Goals: Update

Previously on the Morrison Makers blog...Kaitlyn set an "If I Could Not Fail" goal to be a West Elm Local Maker by December 2016. (In Grey's Anatomy voice over.)

Guess what? By November, I was delivering orders to TWO West Elm locations - Logan Circle and Union Market! 

While filling out the extensive paperwork, it all still felt so surreal. I've looked up to The Vintage Vogue and Foxwood Co. since before moving to Maryland. Knowing my items will be sitting right beside theirs makes me feel like what I'm doing matters and this ain't the time to feel small and shy no more. (Mini southern pep talk to myself.)

In addition to being carried in two stores, I was offered the AMAZING opportunity to be an artist-in-residence at Lab 1270 which is a part of Union Market. For six weeks, I will have a space in the West Elm pop-up to create, teach workshops, and talk to the community about my creative process. Not to mention, Union Market food for six weeks. What up no money or pants that fit! 

Excited is an understatement. This is literally my dream come true and I can't wait to fill you in along the way!



Goals: The Necessity and the Terror

Since reading Your Best Year by Lisa Jacobs and completing the workbook, I am obsessed with setting goals. I look forward to my monthly and quarterly reviews and planning. It's so refreshing to see where I’ve been and make great, big leaps into the future. The downfall: I like to keep my goals to myself.

In January, I set an "If I Could Not Fail" goal to be a West Elm local maker and have my items carried in one of their stores by December 2016. I didn't share it with many people because what if I failed? What if I posted it on Instagram and it never happened? That would be mortifying. Even the few family and friends I did tell were a little "ehhhhh" about it. I understood - it was a lofty goal. 

Fast forward to March. I emailed West Elm New Orleans (the closet one) about scheduling a pop-up. They got back to me and set it up for April 10th. I was ecstatic! How was this even happening?! At that time, the Navy would not allow Shaun to travel to New Orleans so my mom graciously came down to make the trek with me. Even though it wasn't an especially fruitful event, I was overjoyed to have my foot in the door. 

During our move to Maryland, West Elm held an open call for makers and I knew this was the perfect timing for me to run towards my goal at full speed. In a whirlwind, I was contacted for an interview, accepted for a pop-up, and scheduled for the next month. The event was the best one to date! It refreshed my spirit and gave me hope that I would thrive in Maryland.

While I wait to hear back from corporate (and deflate the longer it gets), I have realized the importance of transparency and how vital it is to share our goals as creatives and as humans.  As an extrovert, my skin feels tight trying to hold it in. I want to declare my joy but then fear strikes. “No one cares.” “They will laugh if you crash and burn.” “You can’t achieve this.” But seriously, what is the worst that can happen? An unfinished goal because someone said “no.” Call it failure if you will, but I refuse. Even if the goal isn’t completed, you were not stagnant. You moved in some way, even if not exactly where you wanted to be. A little progress (or a lot) is always better than none.  The quote, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” is so cliché but also extremely enlightening. There’s a huge black hole in our galaxy that could literally swallow us up at any moment so why not imagine the craziest thing you can think of and go for it? Scientific YOLO.

My current “If I Could Not Fail” goal for July 2017 is to have Morrison Makers carried in all fifty states. That’s gaining one new wholesale store in one new state each week. It’s a doozie – I know. This endeavor started off strong and I’m hopeful that I can accomplish this by next summer. And if not, I still gained a lot of wholesalers and I’ll be proud of the states that I colored in on my map, the pitching lessons that I learned, and the reminder that life will go on...even if we are about to be sucked into a black hole. 

On The Road Again...

We got news! We got news! We got great news! 

We are moving to Maryland! And even better, all of our best buds that we met in CA are going to be there too! We have never lived in a metropolitan area and I can't even fathom all the things we are going to do and see over the next three years! Our bucket list is going to be a mile long. 

