Happy Endings and New Beginnings

Wow. What a week last week. Seriously, what a crazy, crazy long and exciting week. Wednesday was the big, big day…we finally received our manufactured goods. They came a day later than I expected, but you better believe I was happy they were here…it could have been a lot worse…it could have been one week or one month late, so you won’t see any complaining from me. We moved our car out of the third bay garage {yes, Evy’s Tree now consumes our entire garage} and the freight company unloaded all the boxes for us….

This sweet man was a God send….while he was unloading the truck he looked me square in the eyes and said, “This business is your ministry, isn’t it?”

It gave me chills. Bonifide, hair raising chills. 

While he was unloading the packages, he kept speaking faith over my company:

“You know this is how Steve Jobs started…out of his garage”

“Yes m’am, this business is going somewhere, I can feel it!”

“Next time I deliver your goods, you’re going to be in a warehouse!”

“I better get your autograph now, I can say I was here in the beginning!”

By the time he was finished unloading, I was pretty convinced that he was an angel in disguise. God knew I needed that. He really, really did. Someday I am going to write a post on what I think you need to start a business, but I’ll tell you, one of the first things you need is lots and lots of faith. Faith in yourself first, but I believe you need faith in God as well. See, I put everything I do in HIS hands. And whatever He wants from me, I will do.

Guys, I’m going to be honest with you, if you have followed along at all over the last year, this has been a long, long road. Definitely not easy. There have been many moments where I would wake up in the middle of the night crying because I didn’t know what I was doing, where God was guiding us, and where we were supposed to go. Two years ago Brandon and I stepped out and made a huge step of faith, and here we are. There have been many moments where I stood in the middle of our house and screamed, “What have we done?!?!” Honesty here, sorry.

But over the last couple weeks God has brought a lot of it together for us. He has opened some doors that I never dreamed would have existed two years ago, and shut some doors that I was certain we were meant to go through. Funny how that happens.

See, ministry to me has always been more pulpit. More church oriented. But the crazy thing about Evy’s Tree is that it has shown me that ministry is sometimes different than what you think. I’m finding that ministry just simply means “reaching out”. And that is what, through Evy’s Tree, I’ve been able to do. I’ve been able to reach out to those I would never have been able to meet. I’ve been able to connect, and sometimes inspire, others. And somehow, this has turned into a ministry.

So yes, freight delivery man {I never got his name}…you are right. This business has become my ministry. 

After saying all that, I guess you can imagine how excited I was to receive this shipment. A happy ending to a long time period I’m eager to kiss goodbye and new beginnings to a wonderful new chapter in our lives. Nicole and I waited eagerly all day Wednesday for them to arrive, and when they did, I jumped up and down for joy. So did Jake….when he arrived home from school and found everything in the garage, he was ecstatic. Bless his heart. He knows how important it is to me. 

After we got over the excitiment of the arrival, I had to deal with the huge undertaking of unpacking and consolidating inventory.

Yikes.

Thankfully, I have some pretty amazing nieces. They were exhausted after a full day of school and volleyball practices, but they {and Nicole} came over and helped us unpack and count hoodies.

We finished about half of the boxes that night and then I completed the rest the following day. It took us 19 hours and four people unpack and consolidate the shipment. Yes. 19 hours. By the time Thursday evening came around I was limping to bed, utterly exhausted. But the studio looked neat and tidy, and everything was organized. That’s an amazing feeling.

YES!! That is leftover fabric from the years gone by up on top. If you want fabric, please let me know we are selling it by the pound and would love to get rid of it!

All the hoodies came packaged so beautifully from our factory and wrapped securely together so during shipment they wouldn’t shift. This is how they looked coming out of the box. So nice and neat!

Oh, and Evy wore a mini gunmetal simple to school on Thursday. It’s only fitting that Evy wear one of the first manufactured Evy’s Tree, right?

On Friday morning my niece Brittany came back and pulled all your orders. She made her way through July 30, which was our heaviest preorder date.

While she pulled hoodies, I packaged them with our new packaging. I think you guys will love receiving your hoodies…the packaging is so pretty!

And let me just say, the second thing you should do if you start a business, after having faith, is make sure you are surrounded by good friends. I can’t tell you how many times over the years that my friends have helped me out in a pinch with Evy’s Tree. Natalie and Harmony saw the stress in my eyes and asked if they could come over and help. While I packaged, they finished up sachets for you all. Yes, you get a handmade sachet in each and every box. Hope you love it!

And my dear friend Heidi. I adore her. She came by after school on Thursday and saw the overwhelmed look in my face. An hour later she showed up with this shepherds pie.

It was delicious, and for a family who hadn’t eaten a home cooked meal in several days, it was such a blessing!

We made a huge dent in the July 30 orders.

