I am sitting here, putting pen to paper (in the digital sense) and trying to explain how I feel about the debut of urbancottagestyle.com. Personally and professionally, this is a milestone that induces simultaneous pride and anxiety.
What if nothing sells? What if everything sells out?
A year ago, the notion of designing accent pillows using vintage fabrics for anyone but myself wasn't in my head. That changed late in 2015 when deep reflection about the remainder of my career -- heck, the remainder of my life -- pushed me out onto that risk-taking limb to identify my passion, to operate as my most authentic, integrated self, and to pour my creative energy and time into a regenerating endeavor.
"Find what you love and do it," we advise our children. That's good advice for us all, at any age.
This led to seven months of market research, fabric selections, hunting for fresh vintage, conducting focus groups with sample products, acting on that feedback, designing and crafting our summer 2016 collection, building an ecommerce experience, figuring out shipping rates (ugh), and embracing social media.
All of it has stretched me. Humbled me. Validated me.
I sit here amazed at it all. A childhood of sewing and embroidery, an adult life of hunting flea markets and antique fairs, a keen passion for natural fibers in rich textures and vintage prints, and a long career in digital technology -- all these threads of my life have woven together, right now, in the summer of 2016. A year ago I didn't know I needed this shoe, and now here it is and it fits perfectly.
I read these words from designer Amanda Brooks about how she reconciled her own personal style with new trends and input from others. Her words make perfect sense to me:
“To embrace who I am and where I came from and to combine that with all I learned gave me the sense of wholeness that I craved."
Wholeness. Amen, sister.
I hope you enjoy everything you see here on urbancottagestyle.com. That you discover the rich texture and soft hand of cotton crepe barkcloth, both vintage and new. That you learn about Paris Porcelain and discover the endearing qualities of handpainted vintage china that mixes in such stylish ways with contemporary table settings. That you see the modern possibilities in our one-of-a-kind vintage finds. That you learn more about what we're all about.
And that you join our mailing list and enter our #debutgiveaway! Between now and September 18, folks who join our mailing list will enter their chance to win an Urban Cottage Style accent pillow. Get all the details at #debutgiveaway.
We'll keep you up to date on our in-the-works fall collection (more amazing vintage barkcloth and lambswool), share design inspiration, highlight a trip to the San Fransisco fabric district in September, and continue to improve your experience on urbancottagestyle.com.