The Startup

I feel like winter and spring have been in an arm-wrestling match and I am rooting for spring! I am so tired of the having to traverse the frozen snow in the driveway and seeing the sun only to go outside and feel that biting, cold wind hit my face. I know, I am being a whiner at the moment, it is the mood I am in. I don’t think it is the winter blues, it is the winter “irks”. Upside, this time of year always reminds me of the early spring of 2013 when I decided to get into the furniture painting/upholstery business. I had already been upholstering for about 6 months and knew it was what I supposed to be doing.


It was still frosty in the mornings, but I didn’t care, I needed to get out into the yard and get going on these projects that have been collecting in my head. The weather did not allow for much painting, but I could sand and tear down furniture to my heart’s content. The kids were all in elementary school still, and Colin was working in North Dakota at the time, so I had the days to myself. Ethan was doing well; we hadn’t had any major surgeries in a few years and the next one was still a year off but there were still lots of appointments which made holding down a “real” job impossible. I already had my business name registered and had been sewing cute little bags, aprons and other odds and ends but furniture was where my heart was. That brings me back to tearing down and sanding. (Sorry, tangents happen…) I had been collecting pieces to work on and had only a glimmer of an idea of what I was doing but that is all I needed.


Sometimes I look through my photos from when we lived in Star and my backyard had tables all over the place and furniture in random spots with me floating in between it all. I took on whatever pieces I could get for free or extraordinarily little and began to hone my craft. Upholstery has always come naturally to me, who knew, and I was determined to upholster everything I could get my hands on. I took on wooden folding chairs, metal chairs, library chairs, and even this one really ugly metal chair that had a rope-type of material woven onto the frame. That thing was so stinky, but I was going to make it beautiful! My daughter brought that up the other day, how she remembered the stinky chair, it made me laugh.


How many times do you look at what is going on at the moment and criticize yourself? I do it ALL. THE. TIME. I am in a season of growth with my business, which is fantastic, but it is not easy. I feel like I am forever letting someone down, missing a deadline, or not showing up enough for my family. And then I look at pictures of what was and remember the joy that I felt during those hard times and can see clearly how far I have come. It is important to remember the startup…she said to herself… as she looks at the pile of Monday work that needs doing. I get up every day and put in a solid effort and I am beginning to understand that that is all I can do. I have heard that said to me for years and even have a sign, a gift from a maker friend, that says it, but I am just now starting to put the pieces together. Just writing this is making me see how far I’ve come and how blessed I am to have had the opportunities I’ve had.


There will always be something that does not work right, someone I will let down, but I never approach my day with that kind of intentionality. No, that is not who I am or how I work. I will continue to set lofty goals and work towards them with my only focus being on what is in front of me at the moment. I will always love on whoever walks through my door and give out encouragement like candy. Are you doing what you can with what you’ve got? I bet so, and, if you are an over-thinker like me, you are probably not giving yourself any encouragement so I will! You are amazing and worthy of all good things! The progress you have made worth acknowledging…so do that. Happy Monday, folks. Know you are loved.

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