As a little girl I would tell my little sister exactly what to wear. I would sneak into her room and re-organize her closet and clean up any mess she had created. I wanted my little “ditter” (what we called each other until we realized it was “sister” and not “ditter”) perfectly styled and her closet in tip-top shape.

Yes, I was very OCD and intense as a child — I preferred to clean up the playroom we had just wrecked havoc on, while all my little friends were outside romping around. I wanted everything in its place and in perfect order. If I got a stain on my clothes, I instantly was rubbing it out with cold water.

I had a hot-pink clip board and I would boss everyone around at our birthday parties telling them to march up and down our long-diving-board that extended out over our swimming pool. Fashion shows were a common game at our birthday parties and I gave away points to my friends for “creative costumes” and “innovative styling”.  One themed birthday party was “Dillard’s” the department store – everyone got fake credit cards and my little friends could shop from the items Jaime and I had merchandised through out our entire house.

We created boutiques in my neighbor Marleigh’s room and spent hours playing “store”. I had big plans to open up a retail space at Paradise Valley Mall and call it “Pizzazz”. My childhood friend, Tricia, was going to be the lead designer, and we planned to model our business after the puff-paint phenomenon “Not Just Sweats”.

My “lemonade stands” consisted of hair accessories and jewelry that I sold under the label “Bubble Gum Boutique”. My paper dolls were all magazine cut-outs of clothes I longed after. And I would boldly tell the architects and colleagues my dad would have over, when our family hosted and entertained, that I was going to someday work for the watch company “Swatch” and design all their watches.

I look back at my childhood of Laura Ashley rompers, neon-colored accessories and scrunchies, and I shake my head and laugh. I laugh not, at the hideous style – but at the fact that it was all pointing to exactly where I am today.

It has been a wild-crazy-intense-grueling-amazingly-wonderful ride and I am barely done or near the top —  and Sunday closes out, yet one more year around the sun for me.

And as I reflect on what last year brought me, I smile at the richness and shake my head at the MANY-MANY lessons I had to experience and grow from. Avicii’s “Fade Into Darkness” was blasting as I scrambled around yesterday getting samples, line sheets, and Soul Carrier marketing collateral to three major fashion retailers. If I land these accounts, it will push Soul Carrier to the other side of success. I literally started tearing up as I shipped off the bags thinking about how many times I felt like giving up. How many times negative comments or criticism made me cringe inside and want to change course – just to make the white noise stop! How many times I didn’t think this whole adventure would ever get off the ground.

This past year was one more year of learning NOT to Fade Into Darkness even when things did not go as planned, and disappointment-heartache and headaches became sprinkled in, amongst the greatness.

A trip to Hawaii
Finding my awesome manufacturers in Leon, Mexico
Experiencing Mexico City and Leon in all their INTENSE-INSANE vehicle -driving glory
Accuring my rockstar team of interns
Creating the “Creating Soul Carrier” Web Series on YouTube
Re-doing the Soul Carrier website
The Soul Carrier re-launch party at Maya
Heartache-heartbreak-headaches + Soul Carrier growing pains — all while getting closer to my truth for having to experience those growing pains.
Adding to the team. Subtracting from the team.
New York Fashion Week. Anna Wintour. Victoria Beckham. Rag + Bone.
Crafting the Soul Carrier story with Kindra Hall
Developing the Authentic Change Collection
More Product Development trips to Leon, Mexico
Letting go of people who no longer grace this earth
Welcoming to the world the precious babies my best friends were having
Signing up for Landmark hoping to figure out how to learn to graciously say no and embrace firmer boundaries – & then realizing my first opportunity to practice this is with them 🙂
Teaming up with ChicExecs in California to handle my channel distribution and marketing.
Having to forgive those I despise. Having to let go the urge to play “judge” + “karma equalizer”.
Aiming to stand for everyone’s greatness even when my human self thinks they are small and pathetic ;-))
Learning that I have to be in alignment with my truth, my soul, my authenticity otherwise life just doesn’t work for me. And the instance, I go against my truth, my soul, my authenticity, is the instance, I fall off track.

To one more year around the sun. To living out my dreams. To setting some big intentions and watching them come to fruition.

My mama’s last words to me moments before she was killed were “…where do you want to go?…” And I as head into one more year of life, I will continue to ask myself this question…and as each of us begins anew every moment, I leave you with same question…”Where do you want to go? And can you be authentic to the journey it takes to get there!?”

Don’t let your life fade into darkness!
ox
Jenn