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I want to tell you all about how our October photo shoot was my favorite yet. I want to tell you how thankful I am for all the amazing feedback I’ve heard on this release so far. And I want to tell you that ya’ll make my heart sing, because ya truly do. 

But first, I gotta say…despite release day, despite all the love sent our way, yesterday I was heartbroken. Heartbroken because of how senseless the horrific acts in Las Vegas were, heartbroken because of the mamas out there that lost their babies, and heartbroken because of the babies out there that lost their mamas. It took everything in me to get out of bed and go into the office. I couldn’t bear to leave Margo, so I packed up that sleepy baby and brought her with me. I couldn’t let her go! I’ve always been an empathetic girl, sensitive to a fault perhaps. Feeling ALL the feelings was just part of my core…but being a mama now myself, something in me could not shake this…CANNOT shake this. How do we heal after something like this? What can I say? Nothing more powerful, or thoughtful, than what has already been said, right? I just don’t know. I’m not trying to strike a movement here, I just know that we are all shaking our heads and asking the same questions…

The only thing I know how to do is to continue being a light in all this darkness. Sounds a little cheesy or maybe even ‘too simple’ of a response, but this is all I know. And this is something I promise to do. I won’t let myself drown in the worry, the broken heartedness (that we’re all feeling), or the fear. Or evil has won. And we have too many Wildflowers in this world to let that happen. I know might be small potatoes in the grand scheme of things, but I also know that these frocks put smiles on so many faces…so that’s gotta count for something! 

Okay, now I want to take a deep breath and change focus, for now… Time to spread some of that light I’ve been talking about! 

And boy OH BOY, did October bring smiles. More than I can count (I’m a designer, not a math teacher, guys)! The love affair started in March when our team got their first look at what I had up my sleeve, but it didn’t end there! From first samples to receiving styles in correct fabrics the day that our Consultant Conference began, to photo shoots with my tiny but mighty team to bawling our eyes out and watching the final October video (over and over and over and over), we’ve had a crush on this pink and blue release for what feels like forever now.

I mean, there are a million things that make October special. The colors…I have never used such a tight, jewel-y toned palette before. The styles?! The reversible jumper was and IS my favorite style I’ve designed so far (of course this is subject to change, hehe). NEW fabrics…PLAID. Need I say more?! Sweater rib?!!! I would do anything to have those leggings in my size. And kitty appliqués, are you serious!? So glad Lynn suggested adding those cuties instead of regular ol’ patches! 

But the PHOTO SHOOT. That is my favorite part—of this release especially. All of our little models arrive and always run straight for the rack of pretties! Grabbing their favorites and squealing over the prints (they LOVE those ‘toto dog’s) and twirly styles (that french terry Parfait dress for the win!). It’s the first time ANYONE other than me and the team see the clothing and it always takes my breath away watching their reactions. They tell me what feels the comfiest and what makes them want to dance about. It’s like having the cutest, most candid focus group. I love it!

ANYWAY. Take a look at some of the fun behind the scenes shots Andrea took so you can see a little of the crazy magic I’m talking about! Ya’ll have heard the expression ’it takes a village’? Well my village is THE BEST. When you’re a team of 6 and you have 10 little ladies running wild through a GORGEOUS wide open event space, you need MORE than cute clothes to pull it all off. You need MAGIC, and that’s what my girls bring. Every. Single. Time. You’re probably tired of hearing me brag about them, but I would be lost without my little team (not all picture below–Mano and Caitlin are missing!). And I’d like to think they’d be lost without me…but that’s all speculation 😉.

XOXO,

Sam

P.S. After feeling down all day long, my good friend David sent me this video. I don’t know how he knew I needed it, but he did. I cried so hard, but for the first time all day, it was from happiness! This tiny girl is INSANELY talented and her parents are SO proud. This is the kind of light we need to spread, ya’ll!! Also, random, but if anyone knows her or how to send her a Wildflowers dress, let me know! I’d be so excited to surprise her with a smile! <3

I haven’t blogged in 2 weeks and Andrea (all around keeps me in check-social media guru- assistant) was on her honeymoon the past 2 weeks. I don’t think that’s a coincidence at all! I swear I’ve spent most of my days recently just trying to keep up with checking our WF FB page, respond to comments, posts, and messages, while she was away! And now that she’s back, I’m saying ‘“goodbye” to the social media role I’ve been trying to fill and “hello” to what I’m good at—rambling on the blog.

