I wanted to share something with all of you today that is a little more personal. I am writing to anyone out there that has a dream…a dream of doing something more than you are right now, something that you want to share with the world. You may have a dream that seems overwhelming and not doable with a husband, a full time job and kids. I am here to tell you, your dream can come true if you have the courage to pursue it and overcome your own personal challenges.
Let me tell you my story.
I have always loved being creative. When I was a little girl, I loved to paint, draw, and color, but as a child I never thought of myself as “creative.” My uncle bought me a paint set, brushes and canvases for a birthday present once. Looking back now, I realize he must have seen my creative spirit inside. But sadly, growing up I never thought I possessed a creative gift; I just knew I enjoyed being creative. My journey though childhood lead me to become an elementary school teacher.
Reflecting back on my childhood into adulthood, I realize now that growing up with anxieties resulted in my gifts being pushed aside. I never gave these gifts an opportunity to flourish.
Marrying my husband and having two children gave me the courage to experiment with creative expression. I found such joy in envisioning and designing my own wedding, my children’s birthday parties, and family events. And my family always pointed out my close attention to detail that made my parties so extra special. I guess I was being unconsciously creative!
However, it wasn’t until the Spring of 2015 when a friend asked for help that I truly recognized it for myself. My friend asked for help in preparing for her daughter’s First Holy Communion party, I told her I would love to help, especially because I always loved throwing parties for my own kids! She agreed and welcomed my assistance. The party was a great success and she posted this party on Facebook. The response was overwhelming and encouraging. I thought, “Hey, a party business could work!” I started an Etsy shop and a few months later a blog. I continued helping others in town with their parties, but, sadly, living where I do, a party business could never make a full-time income.
To make a long story short, I am so happy for that Communion Party and my friend that encouraged me. It sparked something inside of me and I was able to overcome my fear. For that, I am eternally grateful. Although my mission has changed from helping others with their parties, my WHY has stayed the same. I am here to create, inspire and, most importantly, to teach others to create. This is what makes me happy. When I see a reader from my blog use my free printables to create a special moment or memory for their family, it makes my heart happy. Engaging with others and helping moms connect with their family in creative ways also makes me happy. My blog has allowed me to do this. I love it so much. And guess what…. you can actually make a living blogging. Yes, it is a slow process, but I am enjoying every minute of this blogging journey!
Now I am here to encourage you. God has given us all gifts. It may take us a while to find or perhaps we need the encouragement to overcome our fears. But just know, it is inside of you. Take the leap and be fearless and bless others with your gifts. That is why they are given to us: to share with others. Fear has always held me back, and let’s be honest, at times it may still make me doubt myself.
Perhaps my greatest example of facing my fears occurred last September. I attended Inspired Retreat for Creatives and it was the best decision I ever made.
The Inspired Retreat is a conference like no other. It is a 4-day intimate experience for Creatives where you meet other creatives just like you and learn from some of the best in the business.
I had always dreamed of going to Inspired Retreat in Tennessee. I packed up, flew to Tennessee and faced my fear of stepping outside my comfort zone. Yes, I was intimidated that first moment I stepped onto the property. Yes, I thought to myself “Did I make a mistake? Should I turn around? Do I belong here?” I was still in the stage of figuring this business thing out. There were some women attending that owned 1-3 successful businesses at once. I was just a school teacher trying to make it with a little Etsy shop and a small blog.
All I knew was, I am here, I am going to learn and I am going to work my butt off until I make it!
Inspired Retreat was a dream come true. Amber has created a place for women of any stage in their business to grow and learn. I felt accepted by everyone, from attendees to speakers. They are all there rooting for your success. From the learning sessions to dinner, they were there to help and guide you. You will grow as a business and as a person. I still can’t believe I took the leap and did it!
Yes, it was an investment, but honestly the best investment I could have ever done for myself and my business. I encourage you to make the investment to meet other women that love their business and want to make it just like you do! Learn from woman who have been in your shoes and want to teach you the next steps to take! Are you like me and follow the Inspired Instagram feed? Do you love to see all the fun and learning they are doing, let me tell you, it’s real!
Please consider attending Inspired Retreat; it will strengthen you as a mom, a wife and a female entrepreneur. You will grow in so many ways, and I promise you won’t regret it! I can not wait to go back someday to keep learning and connecting. I have so many more dreams and goals for my creative business and I can’t wait to continue on this journey. If you have any questions please feel free to email me! Thanks for letting me share with you today!
Photos by: Kristyn Hogan