So, you guys already know we spent last weekend in Frisco. Well I can’t tell you what good it did for my soul. For my psyche. It rejuvenated my desire and passion for blogging and design. It helped me to prepare to write this post . . .
On many levels I had a really great summer. We spent a lot of time at the beach. We went camping, hung out a lot with friends and family, ate good food, had a lot of new experiences and made a lot of great memories. Summer was
good great! But summer was also not what I had expected. I had seen this summer going so differently for my business in my mind. I had completed the design, sourcing, tweaking and sample prodction of my first new handbag line in 3 years. I had previously received beautiful samples of my factory’s craftsmanship using some of my older styles. I had effectively negotiated production pricing on my own. I had painstakenly spent hours researching trends, sketching, designing, selecting leather swatches and pantone colors for dyeing. I spent precious time designing my hardware and logo closures. I sent numerous notes and directives back and forth via email and UPS to my factory to clarify and revise misinterpretations. Best of all, I had an amazing working relationship with my production manager, Evan. The lines of communication were always open. Didn’t matter the time of day or night. Nor did it matter that Evan was thousands of miles away, in a different time zone, on a different continent. For nine months we communicated back and forth. Sending well wishes to each other’s families for holidays and even weekends. And then, last May, after a lengthy gestation period, all samples were completed, approved and set to be delivered to me via EMS. I had received images of the sample run of bags in 3 color ways and was ECSTATIC. FINALLY!!! My designs had been brought to life!! I could see them . . . I could damn near taste them, I was so excited!!! My website was being revamped and plans were in place for mini launch parties in two cities. All my friends and associates were asking when the bags would be here. I set tentative dates for photo shoots for the website. I began styling the shoot and looking for models. I was back in my element: Creating beautiful things and gearing up for the best part, setting in motion a way to get those beautiful things to other people. Life was exciting. Wonderful. I was fulfilled. And a little anxious. But happy. And then….
No word from my production manager. No response to my emails. No response to my phone calls. My last email from Evan was a cryptic message back in June, stating that he was in the hospital, having trouble breathing. I began praying for him, and trying to reach out to another contact at the factory that could ship my samples out while Evan was out sick. It didn’t make sense to me that my blood, sweat and energy was sitting in the form of my beloved samples on some cold factory floor, packaged up and ready to be shipped. But NOT being shipped. In a factory of hundreds, there had to be someone else who could ship them to me . . .
I sent emails. I called. I called. I sent emails. I contacted other associates of mine who had vetted Evan and his company to me, and even they were shocked! This behavior was so out of the ordinary for him. It didn’t make sense to any of us. And I still had no answers. To this day I do not know Evan’s fate. I did a lot of praying (which is normal for me.) and then I did a lot of not praying (which is not so normal for me). I shut down. I had worked so hard on this launch and this line since the end of last year. I really felt like I was birthing a baby. There was so much energy put into this. So many late nights, agonizing over decisions, laboring over calculations and re-calculations one moment second guessing my self, the next confident in my decisions. And now, it was almost as if I had seen the ultrasound, knew the sex of the baby and suddenly, there was no baby.
I didn’t blog all summer. I felt lost. I felt sad, yet somehow still hopeful. I know that the hope I have within is a gift from God that keeps me going. Even now, I still have faith that my bags will be delivered to my doorstep. Through it all, even in the darkest moments, I knew I could not stop pursuing this dream. I knew that I could not stop creating, and that I must create again. I can not NOT design. This is something that flows rapidly and passionately through my veins. It is a part of my DNA. I am not living if I am not creating something of beauty in this world.
My trip to San Francisco this weekend was a major player in rejuvenating my passion and desire for designing, blogging and creating. Rob and I had a really great conversation on our drive back. At one point he encouraged me to name, out loud, the things I love to do that make me happy. When I did, I realized that I had not been doing any of them all summer! No wonder I felt lost and sad. I wasn’t creating! I came back from our trip with a renewed sense of purpose and direction for my business and my blog. I’m excited again!!! I have even begun researching for the design of my new line . . . and I am actually thrilled about it! I hope you guys will stick with me on this journey. Even though there have been some rough spots, I can honestly say I am enjoying the process. I’ve seen major growth on my part, as a designer and as a businesswoman. And even moreso, greater trust and faith in God to help me actualize this dream He has given me! I know there are great things ahead, and I look forward to sharing those experiences with you!!!