Are you a little lost?
- Okay, I went to college, got the degree, hate my job...now what?
- Is this really what I dreamed of my entire life?
- My mom retired after 30 years at the same company. At her retirement, she was making less than my first job offer out of college. Fair, no, but true.
- I dream big, work hard, and want a good life...so how do I get there?
- They say follow your dreams and the money will follow...I can't seem to put my finger on what that dream actually is. And, really, the money will just follow? I somehow find that hard to believe!
This was my life about two years ago. I was lost, searching, for what, I was not sure. I have always been hard working and determined to succeed. I worked two jobs through high-school, worked through most of college, dreamed big and achieved big according to the standards of society. I was lost.
I then found myself in Dallas, TX, in a real estate sales position working for a company with zero ethics and even less soul. I knew it from day one, but the money was good...or should I say the money that they promised was good. I struggled with my own compass, tuning out my sense-of-right for the financial stability of my family. I prayed, and prayed, and prayed. I was there for a reason and I am starting to see it clearly in retrospect...don't you just hate how that works!! If only we could see clearly in the moment, but then again isn't that was faith is for! I met some wonderful people, and some incredibly terrible people. I was always so optimistic before this experience, trying to see the best in everyone, but this experience has helped me to understand that not all people are good. All people have the ability to be good, but not all choose that path.
I would lay awake at night, knowing that I needed to take the leap of faith and start my own business. I have been an entrepreneur at heart as long as I can remember. I have been writing business plans from the age of 10. I started everything from baby-sitting clubs to grocery delivery services in my early years. I was obsessed with "start your own business" books and infomercials. I have also always had a love for the fashion business. I knew that I was not trendy enough or style-savvy enough to be a designer, so I studied the fashion business in college. I was raised by a single mom and didn't know who Louis Vuitton or Versace were until college. To be quite honest, I don't think I even knew the name Coach until college! So, I thought I would eventually work in the industry and ultimately start my own company, but I couldn't see it clearly. I guess it just wasn't my time...yet. So, as I was making my way through life, searching for that answer, I found myself in that hell-hole of an office back in Dallas. That experience is what forced me so much deeper in my personal relationship with God. I begged for the answer, I pleaded for the grand idea. And then one beautiful afternoon in Fort Lauderdale, FL (my new home) in March of 2007, it was time. The idea came to me, as Oprah would say, my "light bulb" moment, or Donny Deutsch would say, my "a-ha moment"!
I have given my heart and soul to this idea, now called RuffleButts. It was my calling, my answer...fashion, business, and the sweet innocence of children. It just doesn't get any better than that. I was able to create a brand built on smiles...the logo alone says it all! I launched my Spring 08 line in August at KidShow Las Vegas and have been running ever since. I have crossed paths with so many strong, faithful, inspirational, supportive people that I have almost let go of my devastating experience back in Dallas.
For those of you still in that "God give me the answer" stage...I promise, it will come. It may be tomorrow, it may be when you are fifty, but it will come. Maybe your "light bulb" moment will be at the birth of your first child and you will discover that you were meant to be a stay-at-home mommy. Maybe it will come as you lose your career to a layoff. It is not your plan, you must have faith. Not everyone is born with the "I'm going to be a doctor when I grow up" plan in action. Maybe your dream is not clear. I am definitely not an expert here, but what I can tell you with much certainty is that you must pursue whatever it is that brings you joy...something that makes you proud, something that makes you smile. I love what I do - that doesn't mean that I love what I do every single day. Believe me, when you run your own business, you do many things that DO NOT make you smile, but ultimately I love it all because it is mine and I create, I bring joy, I share smiles, and I get to work with moms...it just doesn't get any better than this!