A New Journey

Have you ever had that moment that has come before you, where you knew if you didn’t take the chance, it would lead to a life of wondering?

Have you ever had that moment where you don’t think you have the strength, and so you pray to God for help, and over and over again He fills your heart with courage to just say YES? From things that other people say to you in conversation, verses you happen to read, from that song that *just* so happens to be on the radio right at that moment, that things are happening way too many times for them just to be a coincidence any longer?

Friends, I am here to tell you that if we live a life where we are comfortable, where we don’t take chances when we see them come up, chances and opportunities that require courage and bravery when everything is pointing to yes except for that stronghold of fear that is holding you back trying to convince you not to take that first step which requires so much courage, you seriously have to take into consideration if this is something that you want to find the courage for, or be content with the choice to just stay comfortable.  And, I am here to tell you, in my mind, if we are to live the very best life that God has planned for us, every now and then, it is going to require taking steps of courage where faith needs to be stronger than our fear.  Walking by faith is required when fear seems to be the only thing you can focus on.

And when He calls us, who are we to turn to fear rather than faith? To let “the unknown” and the “comfortable” conquer the “what could be”?   He doesn’t always call the equipped, but He certainly equips the called. And when He calls you, you need to find the courage to say yes, to walk the path he has laid before you instead of letting that fear take ahold of you.

What do you have going on currently that you need to walk towards instead of shying away from, that the only thing holding you back is fear of the unknown?

I am right there in that moment, right here and now.

Before I proceed any further, I need to give you a little backstory.  The other day, someone had been given a tremendous opportunity.  To essentially change the lives of the people they will work with every day and make them start walking along a path that they had dreamed about walking in maybe five years or so, but suddenly, it was right there.  Presenting itself in a way that could only be arranged by God’s hands being in it. The day that this happened, that person hung up the phone and just sat there quietly for quite a while, trying to wrap her head around it all. This was a life-path huge change and opportunity but one that she knew would require a lot of hard work, a lot of new things to learn, a lot of time and energy and a lot of faith, but the one thing that was stronger than all of that was simply this. She felt it was God calling her to do it, that what she was being asked to do felt bigger than her.

That someone is me. And if you have been following my journey for a while, you will see that I have felt something being changed in my heart for years.  See post one here  (this shows this change in my heart literally started when I stepped foot into Society for Creative Founders for the first time ever), post two here , and post three here. All of this has happened in the span of the last three years, and in subsequent dates that have happened along this journey which is awe-inspiring. Someday, I'll have to share how each of these previous post dates fit literally into where dates for this journey have been.

At Society for Creative Founders (previously known as Stationery Academy) in 2015, where it literally all began. Photo by  LifeCreated .

At Society for Creative Founders (previously known as Stationery Academy) in 2015, where it literally all began. Photo by LifeCreated.

With that said, I am incredibly excited to officially be able to share with all of you that for the last five months, I have been keeping a tremendous secret, one that I am now able to share with all of you.  As you may have seen me post about since 2015, I have been very involved in the Society for Creative Founders, which was previously known as Stationery Academy.  I first attended in 2015, then returned in 2016 as the conference planner, and once more in the spring of 2017 as the conference planner and a speaker.  In this time, I have grown close with Jennifer Faught, who grew the Society for Creative Founders into what it is today.  At the conference in March of this year, one night in rocking chairs at the Lee House late into the evening, Jennifer and I both shared that we individually had felt that change was coming in both of our lives, but we both didn’t quite know what yet. A mere three weeks after that conference, Jennifer and I began talking about what that change looked like. She has been a tremendous influence in my journey and one that I look up to tremendously.  Without her unwavering encouragement, I wouldn’t be able to step into this new path with such confidence that it may just be that I was literally made to do this. And while she has been confirming it verbally, God has definitely been dropping hints along the way as well.  It gives us both chills to think about how it all has turned out that today is here to share this with all of you.

And although it may seem like it’s completely new, this path is one that I have been walking and have felt called to for a long time. It is the reason I began offering Serendipity Sessions this past April (before I knew this would be the outcome) and where with every time I got off of one of those phone calls, my heart felt even fuller than it did before.  This is a major shift in the direction I was already headed, but I didn't know yet where it would take me.

