Posted at 15:12h
How do I even begin? I know when I meet new people I usually just want to make them laugh or smile at something I’ve said. It’s a total Michael Scott complex. But how do I begin without having that in person advantage of silly faces, weird mannerisms, and nervous-filled word vomit? Well…I guess I do what I’ve been doing for the past 8 or 9 years. I’ll wing it.
A handful of pantones is the equivalent to a million dollars to meeeee.
Hi! I’m Sam McDonald. I’m a homegrown designer from the midwest, freshly plucked from the field at the young age of 19. I left high school and was immediately lost. It wasn’t a “reality check” kind of lost, because I didn’t have a very sheltered childhood, it was… “Why do I even exist” kind of lost? What’s my purpose? All I ever wanted to do was design (well, that and be an actress/model/singer triple threat) but in my heart I knew it wasn’t a realistic goal. How many designers come from Fort Wayne, Indiana anyway?
Well, ladies and probably no gentlemen, I found a designer from Fort Wayne. Or better yet, she found me. Denise DeMarchis. I was hired for a small local children’s clothing company to lovingly pack and ship orders to their customers. I didn’t know the woman behind the brand yet, but I could feel her presence everywhere. She was in the shelves and the way they smelled like vanilla lavender in Spring and cinnamon apple in the Fall. She was in the 100’s of bolts of colorful fabrics that filled every nook and cranny of the tiny apartment we worked out of. And she was…she is… She is a whole world and story of her own. Anyway…
Denise DeMarchis, my forever hero
Eventually I was pulled into design because times were slow, there weren’t orders to pack, but this lady, she kept us busy no matter what. My mottos in life have always been WORK HARD (thanks Dad!) and BE NICE (thanks Mom!). These two simple thoughts are why I’m here today (ok that and I GUESS I’ve got an eye for color, more on that later). I worked my butt off to be the best from packing, to layering fabric, to unloading inventory. I had to be the fastest, I had to be the best. I never knew how hard I could work until I met Denise. I never knew how badly I wanted to be a part of something until I met Denise. I wanted to so badly to be a chapter in her story.
And I was. I got to design with her for 5+ years. I got to travel with her for 6+ years. I got to call her my boss for 7+ years. And I got to call her my best friend for 4+ years.
Poor quality photo, but this was a huge & scary moment for us! Presenting to the Fort Wayne Boy’s and Girl’s Club at the Smart Girls Luncheon 2014.
I was inspired constantly, kept on my toes, taught to work faster, more deliberately. And to always trust my gut, and to do everything, even design, with my heart in mind. My head would spin from morning to night, with ideas, texts, emails, screen shots, sketches, fabrics, cute lines for descriptions, Facebook posts, customer photos… I could go on and on. It was crazy and I was in love.
Lots of talking about the past for a post about the future, am I right? To me, they’re so intertwined. I can’t think about taking a step into the future without recognizing where I came from. My ‘roots’. In order to make this happen, to make this love explode, I need to keep these stories in my mind and I WANT to share them. I want to share everything. I want to be open and transparent and show you the hectic, beautiful, insanity behind not only designing but creating an entire brand from scratch! A brand that’s been growing inside me for longer than I’ve known. A brand that’s been deep in my gut even longer than little baby Margo (just about 1 more week until she’s here, guys)!
Little Margo at 35 weeks!
And now it’s happening! IT’S ALL HAPPENING! This is the year Wildflowers Clothing becomes a reality. This is the year I get to share color, fabrics, and everything in between…with you all! This is the year I get to birth a baby and a brand. Dang, this just might be MY year. (I don’t know why everything’s always about me, geeeez…) We’ve planted the seed, all we need to do now is nurture it, water it with hard work, and watch it grow, grow, grow… And starting in April, we get to hire a team of strong, thoughtful and courageous women to share our story, each new collection, AND our hearts. Nothing beats that to me! I never knew ‘direct selling’ would become such a part of me, but it has. I believe in the connections. I believe in the relationships. And I believe in trying to keep as much human contact as possible in this very virtual world!
Last but not least of this long-winded post: Why Wildflowers, you say? A few years ago my old design assistant gave me a framed print that said ‘Do you suppose she’s a wildflower?” I’ve pondered that question quite a few times since. Maybe that sounds silly, but I really wanted to know what it meant to BE a Wildflower. And in the midst of brainstorming the name for our new brand, I think it finally hit me. I am a Wildflower. I was untamed, untrained, and lacked confidence, but when the opportunity came for me to step up…to bloom? I took it. I was nothing but a seed Denise thought worthy of planting. And now? Now I’m someone that has friends/cheerleaders across the country (heck across the WORLD) wishing me goodwill, wishing me happiness, and success. Now that I’ve “bloomed,” I want to share all the beauty I can muster with you. (And I’ve got the best team by my side the whole way! MUCH more on that later, too!)
The girls behind the brand! Just missing Caitlin (our new Sales Director!)
So yes, I DO suppose I’m a Wildflower. I DO suppose I was plucked from the side of the road to help bring even more beauty into this world. Wildflowers, they’re curious little plants… They POP UP out of nowhere, they can take over an entire garden if given the chance… They’re natural. They’re unique. And try to cut them down, I dare ya! I bet they’ll come back. Stronger than ever.
And it all begins August 2017.