Have you ever had so much to tell someone that you don't even really know where to begin?
When so much has happened that you can't even figure out when the beginning was?
About a year ago, the company that John works for here in Southwest Michigan acquired a company in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was offered a position on the transition team, which he accepted, and has since been traveling back and forth to Charlotte every other week. A few months later, his proverbial hat was thrown in the ring for a position in Charlotte.
Because we are both analytical people, we made list after list of pros and cons. The first list looked something like this: Pros- No more traveling and a great position. Cons- Moving away from our community, our friends, our family. Having to sell our house (which we adore). Giving up the job that I was happy and comfortable with and looking for new work. Starting from scratch in a city where we don't know anybody. Moving to a warmer climate (We both like snow. Go figure.), and so on.
Shortly after the offer was brought up, I found out that I was pregnant. Given our pros and cons list and the fact that we were now expecting, we decided to forget about the whole thing and keep on living life they way it was. We were perfectly content.
Then everything changed. I got into a terrible car accident. Two weeks later, I miscarried and lost our first child. We were devastated. (Still are.) I quit blogging, only to come back to it after a couple of months when I realized that I missed it. Some time passed and our spirits improved. Then right around my birthday, when we thought everything was getting back on track, I came home to find John waiting for me with a somber face and a glass of wine. Weird. Something was off and I knew it.
He asked me to sit down and I did. Then he began to tell me that one of the closest women in my life was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was in shock. I sat on the couch, frozen, for twenty minutes. What does this mean? Would she be okay? Was she going to lose her breasts? Was she going to live? What stage was it? Why was everything falling apart for us and everyone around us??
It turned out that the cancer was found early. She had a lumpectomy and is now on the road to recovery, thank God. But those few months of loss and heartbreak did something to John and I. We grew closer and stronger. But we also began questioning why we were so afraid of taking the North Carolina offer. If life could be snatched from us at any given time, why weren't we living it to the fullest and experiencing everything that it had to offer?
And so we began to re-write our pros and cons list, each time adding on more possibilities under pros. We began dreaming of how fun it would be to spread our wings and live somewhere different, make new friends, and open our life to other possibilities and opportunities.
Then one night after a long dinner, I hesitantly asked John what he thought about me following through with the big dream of mine that I had always kept on the back burner-- the dream of opening my own affordable online accessory boutique. The dream that I had first brought up years earlier, but kept on the back burner because there was no way that I could realistically open a business while holding onto my daytime job. And you know what he said? He said "Yes, do it. Absolutely. This makes perfect sense."
The next morning, we decided to go forward with the North Carolina offer, and I began to work toward making my dream into a reality. I used every spare second that I wasn't at work to research, study, and wrap my head around what it would take to open a small business. At nights I would stay up until 3 a.m. figuring out how to code the website and then get up at 6 a.m. to go to work. I was exhausted, but so incredibly motivated and excited that I could barely sleep.
To be honest, I don't think I fully realized how much work it would take to get the boutique off the ground. There were licenses to register for, legal papers to decipher, products to shop for and price, a business model to build, and a website to design. Then there was the marketing plan and figuring out the name and social media structure, website photos to shoot, and so much more.
All of that brings us to today, dear friends. John and I are set to move to Charlotte, North Carolina, and I could not be more proud to introduce you to my dream, actualized: Hello Gorgeous Boutique.
I hope that you feel the love and excitement that went into creating the boutique. I truly hope that you fall in love with every piece, and that each time you wear a necklace, bracelet, earrings, or other accessory from the boutique, you feel even more gorgeous and confident than you already are.
A week or so ago, I tearfully left my epidemiology job and sweet co-workers to focus on launching the boutique and selling our home in Michigan. John will continue to travel until the new year when we officially relocate to Charlotte. Once we move, I will be running the boutique full time from a co-working office (so don't worry, I will still be posting office-friendly looks on the blog!), blogging, and taking on epidemiology and data analysis work as a consultant.
To say that this is a huge change for us is an understatement. But you guys, I am so proud of us. We are taking life by the horns, letting go of our fears, and fulfilling our dreams. Because if not now, when?
I can't finish this post without giving a million thanks to John, our wonderfully supportive friends and family, and of course each one of you. Because without you, none of this would be possible.
You can shop Hello Gorgeous Boutique HERE //
If you are interested in hearing more about the boutique and some personal style pointers, check out the interview I just did with Tesi and Leslie from Mama Bear Dares-- where we talk fall fashion, how to wear ankle boots, and figuring out how to pull off that look that you've been wanting to try.
You can listen to the podcast directly HERE
or by subscribing to the Mama Bear Dares podcast on iTunes
They are seriously amazing and their podcasts will change your day (if not your life)!