2015. What a year. I can’t believe I am just now sharing this family session we did with Beth of Liz Anne Photography back in October! But I suppose the timing is fitting, as we are embarking on a new year, and these are the only (professional) family photos we managed to squeeze in. Beth emailed me asking if she could shoot us while she was in town for a few days, and it only took me 2 seconds of looking at her gallery before screaming, “YES!” She is so insanely talented.
I love this family of mine so much. This year has been a really good one, and a really hard one at the same time. It’s the year I really started my business – Rylee & Cru – and realized how incredibly hard it is to start and maintain a children’s clothing company. If you would have told me how many bumps we would run into throughout the process, I might have thought twice! But my love for what I do has trumped all the hardship and growing pains we’ve experienced this year, and the encouragement and support of the brand is what has kept me motivated to keep going, keep learning and keep getting better at what I do. From what I hear, year one is always the hardest….sometimes it takes even a few more before things get easier. I’ve had to really learn to let go of some of the control and trust other people to help. This has always been a challenge for me. I am the kind of person that likes to control every aspect of my business to ensure that it is done right, but growth only happens when you allow people to help you. 2016 holds so much potential for growth, and I am so excited to see where the brand takes us in the coming year.
Sam just celebrated year 2 of his shop, Loneflag, and I am so proud of him for what he has accomplished there and the community he has built around that space. It’s inspiring for me to watch the way he leads people, and motivates them to be the best version of themselves. This year he also launched a branding agency that is an extension of Loneflag, called Other Sons. He works with a team of great guys who specialize in branding, sales and marketing. It’s been amazing to see that flourish alongside Loneflag. AND last but not least, he is working on a second location called Moniker General that is a collaborative space in Liberty Station that will be full of amazing brands and services, set to open in the Spring of 2016. Clearly, the boy’s got his hands full, but I am thankful he is a man that makes time for his family. Being two driven people who own our own (four) businesses, obviously brings it’s own set of challenges to our relationship. Family time has to be intentional, otherwise our days can easily get swept away with working, phone calls, emails and trouble shooting. That balance is tough, to say the least, and is probably something we will always be working on if we want to continue to pursue our dreams in entrepreneurship. Sometimes I think Sam and I both are a little too understanding of each others busy schedules, that we don’t give each other the time we deserve, and need. This is one of our goals for next year, to make more time for US. To put away the phones and forget about our to-do lists and spend more real, quality time. Because at the end of the day, if everything failed, we would still have each other and our beautiful kids and a sovereign God….and really, what more do you need in this crazy life? But with that said, I sure am thankful to be able to pursue my creative passions while being a mamma and a wife. I am thankful for the nanny I found this year who love my kids so well (Casey, we love you). I am thankful for my mom who would bend over backwards to help in any way she can. It really does take a village. And my village is a dang amazing one. And my kids….well, they are my life. Rylee started preschool this year and it has been just the best thing. That girl is my heart. She is growing up before my eyes and I am just so proud who she is, and who she is becoming. Cru is my feisty little thing and definitely gives me a run for my money. He is ALL boy. But man, his soft side certainly makes up for it’s counterpart. Mama’s boy forever….hopefully ;)
Happy New Year friends. I hope this year brings a whole lot of happiness and joy to your lives! So much love from our fam to yours!