Now it's time to finish up all the to-dos in Pensacola, fill out paperwork, find a house, and get going. If you have any suggestions for places to go, eat, or visit, please comment below! We would love to hear them! 

CRAFT Handmade

We are so excited to announce that this week you will be able to shop MM in Michigan! 

Craft Handmade Shop is located in downtown Adrian, Michigan. It is a place for crafters, makers, and artists to call home. They boast close to 100 makers in the shop and offer a variety of goods. Craft is owned and operated by Melissa Snead, who has been a joy to work with. Keep scrolling to see some photos of the cute shop!

Pensacola Bucket List

We have been here for a few months but I thought we should have a bucket list for Pensacola anyway! The pickings are slim but we are trying to experience some of the best the Panhandle has to offer! 


If you're interested in thrift stores, I will be posting locations and reviews of the area shops very soon!

    Appreciating 2015

    One of my favorites part about "Your Best Year 2016" is that reflection of 2015 is described as appreciation. Often times, it is so easy to look into the past and feel judgement, disappointment, and regret. Instead of reflecting and getting hung up on the negative, I am going to appreciate the past 365 days and learn from them. 

    • What was time very well spent this year? 
      • In business, time well spent was learning how to promote on social media, reading creative business blogs, and creating a consistent brand. In life, time well spent was learning new recipes, spending time with friends and family, and allowing time to relax when needed. 
    • What was money very well spent this year?
      • Let me preface this by saying shipping is the biggest pain in the butt when you introduce new products. I was spending an arm and leg on boxes! When I found the right kind of box and bought them in bulk, that was money very well spent. I also think the logo stamp and IKEA table I use in my office were good uses of our moolah. 
    • What are your favorite memories of 2015?
      • Hands down, the Pacific Northwest road trip was my favorite memory of 2015. Getting featured on Our Best Finds, living in CA, seeing S graduate boot camp, and being married for a year were all great highlights as well. 
    • What did you accomplish or complete this year?
      • The scariest and most thrilling accomplishment was opening an Etsy shop! I am so thankful for S, his support, and great advice. 
    • Did you overcome any obstacles or mental blocks this year?
      • Learning how to list, promote, sell, and ship items were all obstacles that I had to overcome and I am still figuring it out!  
    • What did you learn about yourself after all that happened in 2015?
      • I take most things too personal. I let numbers define my success. I am too hard on myself. I plan to work on these throughout 2016. 
      • I am resilient. I adapt to change much better than previous seasons of life. I can run a business and make it successful! I have made a plan to continue to grow in 2016!

    Hello 2016!

    Hey friends! It's been awhile! I have been spending a lot of time revamping the shop and making a plan for the year and decided I couldn't just leave the blog "as is" when everything else is getting a facelift. You'll be seeing a lot of changes in the near future. Whooo hooo! 

    Here's a little update on life...

    • We have been in Florida for a few months. It's...Florida. Though the location is not ideal, we have made friends and been able to spend more time together than we did in Monterey. Plus S is enjoying the coursework here much more. 
    • Etsy has become a very rewarding and exhausting part-time job. The holiday season was a huge success and I am really looking forward to expanding this year!
    • We were able to spend Christmas with our families, which we didn't think we would be able to do this year. 

    We are so incredibly excited about 2016 for many reasons:

    • I am currently working through Your Best Year 2016 by Lisa Jacobs. If you have a creative business this book will be the best money you will spend. Hands down. Get it here! I am making big goals and big plans for the year! 
    • S has more time so he is back to training for races and events. He is happier when he is being challenged. 
    • In May we will be moving again! I am so eager for S to get his first duty station.

    Thanks for joining us in this adventure and I hope you'll be back soon to see the new changes! 

    Here We Go Again!

    It's been a whirlwind month and a half. We knew something was changing but we recently got some answers. It's always hurry up and wait. 

    S has gotten orders for a new rate (job) and we will be moving to Florida at the beginning of October. It's another exciting adventure we get to experience together. I am thrilled that we will be able to spend the holidays with family and be closer for the birth of our second niece!

