Sunday, September 23, 2012

It was a year ago...

The second week of September, 2011 -- just over a year ago.  I was visiting the Yellow Daisy Festival in Stone Mountain, GA and walked into a booth.  Little did I know at the time, how much I would be changed when I walked out of this booth.

Let me back up a bit.  In the months leading up to this festival, I had been struggling with a nagging desire to leave a job I loved, and step out on my own.  It was a gut feeling that made me nauseous and giddy, and completely vulnerable.

I had been working for a major scrapbook retailer for years.  I was doing what I loved.  I was designing mini album kits, interacting with creative women, and sharing the importance of preserving our photos and telling our stories.  I never once woke up and said "I don't want to go to work today."
I was happy.

But there were these whispers in my head...
"this is not what you are suppose to be doing"
"you know what you would love to do -- go do it"
"you have dreams -- TRY!"

As I continued to push the whispers and feelings to the back burner, I scrapbooked.  Just like I had for years ... everyday.  I made 12x12 pages of my boys, their birthdays, and our family vacations.  I also started creating more mini albums.  No pictures, no journaling, just the albums.  I would buy supplies, make an album, and put them into a plastic bin.   I didn't know what I was going to do with them, but they were fun to make.

Fast forward to the Yellow Daisy Festival.  I went to the event with two of my girlfriends who knew about my "someday dreams".  We talked about my albums, my desire to do something on my own, and the fact that all of the creative people at this festival had actually taken the leap...followed their heart...and were selling their art and designs.  It was fun to walk into each booth and absorb all of the creative energy.

Mid-way through the day, I walked into the booth that, unbeknownst to me at the time, would change me.  Holly Lane Designs was just another booth.  Several tables of silver jewelry, tucked under a canopy.  Nothing extravagant, nothing that screamed 'Wow!' -- just very well done, with pretty jewelry, nice displays, and an obvious purpose.  After 5-10 minutes of looking at her designs, I decided to introduce myself to the seller and learn more.  I'm not sure why I wanted to meet her -- I hadn't introduced myself to any other artist at the festival.

Tiffany Scott, the artist behind Holly Lane, was welcoming and very sweet.  She told me about her company, how she got started, and the meaning behind her jewelry.  Tiffany creates Christian jewelry in hopes to touch people in a unique way and share her love of Christ.

After talking with this artist, I knew I wanted a piece of her jewelry.  I decided to add one of her charms to a bracelet that I was wearing.  She had so many.  Each one was unique and came with a story card, including the name of the piece, and the bible verse it represented.

I purchased the first charm I picked up.  It's message resonated through me like the strongest whisper  I had heard yet.  The charm was simple and the story card was clear:

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Photo by Holly Lane Designs

The next day, I gave my notice at work.  I started brainstorming business names, and on October 1, 2011 Artsy Albums was born.

It has been a scary, fun, stressful, and exhilarating year.  I've been strongly supported by family, friends, and lots of wonderful customers and I'm blessed everyday to be living my dream and "designing a life I love".

If you have a dream, especially a scary "someday dream"... walk into a booth and be brave!


  1. Traci,
    what a great start into a creative business. So glad you shared your story.

    1. Thanks Sue! I SO appreciate your comment and am headed over to check out your creative site too!

  2. Traci,
    Love the story, so inspirational!!!!!

    1. Thanks Gina! And thank you for always being such an amazing friend (assistant, associate, vice pres...whatever!) Ha!

  3. Incredibly inspirational! Thanks for sharing the story, since we all have fears, but not everyone is willing to share their story, so bravo!

  4. Thanks for sharing your story. Your blog is beautiful.

    1. Thanks Melinda! Terri at Bradford Web Designs rocks!

  5. Thank you for sharing your fears and the scary jump of following the whisper of God! It is truly beautiful! Keep it up, you are so encouraging!

  6. Absolutely, hands down, my favorite Bible Verse! It's lead me through some of my darkest days! God LOVES US! What a beautiful story! Thanks so much for sharing this with us. There are angels EVERYWHERE! Hugs to you!

  7. Traci, what a wonderful way to start your "flying!" I love your story! That verse is the very foundation for the biz that my friend and I started about a year ago (Studio 29:11).

    I love your albums/work! I can't wait to continue looking through your site.

    1. Great name!! I wish I had thought to incorporate it more into my name and when there is meaning that not everyone gets, but it means so much to you :)

  8. What a great story. Thank you for sharing it. I am encouraged by your story- in so many ways mine is similar- except I haven't quit my job yet. But I dream of doing what I really want to do. My dad owned and operated his own camera store for 43 years. He died 6 years ago and I can't get enough of photography, scrapbooking, memories, stories..... His camera store sits empty, now owned by my mom who has done nothing with it- it just sits. I dream it's calling my name! I am so glad I came across your blog and your story amidst over 500 in the flying lessons ecourse! I will definitely be following you.