building confidence, and me being about to say to someone else, ‘I got out, and now look what I’ve done,’” she notes. “Just know that you are absolutely worth it.”