I am pleased to say that the majority of them should be shipping today. Please watch your inbox for shipping notifications. I hope to catch up with shipping by the end of this week and have our orders back to a 3-5 day turnaround time by next week. Stay tuned!

In closing, I hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day weekend. We were able to catch my nephew’s football game Friday night. It was so much fun and he is AMAZING!

By Saturday I could barely say my name, I was so tired. Seriously. Our friends came for the weekend, and it was so nice. Instead of us entertaining them, they entertained us…seriously, they made sure I was resting, calm, not working. It was wonderful. The kids swam in the pool at my parents while I rested poolside. I haven’t done that in a long time. It was so needed and so wonderful.

don’t mind my toes…pedicure is next on the list this week…yikes.

I love you guys! I hope you all love your hoodies. Make sure you take some great pictures of you wearing them because we’re going to be hosting a really cool giveaway next week and it involves you wearing your hoodies!! 😉

xoxo

PS…did you guys see the new photos by the very talented DASO Photo? Click HERE and HERE.

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First Day of School 2013

Annndddd…..that’s a wrap folks! Summer is over! Where in the world did it go? Am I the only one who feels like the summer has flown by? And we didn’t even do anything exciting….well, that is if you don’t consider launching a fall line exciting. 😦

ANYWAY, I can’t say this was the most thrilling summer ever, but I do think we had a wonderful time as a family. We took little day trips, enjoyed our time together, tried to sleep in and take every day as it comes. I’m so thankful for my family and our beautiful life!

So today was the day all our fun and sleeping in ended. The kids were excited, especially Evy. She COULD NOT wait to get to school and play. She loves school! Oh boy, I adore her!

Jake was a bit bummed out that summer was over, but happy to be with his friends again. This kids…such a ham!

The two of them together…such a mug shot!

It’s funny, I’m so used to fussing over Jake’s first day, but I’m realizing that 1st graders don’t get fussed over. We literally watched him walk to the door and we waved goodbye…but Evy, well, we got to hang out in her classroom, talk to parents and the teachers and just get comfortable with the whole new year. It was so nice.

We have met so many wonderful friends through school. It’s been such a blessing. And all Evy’s friends from last year are also doing preschool/4 together this year. Here is Evy’s friend Gabe… we love Gabe! He’s a little man!

This is Gabe’s mom, Natalie.

These preschool moms I have met over the last couple years are such a treasure. This will be our third year that our kids are all together {most of the moms have kids Jake’s age} and I have to be honest and say these ladies are such wonderful blessings to my life. I love them all!

And Evy loves her teacher Mrs. E. She was so excited to give her a hug!

I thought Evy would be sorry to see me go, since she was so insitant that I hang out in the class for a bit….I tried to say goodbye, BUT….

She was too busy with Mr Potato Head. Isn’t that awesome?!?

After we left Evy we made it over to Jake {sheesh good thing I only have two kids to tell you about, clearly I have a lot to say about the first day of school! ha}. We caught up with him just as the whistle blew and he was lining up. I was able to snag a quick hug.

But it didn’t last long, he was too ready to go….

Now isn’t that a perfect photo? The mom…hanging onto her son for dear life, while he’s taking off for adventure and is screaming, “let go!”. Ha. No, that didn’t really happen, but maybe that’s how my mind thought it was.

ANYWAY….

We were allowed in the classroom for two seconds only to snap a quick photo of our kids in their seats. Ummm…two things:

1. He is sitting next to the girl who he had a crush on last year. Can you see the excitement?

2. He is in the front row. Smart teacher!

He got to pose for two seconds with his buddies….

Love those kids. Thankful they have each other.

Well guys, that’s it. Our first day of school. How was your first day??

PS….Don’t forget to get your little one a hoodie for back to school! Click HERE to shop all our kids styles!

xoxo

Fall 2013 and Black Simples

Guys, where have I been? I completely forgot to mention on our blog that the Fall 2013 line is now in the shop…..

Click HERE to shop, but hurry, discount codes end Monday, August 12 at 11:59 PM PST. The Save Evy’s Tree code ends then also.

You guys are so amazing. We have sold out on many items, especially in size medium. The above gunmetal simple is totally sold out in medium, as is the Lizzy. Thank you!! I know you are going to LOVE the new Evy’s Tree items.

We’ve had many requests over the last couple of weeks for black simples in the new lovely fabric. We did not plan on making any this season, and to be honest, we don’t have any plans for black in spring either. Luckily, our factory was able to rush a handful of them for us. Our factory is AMAZING! Anyway, we don’t have a picture of them, but they are the exact sample blend fabric as our others {cotton, modal, spandex blend}…in solid black in the simple style, just like these guys:

Because they are being rushed, we are not able to offer any discount codes for this one, so they are regular price. However, we are offering free shipping on them {sorry on US items only, International will have a shipping fee to fedex these ones}…so if you have already ordered from the shop during the preorders, then we will be able to combine the black simple with your other orders for free. They will ship within four weeks. Please note that we only have a small handful of these, when we are sold out the size will not show up.

