"This was the year [s]he fell to pieces
and this was the year when more people
than [s]he even knew existed
scrambled to put [her] back together again
and as they tried
they didn't notice [s]he was smiling"
-Atmosphere, "Pride's Paranoia"
I feel like it's been a lifetime since we've had our last fireside chat here.
So many events have transpired this summer; some adverse, some victorious. I had every intention of telling you about all of the awesome summer activities that we took part in as Remnants:fiber[culture], such as the Austin Craft Riot Clothing Swap and subsequently the Craft Party; our annual Post-Market Soiree, and the first annual Austin Shop Hop with Stitch Lab, Form and Fabric and our other awesome friends.
I could go on and on and so forth about how great these events were for our business and how much fun we had.
But the truth is, my heart is abundant and brimming with all of the personal development that has taken shape. I feel like you are reading this blog because you love fabric and quilting, of course, but also because you relate to me somehow in a personal way. I love business, and I love fabric, don't get me wrong. But I'm a people-first kinda gal and I can't not tell you everything that has been going on in my life.
The beginning of this year seemed like a hurricane that just wouldn't let up. Mama went to Heaven. Mike and I split up. Dad saved my life in New Mexico. It seems so ridiculous that I can sum up six months of my life with three incredibly simple sentences. All of that heartache, hardship, rivers of tears, and it's not even enough to make a complex paragraph.
And on top of it all, the store was teeter-tottering each month, on the brink of death. The water kept rising, and I kept struggling to keep my head above it. In all honesty, I really wasn't in the position to play Shopkeeper, and I'm sure that it showed.
I blame my apathy on emotional exhaustion and the lack of fight that was left in me.
That's when my friends stepped in. First Lily, arranging for grocery store dates, rides to and from work, fresh produce from her garden, and a general ear to listen. She refused to give up on me even when I wanted to give up. She reinforced that I had made the right decisions to start a fresh life. She made me give up my energy drink vice. (no, seriously, I'm scared of her, so I pretty much do whatever she tells me to do.) Lily, you rock, but I don't have to remind you of that- you already know.
Then Jen swooped in and tag teamed with Lily. From the courthouse to the grocery store, to Eddie Murphy Raw and White Wine Spritzers, I don't know what my life would be like if she hadn't swaddled me with love and care. Jennifer Delk, I am publicly thanking you for your friendship, love, concern, care, chia seed in everything, and everything in between. I have never had a friend in my life like you. You're my Nubian Queen, my sister from another mister; you are family. Thanks for tag-teaming me on the Rock Star detox, making me take care of myself, and all of your acts of service.
Jen and Lily are the ravens, and the doves are all of the other wonderful women and men in my life that swooped in and swaddled me with their feathers. I could name names, but it would take up the entire blog. You know who you are. Thank you, all of you, from the bottom of my heart.
Thomas Knauer and I always talk about how much beauty there is in the breakdown. Sometimes I lose sight of that, but it's been re-revealed to me. Something about the six-month mark of my mom's passing made a switch flip in my life and I started to think that maybe I wasn't quite doomed to live in the hurricane forever. I started spending more time outside of the store; despite its struggle, I needed an opportunity to rejuvenate. Work/life balance was starting to ensue, and I liked it.
I was talking to my friend Casey about boys a few months ago just after the divorce and how I had made a written blueprint of what I want out of a mate. (seriously, I wrote a list.) Somehow we turned it into an allegorical metaphor about peacocks. Follow me here. I was telling Casey about how the female peacocks are kinda homely looking, and the males are the real zingers. Their beautiful plumes spread out perfectly attract their potential mate. When they find a peahen that they want to impress, they puff out their feathers and wiggle them around to show the peahen how big and beautiful their tales are.
I told Casey, I want a freakin peacock, man. I want someone who is loud and proud and wants to puff out his feathers to impress me.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT MANIFESTATION, Y'ALL?
A few weeks ago a peacock from Long Island came into my life. He is aggressive, obnoxious, and persistent (and absolutely gorgeous). He asked me out three times; three times I told him no. Finally, I realized that he would probably not take no for an answer. I told him, my work is my life and I don't have time for you. Then what do I have to do for you to go out with me? he asked. Clean my shop and move my furniture, I joked to him.
I was kidding.
He totally wasn't.
Call me crazy, but my blueprint came to life. I find a new thing to check off my list the more time we spend together. With intention, he completely swept me off my feet. (The proof is in the pudding-- check my Instagram!) It's back to how everything happens for a reason. There are no rainbows without rain.
The storm has let up. The sunshine is pouring in. Boomerang, I got you.
This summer was full of hard decisions. I've been praying, meditating, manifesting, and planning for the greater part of the season and have had a lot of soul searching to do.
I realized this summer how much I truly enjoy being a longarm quilter and how grateful I am that our business has been allowed to grow and that I've been able to see so much from this community just from the pleasure of quilting.
I am starting a new chapter of my life and have decided to shut my storefront down to quilt out of my home studio. This may or may not come as a shock or surprise to you. Quite frankly, I spent the entire summer working from 10am oftentimes until 2am. This isn't really the life that I intended to live. Rather than kill myself trying to keep an out-of-balance store teetering, I'd rather produce a service that is thriving and inspirational. If I'm tired, cranky and just plain burnt out, I don't feel that this is the Jessica that you have come to know and love.
It is with great joy that I announce this transition, because it allows me to spend more time doing what I truly love (longarm) and also will facilitate a better work/life balance. I couldn't be more excited for this new beginning. It's like a rebirth.
Tomorrow begins the last week we will be open as a storefront. The last week's schedule is Monday, September 2 until Friday, September 6 from 12pm till 6pm. Of course there is a huge fabric sale. Of course you should come say goodbye to the shop and say hello to the new me!
I will be sending out a newsletter that announces my new schedule and the services that I will still be offering. Feel free to join on the website here.
Lastly, I thank each and every one of you for reading this blog and for supporting my shop. It's been an extreme honor to serve you and to allow you to watch me grow and change within the industry that I love and adore so much. I can only promise you that it's all upward from here, and that you haven't seen the last of me!
With all of my love and honor,