SO YOU GUYS, OCTOBER IS HERE. Or at least it is in my world! Preview Pop-Up Parties for our third release of Written in the Stars have officially begun and I’m just sitting here awestruck that our first season, ever, is more than half way over with… and I just can’t believe it. A year ago, I could have never dreamed this would be happening. A year ago Wildflowers wasn’t even a thought in my brain, and now it consumes every inch of my being. And now it’s this insane real life brand that you guys seem to truly like!? With each release I feel myself being surprised, delighted, and humbled by your response, your gorgeous photos that cover my FB feed, and all the amazing outfit combinations y’all come up with that I never even thought of!! Today so many of you will get to see, touch, and feel the all the new silhouettes and fabrics of our October release. I tried a few new things this time around, and I hope you love every bit of it.

I say I tried “a few new things,” but pretty much all of this has felt beyond new to me! I know, I know I’ve designed a million dresses in my life, but I always had someone to bounce my ideas off of, or to point me in the right direction if something is feeling off. I’ve never been the LEAD in design like this (I just got business cards that even say Lead Designer…what?!?!) When I used to design, Denise almost always started the color palette herself. There are only TWO collections in my past life where I chose the colors from start to finish. Sure I would add a shade here or there, adjust a hue for a particular print, but I loved having her lead me around the pretty pantones. I felt more confident with her eyes on everything. She was/is pure gold, so I always felt safe with her watchful, creative eye directing the way we designed a collection. I never thought I’d have to design without her, without the security of knowing she approved my designs, my colors, my ideas. And now, all that’s changed. Written in the Stars is the first time I’ve ever plotted, planned, and laid out a collection for an entire season on my own. Of course my team here helped navigate the in’s and out’s of creating the brand, etc, but they really trusted me to go with my gut and design my ideal fall line, without rules or guidelines….and that’s just what I did.

I wanted each release to feel fresh and exciting, yet cohesive all at the same time. Who knows if I was able to strike that tricky balance, but I certainly tried! There are several colors threaded through Written in the Stars from beginning to end, but there’s a definite departure in the overall color palette from September to October. In my mind, August was a “back to school” release, September was my “true fall” release and October was the beginning of winter! So that gorgeous rusty shade of orange that y’all loved in September will be replaced with Blue Yonder, an almost Periwinkle-like hue that made it’s first appearance in August. I swapped out the bold raspberry color seen on the Nina Bucket Dress for a more muted magenta to strike a really smooth balance with all the cool blues and aquas. In terms of fabrics, you’ll see plenty of vintage inspired, painterly florals, sweet paisleys, and whimsical novelties from snowflakes to scotty dogs. And of course my favorite coordinate prints like playful stripes, micro dots, and a “sugarplum plaid” to top it off!

Oh!! And kitty patches. I know not everyone is a kitty obsessed person like myself. But I didn’t always like cats! I actually HATED cats. You can’t believe it, can you? I grew up with this crazy cat Sunny (EYE ROLL…SHE WAS NOTHING LIKE SUNSHINE) that would literally attack me at every turn. But almost 11 years ago, I met Mark (now hubby). This cute dirty ol’ skate rat was in love with cats and I couldn’t believe it. More specifically he was in love with a grumpy, old, lumpy cat named Deedee and I couldn’t help but MAKE myself give her a shot. If Mark could find something to love in this ol’ furball, why couldn’t I?! It took 3 years, but I finally won her over and vice-versa. Since then my cold heart towards cats thawed and turned into a mild obsession with these feline friends. And 7 years ago, I got the best kitty brothers in the world, Butters and Greasy. So now I live my life with a motto –  ‘Those who don’t like cats just haven’t met the right one yet.’ So who knows, maybe the Cat Scratch Fever Leggings will be your moment to fall in love?

