The very first one.
Do you ever look back on moments in your life and remember the very first time you did something? Sometimes we get so caught up in life, and things, and people, that we forget to look back and see how far we have come. Yesterday, I remembered the very first box that I made when I started J. Isabel Designs. I have been gifting all of my life, but there was one gift in particular that caught the eye of a friend and became that "something more" that led to the creation of my small business. One morning in early 2016, I was getting ready to attend the bridal shower of a friend. First step on the to do list? A spray tan. My friend Janelle was coming over that morning to get me all bronzed and glowy. Hello bronzed goddess!
For days prior, I had been working on my gift, carefully inquiring with the bride about her favorite wine so I could cover the bottle in glitter and include it as the main focus of the basket. In addition to the glitter bottle, I found a super fun giant acrylic diamond, the very first pinch kit for brides that I ever bought, ( started my pinch kit obsession right there!) and added an adorable wine glass with a matching glittered bottom. I was so proud of that gift and was so excited to see the what the bride would think about my thoughtful creation!
Back to the spray tan! That morning, Janelle came over to setup her spray tan tent. (She totally comes to you which is awesome!) I had my sweet gift on the table in the living room, ready to go for the big day. Janelle saw the gift and absolutely loved it! I was hoping for an amazing reaction from the bride, but never did I expect someone else to get so excited! Right then, Janelle asked me if making these baskets (or boxes) was something that I would ever be interested in doing. She told me that so many people would be interested in gifts like that, which were personal and unique and made with love. I thought she was nuts! I didn't think that my little gift could ever be something so amazing, and that people would actually buy it! Obviously had no idea about the #smallbusiness community yet either. I took her compliments, got my spray tan, and said thank you for the kind words.
The day of the bridal shower, I carefully loaded my gift into the car and was on my way to celebrate the bride's special day. I set my gift down on the table among other wrapped boxes and kitchen appliances, and for a quick second wondered if I made the right choice. Should I have just bought something more useful like kitchen knives or a set of tea cups? Absolutely not! The bride loved the gift! I could not have been more excited with her reaction and in that moment, when she saw her favorite wine covered in glitter that was now all over everyone's hands and every surface in the room, I remembered why I made this gift, and why I had made so many others before that. It's all about people. It's all about the reaction, spreading the love, and making someone's day. Everyone else at the celebration was excited about my unique gift also, and it really made me think that I could actually turn this into something much bigger than I ever expected.
The next day, I sat down and brainstormed ideas. I had just graduated college with my Master's degree, and I did not have a job yet because I was so focused on school. How could I make my Information Technology degrees useful in this venture and feel like all of those research papers were worth the tears at this moment? I didn't know it yet, but boy would they be useful! Since that fateful day, I have worked tirelessly to grow my Instagram account, to build and maintain my website, and now to start this blog! All things in which my degrees have been very beneficial for and have made me more confident with every new challenge I take on! I truly feel like that decision to chase a creative venture was the scariest and best thing I ever decided to do. To look back and see the immense growth that I have made so far, makes me so excited for the future and to see how much more there is in store for my little business! We aren't quite to a year yet, but I can only imagine what the years ahead will hold for J. Isabel Designs.
Thank you all for following me along on this journey and giving me the support to not only get started, ( thank you Janelle) but to keep pursuing that incredible reaction that I love to see when people receive my gifts! I want to thank my parents for supporting me in every step of the way, my #smallbusiness community, and all of my real life and Instagram friends for pushing me, motivating me, and reminding me that we are all in this together! Remember to always pursue your dreams and creative ventures no matter how crazy it may seem and never give up! Good things take time!