Am I chasing the right dreams?

One of the things I love most about summer is kind of the chance to jump off the treadmill of schedules of pickups and drops off and all of that.  As summer has been winding down, I feel like I have been in the mindset of wanting to start off the new “year” with some practical rhythms for being intentional in goal setting.

Over vacation I read a book about chasing your dreams.  I loved the book but when I finished, I was left with this frustrated feeling I couldn’t put my finger on.  Then I realized, I haven’t met my goals and my dreams are too big. 

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As a kid growing up, we are taught to chase our dreams and “you can be anything you want to be.”  I feel like the intention is well-meaning and can be true to some degree, but for someone like me that can be a frustrating mindset.  I am naturally a dreamer, and over the last few years with becoming a mom and being a business owner, I have begun to think that maybe I can’t set my mind to be anything I want to be, but I can set my mind to be who I was made to be.

you can't be anything you want to be, but you can set your mind to be who you were made to be

Not all of us can be astronauts.  It can be super discouraging, for someone who sets the bar really high, to not achieve your goals either in the timing that you want to or maybe ever.  I tread very lightly here, because I am the first person to create bucket lists and set high goals and I have spent a majority of my life dreaming big.   

As Racheal and I have been growing our business, we are nowhere near becoming multi-millionaires, we never made it to Shark Tank, we didn’t break the internet with our fame (yet…jk).  Do we have goals?! Absolutely!!!  We even have big ones.  BUT, we trust the plan of what will happen with our business.  We know ourselves and we have people in our lives to help remind us to stay true to who we are.  We seek wisdom daily, through prayer, through friends & family and through people who have walked in our shoes and are maybe a few steps ahead of us. 

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photo cred: @celseyb

If we had a world full of astronauts who would make music, write books, teach kids, heal sick people, run the country, you get the point.  I believe that we are each something to be grown into.  We have in us a maximum potential of greatness that is one-of-a-kind.  We aren’t going to get there by doubting ourselves or comparing to the person next to us.  We are going to get there by looking inward and questioning, “what am I made to be?”

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Racheal and I dream of Wild Juniper growing and continuing to be a source of income, but more than that, we dream of connecting to people.  Whether in store, online or through social media.  We LOVE people.  We LOVE you guys.  We dream of being ourselves (which most often is a mess) and we dream of staying true to that.

As we enter this next year, we will jump back into the grind of working hard, but I am hopeful to continually self-reflect and grow more and more into my maximum potential.  As a mom, a wife, a friend, a volunteer and as a business owner.

Here are some questions I am going to be asking myself this year as I start new routines and rhythms. (and you have permission to keep me in check. :))

-Erin

What do I dream about_ What ways can I trust that if it_s meant to happen it will_ What ways can I set myself up for moving toward that_How am I being myself_ What ways am I being untr

 

 

Getting in the Frame

We had our last (for now) photo shoot with Lexi at Brighton Road Photography at the beginning of February.  She’s been taking our pictures since August 2014.  She gets us.  She knows our brand almost as well as us and can make it come to life with her art.

Our first shoot with her was over-the-top-amazing. We had a horse and a couch, outside, by a lake.  There were outfit changes and on site hair and makeup.  There was even a person with a clipboard.

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Over the years, the shoots have been near the Missouri river.

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At an art museum.

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At Lexi’s house.

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Outside in downtown KC.

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At the local coffee shop.

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On a roof in KC.

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In an office building.

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And in our homes.

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The last shoot we did was in Weston, MO in a photography studio inside of a barn.  This last shoot focuses on our rose gold line.  We constantly strive to create pieces that easily fit in a busy woman’s closet.  We want our accessories to be able to go with a plain black tee, leggings and a jacket, or a funky pair of overalls.  We feel like this line really came out the way we intended, with versatility and whimsy.

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We had a throwback but modern vision for the shoot that only included us.  No props, no crazy beautiful scenery in the background.  Just us.