I wish I had more time to create a beautiful mood board to show you how my brain kinda works or what I was thinking exactly when I was designing each release. But hopefully the designs will speak for themselves and you’ll be instantly transported to a cozy, whimsical winter scene the moment you lay your eyes on it! Oh man…I can’t wait to hear what you think. 😬

XOXO,
SAM

Can you feel it? The extra cool breeze, the hazy low hanging sun in the early evening and the pumpkins popping up around every corner… Fall is here! Or almost. What am I saying?! I live in Texas and it basically feels like summer all year long, but I’ll take these mid 80’s over 100+ any day! The (slight) change in weather has me feeling so excited for cozy layers, cardigans, and snuggly evenings with Mark and Margo. There’s just something about this season, right? It’s the same for Spring with me. Summer and Winter are great and all, but there’s something about the transitional seasons that bring so much change, growth, and renewal… I can’t help but feel that each Spring and Fall, I get a fresh start—a brand new grand adventure! And this Fall has been one for the books.

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Tomorrow our 2nd release of Written in the Stars goes up on the website, after being shared via Pop Up Parties for the past 2 weeks. 2 whole weeks our consultants have been traveling up and down the country showing Wildflowers to whomever will have them! I admire those 20 ladies so much. I could never, ever (EVER) do what they are doing. I could never be so brave! Ha, maybe that’s silly but I think it takes so much guts to walk into a stranger’s home. Don’t you?! I would be scared out of my mind. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s the most wonderful thing…making that connection, meeting in real life, and sharing over something you both LOVE. We need more of that in this crazy world. I’m just THANKFUL I’m on the other side of the business for the most part— behind a computer, on the floor with a box of colors, or sketching crazily in morning meetings, catching the flash of a new idea before it escapes my mind…

So last week when Ashton (CEO, all around big brother at the office) invited us all to his house for a Wildflowers Pop-Up Party I was sooooo excited, but out-of-my-mind-nervous! I don’t belong anywhere in public, trust me!! And I was right, ha. My sweaty face showed up right on time, and my nervous talking started and wouldn’t stop! Luckily there were a handful of cutie kids there to keep me distracted, aka spinning them in circles until we’re all too dizzy to stand. That’s where I’m the most comfortable at these kinds of things—at the kids table. But I couldn’t stay in my safe zone long, there were too many sweet mama’s to meet! And goodness am I so happy I went! And I’m so happy I didn’t hide the whole time. A few ladies I met had been shopping with other brands I’ve worked on for YEARS! And some of them drove over 2 hours to attend! I couldn’t believe it. I loved getting the chance to just chat (and sweat) with these ladies. Again, I can’t emphasize my appreciation for our consultants enough. I only went to one show! They do this all day long, for weeks on end! Traveling, building friendships, and selling sweet clothes?! It takes the most special people to make it look SO EASY (Love you, ladies!! I truly do!)

ANYWAY…now that the grand reveal is almost here, I can share a few of my most favorite styles and fabrics from this release! And by fabric I mean, CORDUROY 😍

Meet Ophelia. She strikes the perfect balance between looking cute and feeling comfy. She’s a full length overall, made from soft, stretchy corduroy cuteness! If only I had a pair of these when I was a kid… I was a total tree climbing ‘tomboy’ with a girly flare, making me a pretty difficult customers to please, if you ask my mom. But my floral leotards, ripped up acid washed jeans, and plastic dress up shoes, certainly helped me look the part (or look confused, ha). However, I know if I would have had these overalls, I could have avoided a lot of bad picture days, and a lot of embarrassing photos. I would have been in girly-tomboy, 8 year old heaven! The slight V at the bodice, the puckered front waist and the contrast pockets and cuff are what gives this style that girly feel we all love. While the navy blue shade, flat cargo pockets, and comfy back strap would make the inner tomboy in me ever so pleased.

Hello Sweet Jane. I designed this girl right after I designed the Dandy dress from the August release—you know how I often bounce all over the place while designing, so it didn’t come to reality until September. I didn’t know the fabrication for sure yet, but I what I did know is that I fell in love with a burgundy corduroy jumper for myself last fall! So I really wanted to create a similar style for your darling girls, something that makes them feel so pretty, a little vintage, and totally cool (while still looking age appropriate, which is darn near impossible these days). The contrast pocket and hot pink crochet lace trimming, from the hem to the straps, are my two most favorite parts of this gem!

