Two years ago this month, I made (or should say 'we made'), one of the scariest and most exciting decisions of our lives. I quit my day job to pursue our dream, Tuck & Bonté. I didn't really have 'a plan'. I didn't even have anything figured out. I just knew it was what I had to do. I was fed up with my job. I was tired of being exhausted and drained every single day doing something I was less than crazy about, when I could be doing something I loved. So, after much thinking and much praying, we decided to take the leap of faith. Surely we could live off of one salary until I got things up and running. . . haha! It all sounds so easy now. Let's just say it's easier said than done. It's easier to dream dreams than actually do dreams. But doing them is what's it's all about. We did it, and are still doing it, and I'll never regret it.
Last year was one of the hardest years of my life. No joke. Looking back now, I see all that happened and how necessary it was to get us where we are today. But then, I wasn't seeing anything. Most days I felt crazy. Stuck. Especially when the doubts and questions started rolling in. . . What are you doing? Why would you quit your job? You're not making any money. You don't even have a plan. Why are you making party decor? You really want to make clothing. You're probably never gonna make clothing. You never even used what you went to school for. You are never going to be successful. It's too hard. It's really just too hard. Just quite now, why don't you.
All of those doubts, those fears, and those thoughts were so real. They were daily battles I had to fight, and still do some days. Starting a business is not for the faint of heart, BUT, it's not impossible. You have to have focus. You have to be passionate every single day about your vision. You have to take action to make that vision a reality. It's a lot of hard work. It's late hours and working on the weekends. There's a lot of plowing and planting that happens in the early stages, but it's so exciting to watch something you care so much about grow. There's nothing more life giving than to see your dream start out as a tiny baby idea, and to watch it grow, and grow, and mature.
That was last year for us. We didn't really make any money, or not very much. We didn't have a ton of sales. We didn't have many exciting opportunities or product features. We just kept creating new products, putting to life our little party ideas. We kept developing new products, planning photo shoots, and putting every bit of ourself into everything we made. As the saying goes, 'we kept on keeping on'.
That brings us to today. After 2 years, Tuck and Bonté is still in the baby stages. Our end goal is not to create party decor for weddings and events, but it's a start, and now it's our story. After so much hard work last year with not a lot of fruit to show for it, this year was a much needed encouragement. This year was different. It's like we finally started to see some fruit from all of our labor. We started to get products in magazines and featured on big blogs, the shop finally began getting consistent sales, and we had the amazing opportunity to start wholesaling with Anthropologie and The Knot. All that sounds like pure craziness when thinking back to last year, but it was just what we needed to keep on going. I know we'll have other hard seasons of change and growth for the business, but hopefully it will be followed by some of these good, fruitful seasons to always keep us moving forward.
One of my favorite things to do is read books about designers and successful business men. I love learning about the triumphs and failures that brought them to the present. Every successful person or idea started somewhere. That should encourage someone. It does me. It means that no one just woke up one day to a booming, successful business. They woke up and worked hard every single day.
It inspires me to know that Ralph Lauren started out making ties. That's it. He made ties, that he eventually got into one store, and then another, and then another, until it grew into the huge business it is today. It's inspiring to know that Howard Schultz of Starbucks had a crazy dream to sell espresso on-the-go. People told him that NO ONE would pay $3 dollars for a cup of coffee. He was turned down so many times, but he never gave up. He never stopped believing in his idea, until eventually, other people started believing in it as well. What would life be like without his idea? What would we all do without our Starbucks? It's a crazy thought for sure. It makes me ask the question. . .What would the world do without your idea? My idea?
Anyways, sorry I got a bit long winded there. I guess I'm just completely overwhelmed by our journey and how blessed we are today. We are so excited about where we're at, but we are even more excited about what the future holds. We hope to start incorporating fashion and furniture accessories into the brand sometime in the near future. We'll definitely keep you all posted. Thank you so much for all the support, encouraging words, and most of all, for believing in us. We wouldn't be here without you.
Cheers to 2!
Tuck and Bonté
"The elevator to success is out of order. You'll have to use the stairs. One step at a time." -Unknown
Four years ago (August 16th), I married the best man I know and have never looked back. He's my better half, my best friend, and my inspiration. I'm so thankful to have been blessed with such a man. Lee Andrew Watson, I'm so glad you're mine forever. Thanks for loving me well.
I fell in love with this resort collection the minute I laid eyes on it. Especially the second look. I love all the textures, patterns and colors mixed together. It makes me VERY excited for fall.
Are you tired of hot summer days, or are you one of those 'endless summer days' types? I'm one hundred percent a fall girl, through and through. I love layers, jackets, scarves and boots. The only problem with this is I keep moving to warmer and warmer climates. I came from the PNW with lots of snowy winters, to a much milder NC with chilly winters, but nothing like the weather back home. And now, onto an even warmer SC. I'm not sure what to expect, but I'm thinking I might just have to get rid of all my warm sweaters and coats. The thought of that makes me so sad, I don't want to think about it.
