Monday, February 15, 2010

A Digression: Fear, Love, and Business

You'll have to forgive me today as I am digressing from regularly scheduled blogging. Instead, I'm going to divulge what's been going on behind the scenes of the Earth Friendly Weddings blog and Earthly Affair (we're one and the same for those who don't know). I have to thank Lara Casey and her amazing, intensive workshop, Making Things Happen, as well as Jeff Holt and Emily Ley, for encouraging me to reveal more of myself to you. This workshop forced us to explore some of our deepest fears, which I've shared with you below - straight from my notebook. This workshop has also been the catalyst for big changes on a personal and professional level, which are only in the cogitative phase, but still an exciting and scary prospect.

(My three biggest fears are failure to myself and to others, not being a good wife and mother, and being broke!)

So here goes my friends:

You want to know something weird about me? I like to learn new words. The more complicated the word the better. And the reason is this: If I knew more words, I think I would be better at expressing myself. This only works to a degree, because no matter how expansive my vocabulary is, to truly reveal one's self is difficult. (And for the record, my memory is terrible so I don't remember half the words I learn.) So I'm just going to tell you my story as if we were chatting in a coffee shop. Friend to friend.

I started Earthy Affair while I was working full time as a graphic designer. It wasn't a bad job. There were parts I liked and parts I didn't, but that's how it usually goes, right? At some point, I realized the corporate life wasn't my cup o' tea. I had to get out. I was suffocating. So I worked really, really hard to bring this little business of mine to life. Coming home at five-thirty and working until eight, grabbing some food, and then working some more. One night, I just laid in bed and cried because my biggest fear was that I would fail. With my head buried in the pillow, my husband took me in his arms and consoled my heart with a speech that gave me new life. I kept going and with a lot of love and support, Earthly Affair was born.

That journey began in 2007. Here I am today, 28 years old and due to have a little girl in July. Yes, that's some big news, which quite honestly has me somewhat terrified. Although I am excited, running a business and taking care of a child is scary, but I know it can be done. I've realized in my haste to bring Earthly Affair to the world, I never really took stock of how I, as a person, could make this brand so much stronger than what it is. At the risk of sounding like the biggest cheese ball alive, I have ridiculous amounts of love in me. (And now that I'm pregnant? Forget it! I get teary eyed over pictures of puppies.) One of the reasons I never really focused on wholesale with Earthly Affair is because I truly love each and every one of my customers. I refuse to give up that connection. When I fail them (which is few and far between, but I'm not going to lie, mistakes happen), my heart breaks and I feel as if I let down a friend. I am so honored and overjoyed to be let into their lives, even if momentarily, it's a feeling which no word of the day has been able to encapsulate thus far.

I'm not sure exactly what changes are in store, and it may be a while before they are realized, but I ask you to be patient with me. I so appreciate each and every one of you who read this. For it's because of you I feel a little less insignificant in this big, crazy world.

Alright, we'll be back to regularly scheduled wedding stuff tomorrow. :)


Marisa said...

Fear of failure can be so overwhelming, but it sounds like you have an awesome support (husband) Good luck and keep up the awesome work and blog!

Anonymous said...

I fear a lot of the same things you do. And I think many people do as well! I love your blog and will continue to read. Congratulations on your pregnancy!

Anonymous said...

Such a brave post - feel proud!

dognbird said...

Loved learning more about you and your journey. Thank you for the inspiration!

Jes (A Mountain Bride) said...

Jennifer! thank you for being so brave as to share your "reality" with us. AND for being so brave as to fight for a life you want - by quitting your corporate job (must have been scary).

you are an inspiration and a total joy. our Earthly Affair invitations are undeniably perfect - we LOVE them - and I love your blog. You are spreading a whole lot of good to the world. Your lil girl is o-so-lucky.

Emily Ley said...

This is beautiful! I'm so excited to see what's in store for you - and for your business. It was so inspiring to see your ideas to come to life at MTH2010!

Amy said...

I was so inspired by your openness both in Atlanta and here on your blog!! You have such a gift of encouragement and love to show people! Thank you for being open with who you are and sharing your fears! That has to be a huge fear in itself! You leaped over it!!

TheCluelessCrafter said...

Honorable! I've kind of wondered about what goes through your smart-as-a-whip head and now I know a little bit.

I am not sure if I do wrong by being honest, playful, sarcastic, rude, dorky all at once on Clueless.

I guess the arsenal I've got with me is this:
~a loving husband
~the right to defend myself
~the right to learn
~and the right to deny people's ~interpretations of what I've written

you're one step ahead now. You can just claim your unborn child made you write it, say it, do it. . .;-)

OH, and my god congratulations to you and your husband!!!

Jennifer said...

@Marisa - Thank you so much for your kind words. My husband is definitely my rock when things get tough.

@Xoxb - We are so excited about the little one! Thank you so much! And it's so great to know I'm not the only one with these fears. :)

@sara - Thank you! I feel a little less afraid about opening up now to this crazy blog world.

@DogNBird - Thank you so much! :)

@Jes - You are sweeter than pie. I LOVED creating your invitations and having the opportunity to be a part of your wonderful day. And thank YOU for sharing so much on your own blog! :)

@EmilyLey - You are an inspiration! Your video blogs continue to encourage me and re-ignite my passion for creativity.

@Amy - Thank you! It was so wonderful to meet you and to be let into your world, even if briefly. Keep us updated on Twitter - I want to continue to be a part of your journey!

@Lydia (TheCluelessCrafter) - Psshh! My head is more scatterbrained than you would believe, but thank you. I LOVE your blog and I love how you share yourself on it. I think I will have to adopt your arsenal, except I'll keep my own husband. Yes, the baby has made me do a lot of crazy things. Including eat lots of pickles. (How cliche!)

StefanieMiles said...

really love this post, Jennifer! there's much that I can relate to you over! Thanks for writing this post! I completely agree - its not an overnight happening for changes to be realized, but fight to hold onto the motivation & inspiration and work towards it a little every day. I am! :)

TheCluelessCrafter said...

Alright, you can keep your husband:-)

Now, as for being cliche, why don't you eat pickles as you dig into a pint of Ben and Jerry's? Wait, that cliche is for a break up. Oh god, I'm all mixed up. Maybe I'm preggers?

Just kidding!

Michael Rashfal said...

Hi Jen,

I know I'm kind of late here (I don't get to read your blog as often as I would like), but I really understand where you are coming from. You and I are somehow in the same boat, since we both started our own companies at about the same time. I, too, had my fears (and still do) about doing this on my own. Have no fear! :) You've already accomplished so much (I wish I could get my firm's name on tv and on other blogs (maybe not wedding blogs, but you get my point)) :) I know you'll succeed in this, because you have so much passion for it. And if you need a shoulder to lean on every now and then, we're here for you. :) Take care.

Michael Rashfal

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