Hey there, I’m BACK!
The last time I wrote you I was just closing down the Pittsburgh location and starting to pack up the entirety of my life to head West. And, after more challenges than I want to write here, I made it. My psyche broke into a million pieces in the process of making such a massive transition happen but there was no choice but to push through. I have definitely been suffering a PTSD of sorts and have spent the last few weeks recovering from the last few years. I was a shell of a human when I arrived but, I have been received by the most welcoming arms in this new city I am going to call home for a long long time and that feels so good. My daughter lives down the street, my studio is around the corner, the lake is around the other corner, the mountains are always in view, the sound waters are therapeutically cold, the food is just so fantastic, the people are so friendly and there are so many dogs!
I have made a lot of decisions in my life. Decisions that have made for a long and wavy road, but there is no decision I have ever made that feels as confidently sure and good as this one. It has given me a sort of amnesia to the last few years. Maybe that’s the result of extreme stress, body trauma, emotional breakdown, lots of processing and attempts at recovery but, I am just so happy to be here. I feel very released from the past.
I have been writing a lot over on our IG feed. I put a few links to the highlights at the bottom of this email. Be sure to give me a follow if you have not already. This relocation has changed me and my business quite a lot. It will be just my little self for the next few months and I am refusing to give Facebook and Google anymore of my hard earned dollars. I can write long words on the racket of paid advertising but, I will spare you the gory details and just let you know that everything is being carefully re-written as I slowly open back up and start running this business in a more holistic way.
I have been operating, for all my years in business, with a very unhealthy work ethic. My days have averaged 12-14 hours, 7 days a week, always needing to make more, sell more, create more jobs, produce more content and keep all the scales evenly balanced while I also somehow managed to tend to my family and my personal health and well being. The problem is, I wasn’t tending to myself. I was tending to everything and everyone else. Somewhere in there I raised a kid, married, divorced, started and stopped several relationships, suffered lots of health issues, hired and trained many employees, moved a million times, grew a business, rode my bike a ton and did not sleep enough.
The climax of the pandemic year brought it all to a head and I broke. I wrote about a lot of that when I announced I was moving and the outpouring of support was truly incredible. That heartfelt response from this little community united by bags was a reminder that I don’t have to participate in business in a late stage capitalism kind of way, which is solely for profit, devoid of emotion and ruthlessly cut throat at the expense of my own mental and physical health. I just won’t work that way. And, I don’t have to. I have defined myself more as a job creator in the world than I have a designer or manufacturer, because that has felt like the most important part of what I have done for the last 14 years. My self worth has been tied to creating opportunity for others. Eventually I will get back to that, but for now, I need to spend some time working on learning how to operate in a much more healthy way for me. I’ve cut my days down to 10ish hours. I’m aiming for 8.
To achieve this, I’ll be changing how I release products. As of right now, only bags I have made and ready to ship are available in the shop (save for a few that will be made upon order). Inventory levels are set, so once they sell out, you can’t buy more until the next month’s release. I can only make so many bags as one person, which means only a limited number will be available each month. I’ll be working in the background to rebuild an inventory but, it will take me many months to achieve that. So, bear with me as I re-start in this new way. I’m also focusing on a handful of other small brands whose products I use daily and want to support as much as possible. You’ll find those in our Things To Go With Bags section. Here’s what I’m currently using:
I’ve finally been able to re-stock my favorite ever skin care product (I use it twice a day…a bottle lasts me almost a year).
I live in a tiny tiny apartment and everything in there is visible so, I’ve been decorating with these bookends and these plant sticks. I love to make even the smallest details feel considered. Also, flowers in vases literally anytime!
I’ve been spending every weekend on the beach, using my bag blankets as a towel and as a beach blanket. The weather in the PNW is pretty much my ideal, warm during the day and cool at night so those bag blankets become actual blankets on the rooftop of my building as I watch the sunset and hang out with my daughter. They are so versatile.
hmmmm…other things you’ll find…oh! a limited number of Paperbacks and Utility Totes in DOLPHIN are part of this release! A bunch of phone clutches and some TOTE No.2’s!! Also, there are still some face masks available and since we’re in the 5th wave(??) of this ugly pandemic we all need to start wearing them in public again. So, just go poke around, see what I’ve got, snag what you want, be sure to get vaccinated and please be patient with me while I process these orders! Everything will take a bit longer as I am just one person now. For the first time ever. Wish me luck! And, thank you so much for the support!
Tons of love, happiness and optimism.
I’m going to ride my bike along the beach now.
p.s. Here are those instagram links!
(this one is hard)
(this one changes hard to magic)
(this one is the wildness of life)
(this one is about the importance of space)
(this one is me being lazy)
(and this one is about hiking mountains!) (with videos!)
p.p.s you’ll notice I have not had time to do any new photoshoots…that part of my creative brain is slowly coming back and I still need to meet all the beautiful people I’ll want to photograph here in Seattle! Soon enough that’ll happen :) Until then…same imagery 🤷🏽♀️…I can only do so much…it has taken me 6 weeks just to get the shop re-set up.
Now, go shop for bags!