    It's hard to believe our time here is coming to a close.  In these short months we have had so many adventures and made so many amazing friends, whom we will miss dearly. We have eaten delicious food and learned what it is like to be married, along with all of the adjustments that come along with the military.  

    When we got married nine months ago, I never thought we would be making two cross-country moves within a year. This life is never dull. 

    How to Not Die and be Successful in California

    • Expect everyone at a 4 way stop to think they were there before you...even if they weren't. Rolling stops are the norm.
    • Manners go a long way. The lady at Home Depot automatically assumed I was affiliated with military because of my positive attitude and patience while she asked for help to get my purchase correct. 
    • There is no AC so windows are always open. Be mindful of your conversations (especially when you're creeping) and enjoy the free laugh at the hilarious things your neighbors say. 
    • Stores don't use plastic bags and you have to buy paper bags if you want/need one. Keep a foldable one in your purse for convenience. 
    • Gas prices are astronomical. Walk.
    • Pigeons and crows don't give a care. They won't move even if threatened by death. They will, however, swoop in and take your chow. 
    • Deer are friends, not food. They are commonly seen walking down the road like a grown, independent woman and graze in yards like they were born to do so. I've seen two fawns on multiple occasions and I love watching them! 
    • Waiters barely card for drinks. Dang liberals.
    • Sales tax is also astronomical. Steal. (Kidding of course.)
    • The free section on Craigslist is not nearly as well-rounded as Charlotte's. Come on, guys. Get it together. 

    First Comes Love, Then Comes Business

    Our Etsy shop is open! It was so encouraging to hear kind words from friends and family those first few days. The support has been vital in keeping me going and creating new things. S has been an amazing business partner and teacher. He is constantly giving great advice and took the time to teach me how to use his complicated camera. 

    Our tagline is currently: Fill Your Home With Adventure

    I want to take a minute and explain what this means to S and I. A big part of our marriage is finding opportunities to try new things, make the best of the situation that we sometimes have no control over, and enjoying the everyday adventures that a marriage brings. When we are creating new items for you and your home, we are also imagining how it could be used, bring you joy, and invite the outdoors inside to be enjoyed by all who enter. 

    I hope you'll take a look around our shop and maybe even find something that speaks to you!

    From SC to CA

    My mom, Eli, and I drove to my new home in Monterey starting Saturday, May 23. It was a fun-filled adventure and we didn't even want to throw the other out of the car! Here's a breakdown of our eats, tourist-y stuff, and some places we saw along the way. 

    Day 1

    • Rock Hill, SC - Whoo hoo! We left! Now what?
    • Nashville, TN - I was so shocked by this small town. Dave Barnes lives here?! I was expecting some big honkytonk grand entrance, but no. It almost reminded me of the Thrill. 
    • Memphis, TN - Well, hello there, ELVIS EVERYTHING. If I was a foreigner, I would be so confused as to why this guy was all over the town. Although, it was neat seeing the gate to Graceland and the Lisa Marie aircraft. We ate at Marlowe's and it was fried food heaven. 
    • Little Rock, AK - So apparently, Arkansas has one "big" town and we went right on through it. The hotel clerk said the bugs hadn't gotten bad until that day. Don't blame these swarms on me, lady. It was rainy and there were flood warnings in effect. I was not a fan of this state, or town, at all. 

    Day 2

    • Oklahoma - Pretty boring place to drive through but I caught sight of my first wind turbine and that was very cool.
    • Amarillo, TX - I can't speak much for the town, but the Cadillac Ranch on the outskirts was awesome. I'm so glad we stopped to spray paint our names on the side of some old Caddies. It was pretty muddy from all of the rain but well worth the mess. 
    • Albuquerque, NM - I was not expecting this town to be so sprawled out and huuuuuugeee. The lights from houses and businesses seemed to go on forever. I wish we would've had time to stop at two Breaking Bad film locations before the sun went down but we arrived too late. 

