Fourteen years ago my (then boyfriend) now husband had this crazy idea to sell everything we owned and move to an island. And I'm so thankful he did. But when we arrived on Maui my corporate ladder climbing self couldn't find a job to save my life. Nobody told me that moving to Maui on a whim was pretty common, and having to move back home after the romance subsided was even more common. Because of this most of the job opportunities I was interested in were not interested in me. So I ended up at a little open air shop on Front Street learning to make and sell jewelry and thinking to myself, "this is not my future." Oh but it was. I quickly fell in love with it and started spending all my commission at the local bead shop. Eventually I snagged a PR job with a clothing designer who I loved working for but still couldn't see the growth in it. Until all her clients started buying my designs right off my neck. I was shocked when she asked me to stock her shop with my jewelry designs. So I became PR by day and jewelry maker by night and soon enough, my jewelry invoices to her were more appealing than my regular paychecks. When I realized I finally had what I wanted, I quit my job and a few weeks later in the Spring of 2008 (yep) I signed my first retail lease.
Looking back, that was insane and probably not the business advice I would dish out to somebody now. But I have met so many amazing and loyal clients along the way and cannot believe how blessed I have been. Don't get me wrong - I work crazy hard for this, as anybody with a dream does. But it's because of those early and still loyal clients, and all the new supportive clients, that I was able to keep going. When 2020 happened, I thought for sure the dream was over. But it most definitely wasn't. Not even close.