“Start now. Start where you are. Start with fear. Start with doubt.
Start with hands shaking. Start with voice trembling but start.
Start and don’t stop. Start where you are, with what you have.
Humbled, proud and so very blessed are the feelings that come to mind as I look back over the past week. The outpouring of love and support from our local community and well as our online community has been overwhelming!
For those of you that have been with me from day one (Ranchess Collections, SALUTE!) you know the journey to where we are today didn’t come without it’s struggles, failed strategies, healthy doses of trial and error and let us not forget my rookie business skills (Let’s just say being detail illiterate, is #BadNewsBears). But nonetheless, we made it, and we couldn’t be more ecstatic about the future of Cotton & Arrow!
My heart for this business goes far beyond the four walls of a storefront and the online presence of ecommerce. While business is what I love and fashion is what I know, when the music fades, the lights go down and it’s just me, a mama, a sister, a daughter, a friend, downing a 780 calorie Starbucks drink rocking ratty yoga pants, (Be empowered, girlfriend!) I find myself asking, who walked away from Cotton & Arrow today, hands full of bags with pieces they love but more importantly hearts full, feeling strong, inspired and refreshed?
I recently read a book that told the story of a family that made it their mission to have a revolving door to their friends, family and ultimately their community. One of their goals was to restore to people what the world had taken from them that day, whether it was positivity or peace they made their home a place where good energy flowed and their visitors benefited from that flow. Before they left, each visitor would sign the bottom of their kitchen table to signify each life that was touched while sitting around it. This story resonated with me not only personally, but in my vision for Cotton & Arrow as well. While a thriving business is essential, my heart is to inspire, empower and infuse hope into every soul that walks through the door and every package that leaves our hands at Cotton & Arrow.
Cotton & Arrow became my business but it was first, a movement in my own heart. It started as “I wonder if I can do that?” to “I think can do it.” to “I can do this!” It was hitting the brick walls, falling and failing and getting back up again. It was pep talks from my biggest cheerleader, my mom, as I came home from my 9-5 job with tears streaming down my face saying “I want more. I can do more.” and her encouraging me over and over “You can do this! I know you can!” I don’t know that I would have taken the leap as soon as I did without her constant reassurance that I could do it. I hope through Cotton & Arrow, the voice can be heard “You can do it, girl!” “Chase that dream!” “You are capable!” “Don’t quit!” I hope that this community of women connected over clothes and trends and art becomes a community of women that inspire and empower one another, women that cheer each other on and celebrate one another for all that we are. Whether it’s a trip to our brick and mortar or a click to our website, I hope that you walk away feeling compelled to take action on that dream you put on the shelf and create a life you love, feeling brave and able and strong because if one of us can do it, all of us can do it. Thank you to each and every one of you for supporting this dream, this journey and all the heart behind it. I’m excited to see what is in store for Cotton & Arrow over the next few months as the vision continues to unfold.
First and Foremost to the Lord for the life I have been blessed with and all that has been entrusted to me. It is my life’s mission to exhaust every gift and talent you have given me while loving people and serving you. #OccupyAllStreets
Mom and Dad, Where do I begin? I am because you are. If I had not been raised with ruthless dreamers that did not believe in impossible, I wouldn’t be who I am today. I will forever be thankful for the path you paved for Levi, Bek, Samuel and myself and I promise to steward it well and take careful advantage of the opportunities I have only because of you. Thank you for being not just my parent’s but being key roles in the raising of my peanut, none of this would be possible without you.
Mom, Is there a woman that is willing to sacrifice more for her kids than you? You have been the voice in the darkness believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself, you are my closest team mate, my assistant buyer, my co-parent and head cheerleader. THANK YOU will never be enough and I can only hope that I am even half of the mother you are to me to my Claire. #LetUsNowPraiseBadassWomen
Dad, If I can mirror who you are both personally and professionally, I will count it as a great win. You inspire me and so many other people daily not only because you are a strategic and ruthless businessman but because your heart for people is loud, inexcusable and can be felt instantaneously. I attribute some of my strongest qualities to you and I am SO PROUD of you and SO PROUD to be your daughter.
It has been a privilege to be raised by you both, THANK YOU for all you are to me, I will not disappoint.
Bekah, you and mom are the secret weapons of Cotton & Arrow. You have been there from the beginning, doing the dirty work behind the scenes, brainstorming, buying, dreaming and being the *best* model the boutique world has ever seen. (“DROP YOUR SHOULDERS!” “EXTEND YOUR NECK!” “STOP BEING SO PERFECT! Oh wait, that’s natural.”) Thank you for being on the frontlines with Mom and I and fighting to create the vision and being so detailed in your execution. I love you and don’t know a girl more gifted than the girl that lives right down the hall from me. LaBeka here we come!
My Tribe, Oh my Tribe. Carleigh, Lindsay, Emilee, Claire, Libby, Jordan, Tabby, Aunt Rob, THANK YOU for being the best home team a girl could ask for, from pitching ideas, understanding the worst schedule ever and being part of the mama village, I don’t know how I got so lucky to do life with you all. I love you all dearly.
Doug & Community State Bank, Thank you for all you have done for me in the past six months and believing in Cotton & Arrow! You all are more family than a bank and I’m so thankful for you guys!
My Customers, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for sticking with me over the past few years and being some of the most supportive fans turned friends. I will forever me grateful for the relationships that have been built and for your incredible support. I love you all so much and it is and has been an absolute honor to serve you all.