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Erin and I each have our own insecurity issues that come with standing in front of a camera.  From body image to hair to wrinkles, you name it, we’ve been insecure about it.   Add those insecurities to standing in front of a white background with nothing else for an eye to fall on, we were a bit nervous.  In the end, the pictures came out beautifully.

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You know what, though? As pretty as a picture is, if your own self is the focal point, I’d like to meet one woman who doesn’t first criticize herself.   I get so excited to get the email from Lexi, “Your pictures are ready!” Our first thoughts are, “What will our products look like? Will our vision and inspiration come through in the pictures?”  Then our second thought is, “I hope I look okay.”

Here’s where we are at in all of it though.  It’s not about us.  We don’t know all of what “it” is, but we do know it isn’t about us.  Our job is to keep doing the next right thing.  And so much of the time, that next right thing is getting over ourselves enough to put one foot in front of the other.  For this, it was getting over ourselves enough to get in front of the camera.  And maybe that will encourage someone else to do the same.  We know that we are not different from other women in this.  We are all afraid to put ourselves in front of the camera.  I think that so many pictures are missing some very important people in them because of fear and insecurity.  I want to be able to sit with my kids years from now and pull out pictures and go through all the memories with them and feel apart of all of it. Have you ever noticed how much joy you get from watching someone you love be proud of themselves?  When we watch our little girls hop around on a ballet stage and smile.  Or when we see our little boys running as fast as they can on the field.  It breaks our hearts when they aren’t confident, and we do everything we can to build them up.  I imagine, even if our kids can’t articulate it, they feel a similar joy when we feel confident enough to be in a picture with them. Maybe the next right thing is jumping in the frame a little more often.

 

New Year, New Items!!

With the new year comes new beginnings and fresh starts, which I happen to be a sucker for in all honesty.

We are so excited for what this year has in store.  We have big plans and new items we can’t wait to show you.  To start off the year, we wanted to brighten your wardrobe with some new colors of our popular items.

Our boho tassel necklace now comes in champagne pink.  We couldn’t love this shimmery and classy color more.  It’s a subtle rose gold-like hue and oh so perfect in time for Valentine’s.

These tassel hoop earrings have been a hit! We love the statement they add and how easy they wear with your everyday looks.  We now carry them in coral and navy.  More to come too, (wink wink.)

In the baby accessories we wanted to offer more neutral leather bow colors.  These are such a little lady hair piece.  We now have four new leather bow colors.  Bronze, pale blush, champagne and a fun design in wicker.  All of the leather bows come in either a nylon headband or clip style.  Perfectly versatile.

We look forward to all 2018 holds.  Happy New Year all!!

Erin

Each Gift Matters

In a space in time where consumerism is at its peak, and it’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle and money exchanging hands, we talk about how important it is for our customers to feel that it’s more to us than that. We want our customers to be able to give a gift that doesn’t cost them an arm and a leg.

And maybe remember chatting with us and maybe even getting to glance in the back at where that necklace or headband was made. We know you have tons of gifts to buy and even more places to buy them from. 

We know your days are jam packed and your wallet isn’t always. Thank you so much for choosing us time and time again. Hope to see you at the shop or online today!

Also, did ya’ll know we will ship items from our store for you? local shoppers, if you come in and see a gift, don’t go home and package and mail it! let us do it for you.

-Erin & Racheal

the main question

i’ve been asking myself this question a lot lately.  why? i’ve been reading that the root of success in anything at all is knowing why you started.  knowing why you are still doing it.  i’ll be honest, after doing the same thing for 6+ years, it can be easy to forget why i started.  but lately i have really wanted to remember.  

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reason number 1.  i’m an entrepreneur.  i just am.  ever since i was a child i was figuring out how to turn something random into a profit for myself.  

reason number 2. someone told me i could.  there is so much power in words.  in your inner circle breathing life into your dreams.  my mom told me – you can do this. i know you can.  so we did.  