    Day 3

    • Albuquerque, NM - When we woke up, we saw hot air balloons on the horizon. I thought we were going to drive near them but we didn't. Bummer. But oh buddy was I glad to be out of Texas when I watched the news while eating breakfast. In addition to floods, there were tornadoes and bad storms. We barely missed it and I was so grateful.
    • The rest of New Mexico - If you have to pee, you better go when you can because there's a whole lotta nothing but the views are gawwwgeous. 
    • Flagstaff, AZ - Love at first sight is a thing. I adored Arizona's landscape and Flagstaff had me at hello. We were clearly tourists in this town because everyone else had on rain gear, hats, pants, and boots, and we were wearing shorts and short sleeves. We might as well have had a marquee over our heads. Oops. We ate at Bigfoot BBQ for one specific reason. My driven path and S's cycle path (from two years ago) crossed at one point - Flagstaff. He had eaten at Bigfoot due to recommendations from his friends and I'm so glad Geoff remembered (S definitely did not) the name so that we could try it as well. We did some shopping and exploring, because this place was too cute not to, and then headed on down the mountain. I'm so glad I got to experience Flagstaff! 
    • California - Whoo hoo! We made it! Now 6 more hours?! I've watched Parenthood and have heard Bakersfield mentioned a time or two so I thought it would be some cool place. Ummm, no. Boring-ville. Much like the rest of Cali that we saw. But again, the views were nice and the turbines were neat. 
    • Monterey County, CA - Alrighty, let's play car games because we are delirious and almost there. Wait. How do we still have two hours and we are in Monterey county?!
    • Monterey, CA - WE. DID. IT! We missed the three-day mark by a few minutes arriving around 12:15 a.m. Tuesday morning. It was difficult to fall asleep because I was so excited to see S and explore my new city the next day. Thanks again, Mom, for taking that trek on with me! It was so fun and something I will always treasure! 

    We Have a Table

    Now to any ordinary person, this may sound like mundane news but S and I have never had a dining table. We did not feel the need for it or wanted to use our space for other things (bikes) instead.

    S is in an empty townhouse with an air mattress for another month until I get there. Then it will be three more weeks before our furniture is delivered.  He desperately needed a table for studying and homework. After a little Craigslist searching, I found the perfect table at an even better price. WIthin 15 minutes, he had it delivered to our house - after telling me people on Craigslist don't deliver, might I add. Humph. 

    It's beautiful and perfect and I cannot wait to get there so I can put some fresh flowers on it and enjoy eating delicious food around it with the hubs. Cheers to another ordinary but exciting milestone. 

    We Have Housing!

    S signed our lease yesterday! We did end up going with off-base housing and I feel good about our decision.  We have a 2 bedroom 1.5 bath townhouse that doesn't charge extra for Eli! It's a block and a half from his school and two blocks from the beach. Come visit! Utilities were set up today and internet is next. I can't wait to get there and make it our home!

    Other good news: S and I are going to be an aunt and uncle again! 

    It's Getting Real!

    I have a job! I have a job waiting for me in Monterey! After a phone interview, calling my references, then a FaceTime interview, a family has hired me to be their part-time nanny starting in June and ending in August. The terribly sad/awesome part is that as a part-time nanny for one child, I will be making nearly the equivalent of what I am currently earning as an educator. How is that even possible?! How is that fair? I could rant about this for a looooong time but I'll save that for another day. 

    As these weeks crawl by, I am simply coasting. I'm on the downhill. The end of the tunnel is in sight and there's light shining through! ...and all those other clichés. 

    S and I have decided to also check out local housing due to proximity to his school and saving some dough. We will make a decision as we check out places and talk to people but for now, I am nerding out making spreadsheets and maps for him so he can walk by the houses in the most efficient and organized way. I literally looked forward to it all day yesterday. Wherever we are, I'm just happy we will be together. GAGGG. 