Oh, you like to twirl, eh? Then the Field of Dreams skirt was literally made for you. LOOK. AT. THAT. SPIN. Mano and I worked tirelessly on this little number, adding more and more fullness until it was just perfect. I wanted this precious skirt to be simple and twirly, but rich in thoughtful details. I ended up choosing our soft navy cord so that mixing and matching would be a breeze! Then I added 2 rows of shiny grosgrain trim, and an extra dose of girly-ness by adding a fluffy strawberry pink ruffle to the lining (because, of course, a skirt this special is fully lined). Ahh, I just love her. And I looooove corduroy. Haha, have I mentioned how much I love FALL!?

Ok, ok! Last but not least!! I’ve got a fun little update. Ya’ll.. I’m doing a ‘social media takeover’ for the next 2 weeks! AKA: Andrea (social media guru, design assistant) is on her honeymoon in Italy and has trusted me to respond to your messages (be patient, I’m no expert), comments, and to post whatever I want! Whaaaaat!? So…if you guys have any ideas on what you might like to see while my ‘boss’ is away, let me know and I’ll try my best to share! Only idea I had so far was maybe an entirely too soon sneak peek of Spring and maybe some cutie snaps of Margo!? Everybody likes babies, right!?

XO,

SAM

I’ve always said that before I can even begin designing, I have to play with color first. I sit on the floor with a box of 3,000 Pantones (give or take a few) and I sift through the technicolor cards, grabbing one here and there, putting another back. Each card has 10 different shades of one color on it, so there are plenty of options to find the perfect hue to complement another. And I do that until “my eyes are happy.”

And September makes my eyes REALLY happy.

Picking color is probably my favorite part of my job. Or…no, my second favorite part. My fave, fave, fave part of the job is seeing the colors, fabrics, and designs all come alive at the photoshoot. For months, each style has been dressed on mannequins, pinned and trimmed until the fit is just right – and at the photoshoot all that hard work pays off. Seeing that first twirl, jump, or skip across a field is like crossing the finish line to me. We made it!

But with all great things comes a unique set of challenges. During a lot of the development for September, I was on maternity leave, so my dear friend and technical designer, Mano would come to my apartment 1-2 times a week to go over samples. Carrying mannequins up the 3 flights of stairs that lead to my door, she always greeted me with a smile and excitement for the new patterns we had to work on. Trust me, I didn’t always FEEL so excited when I was on maternity leave. It was a weird time, I bet most moms out there understand. I felt like I was being pulled in a million directions, from new baby Margo, to designing Spring, to continuing to develop Fall. At the time, I was just on autopilot, cruising along, crossing everything off the list, just getting by. Looking back on that time now, I feel a bit like a super hero. Hope that doesn’t sound too confident, but I just can’t believe I got through it. And now we have “everyone’s favorite release” to show for it!

Waking up from that new baby fog and seeing September come to life at the Green Acres photoshoot was absolutely unbelievable. I know I’ve mentioned it already, but the setting was just picture perfect for these designs of mine. The textures, the details, the uniqueness of it all… it all just worked. It all blew me away. I can’t wait for you to see and feel the time and attention that went into creating this release – from conception to reality, from the patterns to the prints. For September, I tried new things I’ve never done before, and brought back some old silhouettes I was so fond of in the past. I wanted more than just the color palette to be versatile, I wanted the designs to show the variety of the season too, and I think we did just that. So from hayrides, to fall camping trips, and every harvest festival in between, I think (I HOPE) you’ll find something to proudly dress your darling daughters in.

Tomorrow is the beginning of preview parties and the butterflies in my stummy (combine stomach and tummy, I’ve got a thing for making up words) won’t quit. I’m in love with September, our team is in love with September, the last piece is you guys… I’ve got my fingers and toes crossed you’ll fall for it as hard as we have!!

XO,

SAM

It’s funny to me how I wished August would get here for what feels like fooooorever and now that we’re over half way through – I just want to fast forward and skip to SEPTEMBER! 

