Posts tagged #encouragement

Collaboration is key

It's not like this is news to any of you. We all know how important it is to collaborate and to have people on our side, some one to bounce an idea off of or someone to encourage and support you.

I have been very fortunate in moving to Minnesota to meet some great women whom I have been able to collaborate with. From the stores that sell Cedar and Cypress Designs, to the women who sit down for coffee and brainstorming or encouragement.

If you don't have a good group of people around you, this life will all be so much more difficult than it has to be. Last week I got to sit down with my new friend Lindsey over at Nourish Move Love, after she kicked by butt in Barre class we had a delicious lunch with great fellowship and conversation. It was refreshing to chat with some one who is so energetic and excited to be a female entrepreneur. Needless to say she lit a little fire in me.

If you're an entrepreneur, a mom boss or just plain old busy it can be hard to find the time to fit others in to your hectic schedule, but it is such a small gesture that often leaves a big impact in others. Thank you Lindsey, for taking the time to visit with some one new.

Sa Voix-Her Voice or Your Voice

About two weeks ago we returned from an eight day trip to Haiti. Our favorite part about Cedar and Cypress Designs is the partners we get to collaborate with, both in Haiti and here in Minnesota. Our goal is to be relational, sometimes that isn't so easy when you live across the sea.

However, when we get to visit Haiti we get to be intentional with those relationships and our partners. I seem to have an affinity for friendships and hugs. On our recent trip to Haiti, a coffee date with a friend lead to collaboration with a new one (thanks Lexie). We met Jess from Sa-Voix towards the end of our trip, and short of extending our visit, we did our best to work with her as much as possible before we had to leave island life behind once again.

Sa-Voix is also relational and we are encouraged with our new found friendship we were able to cultivate in the short amount of time we were able to spend with them. It is clear that the team at Sa-Voix is a family.

Through the use of art, Sa-Voix is a vehicle to create a safe space for women to explore theirvoice. Sa-Voix is empowering and giving women a voice and a future. The products are Sa-Voix are made by first hand painting the fabric and then sewn into beautiful hand bags and headbands.

"Sa Voix exists to help young women in Haiti find their voice through the arts.

OUR VALUES

  •       We Foster Creativity
  •       We Cultivate Community
  •       We Equip Holistically
  •       We Speak Tangibly"

We were able to see the Sa Voix workshop and spend some time with Jess and Reinese, one of two Haitian seamstresses. Their space is light and inspiring, it fosters creativity and joy-exactly the kind of space I like to work in. Sa-Voix is in it's infancy, but you can tell they have a bright future ahead of them.

Join me in watching them learn and grow. We are so excited about our new partnership with Sa-Voix and are working to get back down to Haiti to spend some quality time with them very soon in hopes to encourage them in their creativity and designs. We look forward to cultivating and developing that partnership and the relationships with their team.

We are blessed by our many partners in Haiti, if you would like to partner with organizations like Sa-Voix please reach out to us. Whether you buy a product, donate to their cause or have the chance to visit their quaint space some day-how you choose your voice will make a difference. We all have a voice. It is up to you how you use yours.

Confessions from a small business owner

Sometimes when I write, I say "we" and "our"...really Cedar and Cypress Designs as far as employees is just "me".

I sometimes feel that if I use we and our I will sound like a more legit business, but the truth is, this little steam boat here is just me. Figuring it out as I go. 

In reality, I have no idea what I am doing-that is to say, this isn't what I have a college degree in-but there seems to be a great community out there. Community I am finding as I go and community that has surrounded me for while.

Sometimes I justify my use of "we" because Jesse, the love of my life, has a lot to do with Cedar and Cypress Designs. If it weren't for him, we wouldn't be (there is that we again).  I am not sure if that justifies my use of "we", but in an effort to keep it real with you all, I am going to keep using it.

This week I am going down to Haiti and I am not quite sure what to do. I have taken some financial risks in opening a business as you can imagine one might. I have about $500 to spend and that comes pretty close to draining our business account-for this month at least. However, I buy from four different companies in Haiti who each have their own whole sale minimum. My small spending budget sort of puts me in a bind. I know what I plan to do when I get down there, I have figured out in my mind and allocated my money, but at the end of the day, it sucks that you can't buy from everyone.

I am over the moon to have the opportunity to go to Haiti. This trip isn't purely business, it was a Christmas gift from that other half of the "we". We are visiting friends and enjoying our favorite island while also purchasing some fun new goodies for all of you. I do wish I could go to Haiti every time I am ready to place a new order, the reality is I wont be able to.

I appreciate the community of sellers and artisans in Haiti, I look up to them all. They are each entrepreneurs who have been where I am at one point. And honestly, I hope to have half of an impact as they do one day. Until then, I am going to keep pressing forward, but if you have any advice, kind words or thoughts-I would surely appreciate it!

Cheers to sunshine and palm trees, good friends and lots of laughs! See you soon Haiti

Up and Down

Well it has been about three weeks since we opened and we have had our shares of ups and down's. We started out great and it was so exciting to see so many familiar names and people who were shopping and most importantly supporting! "They" say, (whoever "they are) that it can take up to two years to be profitable in small businesses such as this. Although this might sound discouraging, its pretty encouraging! I know I have to keep at it and not give up! With such a fantastic community around me, I know we will get there!

I have felt the love and support and so appreciate every one of you! Keep sharing with your friends, post your pics and find us on Instagram @cedarandcypressdesigns! Be sure to like our Facebook page and keep shopping!