Blossoming Blog | Written in the Stars
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Written in the Stars

As I sit here at my computer, before our very first Sales Conference begins, I can’t help but think this was all meant to be.

Think about it, how did this Midwestern gal find herself living in Texas, over a thousand miles from her childhood home? How did the founder of one of the first direct selling children’s companies ever, Kelly’s Kids, come to find me, and offer me the chance of a lifetime to create a new brand? Giving us the opportunity to make beautiful frocks AND give back to kids in need with our Seeds of Hope charity? 

I don’t even how to begin, but I’m certainly going to try (hang with me, it’s a long story)…

First, let’s go back to winter of 2011. Denise, Matt Kelley (mentor, friend, hero), and I decided to start a clothing company, for the boys that lit fireworks in our souls. Long days, late nights, and hours and hours of brainstorming lead us to The Good Ones Clothing. TGO is one of the best chapters of my entire life. Once we had clothes we needed a photo shoot location that could do our designs justice. Matt suggested Austin, more specifically the best street in downtown Austin—South Congress (ALL the photos in this blog are from SoCo too!). He knew the city was alive, with an energy and soul most people search a lifetime for. That guy, he’s a key part in my story, in THIS story. Without this trip, without The Good Ones, I would have never had the chance to fall madly in love with this place. From the brightly colored murals splattered across town, to the taco smorgasbords around every corner, I felt so inspired and full (tacos, ahem). It was that moment I told Denise “I wouldn’t mind living here.” And she replied “maybe we can make that happen someday!”

A few years later in the end of 2015, Denise and I left our jobs to start something new. We spent every single day together from January to May. I remember in February I received the most random Facebook message ever… A recruiter for Kelly’s Kids and Eleanor Rose reached out to me to design for them. I was so flattered and honestly, so shocked! How in the world did this lady know who I was?! And why was she ‘searching’ for me?! I couldn’t believe it. But as flattered as I was, I wasn’t interested in leaving Denise and my world. And besides, I had to wait 2 years to design anyway! 

Then in June 2015 the world stopped. Denise lost her battle with cancer and the world lost the most beautiful human. And I lost my partner…my best pal… I didn’t know what to do. 

In July I tried to return to my old world, my old job. After several calls and messages, they said no. My whole world was upside down. All I wanted was to go back in time…back to the old days. I wanted so much to return to the world we created 9 years ago, but I couldn’t. 

I quickly changed gears. To be honest, I hadn’t been on LinkedIn in months. I didn’t even really know how to use it, and my page (still) doesn’t have any descriptions or details on it. Ugh, who is going to hire this unprofessional mess of a human?! Then I stumbled upon my messages and saw that the recruiter from February! I immediately sent her a message and in less than 20 minutes I got a response! They were still looking for a designer, and they were still REALLY interested in hiring me! WHATTTT. I couldn’t believe it. 

The next 2 weeks went by so fast. I had a phone interview with the recruiter and then I was flown to Austin, the place I had become so smitten with 5 years before. You know the funny part about their office being in Austin? They had just relocated their creative office here the year before! What are the odds that the city I loved so much, was the place they chose to put their roots? 

I met the James family and instantly fell in love. They’re so down-to-earth, so friendly, and so darn funny, too! They got that front porch charm from the south! And they’ve got the best accents to match. The trip was quick, but eventful and in the end, I decided this was a place I NEEDED to be. This family and this company, was exactly WHO I needed. In January 2016, I moved to Austin and I felt like my life started again. They were so willing to adjust to get me here. Since I wasn’t allowed to design for 1 more year, I was hired to direct photo shoots and work on marketing with Caroline, the Creative Director.

At the end of 2016, the end of my first year at Kelly’s Kids, Lynn James walked into my office and said “why don’t we start a new company for you to design? That way you don’t have to design LIKE Eleanor Rose, you can design like Sam McDonald!” If you are trying to picture this right now, make sure to include my face covered in tears of shock and happiness. Again…WHATTT?! 

And, literally, after that, every. single. thing. fell into place. 

I reached out to Caitlin on Facebook (where would we be without FB?!) to see if she could come meet the team and ‘consult’ us on what we need to get this ball rolling. I hadn’t talked to her in almost 2 years, but I always thought of her so fondly and remembered what an outstanding Trunk Keeper she used to be. Once she got here and the team met her, it was obvious we didn’t need to hire a Sales Director, we needed to hire Caitlin. 

After Caitlin, then came the name… Wildflowers. I sent Lynn a long, long email explaining why we should name the company Wildflowers. I told her how the quote “Do you suppose she’s a Wildflower?” hung in my old office for years. How I felt we were a team of Wildflowers, everything we do is so genuine and from our hearts, just so natural and organic.

…and there are so many other little serendipitous occurrences that have popped up along the way.

I guess Denise was right, I guess ‘we’ made it happen— me moving here, keeping Austin weird with my utter weirdness, starting a new girls clothing company… I love that it feels like she’s the spark to all of this.

So what do you call a collection that was always meant to be? One that is filled with magic, from the prints to the people, from beginning to end? 

There you have it. This collection means more to us than you can possibly imagine and in 2 weeks the world gets to see what we’ve been working on! I can’t wait for you to touch the fabrics, see the rich colors, and learn more about our Seeds of Hope program (one of the BEST things about Wildflowers, if you ask me!). 