A lot of the folks here at the office think September is where Wildflowers really starts to SHINE (or maybe it’s just me thinking it’s when I hit ‘my stride’). I mean, you know we love our August collection. LOVE. It will always be the first release we ever did! But September…there’s just something about it. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s the largest release of the season, so it feels like there’s something for everyone!? Or maybe because it has some of the first fabrics and styles I designed in it? There were a few pieces I designed and decided August wasn’t the right time for them. The way the colors and prints were mixing just didn’t look ‘back to school’ to me. So I tucked them away, for one more month, and then when I sat down to begin designing—there they were, just waiting to be picked up where I left off. 


This twirly dress is one of those pieces. From the ‘smudge dot’ knit print on the bodice to the tiers of whimsical, seemingly ‘random’ prints (yes, those are GIRAFFES on the bottom), this beauty inspired the beginning of the release. Even Averi, the little stunner in the photos, couldn’t help but twirl, smile, dance, and laugh in the Tickled Pink Tiered Ballet Dress (and she’s a tough cookie to crack!). And to think, this truly only represents half of the color palette used! On the other side of all these pretty pinks and deep navy, you will see rusts, golds, and mellow aqua/gray stripes. All the gorgeous hues I seem to fall in love with over and over again, year after year…


And OMG, the photoshoot location, guys! Holy smokes, we found the best place to showcase these styles. The entire release has a very outdoorsy, Fall camping vibe, so when Caroline suggested shooting at Green Acres in Elgin, Texas, I had to pick myself up from the floor it was so amazing. The modern ’yurts’ and vintage airstreams in the lush green rolling hills, complete with llamas and donkeys, were almost more than I could handle. And when you add 10 little cuties and a 30 something piece collection – you get pure magic. 


So basically September has a little bit of everything— ballet dresses with major spin factor, cozy jersey knits in classic and unexpected prints, structured styles created in textured linen or rich corduroy (a personal fave of mine), and all the comfy tops and bottoms for Fall layering perfection! All this cuteness is just about a week away if you plan on attending a Pop-Up Party! Ahhh..I can’t wait to share more. I feel like everything just keeps getting better and better! 

XOXO,
Sam

I gotta tell you how unreal it’s been watching the ‘IRL’ photos roll through Facebook this past week.

I have such a hard time working when I know there is so much cuteness for me to look at! That is why Andrea has officially forbid me from being on Facebook until I get the 3rd release of Spring finished. Ugh, she’s one tough cookie! Thank goodness for that or else we probably wouldn’t have a Spring collection. And trust me, this new release I’m working on? The colors, the prints, ahhh… I haven’t felt so connected to a release in a while. There’s just something about it!

But really, seeing your kiddos in our tops and dresses and SWEATERS has been…the icing on the cake, the cherry on top, the final piece of the puzzle! Thank you for sharing your beautiful little girls with us. And thank you so much for inviting us to be a part of the special moments in your life.

ANYWAY! I don’t know what y’all have heard about August, but there are little stories behind almost all the designs. For instance, the Just Dandy Dress was the very first item I designed for August. It was the first time I fell in love with that aqua floral and peach kaleidoscope print. I wasn’t sure you could really use peach in fall, but when I saw Georgia Peach (the pantone), I knew it would be the perfect POP against all the cool blues I’d been using. The August release of Written in the Stars blossomed from there…

One of my all-time favorites is the seamstress print in The Sew Happy Top. That skirt fabric with all the scissors, buttons, thimbles and such – well, it has a soft place in my heart. It was inspired by this place Denise and I used to work together, late at night and early in the morning. It was when we knew we’d be alone, left to our devices. We could design in silence or laugh our butts off from the nonsense earlier in the day. We could fight over ‘the good scissors and hide bolts of fabric from each other – because we HAD to use it first. We would build little “maps” of our designs to show our local seamstress where each print should be sewn on our intricate, seemingly complicated frocks… While we never really sewed together, we spent a lot of time with all the elements that create a piece of clothing. From the first time I held “the good scissors,” I knew I had to be a part of the process of making clothes—in any capacity. And when I saw this print by the Little Smilemakers Studio (a super cool graphic design group that creates pattern design and illustrations for lots of different brands, including Urban Outfitters, a personal favorite of mine), I knew it had to be a part of my first collection.

It’s a reminder of where I came from -my roots- where I truly learned to mix and match colors, playfully add trims and buttons that never really seemed to go together; to create something original and so pleasing to the eye. A reminder of those long mornings and late nights working with my design soulmate…the seamstress print on the Sew Happy Top is a special piece of our Wildflowers story.

