These are words all of us need to hear. Tape them to your bathroom mirror. Remind yourself every morning that you have a choice. Let go of the fear of failure. Move forward in the direction you truly feel called to go. Just like Jim Carrey’s dad, there was a time that I thought the practical option was the best option for me. We all have a story. Mine began with graduate school about a year into marriage. I was preparing to get my masters in accounting and work as an accountant for my career. It was safe. My husband was a musician at the time whose career was similar to any other in the creative industry. I happen to be ‘good with numbers’ and knew this path would give us benefits and a steady income. Two weeks into my program, I dropped out. My husband knew something wasn’t right after I made a poor grade on my first test. He knew I was capable of working hard and doing well. He wondered what my deal was when I wasn’t putting in the time. The truth was, every day I was in the program I kept thinking about the career I really wanted. I wanted to be creating. I wanted to be my own boss. I wanted flexible hours because I knew I wanted to be a mom one day. I kept making excuses saying to myself that a steady career would allow me to have creative hobbies. I was afraid. of failing. of telling my family that I didn’t want to really to do accounting. of looking like a quitter. of so many things. But it was now or never. The final loan payment was due the next day and that helped make my decision. So I went to one of my (very sweet) professors and explained to her that I just didn’t think this was the right career path for me. I walked away from graduate school knowing that I had to do something. I had to put myself out there because I had no other choice. I gave myself three months create my photography business. I signed up for Elizabeth Messina’s photography workshop in the south of France (a $7000 investment). I knew it would offer more education and inspiration than any program could to help get my business right from the very beginning. And I never looked back. In the past 5 years my business has developed and grown in ways I never knew possible. I’ve crafted a path for myself that has a steady income, allows incredible opportunities during ‘work hours’, is every changing and evolving, and most importantly, has been a journey of fulfillment and love. Just the other day I was talking to my husband about my work and how much I absolutely love it. Despite the parts that are challenging (hello new product line launch two months before moving to Israel!), I could not imagine having missed out on all that I’ve learned in the past 5 years. It took reaching a place where I had to make a decision. And I decided the possibility of failing was worth the possibility of succeeding. And it is possible. For each of us to succeed. It won’t happen overnight, and there will be many frustrating moments along the way, but if you keep on, it’ll be worth it. I’ve been there. And when I’ve wanted to throw in the towel, I’ve been encouraged by others stories. So that’s why I’m sharing a part of mine with you. Perhaps it’ll encourage you to listen to the voice in your head. And to remember, “you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance at doing what you love.”
PS: I’ve added this as a free digital download in the shop for a limited time. You can find it HERE. And if you want to be the first to know about shop happenings and sales (first one coming soon!) be sure to subscribe on our homepage HERE.
I love this print from Sarah Jane Studios. I recently listened to an interview Monica Lee did with Sarah (a mama with 3 young ones and a growing business) that was truly inspiring. If you’re interested you can listen to it here and peruse her work here. And remember mama: buy pretty dishes. They’ll be out for awhile;)
Who’s over this cold weather? Earlier this morning I looked out the window to see light snow falling. That happens so rarely here. It was really quite beautiful but I couldn’t help but wish it would go away. The dreary shades of cold have done me in. I find it hard to motivate myself to get much done in this weather. I do love to visit places when its cold, but there’s something about its lingering that leaves me wishing it would just carry on its way. I’m ready for long afternoons in the garden getting my hands dirty, planting new life while Remy and Greta romp in the yard soaking vitamin D into skin. But, alas, we must press on a bit longer. Here’s to warmer days ahead.
PS: It’s the last day to enter our GIVEAWAY which may help bring some cheer to one of your lovely homes! Enter here.
Hi sweet friends! We’ve returned home from our trip to NYC, and I have been really excited to share this post with y’all. While I was there I attended Molly Jacques’ calligraphy workshop. Not only was I excited about learning from her but also about doing so in the ever-so-gorgeous Sunday Suppers studio space. As both a photographer and calligrapher, it was a dream to spend two days learning and creating in such an environment. Although I’ve attended a few photography workshops, I went into this particular workshop without an agenda. I really wanted to just soak in all that Molly had to share and use the time as one of inspiration and growth. My favorites things were simply watching her write (as crazy as that may sound:), learning new techniques and being inspired by the other women that were there. Many had prior experience but there were a few women who had never picked up a nib before, including an investment banker! I was inspired by the mix and that we all were given the opportunity to create together under such a great teacher be it for work or simply self enjoyment. A huge thank you to Molly for sharing her incredible talents with us!
The intentionality and inspiration behind Sea + Sparrow is what instantly drew me in. Little R and I sat on the cedar hardwoods of Caroline and Nathan’s renovated home in historic downtown. We listened to Caroline’s story while she hand-lettered soap labels and excitedly told me about lye and pH and trips to Tunica Hills to collect clay. There was a large wooden table lined with soaps they recently made, the doors were open allowing fresh air to keep up company, and the sounds of Gillian Welch lingered in the background. I could’ve spent the afternoon with her in that warm, inspiring workspace. Thankfully, she sent me away with a gift, and it is for one of YOU! You can find out more details below but before you do, here is a look into Caroline’s company, Sea + Sparrow… WHEN DID YOU CREATE SEA + SPARROW, AND WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO DO SO?