XOXO,

Sam

 

28 Comments
  • Julie Norkoli
    Posted at 13:25h, 08 October Reply

    I’m so happy for you and your success. David and Kayla sent Jemma a few pieces from your new line and last night we had dinner with them. Today I’ve been reading all about Wildflowers. What an emotional adventure! Do you remember visiting us in Germany? The visit impacted Jemma so much. She tells me every day that she wants to be a designer and today has already spent 4 hours sewing. We all love your new designs and can see that Denise truly lives on in you. You go girl!

  • Kari Harsch
    Posted at 08:47h, 25 July Reply

    Sam,

    I am so happy to be a small part of this story. Providing new beginnings for people and watching them succeed is why we keep doing what we do. Can’t wait to see this business grow!

  • Torrie M
    Posted at 11:03h, 19 July Reply

    Dang, I’ve never cried over a new clothing line, before. Lol
    Such a touching story! The sneak peeks that I’ve seen popping up so far, have been gorgeous! I really can’t wait to see it all!

  • Regena Jones
    Posted at 10:01h, 19 July Reply

    I just know that Wildflowers will BLOOM! I am so ecstatic for you, and your team. Sometimes, more than 1 dream comes true.

  • Nicole Martens
    Posted at 08:40h, 19 July Reply

    I’m so happ for you Sam! Life is amazing.and this company is going to shine!

  • Debra Stallings
    Posted at 08:00h, 19 July Reply

    Love you and Kayla so much. So exciting like reliving MJ in the beginning. Bubbling with Anticipation!

  • Candice Dancer
    Posted at 07:55h, 19 July Reply

    A story truly filled with awe…magic…inspiration…synchronicity! I’m incredibly happy for you on this journey; I’ve been watching for a long while now. And I wholeheartedly believe Denise is a guiding force in all of this. Still. And always.

  • Suzanne Brown
    Posted at 06:36h, 19 July Reply

    So happy for you & so excited to see this collection at my show 7/30!!

  • Renae kulak
    Posted at 06:35h, 19 July Reply

    This was most definitely written in the stars. Pure perfection. Wishing only the best of the best for you all. Xoxo

  • Donna Weills
    Posted at 01:20h, 19 July Reply

    Oh Sam I can see Denise smiling down with so much pride! Your blog makes my heart smile again bringing back the real love and connection we all once felt thru magical clothes, which led to forever friendships. Your designs are fun and exciting and will make our little girls feel beautiful & comfortable. I’m beyond excited to start my collection for my 3 girls (better start saving my money lol).
    Thank you for sharing all of this beauty and creativity with us all ❤

  • Heather
    Posted at 22:25h, 18 July Reply

    Best thing I’ve read all day! So happy for you! My girls and I are looking forward to seeing it all!

  • Ann Aylward
    Posted at 21:33h, 18 July Reply

    Bravo, Beautiful Gitl!

  • Ashley Aumick
    Posted at 21:28h, 18 July Reply

    This made me smile. Okay, and cry a little. Excited to watch this bloom!

  • Carrie
    Posted at 21:20h, 18 July Reply

    Congrats, Sam! So happy for you. Love reading your blog posts again! Can’t wait to see what your future holds!

  • Hollie
    Posted at 20:04h, 18 July Reply

    Best wishes for this new chapter of your life. The clothes are cute and we can’t wait to wear them.

  • Kellye Schalck
    Posted at 20:03h, 18 July Reply

    Kentucky needs a REP! I’d love to talk to you about that!! I am SO EXCITED for the release! Blessings… xoxo.

  • Danielle robinson
    Posted at 19:50h, 18 July Reply

    No consultant in Virginia
    Would love to be the first!!

  • Aj
    Posted at 19:04h, 18 July Reply

    So hope we can order online as are consultant is too far away! Can’t wait to see what you have designed. Congrats on your new adventure!!!

  • Donna Rupkalvis
    Posted at 18:55h, 18 July Reply

    I’m beyond excited for this ! Have been a long time MJ lover .
    Can’t wait to see this collection its amazing so far!
    Congrats Sam I wish you the best

  • Nicole Boswell
    Posted at 18:39h, 18 July Reply

    I know it sounds silly, but I so missed the excitement. People would say it’s only clothes. Oh it was sooo much more. Thanks for bringing back the specialness! I wish you the best and can’t wait to see the clothes. Going to my first Wildflowers trunk show !

  • Aimee Seus
    Posted at 18:20h, 18 July Reply

    I have chills reading this. You got this Sam. The world is yours.

  • Lindsey
    Posted at 18:09h, 18 July Reply

    Congratulations Sam! What an amazing moment!

  • Krissy
    Posted at 17:34h, 18 July Reply

    Congrats Sam! I have something for 2. Can you check your FB messages please? So proud of you and happy for you!

  • Ang
    Posted at 17:24h, 18 July Reply

    Thats my thing….I just want to feel it….to make sure….it is the feeling that I need….the one Im used to. Can NOT wait to see it…but most of all feel it.

  • Tara Mumaw
    Posted at 17:17h, 18 July Reply

    I’m just so excitied! I’m just as excitied to be commenting on blog post again. All of this just feels so good. I’m so happy for you.

  • Bonnie
    Posted at 17:17h, 18 July Reply

    I’m so happy for you Sam! Blessings on your new adventure. I’m so excited to shop your designs …I know they are going to be amazing!

  • Nicole
    Posted at 17:08h, 18 July Reply

    So happy for you! I can’t wait to see it!!

  • Billie
    Posted at 16:59h, 18 July Reply

    Can’t wait to see it all!! So happy for you.

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