My Commitment to #ShopSmall This Year
This has been a year of firsts, a year of scary challenges and great successes, a year of pushing myself beyond where I thought I could go, but most of all, it's been a year of developing incredible friendships. I owe my sanity to a group of women who have helped me in infinite ways, and this holiday season, I choose to support them by only shopping small this year.
There are so many wonderful small boutiques that would deeply appreciate your business. When you shop small, your impact is truly life-giving. Here are just a few of the incredible women that I am honored to call friends who are doing amazing things. Show them some love this holiday season by snagging that perfect gift for your someone special!
Alexia curates this store beautifully. It's the perfect mix of clothing, home goods, and gifts. I've been eyeing this Little Feral necklace for a while, and it's definitely on my list this year! If you're in Austin, go grab a coffee from Brew & Brew next door, and then come over to shop. You can even see the incredible vintage selection from Pieceology Vintage.
I met Chelsea earlier this year when I started coming to her #atxcoworkingladies nights, and it was from those evenings where I met so many other incredible women. She is a powerhouse photographer, the most genuine soul, and one of the best connectors I have ever met. If you are ever in need of new head shots, family portraits, anything - please call Chelsea. She will make you look like a rockstar! I mean, seriously, how cute is she?!
Becky is one seriously inspiring human, and she has created her own empire that started with doodles, flowcharts, and other pieces of cheerful art. From notebooks, prints, and graphic tees, she has something for even the hardest person to buy for in your family!
I look up to Chelsea so much. She has an unbelievable eye for design, and has developed branding for some of my favorite businesses. This past year she also launched Hands On, which provides beautiful branding suites for businesses at a lower cost than it takes to work with a designer one-on-one. If you're in need of new business cards or social media artwork, you must check them out! And whenever you need a branding refresh - call Chelsea!
Of all the friends I've made this year, I can't help but keep a really special place for Liz. We met through Instagram, which I used to think was a crazy notion, but that little app brought me my #bizbestie. We've worked together on a mutual client project, and she designed everything for Own Your Why. I was lucky enough to be a part of her beta test for her Launch Prep Partnership service, and because of that she lit the fire in me to take this inkling of an idea and turn it into action. She was with me every step of the way thinking through the structure and essence of this new offering for my business, and I am forever indebted to her. If you are thinking of launching a new service for your business, or are ready for a brand overhaul, you have to work with Liz!
You know that store that you walk in and love absolutely everything, and it takes some real self discipline to not spend all of your money there in one fell swoop? That is Love Ding for me! Everything Denise touches is gold, and she does an exquisite job of finding beautifully designed pieces that blend so well with unique vintage items. If my entire house could be full of Love Ding goodies, I'd be on Cloud 9. And - Denise is starting a home staging service, too. So if you're about to put your house on the market and want to spruce it up to ensure it sells quickly, she's your lady!
Melody is one of those people that I feel so incredibly blessed to have in my life. She is empathetic, talented, gracious, humble, encouraging, and passionate. She spends her days serving others and saving lives as an RN, and in her down time, sources vintage tableware to:
1. Resale at a couple of stores in Austin (and soon on her site!), and
2. Use in her unbelievable dessert table designs.
If you have an upcoming event that you want to really celebrate well, have Melody come work her magic!
If you want to meet someone who lives and breathes and loves what she does - meet Mindy. She is the most talented pastry chef I have ever known, and her generosity, huge heart, and contagious laughter is felt with each and every order. If you're needing something for your holiday gatherings (or a great gift for the really hard-to-buy-for dad of yours), chat with Mindy about a custom order. My dad is easily the hardest person on the planet to buy something for, but this year for Father's Day, I knocked it out of the park when I showed up with a dozen of her cookies decorated like Coors Light cans! :)
I met Jen over the summer, and am still so grateful that our paths crossed. She is a Jill of all trades, always discovering how to create new things that are thoughtfully designed, functional, and sentimental. I have been eyeing her Umber line since it was released, and have been laying some pretty thick hints to the hubs about finally snagging one of her mantra cuffs this year! She recently opened a brick & mortar space within Byron & Blue, so when you're in there seeing everything else, check out her jewelry line, as well as other curated, handmade goods.
It's no exaggeration - I wouldn't be here without Candice. She has encouraged, supported, and believed in me from before the beginning, and I owe it to her for planting a small seed that I could strike out on my own before it had even entered my conscious thought. She continues to amaze me with her work ethic and business prowess. Through OH! Fox, Candice designs tabletop and loungewear and works with makers in South Mexico to produce some of the most luxurious napkins, blankets, and robes you've ever seen. Her latest line includes this Modern Jacket and Tunic that I can't wait to add to my closet.
Catelyn and I were destined to be pals. A mutual friend tried to connect us earlier this year, but we couldn't find a time then to get together. More recently, we organically became friends over goal-setting, books, and yoga! She owns The Distillery Market with her brother where they source stunning vintage finds. She's decided to focus more on jewelry these days, and I am all on board! Check out her store for some truly one-of-a-kind pieces that will be in your home or closet for decades.
All of these ladies had a profound impact on my year, but if I had to pick one place that has influenced and inspired me most - it is hands down The Paper + Craft Pantry. Pei has an unwavering vision for how to be a compassionate business owner and community member, and that vision led her to opening her doors to freelancers and small business owners every Friday afternoon for coworking. I have met so many wonderful women on these Friday afternoons, and it has become the highlight of my week. Gaining Pei as a friend has been the most incredible by-product of spending my Fridays here. If you're in Austin, please join us next time! And if not, she'll be launching her online store soon, so stay tuned!
Allie may be the closest I'll ever get to meeting a Gilmore Girl in real life - those blue eyes are for real, y'all! She loves her clients hard, has become a phenomenal friend, and is a social media wizard. She is witty, thoughtful, and thorough, and every small business owner could use an Allie on their side. If you're thinking about growing in 2017 and want to delegate your social or content marketing to someone who truly cares and is exceptionally knowledgeable, then look no further!
Who has made an incredible impact on you this year? In the spirit of reflection and gratitude, I would love to hear your stories of who has left their mark on 2016.