All About Our Manufactured Goods

Oh Guys. It’s really happening! The time is now to introduce our manufactured goods. There are no words to describe my relief, joy, excitement…oh goodness, how many adjectives am I allowed to use to describe how I feel right now?

I told you in this post what most of my year has felt like. Has it really been a year? It has, and I am so proud to say I am super excited about the future of Evy’s Tree. As we speak I am feverishly finishing up the details for the Fall launch, and…if you can believe this, finishing up the touches on our Spring 2014 line and working on getting them organized. You’ll be hearing more about that in a couple months.

ANYWAY….I am carrying on with plans like Evy’s Tree is going to continue floating down the river to success, BUT…the reality of the situation is that I have all these Fall 2013 pieces that need to be sold before I can really breathe easy, if you know what I mean. 😉

So, with that all said, I want to tell you more about our fall line. First, have you seen our lookbook yet?

Do you not die? Seriously, this stuff is amazing. I can’t wait for you to feel these hoodies. I can’t stress enough how wonderful they feel on, and we worked so hard on the fit…I think you will be able to tell how wonderful the fit is and how great it makes you feel and look. I’m pretty sure you’ll want ever single one.

Oh and they wash amazingly! Nicole and I washed a Brilla and dare I say it came out looking better than it did when it went in?

Very vintage-y looking, and not at all like how the American Apparel hoodies looked after being washed. I think you will be super happy with this fabric.

So we’ve had a ton of questions on how the hoodies fit compared to our handmade line, so we decided to put together a little video for you…please make sure you watch the whole thing as I really go into detail regarding the fit and the hoodie in general, but if you are really in a rush, feel free to scroll through, you should see the sizes flashed on the screen and you can listen to your size only.

Evys Tree Fall Sizes Video from Brandon Douglas on Vimeo.

Hopefully that’s helpful to you all….

So let’s talk about the Preorder/launch coming up on Tuesday July 30 at 7 PM PST. I want to highlight a couple things:

  1. This is a Preorder Sale: I want to stress that this sale coming up on Tuesday is a PREORDER SALE….which means you are getting first dibs on all the items at a discounted price and they will ship out in about 6 weeks. It’s basically our gift to you all for being such amazing customers…a way for me to give back in a way by letting you have first pick, especially to you Save Evy’s Tree friends.
  2. The amount of items available during the Preorder Sale is limited: I am only offering a set amount of items during this preorder sale, for a couple reasons…my consumption from our factory can be finicky, so I want to make sure we absolutely, 100% do not oversell, and I want to ensure I have a few things to fulfill wholesale and fall orders for the coming months.
  3. The Preorder Sale will last for approximately two weeks, or while supplies last. Once we sell the amount of items I have set aside for this sale, I will put everything in the shop on preorder status at regular retail price, so pending the item you want is still available, you will still be able to order, but it will not be at the sale price.
  4. The amount of Lizzy’s I will have available is very, very limited. How could I have misjudged this one?? Guys, I had no idea you would love it this much! I hope I have enough to last me through the entire preorder time period, but I’m not positive. So please, if you want a Lizzy, order early!
  5. All Fall 2013 will have a turnaround time of 5-6 weeks. This does NOT include shipping time. Please be aware of this when you order. We realize this is a longer than normal turnaround time, so if this will be a problem for you, please consider ordering in September when Fall 2013 is fully stocked.
  6. Don’t forget your discount codes! You Save Evy’s Tree people should have received yours by now, as well as anyone else that is signed up for our newsletters. If you did not receive a discount code it is because of one of two reasons: Either you didn’t purchase during the Save Evy’s Tree campaign or you don’t subscribe to our newsletters. If you would like to subscribe please read HERE how you can do that.
  7. Tell your friends! You are welcome to share your discount codes with your friends and family. These codes are for you and your loved ones.
Well, I think that’s it! Are you excited? I hope you all are thrilled about our new line and the direction Evy’s Tree is taking! Big hugs to all!
Oh, and please tell me…which hoodie are you going to buy on July 30?!?

 

 

So Much To Say

Do you ever feel like your world is spinning, and spinning, and spinning out of control? You do? Oh good…then you will understand how I have felt the last year. Whew. What a year. WHAT.A.YEAR.

I say “year” because it’s almost a year to the date that I ended the Save Evy’s Tree Campaign and began my journey into mass production. Ummm…let me just say, this whole manufacturing stuff is NOT EASY. I know I’ve said it before, and you’re probably sick of hearing me say it. Sorry. It is what it is. Hard. Yup.

