This is a long one so be prepared!
While I was away...
Many of you know my husband and I decided to take a fairly long (40 day) break from social media and let me tell you it was one of the best things I could have done in my life right now. I'll get into why I took the break later but first I must share with you all that has happened since our break first started back on Memorial Day.
Besides our friends and family constantly saying to us, "Oh, that's right- you wouldn't know that since you guys aren't on Facebook" it really was an amazing time off, haha. We had several friends who got engaged, married, had babies, moved away, etc. and the sad thing was that we didn't even have a clue this was happening unless my sisters or mom filled us in, haha. What is this world coming to? Haha.
But besides all that, we realized how much we could get done in our lives once we stopped spending so much time on the internet. Here is a list (not in its entirety) of some things that happened with all our newly acquired "free" time.
-Completely redid and painted(!) our spare room making it into a home office/design studio for me and a music studio for Ryan. I also took and old desk my mom gave me and sanded and painted it for my workspace. Fun fact: It was my first time painting a room and I did it all by myself! #biggirlstatus
-We did some serious spring cleaning which included finally washing our pallet headboard. Yeah, we had been sleeping next to pallets that were never disinfected properly. Yikes.
-We also had our very first garage sale and made $100! It felt so good to get rid of a lot of stuff we never used!
-I painted, lettered and designed a lot of different work for people who now I can officially call clients! (I'll get to that later)
-We hung out with family a lot helping my sister and bro in law remodel their rental home plus hung out in the pool and hot tub at my parents every single Sunday. Sundays are the best. I <3 my Family.
-We went to Ithaca for a music fest since my husband's band was performing and we hung out by a waterfall. I told my husband I really wanted an amazing piece of driftwood (you'll understand why later) so he swam across the waterfall in only his undies to get me the most perfect piece! #truelove
- We got pre approved (twice!) to buy a house and started looking at houses (WHAT!?) Yeah it's crazy and intimidating but a lot of fun and, um, my credit score is 808. BAM! #soproud
-But certainly the coolest about this time is I actually for once in my life started having some serious Jesus time every single morning. I'll be the first to shamefully admit that spending time with the Creator of the Universe has not been a priority in my life for many years and I knew this needed to change for several reasons. One of the biggest reasons was because I decided back in the Spring that I was going to start my own design business and I knew I needed God's help in a huge way to pull this off. Which brings me to my big news...
DRIFT DESIGN CO.
Do you like? Does it roll off the tongue? It's my baby and I am in love with it. Let me tell you the story of DRIFT!
Firstly, this design business dream of mine has been a long time coming, but I frankly have been too scared to pursue it. I loved art growing up. I was obsessed with writing my name different ways. I won the handwriting award every year in grade school. I still remember the first real painting I ever did in the 6th grade. I still have it and I love it.
In college, I majored in Art Studio. I think one of the very first times I really entertained the idea of being a professional artist was when the chairman of the art department purchased one of my paintings for a pretty hefty price. Fun fact: Right after Ryan and I got married we moved into a house right across the street from him. Shortly after this he invited me over to his home to see my painting hanging up on his wall. It was pretty cool.
When I graduated college, Ryan and I got engaged and I needed a wedding invitation. This was, believe it or not, the pre-Pinterest and Instagram era, so my inspiration came from Martha Stewart Wedding Magazines and blogs. One blog in particular, Green Wedding Shoes, introduced me to the wonderful stationery and art website, Minted. After being inspired by Minted cards, I designed my own wedding invite with my little knowledge of graphic design and loved it. So I decided to start designing cards for Minted as an independent artist. This really continued to encourage the idea of me making money from my art.
Meanwhile I was hired by my current full time job, LEAF, to be their graphic designer and social media marketing gal. This allowed me to learn and practice graphic design even more. My boss asked me to design my first logo, and it was so scary, but all thanks to God it came out great!
I continued to create art for myself and my home, and as people saw the things I would do, they started asking me to make stuff for them. I have now made about 10 different logos for friend's businesses, a half a dozen wedding invitations, several paintings and handletterings and so much more.
So, a little over a year ago, I started dreaming of opening up my own shop for real but kept making excuses as to why I couldn't. I guess I was afraid of not being able to create anything original and unique; afraid I wouldn't have any time to keep the shop up and running; afraid of not selling anything or messing it all up horribly. Simply put, I was afraid of failure. But at the beginning of this year, the Lord started unsettling me. I knew I was created for more and my desire to start a business was growing.