Today, I can finally, so, so happily and excitedly announce that I am the new owner of the Society for Creative Founders, which is a supportive, community-driven environment for makers, artists, and designers that provides the knowledge, tools, and encouragement that creative business owners need to grow their business like a creative founder.  It is one of the most amazing businesses that has driven me as a business owner, and to now be known as the person who Jennifer has deemed ready "to steer the ship" as she calls it, is simply surreal.

When I look at how my story has been written so far, the path that I have walked, it now all makes sense.  Why I started my career in education, then transitioned to wedding planning (which taught me organization and planning incredibly detailed things to a T), and now full invitation design alongside coaching for business owners, I have had experience in both a service and product based business with so many details that has become what Grace and Serendipity is known for, and now to be able to apply all that I have learned in this new role is mind boggling.

The Society for Creative Founders is SUCH a tremendous business built for creatives that for Jennifer to pass the torch to me to pass the legacy of what it is on and build this community of women creative business owners even stronger, makes my heart absolutely soar.  

At the 2017 Creative Founders Conference, smiling across the table simply experiencing a purely joyful "cheers lady. we did it" moment with Jennifer. Photo by  Aislinn Kate Photography

At the 2017 Creative Founders Conference, smiling across the table simply experiencing a purely joyful "cheers lady. we did it" moment with Jennifer. Photo by Aislinn Kate Photography

What does that mean for Grace and Serendipity? A few changes are coming, so I do want to call attention there as well.

Weddings are still where my heart is and will always be within Grace and Serendipity, and so because I need to simplify my service offerings, I will still be offering wedding design, both Bespoke Design and Curated Collections.  I love design SO much and honestly I haven’t felt that it is yet time to close this door.  So, I will still be available for design services, I will just be working with fewer couples at a time so that I can dedicate myself fully to our time together.

My Etsy shop has been such an adventure and I have loved having products in an online shop for the last five years.  However, with time being my most important concern moving forward right now, I have decided to close it. And a little fun fact for you there too? The day that I decided/felt it was time to close the shop, my very last order which came through literally minutes before I closed the online doors was a "You Got This" mug. Which just so happened to be when Jennifer and I were on the phone, and she was saying that exact. same. phrase. to me at pretty much the exact same time.  (chills anyone?!

I don't know how to express how that felt to have that be the last mug to mail out, since so many of my products have been designed because they were the words I myself needed to hear while navigating this journey.   However, Gulf Coast friends, you are the lucky ones as my happy little nook inside of the local  Alyssa’s in Pace will still carry the majority of the items you have grown to love to purchase that have been available online as well (hooray for that!).

For Serendipity Sessions, the specific one-on-one sessions will no longer be available with Grace and Serendipity, *but* they will be available within the Society for Creative Founders in a different format in the months ahead, which will include webinars, monthly classes, and the oh-so-loved conference.  I would encourage you to join the SCF News list if you would like to learn more about it as everything is unveiled in the months ahead.

For Business Branding, although I love working with businesses to develop their brand more, it's time to end this chapter in my design story as well.  If you are in need of Business Branding services, I encourage you to reach out to B is for Bonnie Design or With Grace and Gold, who are both amazing designers. 

And lastly, this Note of Grace. These words of encouragement have been where I have learned to come out of my inner shell and be more open with you, and I don’t want it to end.  So, it will continue, only it will have a new home over on the Society for Creative Founders.  It will be modified a bit but it will still encompass the monthly encouragement that I have grown to love writing, and I hope you will continue to join in this journey in the days ahead. If you want to be sure to be added to the list, please be sure to follow the link included in the email on Wednesday morning.

cheers to a new journey - aislinn kate photography

I honestly am so excited about what's ahead, and feel incredibly grateful for this opportunity as I walk this new path.  When God places something on your heart or you feel He is calling you to do, the best part to do, is simply say okay, and begin walking … always by faith, never by fear.  If you would like more information and to read more of the story from both of our viewpoints that happened along this transition, I’d love for you to come and read Jennifer and I’s joint blog post that was shared on the Society for Creative Founders website today by clicking here.

If you want to follow along on Instagram, you can find more details about it here at @creativefounders.  

Thank you for experiencing everything that this entrepreneurial journey has been with me, especially those of you who have been there since the beginning. I ask for your encouragement and grace for me as I continue this journey, as it has for so many years so far.  Who knew all the way back in October of 2010 when we knew the entrepreneur life was the life I needed to pursue at the first wedding I had a hand in planning, that this is where I would be today.  Your support over the years has meant more to me than you will ever know.