Oh hey! It has been awhile, huh? Ha. What a year 2015 was! Whoa. So many things happened and it truly felt like such a whirlwind. Oh, and you're probably wondering what that photo has anything to do with this. That's explained below so hold tight and we'll get there. First, let's recap 2015:
1. Jeremy and I moved to Greenville, South Carolina into a beautiful loft that was once a textile mill. We can now say we've lived in a loft and that's pretty cool.
2. We got engaged. February 11, 2015, which also happens to be Jeremy's birthday.
3. We started King of Pops GVL and rocked it out. I mean, we worked our butts off, but it was worth it to meet so many amazing people and have Greenville welcome us with open arms during our first year.
4. I did Indie Craft Parade. Not necessarily a huge success financially, but great to have participated in that craft show because it is a very well organized and beautifully designed show and the ladies behind it are fabulous. And now I have lots of pieces left over, which we'll talk about in a bit.
5. We got married! On October, 18, 2015, I married my handsome man and we've been continuing to learn from and about each other ever since. It's pretty dang fun, I will say!
6. We honeymooned to Mexico. Dream come true! A little rocky start (will fill you in about that on the honeymoon post) but an amazing experience nonetheless, and I dream about that place every single day. Ah, Tulum! Miss you!
7. We cruised to the Bahamas with the KoP crew and I laughed hysterically the entire time. Such a fun group of people!
8. We took a ski trip to the mountains of North Carolina with my family for our annual Christmas trip and we didn't ski because it was 60 degrees, or maybe warmer. I can't remember. Either way, it became a mountain trip instead, but we still had a great time with family.
9. Jeremy surprised me with a Jeep Grand Wagoneer (my dream car) on our wedding day and we've been cruising around in Blue Jay (his name) ever since. We love it!
10. And, I got my first studio, rocked out a bunch of textiles, sold zillions (okay, maybe not that many, but a lot) of popsicles, taught some yoga classes, planned our wedding and honeymoon, traveled internationally for the first time, figured out lots about myself and now have exciting new plans that I'm working on.
What. A. Year. Sometimes I still get a little dizzy thinking about everything that happened. So now, what is happening in 2016 you ask? Well, allow me to tell you.
2015 was certainly a year of us but 2016 is going to be a year of me. And no, I don't mean that in a selfish way at all. I'll explain.
I helped Jeremy build KoP GVL last year and we had lots of big moments together, but this year is going to be different. I've done a whole lot of thinking about what I want to do, my calling, and what I want to be known for. For a large portion of last year, I was kind of angry that I was giving so much of my time and energy to KoP because, to me, it felt like that was Jeremy's thing and I was just riding his coattails. I love the company and I enjoyed the work but deep down I couldn't shake that feeling. In the end, I've learned that it was necessary for me to help him. I was the best person for the job because I had worked for him before and I knew the ropes. I had the availability and we knew it made sense for me to help. It also taught me, even before we were married, that that's what this marriage thing is. It's us now and we work together to further each other's dreams. Upon that realization, I'm grateful for the opportunity we had to work together. It wasn't always easy, but I will say that we had a whole lot of fun and we make a pretty great team.
However, this year will be a little different because I will no longer be part of King of Pops. I should also mention that we moved out of our loft and into a house. It has been glorious. Jeremy and I loved the loft but having this home with a backyard for our pups feels much better and it's more our style.
Anyway, back to the work topic. Here's where I'm at. I'm currently enrolled in a six month program to become a licensed massage therapist. I'll finish in July and by my 26th birthday in August, I will be a full-time massage therapist. That's the first thing in the photo above, something you love that will make you money. This is something I've actually been thinking about doing for about a year now. Ever since I did my yoga teacher training, I've considered incorporating massage into what I do because I love furthering my knowledge of holistic health and I've realized through teaching yoga that therapeutic healing is one of my callings. Because I'm entrepreneurial at heart, I am already dreaming of the spa I want to one day own, and would love for it to be kind of like this, incorporating all of my loves together.
I truly believe in living your dreams and doing what you are called to do. But I also realize that living cost money and we all have to have money. I know that I can be a massage therapist and make a decent living. I've learned the hard way that doing textiles and yoga, at least in the capacity that I've been doing them so far, doesn't make me a decent living. I also know that I definitely need to stay healthy and I have to be creative. It just so happens that I've found those three things for myself. So, instead of just "getting a job", I'm going to do something I love and make money doing it. That's that.
Now, where am I with textiles and yoga?
Like I said, I have several pieces leftover from ICP, and I'm currently getting those listed on my website. Working on a collaborative photoshoot to get some great images of those pieces because my photos are okay, but a great photographer can make my work look way better than I can. In the beginning, I wanted this to be a business and honestly, I think that's where I went wrong. I started losing the desire to keep it going when the money wasn't coming in as quickly as I needed it to and I lost steam. Burning out is easy when you do that. I've picked it up again and again but never given it my all. Actually, I was going to close Alanah Textiles at the beginning of this year, but I could not bring myself to do it because I never truly gave it my all. So I'm still giving it a shot. But I do love that even if it doesn't ever make me a decent living, it is a creative outlet that I love so much. I have to be doing something creative to be fulfilled in my own way, and this is that for me.
I have added two classes to my schedule so I am now teaching Friday at 12:15, Saturday morning at 9, and Sunday afternoon at 4. I am still at Studio 17 in downtown. How's it going so far? Not as well as I'd like. I have grown my Friday class, but the weekend classes have a ways to go. As a newbie to this city, that has lots of other great yoga studios and free yoga opportunities now that the weather is nicer, it has been challenging to grow a client base. But I'm hopeful. I am reaching out to as many people as I can to get people in class to enjoy the blissful practice that I provide. Man, it's so hard, though. This small biz thing is a real butt kicker and you have to push and push and coach yourself sometimes just to keep going. Did that here. I have some great ideas for Alanah Yoga, offering online classes and retreats, so that's something that I look forward to implementing as early as this year.
Anyway, I've learned through all of this that I know I have something valuable to give. I know my classes will make you feel better, tone your body and help you calm that busy mind of yours. I know I make beautiful things that look lovely in any home. I know I have a therapeutic touch and a serene energy. And I know that these things are my calling and I'm meant to do them. Even in the phases where it doesn't make sense and I'm scraping pennies to get by and selling everything I possibly can to make some extra cash. It ain't easy, but it's worth it. I mean that now and I'll mean it when my business has grown even larger because it will. If you want to vent about your own #smallbizstruggles, email me (firstname.lastname@example.org). I'm listening and I'm ready to offer words of encouragement.
So that's where I am and I am excited for what all this year holds for me, and for us. It has been great so far and there is so much to come.
Much love, friends! Thanks for reading this loooong post.