Reaching Out and Receiving So Much In Return
How often do we actually go with our gut and follow the direction to where our instincts point when it comes to life decisions? I have always told my math students to go with their gut when it comes to sticking to a decision on the answer to or how to proceed through a problem that has them stumped. And it has really never steered me wrong when I’ve encountered difficulties or indecisions. Why then do some things seem to take forever for me to do? What am I so afraid of?
Starting this blog has been a fairly recent venture – just a few short months since I went “live”, but the idea first started brewing exactly one year ago, in September of 2015. It was actually the culmination of finally looking back at all the things that I really loved to do and saying to myself, “OK, enough with the stalling. You’re going to go forward with this this time. Even if you feel like you’re failing, you’re going to push through. Life is too short, and I have nothing to lose. After all, how can I go wrong with going with my gut??”…. which for this experience in my life is really following my heart……
The idea actually took a more concrete form in my mind while in the shower that September day in 2015. “I love to write. I have been reading a few incredible blogs. I love to paint. I love finding vintage furniture. I have wanted to find a niche in sewing and wooden construction during all the many years of designing and sewing and building window treatments for others. A blog – I have only recently learned what a blog actually is, but I know I can do this. I want to do this. It involves everything I love to do. There is enough flexibility that I can delve into the couple of areas about which I am passionate and in which I already have experience. I’m going to do this. Forge ahead. No backing out.”
It really was that simple. It really became a turning point for me…..finally. Since I was very young, I knew that if I did start any sort of business I would seek out American-made products and materials. I had recently learned about milk paint, and its all natural ingredients and no VOC status were extremely important to me. I knew that if I was going to be doing any kind of extensive painting that I did not want to be breathing in fumes. A simple on-line search brought me to exactly what I was looking for: The Old Fashioned Milk Paint (OFMP) Company. Even better was the fact that is located in Groton, Massachusetts, only about forty minutes from my home, AND one of their oldest distributors is only fifteen minutes away! I was on to something, I could feel it.
I had recently decided upon the name Revolutionary Redesigns for my new creative venture because I have always been drawn to the Colonial and Federal periods in American history, my husband belongs to our Town’s Company of Minit & Militia and I, the Historical Society. That period has also influenced my home’s design style. Upon further reading about the history of The OFMP Company, I discovered it started as a business in 1974 that constructed exact reproduction early American Colonial furniture – a second fact that made me feel this was the right choice for me. Founder Charles Thibeau began experimenting with milk paint formulas for his furniture since that was the type of paint that was made and used by the colonists. With his passion for the environment and the knowledge that the early settlers used only natural ingredients in their paint, his company became the first company, and has continued to this day, to manufacture all natural, biodegradable, non-toxic, and environmentally safe milk paints. I encourage you to visit the OFMP website to learn in detail the amazing qualities, characteristics, history, and ingredients of The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company’s milk paint. There are many types of milk paint on the market today, but OFMP is the original true milk paint.
So I began to paint, and paint, and try my hand at first selling my furniture. I soon found that I came upon this venture at a time when many many many others had already had this same fantastic idea. My area of the world expressed their love for my pieces but was not ready for adoption. Sales were very slow on all fronts. I forged ahead with social media which was very much out of my element, but with heaps of help from my tech savvy son, we developed this website.
Needing to do more and knowing I needed to receive more exposure, I decided to reach out directly to The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company to ask permission to post photos of my work on their company’s website. In early July 2016, I spoke with the Company’s President Anne Thibeau, the daughter of Founder Charles, with whom I spoke a year ago. This became another turning point. Anne was incredibly receptive and forthcoming with possibilities to help me out, including introducing me to a new Blogger/Ambassador Outreach Program that had just begun the month before. I was then given the name of the Administrator of their Facebook and Company business pages, Evelin Alvarez-Flores of
Evey’s Creations LLC. Evey, a dynamo in her field, began posting and sharing my projects, and I began meeting so many talented people who love to do what I do, and in late July, I was honored to be invited to become an OFMP Official Brand Blogger! Tomorrow I will share my first sponsored post!!
What have I taken away from this experience to date?? Take that step, even if it is unknown where it will ultimately lead. We really don’t know and cannot accurately predict where our steps will take us. Most often, it is said, that initial step probably will not actually take us to where we originally planned, but what it does do is such the obvious but which is so often overlooked, causing us to get stuck, and stalled, and stale. What does that step do? It gets us started, gets us moving, and that little motion perpetuates more motion until a momentum is built which gives us the energy to carry us further, to meet more people, to learn and experience things we never thought we’d be a part of. That is where I am right now. I had an idea and took the steps to get started, but “things” didn’t work out the way I had wanted them to. But instead of giving up, I knew that using the bit of new energy to stretch beyond my comfort was the answer. I decided to reach out to gain more exposure, and in my little corner of the milk-painting world, I am meeting new people, and learning, and finding support, and having faith that the experience of each next step and what my plan is for each subsequent step is what is really creating the quality of life that is fulfilling. I am not sure exactly where this will take me, but because it involves what I love, I am going to keep moving forward.
Thank you for reading and enjoy the journey!
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