As I approach the end of nine months in business and head into my fourth quarter, I am amazed at the journey thus far. Now standing here in the intersection of past and future, I ask myself what has my business been about? What am I trying to achieve? What do I hope to accomplish?
It all began in January 2015, when I first pitched my idea of creating a pet stationery line to my husband, I had no idea where that would take me. Well, I still have not created that stationery collection I set out to do. Instead, I painted many pet portraits for amazing new clients, and I never imagined the joy it would bring me! I penned wedding envelopes, designed wedding crests, invitations, painted baby and bridal portraits among other things. It has been quite the exciting, unpredictable and incredibly blessed adventure.
My first illustrations in January and February
Looking back, sometimes I question if I got lost along the way. I started out with pet stationery, and now I'm doing weddings. I can't help at times compare myself to my peers in the industry and think, they really know what they are doing! They have such a distinctive style, a theme, a real identity. But when I look closer at my own path, there was one consistent (and amazingly blessed) thread. Relationships.
Relationships make this all possible, and all the worthwhile. Loving relationships got me through moments of panic. Encouraging relationships pushed me to keep going. Forgiving relationships gave me opportunities for redos and extended deadlines. Trusting relationships referred me new clients. Generous relationships welcomed me into their network, and inspiring relationships challenged me to go beyond my limits, to be more and go bigger.
Until now, I was not actively aware of that driving force behind it all. As I step forward from the past and into the future, I want to make relationships the foundation of my business, my compass and guiding principles - In how I serve my clients and in all decisions I make. It will serve as the underpinning message to my art, encouraging us all to pass it on. After months of searching for my identity, I'm grateful I found it in my mission statement below:
Encouraging one another to live relationally through love and generosity in order to positively change the world.
Thank you all for making it all possible. I hope you keep me accountable in my mission as I continue to joyfully serve you all.
With sincere gratitude,