9/08/2014

Farmhouse Frocks: Having More Faith Than Fear


Oh, where to start with this new journey I'm on?
So much has happened in the past 23 days! I guess I just need to dive right in and tell you how it all happened. 

Our two daughters and I were in one of my favorite vacation spots in Sarasota, Florida when I met a friend I hadn't seen for two years. We've always kept connected virtually and had first met when I visited her store on Pineapple Square in Sarasota. It was one of those meetings where we instantly connected and stayed in touch via Facebook.

Tammy, all dressed up for FĂȘte en Blanc. 

What had prompted me to call on my friend Delight was something that had happened before we left for vacation. I had attended FĂȘte en Blanc with my friends. One friend, Tammy, wore a dress that inspired me. I wanted one like hers in my own plus size. But how to go about it? 

So, during my travels to Florida, I called Tammy and encouraged her to start her own clothing line in the shabby chic, cottage style, urban farmhouse look. She said she had no interest in that, and so I made my way to Pinterest and pinned what I only wished I could sew. Doesn't hurt to dream right?

When we started our week's vacation, I had no idea what would be handed to me.
You can read the blog post about how I had a hard time totally relaxing and doing nothing. I randomly texted Delight and asked her, "Can you teach me how to sew?" I had been eyeballing Mom's sewing machine up in the closet at their vacation house for a couple of days, thinking it would be fun to tackle that skill during this vacation. Delight responded with, "When?" I said, "Doesn't matter, 'cause I'm here for another 12 days." She said, "I'm in Chicago visiting my daughter and will be back the following week." She told me to check back with her then. 


After a week of relaxing, thrifting, liquid stitching, and doing whatever I felt like doing, Delight texted me to see when this sewing 101 would take place. I told her that we could just do coffee, that I had changed my mind, and that I'd never have time to sew when I return to reality.


So we agreed to meet at Perq Coffee. I had wanted to stop by there anyway since they carry my Lena's Amish Granola products on their menu.

Instantly our inspiration and excitement kicked in, and we picked up our conversation from when we had met two years prior. It started something along the lines of her wanting me to have a Vintage Sale with her in Sarasota. I told her I think that sounded wild and fun. How great would it be to only leave Ohio with a handful of paint brushes and come up with a new following in a new town with the same love for funky junk as you? To collaborate with fellow Instagramers and have a successful turnout? The only thing was, I'd have to wait until next August to do it. That soon lead us to the next idea, and that's when she looked at me with really big, golden eyes and said, "Lena, I have an idea! You are so good at networking, and all I want to do is design and sew. Why don't you start your own clothing line!?!" I was instantly covered with goosebumps, and I told her she was crazy. She told me I should think about it, and after some brainstorming and many "what if's," we both went our own ways and planned on me meeting in her studio on a rainy day or evening before I left to go back to Ohio.


By that afternoon, it had rained and I had planned to go see what her vision was for the dream that was developing. During the time leading up to when we met, I had felt the Lord telling me have more faith than fear. I heard songs along that theme, and words popped out at me confirming me that I was going to live by this motto.


I'm going to inch back a step and tell you what happened the night before I met with Delight for coffee. I helped a new store, Pinecraft Shoes, with staging, taking pictures, and training them how to set up their Facebook. Also I staged and sold my parents' house. I believe I was being obedient, and. therefore, the Lord blessed me as this new opportunity fell into my lap.
As soon as I committed to having more faith than fear on this next adventure, the puzzle pieces started coming together, and I clearly saw that my mission is to empower women.


Crazy thing was that we were to stop off at our friends' to have a dinner party on the route home.
Would you believe we were surrounded with these amazing people who dreamed big and spoke life into people?!? I was excited and ready to hit the floor running as I skidded back into Holmes County!


My first goal was to come up with a name, and then a logo. I was thankful for a connection I had made in the south that had the perfect match for my vision with the logo.
Jason from uu creative came up with this logo that I love and has meaning behind it. I'll share that in another blog.
 Soon we had a lot of decisions to make, and we crafted our mission statement:

Our mission here at Farmhouse Frocks is to bring forth beauty. The beauty of women, the beauty of texture, and the kind of elegant beauty that can only come from the flowing farmhouse style. These one-of-a-kind designs are a marriage of many styles- cottage, boho, shabby chic, and victorian- all created by a group of ladies who are passionate about empowering women from all walks of life, in any size. That's why Farmhouse Frocks has created generous plus size clothing that fits comfortably and looks fabulous. Farmhouse Frocks- celebrating the women we are.


Soon, I was surrounded by all these talented women that saw the vision for Farmhouse Frocks.
After many conversations and tests in the days to come, the trust formed between my designers and me. I soon realized how powerful it was to believe in these women and let them run with the talents and beauty that was within them.


One of those women was Becky from Rust & Found. We had only met once when I picked up my industrial coffee table at her house, but I stayed connected with her virtually. I had no idea that the Farmhouse Frocks vision was already forming in her mind on the day I cold-called her and asked how she would feel about carrying our new line of clothing at her upcycled, creative store in Canal Fulton, Ohio.
She got really quiet and told me how she had just from the thrift store with a bag of curtains, frilly skirts, and denim jackets and was going to attempt to find time to start sewing her own line of upcycled clothing. Her husband had laughed at her and said, "There is no way you will have time for that, honey." She said, "I have goose bumps right now thinking about how divine your phone call is!"


This was the sneak-peek displayed at her store for her customers to get an idea of what was to come only one week and one day after I knew there was going to be a Farmhouse Frocks!
It seems so crazy that I hesitated sharing this with all of you, but I had decided to do that so you can know what can happen when you kiss fears goodbye!

Next, I brought my amazing friend Alyssa on with her talent of bringing out the beauty in people and things through her photography.


You can find her at www.lyssaannportraits.com/

She totally had the same vision for bringing the beauty out in people by believing in them, so now our dreams and energy have been feeding off of each other.
I will share about the amazing story of how we happened upon our models in an upcoming blog post.

Our first photo shoot was at Warwick Farms and was so dreamy.


Lola is the first mannequin I've ever owned, and she now has a sister named Gigi, too.
This is the signature piece, and it's most appropriately called the Farmhouse Frock.

For the photo shoot, we also partnered with Jess from Sassyfrass.


She hand makes all of her amazing pieces with love and has quite the testimony as a cancer survivor. Sweet as pie and yet another talented woman.


As this is developing, and as we're collaborating and connecting, I try and stay focused on the mission and the details that need to happen when you start a business.


Right now, we are in the process of pricing, developing a web site and creating a lookbook for the stores that are showing interest in carrying our line.

I continue to look for women who see the vision of this new and developing clothing line.
We are in the process of placing this gorgeous line of clothing in a store in Sarasota and Columbus also. You can check out Rust and Found here. Our online store is farmhousefrocks.com and is also working. We will continue to add more content and items.
Many of our cottage-style clothing pieces are one-of-a-kind and are all made with love and details.
There is so much I'd want to share with you on this blog, but I'm afraid I'd lose you with all the details.

*Yes, I'm still doing Lena's Amish Granola
*Yes, I'm blessed
*Has this new journey of putting faith before fear been easy? NO!
*I know all the bumps in the road when starting my own business, so I chose to surround myself with a strong support team

Thank you to all of you who have believed in my crazy big dreams!!!
I will be launching my Farmhouse Frocks clothing line at the next Vintage Sale I'm doing with a friend.


Urban Chic & Farmhouse Frocks Vintage Sale
September 19th & 20th in Berlin Ohio @5320 Hummingbird Lane
I hope to see you all there:)

Remember: dream big and have more faith than fear!



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