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Happy Birthday! Flounce & Flourish is 1-Year Old

Updated: Jun 9, 2022

What in the world... how has it been a year already? So, some of you may know, I left my corporate job last year. Quit and walked away with no backup plan. All I knew was that I was burnt out. I had been coordinating 20+ Zoom calls a day between my job and homeschooling two children during quarantine, while also working 60+ hours a week at a startup for 18 months straight. I was shielding my family from COVID, carefully calculating the risk of daily activities, praying for a vaccine, no outside support, no visits with friends, and no way to refill my own cup. Burnt out is the closest way I can describe it, but honestly, what I felt is something far beyond. And I wasn't alone, 4+ million women left the workforce around this same time (a topic that deserves a whole conversation in itself).

When I first left my corporate job, I had a lot of thoughts and feelings. First thought: I've lost my G** damn mind... what have I done? Have I totally lost it? What am I doing? I've never quit without another job lined up! I felt as if I had failed as a working mother and professional. I didn't know what the next step was. All I knew, staying where I was, wasn't it.

At first, I planned to take the summer off and relax. Take some time to recover and by the end of the summer, I would be ready to jump into another job in my career in advertising. Turned out that the universe had other plans.

On a whim, I applied for a scholarship for a program called Selfmade. This 10-week intensive course is designed to show women exactly how to create and launch a business by the end of the program. So, on a whim, I submitted one of my patterns and won a scholarship from Bounty (yep, the paper towel company) for the entire cost of the program! I was thrilled but still, I called this my summer experiment. It was just for fun. Something to keep me busy until I went back to my "real" job.

When I say this course was intensive, I mean INTENSE. We met every day, had homework assignments, and got to speak directly with powerhouse entrepreneurs such as Jenni, of Jenni's Ice Cream, Stitch Fix founder, Katrina Lake, Nyx founder, Toni Ko, and Rifle Paper Co.'s very own, Anna Bond - which was a DREAM come true as a surface pattern designer! Hearing these women speak about the very early beginnings of their entrepreneur journey shifted something in my brain. Suddenly, I saw myself where they were when they first started their businesses. I held onto every word as they told stories about rolling up their sleeves, making mistakes, fighting nerves and self-doubt. It wasn't flashy or fancy but just like me, they were doing the thing. It felt like I had been given the road map of how to make this thing work. I just had to put the keys in the ignition and hit the road. And man, did that open road look good.

But even with a road map, there are so many unknowns as an entrepreneur and no guarantees, which I think is one of the biggest challenges. There is no sugar coating it. Stepping off that ledge into the unknown is terrifying. But that doesn't mean it's not worth it. Starting a business reminds me a lot of planting seeds. When you first put the seeds into the ground, it looks like nothing is happening. For weeks-nothing. But you still have to water them, make sure they're getting enough sunlight even when it looks like nothing is happening. You've simply got to trust that nature is doing its thing. But then one day, there's a little green spout poking out from the black dirt! It's small and not all that impressive, but it's there! Then sometimes you plant seeds that are duds and nothing sprouts. Don't dwell on those. Put your energy into the sprouts that are growing and show promise. Keep watering, keep tending to your sprouts, and before you know it, the sprouts will bud, the buds will bloom, and you'll have a garden full of flowers.

I feel like this past year has been my seed planting year. A few sprouts have sprung that have shown really great promise. But being an entrepreneur is an intense roller coaster. A friend described it as emotional whiplash - which is a perfectly accurate description. I have shed many tears and celebrated wins I'm incredibly proud of and have a list of lofty goals to yet reach. But best of all, I feel like I've gotten a piece of myself back that wasn't there 12 months ago. I have a sense of peace and control over my life, no fancy corner office could ever replace. I get to be the mom I want to be for my children. I get to see my art on products and people BUY it (which still blows my mind)!

If you've been following along on my journey, thank you. Your support means more than you'll ever know. This thing continues to amaze and inspire me every day. And I hope that I get to continue to make art that brings joy to others and helps them live a life that's true to who they are for many more years to come.

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1 comentario

Kate Frances
Kate Frances
24 abr 2023

Congrats on 1 year in business!! That's awesome. Would you like to do a guest blog over on post to share what you've learned during this year? I'm on Insta @kate_frances_designs & xx

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