You may have seen glimpses on Instagram, but we’re definitely a Christmas in July (perhaps even more like March) kind of business. There are catalogs to be prepared, newsletters slated, products sent into production. Every year, we’re mindful of the tension as we anticipate the big buying season that sustains our business all the while wanting to be thoughtful, minimal consumers ourselves. We, too, want to push back against the waste and pollution that comes with large-scale manufacturing, considering what we truly need and don’t.
We’ve officially entered toddler land, where things nosedive from sweet to sour in about .5 seconds. This morning: a perfectly pleasant morning at our local park followed by a full-blown tantrum once we pulled into the driveway two minutes later. The cause? Will never know, haha. We’re also navigating the ever-present “mine!” - a cry for ownership, a claim on her newly discovered autonomy. I vacillate between wanting to affirm that yes, that bottle (toy, bracelet, hair tie, book, sticker) is hers, that her personhood is significant, and attempting to teach her a deeper truth: everything we have is meant to be shared.
This season has brought so much unanticipated change both personally and here at Our Heiday. Navigating unexpected roads keeps our stories interesting and full of depth, like all the classics we’ve read growing up. With any small business, change is inevitable, along with taxes or bookkeeping, and I’ve found the internal resistance happens when I fixate on staying where things are comfortable. Riding the current when the waves are good feels so much better than tumbling.
Yesterday, I watched my almost 18-month-old dance her heart out to some VBS songs, and I mean literally her heart out. She was full on squat-clapping (she made this move up, so impressive), swinging her arms around and over her head, stomping her feet, flapping her little hands - totally lost in the music, blissfully unaware of how she might appear to a bystander. The preciousness of it all made my heart simultaneously soar and ache (sigh, motherhood, right?).
I know it may seem silly and superfluous to celebrate a dating anniversary once you also have a wedding anniversary, but I’ve always loved acknowledging that summer day (eleven years ago!!) where Daniel and I took our almost nine years of friendship to the next level ;) We were both home for the summer after finishing our freshman year of college and it finally felt like the right time to say the thing I inexplicably knew all along: you’re my person. But that’s a story for another day.
When I read or hear stories about other parents’ toddler seasons, there are so many things that ring true - the testing of boundaries, the endless ways to avoid bedtime, the negotiating (omg the negotiating), the threenager attitude. It’s a trying (and beautiful) time - the common thread weaving us all together. With a little turn to the left and right in moments of despair, we’re often met with a knowing smile, reassurance of camaraderie.
When we first bought our home a few years ago, I sat in the complex, unfamiliar reality of loving and hating something at the same time. We had moved for our six-month old, feeling squeezed out of our condo and suffocated by the car smog, but I couldn’t bring myself to accept this new, very suburban life. My heart swelled with gratitude as I strolled through our neighborhood under huge oaks rather than huge skyscrapers (omg fresh air), then immediately deflated with the dissatisfaction of hearing nothing but crickets chirping after 8pm (omg where is everyone). After having spent the past six years prior in LA proper, three of them in the heart of downtown where Clarence and I had lived in the most beautiful, historically renovated loft - floor to ceiling brick walls, huge windows, the whole thing - I was now finding myself trying to make this 3 bd/3ba beige-walled house feel like home.
My postpartum season was, in short, an unearthing. So many deeply-rooted lies, fears, anxieties, and suppressed emotions from my youth began erupting from dormant places of my heart - uncomfortable feelings I didn’t even consciously realize I was carrying. Several months into my maternity leave, I kept feeling the same disorienting wave of anxiety crash over me every time I thought about going back to work. A tightening in my chest when I’d wonder if I could truly achieve work-life balance, a pit in my stomach when I’d worry that Haley might feel abandoned, a nervous churning when I’d doubt that I could be the mama she needs while running a business. But at the same time, I knew that I’d been made, as we all have, with multidimensional gifts and talents - for a purpose that includes but isn’t limited to motherhood.
Friends, we are so, so excited about this partnership that has been nearly a year in the making. When we connected with Chasing Paper to collaborate with us on this launch, we had already envisioned so many of our tried and true patterns in beautiful wallpaper for homes everywhere. As this season of life has been full of making our home truly ours and watching our babies grow into toddlers, the goal for this collection was to create patterns that could easily be used in any room of the home, timeless designs that fluidly move from age to age.
As a daughter of an immigrant business woman, I have so many vivid memories of helping my mom sustain and grow her company from as early as I can remember. The SKU numbers lining boxes as I pulled these beautifully handmade jacket clips and dress pins fulfilling orders, the musty smell of the aged wood as we cleaned out her warehouse in my grandfather’s storage units, the rhythm of folding up clear boxes as we packaged hundreds of veils in the evenings. The all-encompassing nature of small business on a family has completely shaped my understanding of how life unfolds. Then the inevitable happened - we came full circle and here we are.