I feel like I should end every blog post with “thank you.” I’m so grateful for the support from all of you. OH! And I can’t wait to start sneaking September…that’s what you’re all waiting for right!?

Until then…
XOXO,
SAM

 

When Lynn said to me, “wanna start a company?” I said ‘YES! But it has to be in fall. THIS fall.” It’s true, it’s like I had been waiting to hear those words my whole life. I was ready to begin (again) and I couldn’t wait a moment longer. I mean, nothing was stopping me once that noncompete was up, right?

Right. After a little prodding and pleading, Ashton and the whole team agreed, we could go forth with a FALL 2017 Collection. I couldn’t believe it, I STILL can’t believe it (broken record by now, I know, I know). We knew it would be a tight timeline. We knew we only had 7 months to get everything done, from designs to an ordering system, a team of Consultants to real life clothes! We knew it would be tough, but I knew we could do it. And we did.


Yesterday, Written in the Stars was officially released online. Our Consultants have been having ‘preview shows’ and in-home Pop Up Parties for the past couple of weeks and I swear the butterflies in my stomach haven’t stopped since then. All I can say is WHAAAT! I can’t believe your response. I CAN’T. I’m utterly shocked and humbled by the wonderful posts on our FB page and my own. I know I have a few FB friends out there, but I never knew that would translate into ya’ll showing up at these Pop Up Parties. I never knew you guys would actually love Wildflowers.

Sure, it’s been a bumpy ride. I’m not going to sugar coat it (ha, except I will because that’s just whooooo I am), there were times I wanted to give up! What the heck was I thinking?! I was 6 months pregnant…I hadn’t designed in years…and I was on my own this time, no Denise to bounce ideas off or steal color ways from. But after days of coloring and recoloring fabrics…our August release was born. We had a name. We had designs. We had Caitlin. We hired Consultants: 20 of the most lovely, hilarious, heartfelt women I have ever met. All we needed, all we had to worry about was…you. Customers. The sole reason we’re doing this. The bread to our butter, the heart to our soul.

I knew our team could pull this off in 7 months. I always knew that. But what I didn’t know was whether or not there’d still be mama’s out there willing to let me dress their girls again! I have the best cheerleaders in the world, don’t get me wrong, I KNOW THIS, but I’m a pretty modest kid, and being this way always makes me wanna play safe.

So we played it safe. We hired 20 Consultants for our first fall season (not going to lie, even 20 felt like a HUGE number to me), held our breath, and crossed our fingers. I’m no mathematician but even I know that 20 ladies does not translate to 50 states. But…as a team, we decided we’d rather give these 20 super stars a chance to thoughtfully spread Wildflowers and truly shine. As for the future? We certainly plan on growing and spreading our ‘seeds’ even further.

Theres a framed quote in my office that I think Caroline bought for Caitlin, and somehow I stole (sorry Caitlin!), that says “you’re a wildflower, beautiful and full of unpredictable growth.’ Those are some pretty words, right? But that’s all that they were to me until today… Today I feel it— I feel like we’ve made something beautiful, full of unpredictable growth.

xoxo,

Sam

Meant to be…
Three words I heard repeated over and over last week.
I can’t tell you how it felt to meet our first group of Consultants. These women are here for so much more than clothes, they’re here to tell a story that they truly believe in and I’m….well I’m dumbfounded.

I’ll never understand how I got here. I walk around saying “why me?” all the time. That’s just who I am. When bad things happen to me, I totally get it. That’s the luck of the draw. That’s how the cookie crumbles. All of those quips make sense to me. But right now I’m living in a dream world. This entire year has been something out of a fairy tale for me. First came Wildflowers, then miss Margo Denise, signed on our first home, and now…and now we are hours away from our first round of “preview days”…

There are so many things that fell into place to make this happen. So many hearts came together to create this collection. I could never do it alone, and thank God I’ll never have to.

So in the next few days..when you’re greeted by your handpicked consultant or when you see our little bee label, just know it took a village.

