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My Baby Turned 10!

2 years ago 2477 Views No comments

So, 1st let me say, I doubt I’m alone in the fact that I don’t feel old enough to have a 10 year old! I remember when Aubrey, our 1st, started Kindergarten and I couldn’t believe how quickly that day snuck up on us. Now, here she is in 4th grade, a little person in her own right, and I have NO IDEA where the last 10 years went!

So, for those of you who are not familiar with the RuffleButts story, I’ll try to give you a speed version here...so I started RuffleButts before Aubrey, our first daughter, was born. In many ways RuffleButts was my 1st born and when RB turned 10 a few years back, I was pretty much in shock at how crazy fast everything had gone by. In November of 2008, almost 2 years after starting RuffleButts, we were blessed with our 1st child. It has been the craziest, most emotional, most stressful, most amazing 10 years of my life. Launching and growing a business while simultaneously “launching” and growing a family is pure craziness, pure joyful craziness!

All of my RB memories seem to be intertwined with my mom memories. I’ll never forget our 1st trip out to LA for a RB photo shoot with Amanda Elkins! Amanda is an incredible LA-based photographer, who quickly became a friend through RB. I knew I had to elevate our RB photography, and also knew Amanda was the perfect person to do it! My only challenge was the fact that Aubrey was only 9 months old, was barely sleeping through the nights and was having a soy-reaction, unable to keep her food down. I packed up my little 9-month-old and out to LA we went, just the two of us! What was I thinking?!! She screamed the entire 4 hour flight out, threw up all over the clothes we were photographing, and we arrived 30 minutes late to our own shoot (the flight was delayed of course!). Funny enough, they are still some of my very favorite photos to this day.

Fast forward 9+ years and here she is. I could not be more proud of the little lady that she has become. On Black Friday week (Thanksgiving break) she chooses to get up at 3:30 in the morning and come with me to the office, each and every year. She helps with graphics, social videos, fit tests, photo shoots. She endures my endless working and even cheers me on. She is faithful, intelligent, adventurous and never steps down from a challenge. The only thing bigger than her spirit is her ambition, which scares me just a little. She is everything I wish I was at her age, and I dare even guess what kind of life she will create for herself.

As I step back with my mom-wrinkles, dark circles and too-many greys to mention, I smile at the fact that they were all completely worth it. I have had the privilege of watching not only RuffleButts grow up over these years, but also my two amazing children. I have also learned to take in the moments, much more so than I realized in my younger years. I know very well that Jonas is only 2 years behind Aubrey and that they both will be graduating before I know it. In the meantime, I’m going to take a moment to count my blessings and hold on for the ride. Happy birthday my sweet baby girl!

The Joy of Giving

2 years ago 860 Views No comments

I wanted to take a moment to celebrate…to celebrate our RB team, our customers, and answered prayers. I will never forget the prayers I prayed out on our apartment balcony as I searched for the idea, for my purpose and next career chapter. In that prayer, I knew I wanted to do something that could affect others in a positive way, but I just couldn’t put my finger on exactly how. I am so honored to say that RuffleButts has been an amazing blessing, in so many ways, but it has been such a pleasant surprise to watch how a for-profit business can benefit others in a very not-for-profit way.

First, I will celebrate that we were able to donate more than $250,000 of children’s apparel to the victims of Hurricane Florence. We set the goal of $200k, but with heart and determination, and the help of our social fans, we surpassed that goal. I’m also happy to report that it’s currently being distributed by World Vision USA {www.worldvision.org/disaster-relief-news-stories} in the areas affected. When I started this business, I had a hard time envisioning selling $250,000 in goods. To be here today, able to give away that amount to those in need is truly an amazing feeling

I know it may be a bit premature, being that we just started Q4, but I also want to celebrate our RuffleButts customers and RB team. This year has been a crazy one, to say the least. While we are only a few weeks into Q4, our company has experienced growth unsurpassed in the history of our company. Our team has worked their tails off to continue delivering a golden-rule experience for our customer, while our customers have rallied behind our little family business and made this all possible.

While I’m often asked if I envisioned all of this when starting RuffleButts almost 12 years ago, it’s actually a tough question to answer. I dreamed it, I hoped for it, and knew deep down that it was all possible, but envisioning something that is beyond your wildest dreams is a tough task. It was just this week that I looked up from my desk out to our team of over 40 people (40 truly wonderful, hard-working, inspiring people) that I just got a little grin. While I never quite pictured what it would look like to be a part of something this cool, I feel eternally grateful that I get to!

RuffleButts Gives Back to NC after Hurricane Florence

2 years ago 1012 Views 1 comment

As many of you know, RuffleButts grew from our basement in Charlotte, NC to our current warehouse in Grapevine, TX. We made the move just 5 years ago. Both of our children were born in North Carolina and it will forever hold a special place in our hearts. With that said, we watched, along with the rest of America, as the state faced a devastating loss with Hurricane Florence. As the stats were posted over the following days, we were led to help. I am always amazed and touched by the human spirit of giving. I watched as people risked their own lives to save people and animals alike. I am always touched by the number of people that put their own lives on hold to help those affected by these disasters. I felt like we were falling short in our duty to help.

The timing just so happened to fall on the day my team was making a big decision on some products that we have here at our DFW warehouse. We had an order from a customer for a large amount of limited edition products...I give the credit to my hubby (also our COO) on this one...he suggested we decline the order and instead donate all of the clothing to those affected by the disaster. Genius - don't tell him I said that ;) ! We shared the idea with our team and they ran with it. Just a day later, we partnered with an incredible organization willing to transport and facilitate getting the apparel from us to the people who need it most.

With that said, I am both excited and proud to share that we have partnered with World Vision, an impressive organization dedicated to helping others both here in the US and also around the world. Within one week of Florence's landfall, World Vision had sent 12 full truckloads of emergency relief supplies. Their phase 1 deployment team has returned home and the phase 2 deployment team is in place to focus on relief efforts. They will continue to provide support over the next 3-6 months in the areas that need it most. And while we realize that thousands of ruffled outfits are not necessarily "emergency relief supplies", we are also aware that many people lost everything. It is our hope that this clothing brings those people a little joy in a time of sadness, and also helps them in a small way to get back to normal.

So, that leads me to the fun part...how can we share the joy of giving with our incredible customers?! You guys never cease to amaze me in your outpouring of support and enthusiasm for our little company. I keep thinking, what if we are able to combine that enthusiasm with the joy of ruffled giving?! So, here's what we came up with…

  1. We are going to give regardless, but we want to share this joy, so let's get you involved. We know not everyone has the financial ability to give thousands of outfits, so we'll do it for you!
  2. Starting today, we're sharing the opportunity to give simply by following @RuffleButts on Instagram. For every new "follow" we are giving another outfit. Want to give more, simply share the post and/or tag your friends & family, telling them to "follow" too!
  3. Our goal is to donate and distribute $200,000 (retail value) of apparel to those affected.

To be honest, I'm always torn on whether to give in our typical quiet way or to include our customers. I usually opt for the 1st route, but this time, I think we can rally together and do even more good as a team. The more followers we have on social, the bigger we grow. The bigger we grow, the more we can pay it forward. I hope you'll join us!!

We'll be sharing updates over the next few days as we rally together for this fun project. World Vision is arranging the team to pick up the goods as I type, so we'll have to do this quickly. Who's in? Ready, set, follow, share! Visit our IG page @rufflebutts (https://www.instagram.com/rufflebutts/) to join us!

You can visit https://www.worldvision.org/disaster-relief-news-stories/2018-hurricane-florence-facts to learn more about World Vision and how they are assisting in relief efforts following Hurricane Florence.