I experienced the darkest darks and the highest highs of my life in 2020. I conquered my fear of birth and learned that the hardest part was waiting for me at the finish line. I lost a parent and because of the pandemic was unable to grieve with my family and loved ones. I found a certain kind of confidence in my creative work that I’ve never had before. I’ve inherited a body throbbing love for my baby that runs through me now constantly.
Because of our amazing team I’ve had the incredible luxury of stepping away from the business and social media for a lot longer than I anticipated after giving birth. Its been such a tremendous gift for me to spend this time fully devoted to my baby. The first 5 months I felt such guilt and sadness about the fact that I wasn’t truly enjoying being a mother and I felt too depleted to devote myself to my work.
Penny is 6 months now and I am feeling more grounded everyday but still have days of overwhelming panic. I am learning how to walk through the world as a mother and business owner. I still feel conflicted about how much I want to be away from my baby, but as time passes I feel more and more confident about the direction I want to take the my life and the business moving forward.
As a team we’ve decided to focus our efforts in two areas: fabric by the yard and painting. This means we'll just be keeping a smaller selection of our favorite products. And we'll still create special capsule collections that feel meaningful (+ continue to donate a percentage of sales to causes close to our hearts).
When I first started block-printing with our little team in New Bedford I imagined a full fledged factory in a refurbished industrial textile mill with happy workers and ocean breezes and sunlight filling the space. Over the course of the years with the help of our partners we’ve developed our own little version of just that. Our artisans and their livelihoods matter deeply to us and we’ve realized that our block-printers, our studio in Brooklyn, and our customers love fabric by the yard most. So that’s where we are headed. You can expect more fabric by the yard, more wallpaper, and more launches with Schumacher in the coming years.
As for the paintings. Things change so quickly with babies. As soon as I get settled into a new rhythm with penny, she moves onto a new rhythm. I’ve decided to exclusively breastfeed penny which means I am never too far away from her. I had a challenging go at the start with breastfeeding so now that things are easier I love it and don’t want it to be over yet. While she naps I have these precious hours to fill my cup and what fills me is painting so that’s where I am headed.
While home with Penny, we have been dyeing fabric with our compost like orange peels we eat together, avocado pits (Penny’s first taste of food!), and flowers we get at the market together. So the work is starting from a different place for me now – its more about thinking of the whole picture as a work of art, not just the work itself. I plan to write more about my work and the process but for now I am excited about the fact that my focus is soaking up these days with Penny while painting alongside her.