After spending two days in theme parks (I’m on a family vacation right now!) watching princesses and princes dance, magical creatures sing songs of bravery and triumph, I can tell you for a fact that this story we’re in right now – this world of Wildflowers we’re creating together – this is better than any fairy tale, or any dream, because this, this is real! Ahh..and goodness, I hope you love it.

Thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being a part of our very first release, of our very first collection, a collection that was “always meant to be.”

Xoxo,
Sam

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

 

I’m officially freaking out. That’s an appropriate feeling, right? Especially when everything you’ve worked on for the past 8 months is being released to the entire world in less than 2 weeks! And in 4 days we’ll be welcoming our first team of freshly picked Consultants to our office for our first sales conference! Plus – today Mark and I closed on a house in Austin, TX!  Oh, and I’m finishing Spring 2 tech packs and I’ve started coloring fabrics for Spring 3 with a new, fresh color palette…

With so much going on, it’s hard not to feel like I’m drowning sometimes. It’s hard not to feel like I’m gonna mess everything up, too. It’s crazy, even with all the amazing support from y’all, I’ll still go home everyday with a stomach ache. I’m still tossing and turning while I try to sleep, grabbing my phone at random hours of the night to see if anyone commented on our latest post or mentioned anything about our sneaks. I’m so addicted to feedback, critical or complimentary. You take the good, you take the bad (you take them both and there you have the facts of life!). Hehe, that’s what Denise and I always used to say at least! That’s the only way I’ll ever get better, and I mean, it doesn’t hurt to read nice things here and there too. 

The big thing I gotta remind myself of over and over these days is… I am NOT alone. I can’t possibly drown if I’m not alone! I can’t possibly drop the ball if I’ve got epic teammates to pass it to! The last 3 months have been eye-opening for me. I *need* to learn to share responsibilities. I remember during my very first work review, the one thing I had to work on was delegating. So I guess some things never change?! Who knows. But I’m working on it. And I’ve got the best gals around to help anyway!

Which leads me to the very best part of this whole dang blog! The last set of Wildflowers Consultants have been eagerly awaiting their time in the spotlight, so I’ll stop my rambling and share these amazing women with you! 

Hey Wildflowers!!! My name is Amanda Ottaviano, and I am so incredibly excited to begin this adventure. I have been married to my high school sweetheart, Peter for 10 years and we have 4 children; Aubree, Maddox, Gemma, and Rocco. I live in a small town called Proctorville in southern Ohio, but grew up just across the river in Huntington, West Virginia.  My biggest blessings are my family and my friends.  I fell in love with children’s clothing when dressing my 1st baby girl, and my passion for fashion keeps growing.  I am looking forward to many new relationships, plenty of new challenges, and loads of perfect outfits. Let’s all be Wildflowers together 🙂

Hello Wildflower World! I’m Whitney Whitfield, a North Carolinian by proximity, Alabamian by birth, and fellow shopaholic by the grace of God. I was introduced to the world of boutique clothing when my almost two year old daughter, Ellington, was born. It was like falling down the rabbit hole after being a boy mom for four years prior and I haven’t looked back!  My children are my world and the glue that holds us all together is my wonderful husband, Ivan. I am a former 3rd grade teacher turned school librarian, an avid reader, a former dancer and competitive baton twirler, a lover of all things sweet, and completely obsessive when it comes to photography and home decor. I can’t wait to meet you all and begin this wonderful journey with Wildflowers Clothing… I know August is going to be epic! Until then…

Joy is like wildflowers, it is often found in unexpected places.  My name is Kendra Furbee Krishnan, and joy often finds me at home with my son, daughter and husband in San Diego, California.  We are a multi cultural family, and enjoy the diversity of my husbands relatives who matriculated from eastern India to Maryland and my very tall kin from Northern California (I stand a few inches shorter than my mother who is 6 feet tall and a cancer survivor.)  For the past decade, joy has found me behind the lens of a camera, as I have had the blessing to share my creative passion in natural light portrait photography with families all over the United States.  Interest in composition and color lead to a personal interest in beautiful clothing for children and later, to the willing participation in a thriving community of women who share this passion on social media. Happiness recently found me at a personal crossroad, as my daughter is preparing to enter kindergarten and I have the growth opportunity to combine friendship, my love for photography, and passion for girls clothing into a full time career.  I am humbled and excited to be in the inaugural group of Wildflowers consultants, and look forward to the joys of growing into the new field that this opportunity has provided.