I still had my hesitations and still wasn't sure about what God wanted me to do. Looking back on it now I see how he was basically shouting at me with all encouragement, telling me to do it, but my fear kept stopping me. Because I am a "go big or go home" kind of gal, I didn't want to start this huge endeavor until I had all my ducks in a row, which started with a legitimate website that costs a lot of money. Back in December, my supporting and loving husband, actually saved up some money to buy me a subscription for a website for Christmas, but I didn't take him up on it, because I was still unsure about it all and felt like the timing wasn't right. I spent the money on a watch instead. No pun intended.
Then in early Spring I decided I wanted to start reading a book (which is strange for me because I don't read) and for some reason I decided to read The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. The only reason I can think why I actually picked that book out of Ryan's rather large selection was because God wanted me to read it. He wanted me to realize that I had to start praying circles over my biggest dream and greatest fear, which was this idea of having a business. The book started getting me somewhat fired up, but I still needed a website and I didn't have any money.
Meanwhile, I decided to submit work into another Minted design challenge, which was somewhat random because I hadn't done one in over a year. The last challenge I entered, I didn't win anything, and I was feeling a bit discouraged, but I decided to go for it anyway. So, I entered a design and didn't get any word of winning anything. I was a bit bummed. One day as I actually was designing a baby shower invite for a friend (feeling rather uncreative at the time), I opened up my email and found out an announcement of who won the challenge. I was even more bummed because the only other time I won a challenge they had notified me before they sent the official email out to everyone so here I thought I definitely didn't win. Well I decided to see what designs won anyways and as I was reading I saw my name. I about flipped out! Not only was I one of the winners, I was in the top 20! And guess how much the winnings were for... Exactly what I needed in order to pay for my website! Not only did winning the challenge encourage me and make me feel like I can do this, it also provided me with the means to make it happen. God had made the provision for the vision!
The Birth of Drift
At this point I had been praying circles over this big dream of mine, I had the money to make it happen, and soon I was going to have some extra time to devote to the business once summer came. But there was one thing I didn't have: a name for the business. Over Memorial Day weekend, Ryan and I went on a mini-vacation to Maine right after the college students, who we minister to, left for summer. Here goes the story of the name...
Ryan and I were sitting on the rocky coastal shoreline of Marginal Way in Ogunquit, Maine looking out into the ocean and reading The Circle Maker together when I abruptly stopped reading and said to him, "Ryan, I really need a name for my business. I asked God to reveal to me a name while we were on vacation and this is our last night here. I need a name now!" I playfully raised my hand up in the air and exclaimed, "Jesus, I am trusting you to give me a name right now!" Seconds later, my husband looked over across the breathtaking coast and yelled, "Driftwood! That's your name!" He proceeded to tell me how driftwood has always reminded him of the transformation of a Christian's life. Like driftwood, we (humankind) start off as dead, rotting and of no value but God through "raging waters" of the Gospel transforms us into something beautiful only by His grace. We mulled this name over and of course started checking all social media sites for availability and originality. That night we prayed and talked some more and eventually came up with Drift Design Co. and it stuck.
Ryan and I decided that we wanted to take a break from social media when we returned home in order to give our dreams to the Lord, along with some fasting and prayer. In the Circle Maker, Mark Batterson spoke of how he did a 40 day social media fast because he was praying about starting a church in the DC area. I knew that if this business was going to happen and be successful it would only be by the grace of God, and that I needed to devote some serious time in prayer and communion with the Lord. So, Ryan and I decided that after we took our mini vacation to Maine that we would then start our social media fast, which is how this dream became a reality.
Through all of this I am just so amazed by the love that God has for me. There is so much joy in my heart, and I am so thankful that He answers prayers and can turn an old piece of dead rotting wood into something so beautiful! The passions that are placed within our hearts are there for a reason, and if you use your God-given talents to glorify Him, He will just make them grow exponentially!
So, thank you to all my many supporters and encouragers over the years who pushed me further and further down this path. I Really do appreciate it and am so grateful. Also thank you for taking the time to read this crazy long post. I am really excited to start creating and selling artwork that brings glory to my Maker! Feel free to check out the rest of my website and drift shoppe! I currently don't have a lot of pieces for sale YET but there will be much more coming very soon.
Love love love. -Kimmy