I started this whole "handmade" adventure in 2009, shortly after graduating from Texas A&M and moving to Colorado. It's been quite an adventure, going from a hobby getting excited over 3 sales a week - to on hold while we went overseas for a stint doing Missions - to a full-time job with a full-time salary but no full-time benefits and often working overtime - to something I've put on the back burner as I pursued other things.
I'm thankful for the experience...for how it toughened me up...for how it allowed me to be creative ALL the time. 24/7.
Which was the problem...that whole 24/7 thing.
You see, I was so burned out in April. SO burned out. I couldn't turn my brain off. If I wasn't sketching up new designs, digging through fabric swatches to go along with them, or rolling rosettes, I was on the computer or my iPhone, tweeting or blogging, keeping in touch with my "customer base." Let's just say that I wasn't making Chase a priority...and that's not right.
I also just missed people. Being in my studio all day was hard on this little social butterfly. The work load was too much and I have a hard time asking for help. That's when I took a step back and got a job at Anthropologie. I've loved every second of it.
As most of you know, recently I took a promotion as my store's Personal Shopper. This came with added responsibility and a nice little pay raise that I gladly accepted. Again, I've loved every second of it and I can humbly admit that I'm good at it. I leave every day inspired and fulfilled - knowing :
that I've loved people well and pointed them to Christ in my actions and words (most of the time, anyways...the occasional sassafras can bring out the worst in me).
that I've made women feel confident and beautiful by putting them in an item of clothing that fits them well and is flattering to their body type.
that I've used the talents and gifts the Lord has given me to glorify Him.
that I'm not being selfish with my time.
that I've reminded women that they are beautiful. beautiful. no matter where their pudge is or how much muffin top they have. no matter if they can look good in skinny jeans or not.
As I work more hours at Anthropologie and enjoy the time I have in my new role, I've made the decision to put Oh, Sweet Joy! aside for a while. I'm not sure what this might look like, just yet. An occasional craft show/handmade market will definitely be on the agenda (after all, I did just make Oh, Sweet Joy! an LLC!) and I have a feeling I'll create things that are one.of.a.kind and list them spontaneously. I want to get back to the root of handmade. Making things that are unique and special, not mass-produced.
((The shop will remain open with limited items.))
Custom orders will be welcome (I'm even making some Farmer's Market dresses for an upcoming wedding!), but will be taken on in a limited quantity, as I focus on what's important to me right now.
My relationship with the Lord.
At the end of this year, I'd hate to look back and regret that I selfishly pursued my dreams, rather than loving God, loving the important people in my life, and loving the people of Boulder.
God created me to be creative. He gave me an eye for color and for design. I'm not about to let that waste away, BUT I want to be intentional with it and create out of an overflow of inspiration, rather than a need for an overflow of inventory.
This most certainly isn't the end, but it's a more substantial pause.
Thanks so much for the journey. Thanks so much for the endless encouragement and support. Thank you for proudly wearing/using/promoting your Oh, Sweet Joy! products. It's been a blast!
This article by the beautiful Robie Dodson spoke to my heart and you may want to read it if you are a Christian woman and want to make sure your heart and motives are right for the handmade biz you are pursuing.