Adventure Collection Launch

If anyone is guilty of looking at the entirety of an idea and deciding its intangible before even beginning, it’s me. I’m guilty. Case closed. Now let me tell you about the launch of my Adventure Collection, and why I believe that no dream, no matter how out of reach it may seem, is too big.

Let me start by saying, the things I’ve been successful at aren’t things that began as a challenge to me. Sure, there were struggles along the way, but my success came as a result of me doing something that I love. Starting my business wasn’t some well thought out plan I chose to execute one day. I didn’t think to myself “I’m going to start painting furniture, and wood signs, and then sell them”. No. Art has always been a part of who I am. So when people, aka my friends, took interest in me slapping paint on furniture I rolled with it.

When we bought a home I started up cycling furniture because our budget was practically non-existent, and it was easier then robbing a bank. Eventually, furniture turned into home décor signs and home décor signs turned into, well, calligraphy; because who the hell wants their own, not-so-good looking, handwriting on their walls? Not me. My business was the product of me being a 23-year-old homeowner, on a seriously tight budget. It was a hobby, not a job, and definitely not a business. But, eventually it just kind of turned into one.

That’s not to say I didn’t work hard to get here. Like, really hard. I didn’t just wake up one day and suddenly know calligraphy. I’ve spent hours upon hour, years even, practicing my lettering. It’s a never ending learning process that I truly love. My point is to say that I never, until this point, pursued something so wildly out of my comfort zone.

Can we talk Adobe Illustrator for a minute? I didn’t even know what it was until a little over a year ago. You could say I’m, uh, not so computer savvy. But I am diligent. So, I watched countless hours of Ai tutorials on YouTube and somewhat got the basics down. So, step one complete… kind of. Did I mention this was terrifying?

I wanted to create designs and put them on things, because that’s super cool, right? Well yeah, I do think it’s super cool, but that wasn’t the problem. The problem was realizing that I had a gigantic list of things I had to do before that was even possible. Now, here’s the point where I probably looked at the entirety of this vision and in any other case would have thrown in the towel, but I didn’t. I didn’t because, for the first time ever my desire to purposefully and passionately pursue a dream outweighed the fear I had of failing at it. I was all in.

To sum it up I had to learn a program I’d never even heard of before, I had to reach out to local companies, something I’m not so comfortable with (not the working with other companies- the talking to strangers part – YIKES!). I had to front a large sum of money to something that could likely fail, not to mention it could, quite possibly, end up hanging in my closet, haunting me, accumulating dust for the rest of time! Ok, that’s probably a bit of an exaggeration, but still, worst case scenario people. The biggest obstacle I faced was myself. I had to believe in my design and MYSELF enough to put it out there for the world to judge. Oh, did I forget to mention the fact that up until this point my business was focused solely on wedding and event signage? If that doesn’t throw a wrench in the works I don’t know what does.

I can’t fully articulate all of the feelings I’ve had going through this process, but there is one crucial thing I learned. The moment I realized my vision was actually becoming a reality I had this distinct Ah Ha moment. For the first time since starting my business, I truly believed that no dream of mine is, or will ever be, too big. I wanted, more than anything, to create apparel for people, like me, who love the outdoors, and I did that. I am doing that!

Whatever your dream is, chase it. Chase is wildly, with reckless abandon, and when the sum of all its parts seems like too much, stop. Stop the worrying and the what if’s that are racing around in your brain, and just put one foot in front of the other. Even if you only do one thing each day to bring you closer to your dream, it’s still one less stair you have to climb tomorrow. By the time you reach the top of your mountain you’ll forget why you ever doubted yourself in the first place. Climb that mountain. Chase that dream. If I can, you can, trust me.

“There will be a few times in your life when all your instincts will tell you to do something, something that defies logic, upsets your plans, and may seem crazy to others. When that happens, you do it. Listen to your instincts and ignore everything else. Ignore logic, ignore the odds, ignore the complications, and just go for it.” – Judith McNaught

 

HUGE shout out to my babe http://moniqueserraphotography.com Monique, for capturing the T’s so perfectly. She’s a serious gem and a true magician behind the camera!

Still haven’t grabbed your own 7 Wonders T? Don’t fret, they’re right here waiting for ya!

New Years Resolutions

Since it’s January 30th I figure, there’s really no better time then now to post a blog about New Years resolutions, right? Well regardless, I’m doing it and it feels damn good. Better late then never!

I’ve never been someone who believed in the idea of setting a New Year’s resolutions. It always seemed like an aggrandized task that would, in little time, diminish. But, after the year I had, well, I decided it was time to set a damn resolution and commit to it. I tend to jot down ideas for my business all over the place. From the notepad in my phone to the notepad in my office, there were ideas coming out my earholes. But there was only one idea that seemed overwhelmingly obvious because it was popping up everywhere- blog. I desperately wanted to share my travel tips and painting advice, my business lessons and life experiences. I knew I wanted to share all of this, the problem was actually doing it. So, here I am, doing it. I’m blogging!

2016 was a rough year, business wise, to say the least. When I returned home from Europe in August 2015 I lost all motivation to keep pursuing my business. That’s not to say that I wasn’t thrilled about my upcoming wedding season, I just wasn’t putting forth any effort until then. For roughly 6 months I spent most weekends chasing waterfalls, hiking mountains and spending time with my people. It was incredible and I don’t regret it for a second, but my business suffered because of it.

Six months off combined with the, I hate to say it, Instagram algorithm, took a serious toll on me. I had basically lost 80% of the following that I gained over the year since I’d started Clink & Kiss. Side note: for anyone that thinks the number of followers you have directly correlates to how successful you are, you’re wrong, seriously wrong. So, please don’t ever let a number define your worth! I felt like I was yelling out into oblivion every time I posted a new photo. I was lost, I had no clue who it was that I was speaking to any more, and quite frankly I had no idea what my audience wanted from me. The connection I had worked so hard to build was destroyed. I spent months wondering if I should just throw in the towel. I was certain no one would notice I was gone anyways. It wasn’t until recently that it dawned on me I needed to reevaluate who I was as an artist and what I wanted for my business in order for anything to change. So, here I am back at square one and, can I just say, it’s refreshing!

I realized that this is my chance to make my mark in a new way, to pursue different opportunities and to show everyone another side of Clink & Kiss. I’m not just a girl who likes to paint pretty signs for weddings. In fact, 50% of the time I’m probably wearing muddy hiking boots and a baseball hat. I love hiking, traveling, kayaking, camping, and basically anything that has to do with exploring this beautiful world that we live in. Which is why I decided to incorporate this part of my life into my business. Beats me why didn’t I think of it sooner, it’s not like I’d never heard the saying “follow your dreams”- but anyways. If you haven’t heard already I’m launching a product line based on my love for adventure and it’s due out next month, which is like in a day, more on that later though.

If there’s one thing I truly believe in, with every ounce of my being, it’s that everything happens for a reason. Even if I’m unable to make sense of the circumstance in the moment, the reasoning always becomes transparent eventually. Case and point, the shitty slump that was 2016 lead me to the rebirth that will be 2017. So, to sum it up, following my dreams is my New Years resolution, plain and simple (but not). This will be the year I leap without hesitation, the year I chase my dreams with reckless abandon, the year I intentionally and courageously pursue my passion. After all, there’s no better time then now!

“You’ve got to follow your passion. You’ve got to figure out what it is you love – who you are. And have the courage to do that. I believe that the only courage anybody ever needs is the courage to follow your own dreams.” -Oprah