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Can I just tell you how interesting it is to see your favorites each release day?! I love seeing which items y’all go gaga over because they’re always different than what I predict! Well not ALWAYS but I’m still surprised by our top sellers each and every month so far!

Did you know our whole team in Austin is involved in picking each release? I over-design at least 2-3 times — which means if we want 20 pieces in a release, I design 40-60 pieces for us to CHOOSE from to create the final 20 pieces. During this time we all end up with our personal favorites, of course. Dresses or tops we HAVE to have in the line…you know, the ones that we would ‘fight’ to keep in the release! Or styles that are cute, but we decide should be recolored and saved for the next release or season. It’s truly funny to see everybody’s picks and hear WHY they picked them. Ashton, our CEO, has some of the strongest opinions on what designs he likes best. He always says “I’ll dress my girls in that…and that…and that and that and that.” For instance in October, he HAD to have the Monet Top and the Whimsical World Tiered Dress! No if’s, and’s, or but’s about it! Where as I HAD to have the reversible jumper. HAD. TO. I would have fought everybody at that table for it!

Luckily we were all in agreement that the jumper was a must and I didn’t have to wrestle anyone over it. 😉 There’s just something about that plaid, am I right?! All of our printed woven fabrics we’ve used, so far, are poplin – a cool, lightweight woven fabric with a smooth hand feel, that’s easy to iron and shouldn’t wrinkle too easily like most 100% cottons do. But this was the first time I used a yarn dyed poplin…which is the reason the jumper is reversible! Ha, you should have seen me when I came up with the idea. I felt like a genius, even though it’s a rather simple concept! If you know me, it doesn’t take much to get me bouncing around, overly excited…

Our other OBVIOUS favorite was any and ALL items with the fable print on it!! Those deer, owls, and foxes wrapped up in scarves all cozy and such?! How could you not love it!? Not to mention it was hand drawn for me to color-up by the AMAZING artist who designs all of the fabrics for Eleanor Rose and Kelly’s Kids. I felt so honored to have her create this one-of-a-kind cutie print for us! The Fable Peasant Top paired with the Mimi Leggings is near the top of my favorite lists too. Such a sweet, simply adorable pairing, made only more adorable by the DARLING Adeline James in it above (that’s Ashton’s littlest girl!). Or -if you’re like me and you like to get a little more adventurous with your outfit making, then try it styled with the Comeback Knickers!! There’s a small ruffle tucked underneath the ‘words of wisdom’ trim around the skirt of the peasant top that helps the knickers coordinate ever-so-perfectly.

And that leads me to the last piece I want to swooooon over today! The Pixie Mitzi! The slightly curved, LINED, bodice, the 4 paneled skirt, the ruffle detail on the side panels…and that fable print featured smack dab in the middle! I have all the heart eyes for this special little guy. PLUS. I named it after a dear friend of mine Mitzi, from the amazing Livie and Luca Shoes! I haven’t even told her this yet! No time like the present though, right!? Well Mitzi, this exceptionally unique silhouette was designed with you in mind! Your magical spirit, unique (insanely creative) style, and huge HEART are what make you special to me and I guess I hoped this dress captured that as well as you do. ❤️

OKAY LASTLY!!! I wanna do something NEW. Well, something OLD to me, but NEW for Wildflowers—a blog contest! Tell me what your favorite WF style is so far and why for a chance at one of our limited hostess messenger bags!! All blog comments need approved by admin first (we get LOTS of spam for some reason?!) so don’t worry if you don’t see your post showing up immediately! Andrea or I will go through and make sure they all get approved before we pick the winners!

I cannot wait to see what are your TOP favorites are! 😍

XOXO,

SAM

P.S. Check out my gal, Andrea, looking even more gorgeous and princess-ly than usual! She just got her wedding photos back yesterday and our entire office has been oohing and ahhing over them all morning! Her wedding was one for the books, let me tell ya. It might even be part of the story for Spring 2018…you’ll just have to wait and see! ✨

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.

.

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