The past year has been full of some lows…ok, maybe a lot of lows. Not all of them attributed to Evy’s Tree, mind you. In this past year we received a positive diagnosis of ADHD for Jake, which allowed us to finally enter into IEP meetings and the creation of an educational modification plan. This has not been easy. Although our school has been WONDERFUL with the entire process, as a mom you worry. Hope you are doing the right thing for him…am I being too protective? Not protective enough? Is he happy and thriving? Am I doing my best? Living with ADHD is not a walk in the park, that’s for sure. But it’s not impossible either. Thankfully through the lows we’ve felt a lot of hope too. God is good.

And then there are the lows coming with manufacturing. Time constraints. Pattern reworking. Financial surprises {oh boy, LOTS of those!}. Delays {and lots of those too}. It’s enough to want to pull your hair out. And can I be honest? I have no idea what I’m doing. Yes, I said that. Really, no idea. But don’t panic. We’re all good now. Pretty sure I could step into the world of manufacturing and survive, but it hasn’t felt that way during this first run. I definitely have earned my wings in mass production, and I hope I can just grow from here.

But all that to say, it’s been an interesting year. I’ve cried a lot. Yelled a lot too. And stress ate a lot. Yup, I’m guilty of it. Do you stress eat? I do. Not proud of it, but there it is. Thank you manufacturing process for those extra 10 pounds that I am working so hard on losing now. Ugh. So awesome.

And my little blog. I had such high hopes for it. But the reality of it is…I really don’t have time much for it. But when I do have time, I pour my heart out. I promise. There was a time when this blog bled ME. It screamed my name. But now, it screams Evy’s Tree. Maybe that is me. I don’t know…can’t say that’s what I want to be remembered by when I die. When I leave this earth I hope people say I loved. And I was kind. And that you saw Christ in me. That’s what I hope. Not that you saw Evy’s Tree.

And then again, maybe I am Evy’s Tree for now. Maybe, somehow, through this small business, you see my heart? I hope so. I really, really hope so. Because the fact of the matter is I’m no different than you. I am just a mom, trying to make ends meet for her family. Just someone who needs extra income so is trying to create it while being there for her kids on a daily basis. I hope that comes through….I hope.

But you know, there is also another issue. Even though I am working at home to be with the kids, I am still so absorbed in my work. I find my kids tugging at my arms for my attention while I shout, “let me finish this email!”. I hate that. My goal in life is to simply be present for my kids…so why in the world do I struggle so much with it?

I guess the bottom line is it’s a balance. And I’m pretty sure it’s hard to find. And I’m trying. By HIS grace I continue trying. God is so good to me. He loves me just as I am. Did you know that He loves you too? He does. You are ok, just as you are. You don’t have to look a certain way, act a certain way, be a certain way for Him to love you. He loves you just for you.

That’s what I hope I say to those listening. I hope I show you that through all the tears, and the frustration, and the tough times…there are good times too. There really are. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, no matter what God does with Evy’s Tree…I hope that through it all you saw Jesus. And what He’s done in my life. And I hope you want Him in yours. I’m pretty sure that’s not very good business tactics to talk about your faith, but oh well. It’s not my goal to offend, so if I do please forgive me…. I’m not here to talk about convictions, or doctrinal beliefs, or dos and don’ts of Christianity…I just want you to know that Christ died for you, He rose again, and He loves you.

It’s that simple. 

So tonight…as I get ready in the next week or so to launch my first manufactured line, I just want to stand here and say, “It is yours, Lord.” Whatever and wherever this business goes…it’s in HIS hands. This mass produced line will make or break me. It’s the tell tale as whether I will succeed or fail. If I will continue to forge ahead or close up shop. It’s my precipice. And I just want to pick up this entire machine called Evy’s Tree, pack it into a box and hand it back to Him. It’s His. Do what you will Lord.

And to my dear, dear customers who have hung in there with me. I’m so sorry I haven’t shared more of my heartaches. I have tried at times, but I realize that no one wants to hear complaining. So thank you for bearing with me. Thank you for supporting us. I hope that through the years I am there for you when you need a shoulder to cry on. You all are the best. I hope you love this new line. It was all done for you and WITH you. Thank you.

I love you all. Thanks for being here, in this place we call The Adventures of The Miraflor Family…and Evy’s Tree. You guys rock!

Stay tuned this week for a tell all on the new line, hopefully by Friday….. xoxo

Us…after the kids woke me up this past week. Thankful for the time I get to cuddle these two, even if it means I’m awakened early in the morning and very suddenly! Thank you again for making these moments with my kids possible! 

So tell me…do you have a lot to say about something in your life right now? How do you deal with it?