I started Sea + Sparrow in August 2012. My husband and I have been struggling with infertility and I began doing a lot of research about toxins in my body and environment. I started making my own household cleaners, detergent, deodorant, lotion bars, sunscreen etc. I enjoyed making all those things so I started thinking about what else I could make which would also help reduce the toxins in my life. So I started making soaps and candles- I love my baths and I usually have a candle or two lit around the house. I wanted to make sure they were as toxin free as possible. I made several and posted them on Facebook. I received a huge response and family and friends encouraged me to open an Etsy store to begin selling them. My first month in business was amazing! My husband has been so supportive and has encouraged me to continue. He helps make many of the soaps and candles as well! HOW DO YOU FIND YOUR INGREDIENTS AND DECIDE ON COMBINATIONS?
Lots of research! We want to make sure they are safe and toxin free- first and foremost. The combinations are the fun part! Some are combined because they create the best outcome for the purpose of the soap. For example, Mild Soap contains rose clay and rosehips because that clay combined with that essential oil is best for sensitive, dry skin and helps with wrinkles. Those skin types usually go hand-in-hand. Same with our Cleansing Soap. French green clay and tea tree oil are great for oily prone skin as well as acne prone skin. Some are just combinations you would expect from a soap. Our Shaving Soap for example should be a little more slick- thats why we add bentonite clay. It should also feel cooling and refreshing hence the peppermint, eucalptus and tea tree oils. Then some combinations while just for fun also create a great soap – The Exfoliating with sea clay + poppy seeds. The poppy seeds make for a fun looking soap but actually act as an amazing exfoliant. Its not too rough. This clay pulls toxins from your skin while replenishing with over 20 essential minerals found in the Dead Sea. Whole poppy seeds act as a strong, aggressive exfoliant, scrubbing away dirt and dead skin. Poppy seeds are an ancient natural sedative, rich in vitamins and unsaturated oils. High linoleic oil content ensures that poppy seeds soothe as you scrub, leaving skin soft and glowing.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO CREATE?
I had a need and want to make a healthy life for my husband and me. I was struggling to find products that fit that need. I was lost in ingredient lists of paragraphs of words I could not even pronounce. So I just decided to make them myself. So I started with google. I was amazed to find so many people making their own cleaners, and products. Once I began making them, I really enjoyed it. My inspiration comes from knowing that we can create products that people love and that can actually make a difference in their lives. There is a teenager that has been using our Cleansing soap and for the first time in her teenage life is acne free. She went to her prom smiling and feeling great about herself and our product helped her do that in a healthy and natural way. I think I also just had a need to be creative. I needed an outlet. In my “real” job, there is not so much creativity.
ANY NEW PRODUCTS YOU’RE EXCITED TO SHARE WITH US? Scrub Soap made with spanish moss + tunica clay. We picked up the clay while hiking Tunica Hills and we get our spanish moss from my grandmother’s house or while taking a walk or bike riding around downtown. Also, our Relax Soap made with lavender + aloe. The pH of this bar is really nice and well suited for the most sensitive of skin, including those sweet little baby bellies and toes. The lavender is actually left over from our wedding. We had soooo much of it. It came from a local florist. The aloe we extract ourselves from an aloe plant we purchased as the farmer’s market. We do include some aloe juice which we purchase at Whole Foods Market.
We’ll also have different “flavors” available of our new Lip Balm, which is so good and so natural! Although its not really a flavor in the typical sense as much as it is a scent (they are created using essential oil). And, lastly, we make a Detox Bath I really love! Made with epsom salt, baking soda, eucalyptus oil, lavender oil and lavender. A detox bath is thought to assist your body in eliminating toxins as well as absorbing the minerals and nutrients that are in the water. The skin is the largest detoxification organ thru which toxins can be drawn out. After a long soak, you will feel revived and rejuvenated! Its pretty amazing!
ANYTHING YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE ABOUT THE GIVEAWAY PRODUCTS?
All Sea + Sparrow soaps are made using the cold process; a 100% vegan friendly method composed of only vegetable oils. We make a point of not using GMO oils like canola, and stay away from solvent processed oils such as pomace. The palm oil we use is organic RSPO certified in the name of sustainability. Every effort has been made to remove unnatural or synthetic substances from our soap. We add only the highest quality earth clays, local honey and spices, and expeller pressed organic essential oils. Our candles are made with FDA approved, Kosher certified soy wax, pure cosmetic grade fragrance oils, and cotton wicks. In an effort to make our candles sustainable the containers are all repurposed. Our inventory comes from friends, family, goodwill, estate sales and thrift stores. All packaging is sourced from recycled material. Our wood is reclaimed from old houses and barns in south Louisiana. Whenever we see one being torn down, we make sure to grab a couple of beautiful pieces before it turns into trash. The tung oil we use to finish each handmade piece is 100% pure nut oil, contains no petroleum distillates whatsoever, and is FDA certified as food safe.
I’m thrilled that Caroline has paired with us to offer one of our readers this lovely giveaway! It includes two of her soaps, one reclaimed cypress soap dish, and the petite soy wax candle (the items displayed in the last image above).
HERE’S HOW TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY… 1. Pin any of the images from this post and include info about the giveaway on your pin
2. Share on facebook or twitter about the giveaway
3. Blog about the giveaway on your blog or other form of social media
4. Comment below, and let us know if you completed any of the above!
THE GIVEAWAY ENDS THURSDAY MAY 2ND AT 12:00am (central time). I’LL ANNOUNCE THE WINNER WITH OUR FRIDAY FAVORITES!