So nice to meet you! My name is Kayla Henderson and I am over the moon excited about this opportunity to spread the Wildflower love. Fort Wayne, IN is home for me but I enjoy traveling with my Boyfriend and his two boys and volunteering as much as possible. I love all things pretty and believe in slowing down just enough to enjoy them. I’ve spent my entire career in this business and feel honored to join the rest of these ladies.

I’m Laura Parsley from Springdale, AR. Kevin and I have been married for 14 years and we have three amazing kids that I thank God for everyday. Hudson is 12 and in 6th grade, Lydia Kate is 9 and in the 3rd and Saylor Brooke is 3 years old. I have a creative personality. I love crafts, photography, music, art, the beach, monograms and all things pretty! For 16 years I was a hairstylist and decided to be stay at home mama after Saylor was born. I am very thankful for this opportunity and I am so humbled to be among these beautiful Wildflowers.

Hello Wildflowers! My name is Jessica Tavelli and I live in Overland Park, Kansas. I am a midwest girl at heart and was born and raised here in Kansas. My family is my everything…my husband Geoff and I have been married for 14 years and have two children, Anthony (13) and Addison (8). I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by family here in OP and love to spend as much time with them as I can…I love watching all of my nieces and nephews grow up side by side with my kiddos! While my background is in English and Writing, my work has been all over the place! From non-profit work to retail sales to volunteer positions, the common thread always seems to be children, both in general and my own! That being said, I have always had a passion for all things cute and creative, especially clothes…particularly for my little girl! This makes Wildflowers a fabulous fit for me and I can’t wait to get started sharing this wonderful world with all of you! 

Hi everyone! I’m Casey Mussell and I live just south of Atlanta. My husband Paul and I have been married 15 years and we have 4 beautiful daughters…Emma, Ava, Piper, and Charlotte. I’m a Registered Nurse by trade, but the last few years have been a stay at home mom. I can’t wait to get to know all of you and share Wildflowers with new friends! 
Hello there! My name is Jennie Semmens and I am thrilled to be your Northeast Florida Wildflowers Clothing Rep! I’m a Florida native and call beautiful Saint Augustine my home. I’m married to my best friend, Aaron, and we have have four wonderful children! I’ve been a stay at home mom with my youngest two for the last 5 years. It has been a great journey, and with my daughter Emmie, I was introduced into the wonderful world of boutique clothing. I have gained many cherished friendships with amazing Moms who share this passion. I’ve learned over the years that it’s so much more than just clothes and I cannot wait to go on this journey with you and Wildflowers Clothing. 
Hey there, Wildflower friends! My name is Bethany Swisher, and I’m so excited to be joining this team to bring you a colorful garden of clothes that will fill your space with happiness! I was previously an elementary teacher, but now spend my time getting ready for baseball, swimming, dance, school/camp, sleepovers, and more with my husband Will and our three kids- Avery, William, and Amelia. We’ve planted roots in the family-friendly suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where our home is constantly filled with friends stopping by, kids running in and and out, and coffee brewing. In the midst of the daily craze, I enjoy crafting, home decorating, shopping, and taking the time to watch my little wildflowers grow up way too fast!
Hey y’all!! Heather Farr here from Houston, Texas. I was born and raised  in the small town of Rogersville, Alabama(Roll Tide)!!! My husband Steve and I met 15 years ago, then off to the big city this southern girl went. We have been married 14 years with two happy, free-spirited, loving children that make our life complete.  I believe everyone should feel good about who they are and what they believe in… I believe in Wildflowers Clothing! Becoming a consultant for Wildflowers is a DREAM come true for me!!!! Moving forward in this journey, I look forward to making new friends, helping little girls feel special and spreading the HEART of Wildflowers Clothing all over Houston!!

 

I can’t *believe* I get to hang with all of our Consultants next week. It all feels like a dream. I think that’s been a theme for me these days, right? Everything is just too picture perfect, I gotta knock on wood constantly to make sure I don’t jinx it! 

Next week I’ll be sharing an extra special post, so be on the lookout for that too!

XO,

Sam