One year ago, today, my life changed drastically. My husband of 8 years and partner for 12 years decided he didn't want to be married to me anymore. The moment he moved out, I made some of the hardest choices I've had to make in the entirety of my life. I learned in that instant that nothing was going to change my circumstances for me, that I'd have to make the changes. In being truly alone in my marriage, I also came to a greater understanding of not ever being alone. I came to know that God is always there with me, that even in poor choices and bad situations, He is always working things to the good of those that love Him.
In that moment I decided that I was going to seek help. "Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety." Proverbs 11:14. This lead me to seek counsel in as many places as I could. My church, friends and family. Any that I knew were trustworthy became advisors.
My other big decision was to change careers. I'd been sewing for five years as a hobby and had gained enough skill at it that I felt confident enough to pursue a living. The starting point for this plan was already in motion at that point. I had been trying to supplement our income with alterations and commissions for a few months. Those initial clients helped me start by being my best advertisement. The biggest shout out I have is for Stephanie Gibson. Her wedding and subsequent promotion kick started a long line of commissions that have carried me to where I'm at today. She commissioned me to make a flower girl dress for Hazel and to alter her wedding dress. It was a wonderful project. Seeing and helping with her wedding also helped to restore my faith in the covenant of marriage. It was a beautiful ceremony and the gowns turned out very well.
The dress, corset, bolero and dickey were commissioned by Joyce McCarthy for this year's Comic Con in San Diego.
Dude Vader, Chris Canole, commissioned a pair of pants and together with the Starwars Steampunk Universe group won the Costume Designers Guild "Hall Costume Award".
Since then I've been working hard to grow and learn both in life and in business. I've learned so much and I have so many people to thank for so many things. I'm going to try my hand at it here.
My parents moved with me and their support before & after my move as well as through this divorce have been beyond expectation. My mom sews as well and has helped me finish many projects in the last moments before the deadlines.
My dad is always there for me and his help has made so many things possible that would have taken so much longer to accomplish alone.
Sarah Francisco for hiring me to make her a dress and through that, becoming my best friend. There are so many creative things that have come from our friendship and the possibilities are endless. I look forward to the future and whatever our imaginings bring about.
Mary Hoffman for her mentoring and love. Linda Hoffman and Fawn Goodrich for loving me abundantly. Kevin Miller for mediating and helping me try everything possible to reclaim my marriage, even through it not working out that way.
A big thanks to so many members of my church family! There are so many that prayed and are praying for me and I'm so grateful for everyone.
There is new progress in the business too and there are thank yous due for this as well.
In the last two weeks the business has started to grow in ways I never expected and it's all due to receiving help. I've learned that nothing gets done without help and that even if I don't do something entirely on my, it doesn't mean that I'm not successful. All business is done with the help of others and I'm so grateful for the help I've been receiving lately.
My cousin Candiece helped by giving me some painting work that resulted in trading some of my time for a tablet. I'd been planning on purchasing one for the business for a couple months, but couldn't ever get the funds to purchase one. Having a tablet helps me to take my business with me.
This last weekend my mom and I went shopping for a good work horse. A new sewing machine will help me thrive and not just get by. I have had an ever growing need for a machine that can handle heavy duty jobs. Mom has built a good rapport with a sewing machine shop over the last ten years or more. We went in to look at the options and she helped me to finance a machine that works like a dream.
The other advancement came in the form of a business loan from a close friend and the purchase of a domain name for building a business website. An investment of sorts in my business efforts. This show of belief in me and what I can do is so encouraging and edifying.
These things will help me jump start the business into the next phase. This phase includes an online store that will help me sell beyond word of mouth and commission piece work. Which means that you should keep your eyes peeled for unique and affordable clothing for adults and kiddos as I begin to list and post them in the next few months.
The first glimpse of this will be a craft show I'm vending at on October 10th. I'll be set up at Bethel Assembly of God in Alpine from 10am - 3pm. Come on out and see what I've been working on. It's also the church's first craft faire, so come out and show your support for hand made and all of the vendors that will be working hard to help support this church.
I'm so excited by every advancement that I can't contain it!