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An Update on Life & Business

An Update on Life & Business

September 07, 2019

An Update on Life & Business

Nashville, TN
Photography By Ryan Kanaly
Read Time: 8-10 mins

 

Where I Stand

 

Next month will be 2 years since I made Cotton & Moss live! Thanks to that I want to share some of the journey and a bit more about me. First up, I’ll be getting married to the man I love and the person I’ve spent the last nine years with next month. I may be a bit quieter as I take some time to enjoy the last moments of that process. Planning a wedding is no joke, but I’m stoked to have the opportunity to bring so many people in our lives together.

Next, the business! It’s been a tough road. The first year I was thinking is this going to work? When you believe in something you keep trying to hone that vision. 

Thanks to The Arts and Business Council’s Periscope Program I got the opportunity to be surrounded by so many cool and creative entrepreneurs this past year. This was a serious support system on top of having so many people come up to me at markets to show their appreciation, that’s what makes it feel totally worth it. I walked away from a six-figure salary in NY to find a deeper sense of creation. I can say without a doubt I am more fulfilled, but paying myself or all the bills is another story.

Mark and I in Garden

Going into the second year things have gotten better. Still, I work a full-time job while trying to grow this business. I work nights and weekends to try and make this the best possible experience for all my garden lovers. The inclusion of experiences this year has been amazing - teaching and learning from others has been the right move. I’m hoping to do more of this as I continue to evolve, it feels like the best path to success. 

I still want to create goods as well, but I may start to look at this in a different capacity. I don’t want to create waste, only things that someone will use and value for a long time. I want to offer timeless items. More to come on this, but I want to make sure I’m offering the right goods for the size of my business so this may mean less or it may mean changing how I make goods available. The good news is that I may have a residency come the holiday season so that you can find me in one place more often, fingers crossed!

As for our garden, it is not at all where we want it to be due to a lack of funds from moving to a new city, dealing with job changes, and now a wedding. You can see from the photos where it stands: a couple of blueberry bushes, a fig tree, some flowers, herbs, and a few veggies. Next year we hope to change this and I’d love to share with you how it evolves.

Things don’t happen overnight!

Cleaning Dianthus     Tying Cucumber Plant

A Day in the Life

 

I live in East Nashville with my other half, Mark, and two dogs Luna & Chloe. I’ve held way too many jobs since moving to Nashville, but now work 9-5 for a title company. It’s been a good balance so that my nights and weekends are free to focus on creative direction for Cotton & Moss. My whole day isn’t filled with creative projects, which puts way less pressure on me mentally.

In the evenings playing with our active pups or cooking is typically the first order of business. I do try to squeeze one or two days of exercise in there somewhere. Mark is really the one who manages to water all of our plants, takes care of the lawn, and on the weekends deals with pest control or re-potting. Since I’m so full with the business and work he has a bit more time to focus on it, but hopefully, I can get myself back in there soon! I’m a lucky lady because he loves gardening as much as me. 

Mark Analyzing Blueberry Bush

Releasing Blueberry Bush Roots

I tend to work 2-4 hours on top of the regular workday at least 3 days a week. Sometimes this means categorizing photos on my couch, taking a lunch meeting during the workday, or dropping off fabric to a vendor. It always looks different. 

On the weekends it’s typically a pop-up or market. Loading and unloading my truck, not my favorite task, haha. If I’m not doing that I try to dedicate one day to specific tasks. It might be dealing with marketing or thinking through a design or just doing my taxes and updating inventory. I have to file sales tax once a month and you cannot be late! 

Lastly, I like to leave one day to myself which typically involves cleaning my house (not cool) and hopefully something a bit more interesting. I don’t look at emails for at least one day so that it really makes me feel as though I’m taking the day off, but for some reason, I can’t avoid the socials?? Maybe that’s next!

That’s it in a nutshell!

 

Who I Am

 

Favorite Color |  Indigo, & sometimes a very deep aubergine purple.

Favorite Food  | Italian, definitely not chocolate! I’m more of a fruit flavor kinda gal.

Sweet or Savory | Savory

Where did I grow up | Cleveland, Ohio

My first job |  Funny enough I worked at a greenhouse! I learned early on how to plant, transplant, and water plants. I came full circle I guess.

Siblings | Yep, a brother & a sister.

What were you like as a kid  | Tomboy. I didn’t like to smile and can thank my dad for signing me up for all the sports….basketball, baseball, volleyball, etc. I was never quick to wear a dress although there was 1! My mom had to make it seem like we lost that one because I wouldn’t stop wearing it. It was a pale, blue, knit dress with a large, cartoon face of a young girl that had real buttons to hold her blonde pigtails, in case you wanted to know.  Most of the time you could find me in the field next to our house with my brother and the other 5-8 boys playing some kind of sport.

Who were some of your mentors | Teachers! My 6th-grade science teacher Mr. Parker & my high school Communication Design teacher Mrs. Weber. Mr. Parker had his daughter search for me last year so we re-connected and that was very special. Mrs. Weber is the one who enlightened me on art college, I wouldn’t be where I am today without her. Also, I can’t forget my first boss in the fashion industry, Jesse - he was an amazing and thoughtful designer!

Soil into Hanging Basket     Kelly with Chloe in Garden

Kelly an Mark Transplanting Blueberry Bush

Where’d you go to college | Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY

Do you miss NYC | I miss my friends. Sometimes I miss the energy and easy access to art and special exhibits but rarely miss the lifestyle.

Why Nashville | My family lives about two hours away plus we felt like there was a strong creative community considering music is here. Not everything has been stripped of its roots. I still wanted to live in a place that at any moment you can go downtown and people are out and having a great time in their city. Oo and the food is delicious!

Weakness | I’m impatient so have a hard time waiting for others especially Mark. 

Strength |  I’m extremely goal-oriented and believe you can will things to happen.

What do you do when not working | I have a hard time with this, I often don’t know what to do so find other projects to work on. I’m a busy bee. I’d love to get to a point where I can gain that back so I can get back to reading more, making new recipes, and exploring the beauty of Tennessee via hikes or bike rides. 

What keeps you sane | Yoga, Mark, & my two pups, Luna & Chloe.

How do you feel about the world today | I try to be aware of the things I know I can alter whether it’s what I purchase, make, or where I travel. I don’t think I can control all things and the best way for me to feel any sense of contribution is to look to my local community. Start with my city and go from there like voting for the roles in the city. I’m not perfect either and have a hard time keeping up with all the data, but I also try to see both perspectives on an issue rather than forcing myself to be committed to one person or thought process.

What takes the edge off  |  A Tito’s with lime and seltzer + Dateline!

Table Spread with Beeswax Candle

Anything else ya wanna know? Feel free to ask away!




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