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reason number 3.  i want to live creatively.  i want my kids to live creatively.  i want to create something out of little.  either in business, in our home, in a recipe.  i can’t help it.   necessity really is the mother of invention. 

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reason number 4.  this business has allowed me to be a small part of the community we live in, and the community we have found online.  i neeeeed community, and i need to feel like i’m contributing.  i like to have skin in the game.  this reason has fueled the passion behind our brick and mortar and this blog.  we are passionate about creating meaningful experiences in our own lives, and hope that passion carries itself out in Wild Juniper.

HMK on the Plaza

Since I was a little girl, Hallmark has held a special spot in my heart with its numerous memories of trips with my grandma.  (for beanie babies, willow tree angels, and all the other, as she would say “what-nots.”)

Hallmark opened a branch called HMK on the Country Club Plaza. It keeps the meaningful moments through gift giving feel, and also has a fresh and fun, boutique style atmosphere.  

HMK, Kansas City, Mo
HMK, Kansas City, Mo

HMK brings with it the a fresh feel of style & carefully curated pieces.  One of the really cool sections includes Local Artisan Features.  Racheal & I were thrilled to get to be a featured this weekend! 

Wild Juniper Featured Artisan Pop Up at HMK
Wild Juniper Featured Artisan Pop Up at HMK

Hallmark has always been a company of artists that love to inspire and lift up others.  We were honored to be supported in this way. 

Boho Leather Tassel Necklaces and Little Girl Flower Crown Headbands
Boho Leather Tassel Necklaces and Little Girl Flower Crown Headbands

The best part, other than getting to know their hard-working staff, was getting to interact with the customers.  We love any face-to-face time.  

Our Dainty 14k Gold Necklaces.
Our Dainty 14k Gold Necklaces.
Wild Juniper Turban Headbands
Wild Juniper Turban Headbands

It was a experience that will go down in the books.  You can still find our Wild Juniper goodies there.  And obviously, if you’re down on the Country Club Plaza, you might as well get a sitter, so your husbands can meet you down there for some shopping, dinner & drinks! Sometimes you gotta celebrate!

Working Mom Struggles

Being a working mom, the struggle to find enough time with the kids is REAL. There are days I have to choose quality when quantity isn’t an option.

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This is my favorite time of day: my two littles strapped in, picking up my oldest from the kindergarten. Sometimes we talk about new spelling word successes, sometimes we navigate tough friend scenarios and sometimes we just blast some music, roll down the windows and soak in the moment where we are all breathing the same air.

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To all you mamas who have ever felt that mom guilt (that tends to creep in uninvited,) you’re doing a great job, one of the toughest jobs. Don’t listen to that voice…just focus on loving on those babies, the rest will sort itself out! -Erin 

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Baby Steps and the Next Right Thing

One of my favorite parts of this job is the drive, the constant push. That’s also sometimes one of my least favorite parts. I’m driven, but I also need to rest.

Balance is so hard, ya’ll. I am learning to start small. Baby steps. When I set a new goal for work, I start on focusing on that goal in small, manageable ways so that it can eventually become a daily habit. Baby steps are hard because that means I have to be patient. I can’t accomplish it all in one day. Whaaaaa? Big revelation. I just don’t want to lose sight of the way bigger picture.

There’s a reason I’m in this. I want to try and focus on doing “the next right thing” because i’m learning that consistently doing that adds up to things i couldn’t have dreamed of. And focusing on that next right thing allows me to stay in the moment and be patient for what’s to come. 

-Racheal

about us.

We are Racheal & Erin, owners of wild juniper.  We began in 2008 with a couple of sewing machines, some big dreams and lots of coffee.  As wild juniper has grown, our passion for art, originality and style of all eras has remained.  You’ll find our handmade accessories interweave classic design with modern fashion.  Style, we hope, to enhance the everyday.tumblr_n7srzbju3b1tfym0io1_500