the road to renegade - LA part I

HOW LA HAPPENED

It's true, Jon and I went out of town without a precious Zoë for an entire week for the first time in almost two years of parenthood. And it was....

pure magic.

Okay, totally a line from Sleepless in Seattle (aka my fave chick-flick ever), but it really was a wonderful week. The vacation was a perfect balance of missing our fave little person in the world while getting to spend a week together with our other favorite person in the world.

The idea was planted in my head in early March. I had just booked my tickets to New York for NSS and true to my character and love of travel, I schemed how Jon and I could possibly get away to enjoy some time together while also trying to figure out how I could work to pay for the trip and plan for my parents and possibly friends to help watch Zoe. Selling at Renegade Craft in Los Angeles was the answer to my wanderlust-filled dreams, but when you apply for a legitimately awesome craft fair that is selectively hosted in only the coolest cities in the US (think NY, Chicago, SF not to mention London...obviously not in the great US of A) you know that it's completely possible that you won't get accepted. But if there's anything I've learned from my last year of juggling the joys of motherhood and my love for designing, it's that I'll never know unless I try (or apply in this matter). So....I applied. And in May I was accepted!

 Danni knows how to make a house a home. Everyday I'd discover something new and lovely.

Danni knows how to make a house a home. Everyday I'd discover something new and lovely.

MAKE A PLAN STAN + HAVING FRIENDS/FAM HELPS

We planned. We budgeted. We redeemed miles. And even though planning a trip is no small expense, it certainly didn't hurt that I was working as well! But what really made the trip financially feasible was a combination of planning, budgeting and receiving the help of my brother and sister-in-law (who kindly lended us a car so we didn't have to rent one) and a LOT of help from Danni and Nick who were beyond generous to us with their home and craft belongings . I was even allowed the opportunity to teach a lettering workshop at her gorgeous gift boutique, Oh Hello Friend (OHF). If you live in Orange County, go NOW! Support small businesses and trust me, once you walk in OHF, you won't need my coaxing to convince you to buy something. Everything is so well curated and lovely!!!!  

 Students getting their lettering on | Fun showcase of paper goodies to encourage sign-ups

Students getting their lettering on | Fun showcase of paper goodies to encourage sign-ups

WORKSHOP

It was the bomb. I'm serious. It was so much fun and I'm so thankful for the group of women who signed up for the class. They were fun and energetic and excited to learn and having a class like that makes teaching such a joy. The two hours flew by and I appreciate Danni and Desiree for all their help and support which basically made the class a reality! Hoping to get another Dallas (and one day Houston?) workshop together soon, stay tuned.

 Our little home for two days | Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles

Our little home for two days | Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles

RENEGADE CRAFT FAIR

Jon and I woke up early and got out the door by 7am. Picked up coffee and breakfast and were geared to set up by 8. It was incredible. We're not necessarily the most timely people, but thanks to Jon, we had three hours (all completely necessary) to set up our tent, table, and products and a spot for us to check out customer transactions and take pictures of what inventory sold. Getting to interact directly with customers is such a joy and a really fulfilling experience for me.  Of course I love the time I get behind the computer, but it makes my work 100 times more rewarding getting to connect and chat with people whether or not they make a purchase! On that note, here are some notable customer purchases:

  1. One customer came and looked through our entire inventory for about 10-15 minutes. Afterwards, she chose the card “You Get Me” and said “This is the card I’ll be giving my fiance the day of our wedding.” Her final decision to purchase this card, made her thoroughness all the more worthwhile. She had seen everything and this card was exactly what she wanted for her future husband!

  2. Another customer purchased a set of cards including our “Sending You a Bear Hug.” When purchasing the card, she mentioned that her friend had just lost her mother and the card was the perfect sentiment to mail to her during this time.

I love what I do and getting to serve people in this very, very small where something I create will have the opportunity to uplift or encourage or love on someone else is a tremendous gift. Thank you Lord for the chance to make small paper goodies that can possibly love on others! So grateful for this job. 

We were also fortunate to have the COOLEST booth-mates and shop owners next to us including Lesley, a New Orleans jewelry maker who was such a kind soul to share a booth with, the lovely Motoko Smith (who is the most impressive woodworker!) and the radest husband and wife couple of t-shirt company No & Yo.  Motoko definitely endured the extreme of my crazy loud extroverted personality, thanks Moto! Also, you were kids were so wonderful! 

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AND THEN THERE’S JON

I could literally write a book on how wonderful my husband is. But instead I’ll say this first, Jon is far from perfect and our marriage is even further from that. But at the end of the day, we are grateful for each other and grateful to do life next to eachother. I hesitate to brag on him too much because I know FIRST HAND how hard it is to read that someone else’s marriage or life seems so wonderful when you’re having a crappy day or you’ve been in a rough season in your marriage or life. I want to mention Jon’s support and unconditional love because I want to express my gratitude for him, but I never want to discourage you or deceive you into thinking life is smooth sailing for us (are you kidding me? please.). So there it is. That’s the most round-about way I can express that my husband rocks and if you’re a place where you’re hurting, know that I understand that place too. All too well. Sorry for any awkwardness. Also, if you get awkward easily….I’d suggest you don’t read this blog! Ha! #awkward4life

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ON PREGNANCY

Yes, I went to LA 6 months pregnant. Yes, I worked two long days and a taught a workshop. What I can say? I’m just thankful I don’t have difficult pregnancies, and fortunately nothing scary happened while we were out of town! Zoe was in the loving care of my parents and I tried not to overdo it on vacay (except in the area of food). We took a good number of naps on the trip, so if that doesn’t paint a good vacation, I don’t know what does.

Expect another blog post or two about my LA must-eat list and spending time with our fave Angelinos. Until next time! Thanks so much for reading, all of 5 you (Hi Amy!!!!).

It goes without saying, but just so we're on the same page Jon and I missed this cupcake quite a bit! How could we not? She's the BEST!