Long time no see huh? I'm so sorry it's been forever since the last post but I hope I can make it up to you. A lot has been happening at our household & at pop-in-greetings. Since one of my big rules of running a small business is authenticity I felt the need to share in case someone out there needs to hear the same thing I did. If you've never struggled with one of the following: overworking, running two small businesses, the demands of raising a family or major health issues... you might not care to keep reading.
It all started about 6 months ago after I paid my deposit for the National Stationery Show. Our first NSS last year was a BLAST! We made a few awesome friends in our industry, connected with phenomenal retail shops and larger lifestyle brands. It's a huge marketing expense since we live about 900 miles from NYC, but it was definitely worth it. However it's also an all-consuming event between booth design, new product design, logistics, advertising, etc. It takes a large chunk of the year to prepare. We excitedly picked a new booth number and paid our deposit. A few weeks later as I started planning, something felt off, but I was determined to be there.
What I wasn't realizing, was the speed at which I was working at both pop-in-greetings & my marketing/creative direction company, MagloCreative. I was ignoring what it was doing to my body, my spirit & the future of my family.
I have endometriosis. I know a lot of people don't talk about this disease and a lot of people don't understand it but I think that should change. You don't have to be overly detailed or too personal to make people aware. Bottom-line is it's a painful, body & life altering disease that is different in everyone who has it and for me it can be debilitating. I've had multiple surgeries to remove it and went through a lot in order to have my precious daughter Faith.
It's also affected by stress and it's effect on my immune system. And it's safe to say I have a love/hate relationship with my body because of it. When I altered my diet to cut all inflammatory foods, it made a huge difference, but it didn't stop it. It only slowed it down.
Throughout the last six months I kept saying I was going to figure something out with work/life balance. It turns out balance is like a unicorn when you have a family. Much less when you own two businesses. No matter how many times I said I was going to do this or that to find time to exercise more or have more "me" time there was always a work excuse. My friends barely knew my name anymore. Instead of standing my ground with my freelance clients, saying I couldn't work overnight or over the weekend, there was always a reason to. When I added in the planning of NSS it only got worse.
Then one night I landed in the ER. I was sure my appendix or spleen was rupturing. I felt like I was going to die. I could barely walk. And you guys - I've had a baby after 28 hours of labor and the epidural running out over the last two hours. After catscans and a bevy of other tests it was ruled that my endometriosis had progressed to a large cyst on the right side of my abdomen. I've had these before, and had surgery to remove them but never this big. I was told it was time to make some decisions. And without getting too far into detail, these decisions affect the future of my little family and are at times hard to process.
I had ignored the signs because I kept thinking I could "have it all". What I didn't realize is that I DID have it all. I have a beautiful family and two businesses I adore. My real friends have been beside me the whole time, even if that means giving me the space to figure things out and show up when I'm able. I wouldn't do anything else in this world. I once had an epiphany that owning a small business is like planting a garden. You need to plant the seeds, do the foundational work & kick ass by learning the right mix of nutrients for each plant. You can't expect overnight results & if you don't prune the weeds back, the garden is overrun, lacking of beautiful fruit or blooms. I wasn't pruning my business or my life & thought running at warp speed would yield overnight results. And that mix of nutrients... it can't be all work. You gotta throw in some good food, happy family time, sleep, exercise, quiet meditation or prayer and most of all.... love.
So I made some decisions. Sadly, NSS wasn't going to be possible. The staff for Emerald Expositions & NSS were nothing but understanding and encouraging when I had to drop out. I have to thank Kelly Bristol and her staff immensely for being supportive when I wasn't able to follow through because of my health. I can't wait to be back next year! There's nothing quite like it!
So what does that mean for pop-in-greetings? We're not going anywhere! But I hope that you can understand when posts are fewer and far between temporarily. New product lines are in development and we're still rolling full steam ahead - just not like a freight train at breakneck speed ;-) I hope we still have your support as a company while I take a bit of time to explore new treatments and make important decisions for my family. There's nothing I love more than this company (other than my family of course) and it feeds my soul to create new collections and connect with you as consumers and retailers. I can't wait to show you what we're up to very soon and I'm so thankful for your continued support so keep the orders coming.
If you've hung on this long, bless your little heart as we say in the south. You must love us or be my mom. Thank you for listening and caring. If you ever find yourself needing a little encouragement with a similar situation, email me! You can always reach me at april (at) popingreetings.com.