For the longest time I was afraid to even design. I was afraid my ideas would be "dumb" or "suck". When I finally dove in, I did so very cautiously basically doing "safe" things like monogramming. It wasn't me though.I wanted more. I needed more. So last Christmas, I got brave enough to roll out some of my designs. Things I've had written in notebooks, saved in notes, and in my head for years along with a million other "gotta do someday" ideas. Once I started designing, I couldn't stop and many are still our best sellers today.
This summer my husband got laid off from his job and I began looking at options for expansion, pushing every ounce of negativity away from my brain that was screaming "No one else is going to want those!". Well, Southern Mess did it anyway and with a small launch as I type this, our little shirt line is now in over 30 boutiques nationwide and counting! But that's not what this blog is about.
This past week we did our first photo shoot. It was important to me that we didn't use professional models. I wanted real woman, with real flaws. Mothers, Wives, Community Members. I wanted real life. Chaos. Insecurities. And I was scared to do that too. Scared that when I asked, no one would want to model. Scared that our photos wouldn't be good enough. Scared there would be no photographer even willing to take them. Scared I would forget something in the planning process. Always scared. But not anymore.
Because what I got in exchange was more than I could ever ask for. I got encouragement, excitement, and support. A tribe of people both near and far who didn't care whether I failed or succeeded. Who were just there for me. Period. A husband who mowed the whole ranch the day before our shoot, let me use his rusty Jeep in a pasture full of cattle and manure after washing it, and who refused ever so politely when I asked him to model our Papa Bear shirt. 3 little girls who followed our photo shoot around in awe. Who gladly help me tag clothes in exchange for bath bombs, and who give up so much of their Mommy time so I can grow this little shop. Not one, but 4 photographers who were so excited at the opportunity to shoot for our boutique and to the one we chose. Who was patient, fun, and of course, AMAZING. A mentor who is sincere and keeps my goals on track when my mind begins to wander with all the to do's. These Women pictured, who didn't hesitate when I asked if they would model, and the rest who weren't able to make the photo shoot but were just as eager to be backups. Our family and friends, who love us even with our crazy busy schedules and missed events.
And to those, who I hope read this and it's the push they need to go for their dreams, stop fearing failure, and jump in anyway!
Real Woman. Real Fashion. Real Life.
That's who Southern Mess is. That's who we all are.