Anyways, hope you enjoy! oh, and can someone please get me some of the striped tights? I'm kind of in love.
Charleston to me means sand in my toes, waves, the ocean, and food. Lots of good food. I think every trip is starting to feel a little more like home, even though we don't live there yet. At least we're getting used to the idea. I know we're falling a little more in love with it each time though. It's stollen our hearts, and we couldn't be more thrilled.
Lee was supposed to work from there a few days 2 weeks ago. Well, his meetings got all switched up, so he ended up going the entire week. We hate being apart that long, so I decided that if I got all my work done, I'd go too. I did, and ended up driving down with my Dad and little brother the day after him. It was actually very relaxing for me. Sometimes I feel like I don't know how to relax anymore, especially when I'm not with Lee. I feel like half of me is missing. I don't have that kindred spirit to share everything with, and for a togetherness person, that's sad. It was good though. I'm learning how to actually let down and relax. I went to lunch by myself (which I never do. I think it was actually the first time!), I went to coffee alone and sat for hours, and I went to the beach alone! I was really alone there. I showed up at 8:30 and it was practically all mine. It was so peaceful to just sit and listen to the repetitive, constant wash of the waves on the shore. I read a little, sun bathed a lot, and took another solo-lunch break at a fun little spot a couple blocks inland.
After my Dad and brother left, we decided to have a little date night. We spotted the cutest, tiniest, most romantic looking Italian Restaurant (Pane e Vino) during our first visit at the beginning of the year . We saw it when we were leaving town and said we'd go next time. Well, next time came and went, and we still hadn't gone. We said for SURE we would go this time. Well, we almost talked ourselves out of it, and I'm so glad we didn't! It was like a date night in Italy. Seriously! A big thunderstorm had just passed through, and I was so hoping it wouldn't come back so we could grab a spot on the patio. We got lucky because it was covered, and completely lit by twinkle lights. There was beautiful jazzy music playing, and we were one of the only couples there. We aren't normally crazy about Italian places, but now I think we're sold. This was so authentic. . .All homemade pastas and sauces, delicious bread and olive oil appetizer. . . A tall bottle of sparkling water on the table. I love when people pay attention to details. I had spinach ravioli with an asparagus proscuitto cream sauce. It was to die for. It's all I can think about. I want to go back and order that exact, same thing!
All in all, it was a great break week. I felt refreshed and ready to get back to work upon our return.
Cheers to the ocean, homemade pasta, sandy sun-kissed faces, sunset beach walks, and the rest it brings our souls!
My little brother, whose not so little anymore, and Dad came to visit us for 2 days last week. They were coming to visit Luke, our other brother, in Charlotte, and be at the live album recording he was drumming for that weekend. They popped in to see us as well. Lee ended up being out of town the whole week because of work meetings, so we went to him.
I was glad to have driving company, and got to show them around our soon to be home city that afternoon. It was hot, and humid, and these two NW-ers definitely weren't used to it. We went to one of our favorite little restaurants right by the beach for dinner, and ended up having to eat outside. The sun was starting to go down, so the heat let up a bit, which we were all very grateful for. Afterwards, we walked to the beach and looked at the beautiful houses surrounding it. We ended the night with some fro-yo. It was pretty darn great. Short and sweet.
I can't wait to be on vacation with the rest of my family! August, you couldn't come sooner.
Sometimes I'm just too busy living life, working, traveling and enjoying the 'now' to worry about blogging it all. Although, I was surprised when I got on here and saw that's it's been over a month since I've posted anything. Sorry, readers, if I even have any readers left. If you are still here, we have some major catching up to do.
This year has been a whirlwind, in the best kind of way. So many changes and new opportunities that I never anticipating 2013 bringing. They have been welcomed with open arms though.
The business has really exploded and I find myself working more than I ever have in my entire life. Even with all the exhausting late nights, I have never been more satisfied with my work. I have also never been so stretched. It's coming up on my 2nd anniversary of quitting my job to pursue our business full time. It's amazing to look back and see where our journey has taken us, and what a crazy adventure ride it's been. I feel more blessed than ever. (more on this soon)
We're going on 2+ months since Lee transitioned to his new job. This came completely out of the blue, and was one of those 'too good to be true' opportunities. So of course, we took it. Along with taking the job came agreeing to relocate, which will take place in the next 6mos-1year. The company is based out of Charleston, SC, and we are just a little bit exited to be moving there. Never have we both so quickly fallen in love with and felt so at home in a city as we do there. The hard part is living fully 'here' until the move.
Here's a few photos from our most recent trip. We even started house hunting and neighborhood shopping! Praying for the perfect house at the right time.
I'm also head over heels in love with the palm trees and Spanish moss. I never thought I'd live somewhere with palm trees, but now I can't wait! I'll try frequent this place more often in the near future.