    Post-Graduation Update

    I'm sure you've seen the pictures, but if not, S graduated boot camp and even earned a sharp shooter pin while he was there! It was a very difficult time for both of us and I'm so glad it's over. Now, on to the next adventure! Here are the top 10 questions I get asked and the answers. We are extremely excited about Monterey and all that the West Coast has to offer. 

    1. When are you moving? As of right now, I am scheduled to leave in May.
    2. How are you getting there? The Navy will pack and move all of our belongings. Eli and I will be driving cross-country and transporting some things that we will need immediately in my car. 
    3. Are you going to teach? No way. I need a break. Plus, I don't want to get stuck in a contract like I am now. 
    4. Well, then what are you going to do? I'm going to nanny! I'm so excited for a change. 
    5. What is S doing? He is learning a foreign language in Monterey, CA.
    6. Isn't that difficult? Yes, but I have full confidence in him. I am attempting to learn the language as well so that we can speak it at home and I can help him study. 
    7. How long will you guys be there? He graduates next spring. 
    8. Where will you go next? We don't have a clue. We won't find out until closer to graduation. 
    9. Where will you live in Monterey? We are currently number 10 on the list for base housing so we will have a house by the time I get out there! 
    10. Are you scared? Actually, not at all. I am surprised by my excitement for the unknown and the challenges ahead of us. All of the difficult paperwork has been submitted and I've learned a lot through reading other wives' blogs and following checklists. (I'm in LOOOVE with checklists.) When I called transportation they actually thought I grew up in a military family because I knew so much. I was flattered. If you're going to do something, do it right. Hooyah! 

    It's Almost Here!

    We have ELEVEN days until graduation! I get to see my husband THIS month! I've been getting a lot done in preparation for the big day and a potential move. When I look back over the last eight weeks, I can't believe how much has changed and how slowly, then quickly, it went by. 

    The day after graduation, S will fly to Monterey, California, where he will attend A-school. This school is very intense and time-consuming. I will be learning a new language along with him and we will spend a lot of our time studying. During this time, we will have every weekend to explore! I am beyond ecstatic for this because since we met, we have always had weekend jobs. Hello road trips, state parks, trails, farmers markets and CRAFTS WITH S! Ahem, I mean man projects. With wood. And beer. And meat. Rub some dirt in it. 

    We are currently trying to decide if we are going to sell both of our cars so that I could fly out there, or ship my car and fly, or I could drive by myself - which I'm really not a fan of. I AM excited that I don't have to pack up everything by myself. Thank you, Navy, for that! 

    May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favor

    I left S at a hotel in Charlotte tonight and by this time tomorrow, he will be freezing his behind off in Great Lakes, IL. It's boot camp time.

    There are many reasons this "see ya later" is more difficult and at the same time, also much easier than previous goodbyes. Even with the heartache, I am so excited for him and I couldn't be more proud.  

    Update: He called me and let me know he made it to Illinois. Now I'm waiting for a package with his address. I am also waiting for another phone call in two weeks. 

    Happy New Year!

    It's already been a big day! I got a replacement phone and case, we received our wedding DVDs, and got a sneak peek on Simply Violet Photography's blog! If you would like to see some of the pictures, click here!

    But here's reality: S leaves for Navy Bootcamp in 12 days. The realization finally hit me yesterday. I have been so preoccupied with the wedding and then enjoying the honeymoon and the holidays, I had pushed it to the far corners of my mind. Emotions seem to hit me at the most random times, and as I talked to S about organizing our gifts, the waterworks found their way to my eyes. 

    S asked me yesterday when I thought the honeymoon phase would end. I realized that the phase may not end before he leaves, which will make the leaving part much more difficult. I am confident that the infamous bike trip has prepared me for this next big adventure and I am ready to face it head on. As we begin this new chapter and new year in our lives, I am curious and excited about the changes to come. Bring it on, 2015!