One year ago I made a leap. I made a decision that absolutely terrified me.
The decision was to stop playing games; to stop pretending that something was working that, in all actuality, was not.
When it came to my business, I was tired, exhausted, and confused. I had spent far too long making excuses, good and valid excuses, but excuses nonetheless. I had finally come to the realization that unless something drastically changed, my business would forever just be a very stressful and expensive hobby.
The options were to either quit or get help.
I prayed that God would provide an opportunity for me to learn and to grow and to make much of the call He has placed on my life: to make Him famous and to bring Him glory through the gifts and abilities He has given me.
And then, I made the big decision to get help. I made the decision to invest in my business and see what God would do through that decision.
Up until this point I had never invested in my business. I had never taken a single risk. I had never done anything that scared me so much. It was scary because I was saying yes to something and completely unsure of what the result would be.
One year ago I went to The Stationery Academy a burnt out designer in the middle of an identity crisis and unsure if I had it in me to do this whole business thing.
A few days later, I left The Stationery Academy completely overwhelmed and in awe of the extraordinary opportunity that God had just given me.
I met unbelievable women who were talented, wise, and beyond gracious to me. I learned about the importance of building an authentic brand and I was forced to dig deep and question who I really was as a designer and business owner. I was asked to identify my biggest fears and my craziest dreams. I was challenged in ways I never thought possible and encouraged in ways I could have never dreamed.
And above all, God moved in ways I could have never dreamed or asked for.
These two incredible women, Whitney and Emily led the charge. They are an inspiration to me in ways they will never know. I am so grateful for their expertise, support, and encouragement. In the midst of running a very successful business, being a mommy to two boys and pregnant with a baby girl due any day, Whitney took the time to help me work through some doubts, fears and discouragements I was having last week. Thank you Whitney and Emily for being so incredibly willing to share your knowledge and expertise with me and for being cheerleaders for those of us just starting out!
A few weeks before the workshop I still had not reserved a hotel room and I noticed a few of the girls had mentioned in the Facebook group that they were adding a third roomie. I thought to myself, ‘well, four is always better than three…’ so I emailed the girls to see if they would happen to want a fourth roommate. Mind you, I have never met or spoken with these girls in my life. They did not know me and what in the world possessed me to ask if I could room with them is beyond me, but it was a risk that I am forever grateful I took.
Those three women have become three of my closest friends. One year later we still talk regularly and our video chats make my entire week better. Just this past week, in a state of confusion and fear I wrote them and their response was overwhelmingly encouraging... those three women are an unbelievable gift to me. I truly thank God for them. I laugh when I think about how on the way to The Stationery Academy (it was about a 6 hour drive) I was praying that God would use me to encourage and bless the ladies I would be rooming with, that He would enable me to show true love and grace to them. And yet, they are the ones who I am forever indebted to for their love and grace shown to me.
Thank you Amber, Amber and Courtney. You are a blessing to me and I am sure that this 'One Year Later' post would not be happening if it weren’t for you three ladies.
And of course, this post would be incomplete without saying a huge Thank You to many of you who helped provide the way for to go to The Stationery Academy. Many of you, my faithful family, friends, and readers supported me when I was at such a crossroads. Thank you for your financial sacrifice and unending support in helping me accomplish something so big.
With that being said, one year later I am so excited to introduce to you a teeny bit of the new Ashlee Proffitt.
This time it’s the REAL Ashlee Proffitt. She is no longer suffering from an identity crisis and she isn’t afraid to dream big. She was in there all along, it just took some work to pull her out.
Over the next few weeks I will be introducing you to my complete new brand (with lots of fun inspiration details), starting with a new website and blog sometime next week. The shop will be full of amazing new products that I cannot wait to share with you. There will be some fun giveaways along the way and I will be hosting a virtual launch party too! (Why not, throw a virtual party?!)
I hope you are as excited as I am!