Why I Love What I Do

While some of you might have heard my start-up story and watched as my husband, Jake, and I have worked to grow our business, I’ve never shared with anyone the “why” behind the Weather Worn Feather.  So here it goes…

A number of years ago, I decided to start a business.  Not for the money or because I loved any specific product, but because I wanted to find a creative outlet that benefited our little family of three while giving me an opportunity to unwind after a long day being a Mommy.  Of course my husband reminded me that finding something that made money wouldn’t hurt either :)

My first business was Jamberry I think.  It’s hard to keep track because honestly, I’ve sorted through a lot of “hobbies” to get to where I’m at.  Jamberry’s just weren’t my thing so I dabbled in essential oils for a while. Than I tried childcare, adding another toddler to the mix.  I don’t have to tell you, that was exhausting.  But no matter what I tried, nothing seemed to be the “right” hobby.

I mean, if you’re a mom than you understand it’s not easy finding something that fits these three key rules.  

  1. You can do it while wrangling a toddler or two (Real-Talk: changing the worst poopy diaper you’ve ever seen or smelt while getting the other munchkin’s hands out of the toilet).
  2. Won’t cost so much money that your spouse confiscates your debit card and credit card or starts selling off your purses to pay the Target bill.
  3. It’s something you are good at or could become good at quickly (because face it, going back to school is expensive and time consuming and can rarely be done with kiddos and a husband working full time).

That’s not an easy list!  So I dug deeper…

I started dabbling with arts and crafts again.  I refinished a piano with my husband, Jake, and sold it to a local couple.  I designed my daughter’s nursery and our living room decor (three or four times).  And probably right when I started heading in the right direction, towards the dream that would eventually become a reality…

…I got pregnant and had our son.

And then we left the military and moved home.

And then we bought a house.

And then…

And then…

You get the picture.  Life took over.  I kind of lost all that momentum I had started building up and almost two years later I was right back at the beginning, asking the same questions.

“What am I good at?”

“What are my passions?”

“Who am I?”

When you get down to it, that last question, those three simple words “Who am I?” have been the driving force behind it all

When you’re a mother, even to two of the sweetest kids God ever created, it’s easy to lose yourself and feel as if you’ll never find the answers to those questions.  Or to others, like…

“Is there more to life than being Mommy?”

“How do I not feel guilty having time for myself?”

“Where do I find friends that will understand how I’m feeling?”

So fast forward several months later (long, hard months wrestling with these questions and feeling lost), to the moment that I found a glimmer of hope, the moment a God-given talent was rediscovered.

I had picked up some chalk-boards from Target’s $3 bin (you wouldn’t be able to say no either if you had been working there seasonally like I was at the time) and started drawing.  I filled up several pages of a notebook with designs and started using chalk as my primary medium.  I would draw for hours, switching back and forth between chalk, colored pencils and markers.  

When I got more confident, I started making bigger items.  Everything I made originally was for family Christmas gifts.  In fact, Christmas day arrived and every member of our family got something made from chalkboards, wood, or something similar.  We even made some amazing wooden picture frames from pallets.  What’s more, people adored them (or at least they said they did…family members don’t lie just to be nice right?).

And the rest was history.

The Weather Worn Feather was born just a few short months later.  Jake started making larger wooden signs and my best friend Megan (check her shop out…Once Upon A Twincess) began telling me about her Etsy shop and I knew our items were the perfect fit.  I decided to quit my job at Target and devote as much time as possible to this newly discovered passion.

The truth is, it has been a hard journey.  My paintings have become a labor of love, an escape from the stress of motherhood, and a boost to my self-confidence.  I’ve learned a lot, made extra money for the family, and most importantly, I’ve rediscovered myself along the way.  I’ve failed from time to time but have succeeded in ways I never thought possible.  It started with a search to find “me”.  Little did I know that it would become so much more.  

My reasons for running the Weather Worn Feather keep growing and changing, ebbing and flowing with each customer I talk to, every old board given a new purpose, and each layer of paint.  But through it all, the Weather Worn Feather “why” comes down to these core reasons:

  • I want to inspire others to live out their dreams, to find yourself in a real and meaningful way
  • I want to remind myself and others that experiencing failure is necessary to finding success
  • I want to show my kiddos that hard work and perseverance have bigger payoffs than binge watching Netflix or spending hours on Facebook (although Jake and I have been known to dabble in both from time to time…we aren’t perfect ;)

To sum it all up…

I want to inspire others through my lasting legacy.

So there it is…my “why” and the story behind the Weather Worn Feather.  I hope you can see a little more clearly now why it is I love what I do.  And I hope you will join me on this crazy journey as I continue to grow this business, all the while learning to balance the life of a wife, mommy, entrepreneur, and a fit and healthy woman!