The new me!

Some of you may know this and some of you may not so I wanted to share what has been going on in my life the last couple months and introduce my new blog and the new chapter in my life i am embarking on!

Most of you who know me know that i have been the founder and owner of a company called a la mode for the past 4 years. The company started as a hobby when my oldest son Austin (now 5) was 18 months old. I wanted something to do while i was staying at home and designed a small and simple line of handbags that I was making for friends and family. I had the idea that the bags might sell in home parties where women could pick from a line of fabric and purse designs and essentially design their own custom handbags with different add-on embellies. I put together a small test program and launched a la mode with my small group of friends. The first few parties i did were successful and the response was overwhelming so i knew i had something. Within a few short months i had a few ladies wanting to sell the bags and a few women helping me sew them.

the company has grown and changed so so much since then - it is really mind-blowing. within 6 short months we had big equipment, full-time seamstresses, a list of design associates and more sophisticated styles and fabrics. through much streamlining, hiring, training, recruiting, friendships, mistakes and successes the company continued to grow and become more than a full-time job for me. It still amazes me that i started this little idea in our kitchen on a cheap, borrowed sewing machine and now it has a separate studio and has a presence in over 7 states. such an accomplishment!

In april of 2007 my husband and i had our second little boy, tyler. It was rocky at first managing a newborn and the business...but somehow i made it through. once tyler was a couple months old he visited the studio with me daily first in his carseat, then on a blanket, lots of time in the baby bjorn sling, the playpen and finally running around getting into nearly everything! this was definately one of the most challenging times in my mommyhood / career. the whole reason for starting a la mode was to be able to stay home with my kids and still earn some extra money. But, it was becoming really difficult to manage both in a good way. The middle of July I had a realization that some major things in my life needed to change.

I talked to doug about it and with many tears i decided it was best to try to find another fabulous person to take over alm. It was becoming too much for austin to be at the studio everyday bored to tears and tyler was just into everything and safety was becoming an issue. I just couldn't find the time to manage a full-time career and a full-time sahm. so i decided it was time to enter a new chapter in life and sell alm. i found a person i trusted and admired to acquire the company and continue on the path of my dreams and hopes for alm.

i have continued to stay on as founding director, selling and recruting for alm. really these were the things i was always so passionate about, but the rest of the company just got in the way. this would allow me to still be a part of my passion, explore new avenues and give more quality time to my boys and family. so - here we are chapter 2: sara creates! i can't wait to see where the next few months and year take me. i have finally finished that home studio you all read about months and months ago in the alm studio blog - i have been scrapbooking much more and even got my own quilting machine back out and dusted off!

the kids and i have been loving all our undisturbed time together - we've been going on 90 minute bike rides every day enjoying the start of fall. i don't have to miss any of austin's field trips because i am too busy at work and can't spare the time! i feel like i'm actually watching my kids grow and learn instead of just watching it pass by. our family life has calmed down - laundry and dinner get done in a reasonable time and we actually have somewhat of a schedule or routine around here (and it doesn't involve daily trips to the post office!!) Life is good! I'm so glad i took the plunge - it is paying off! I didn't realize how much i was missing until i saw it up close again.

i hope you all will continue to visit my new blog. i plan on posting all kinds of creative things - i have some goals i would like to achieve over the next 12 months and i'd love for you to come with me on the journey. look for pictures of scrap pages, cardmaking, quilting and everything creative!

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