Looking Back at 2017
Posted on January 01 2018
“Pull away from what doesn't push you forward.” - Amber Ibarreche 2017.
What-a-year. Like many of you, I can’t help but sit here and think about the space I’m in of saying goodbye, and also, hello to a new time. 2017 was full of tears and teeth gritting, but equally full of laughter and tired cheeks. No matter which outweighed the other, some very important events happened in the last year that have forever changed my journey going forward.
It’s always funny how you can come across quotes that are so relatable to your life, but after the fact. Like really. Where were you a few months ago when I needed you to help me make sense of it all? But when I sit here, with a glass (okay maybe two) of wine, and try to sum up my 2017 story, the quote above was really the best way to condense it all. In life, saying goodbye is one of the most painful actions whether it's dealing with relationships, behaviors, careers, and even business ventures. But when you realize that some things really are just holding you back, you simply must pull away and say goodbye.
My Pull Away
I fell in love. Hard. I fell head over heels for the“George Clooney” of retail spaces with all the potential of being my greatest venture. Opening the Owensboro store was a whirlwind. It was exciting and painstaking, but a labor of love I was willing to endure for its success. Hustle and heart, set you apart was my motto. So I loved on it...like 60-70 hours a week, loved on it. At the same time, not only was I trying to grow a store in a new community and run two other stores plus a website, I was growing a tiny human. My body and my brain were facing a challenge like never before.
Just like all love stories, there comes a point that the two lovers are faced with a little doubt...that they push away from each other. If you're lucky, it ends with a dramatic “I love you”and everyone is happy in the world. I wasn't so lucky. My pull away started with a little gnawing in my gut. No, it wasn't just my little man kicking my bladder as he often did. This was that soul defining pit in your stomach kind of feeling. A little voice bringing realization and a little doubt...I was going to be a mom. I was going to be responsible for a human.
After months of hanging on, I finally pulled away. I spent months in denial that I could make it work. That if I held on a little longer it would all work out. Just as my son’s little kicks to my bladder grew to elbows in my ribs, I knew that I could not at this time be both a mother to a growing store in another state AND a mother to a growing baby. Let’s not forget, I was already a dog mom, a wife, an aunt, AND running two other stores. I knew that even though the heart was there, the hustle couldn't be anymore. And my heart was beginning to pull away as my son was born. So finally, after countless talks with my General Manager and friend, Lauren, my husband, my dad, and my sisters, I decided the best thing to do for me and my business was to close the Owensboro store.
And like all heroins, I felt liberated and confident. So, did I happily go bouncing down the street with a newfound glow? Uhhh....not at all. I felt like a failure. A huge, flashing red sign over my head, FAILURE. I’m an overachiever, and closing a store didn't seem like an achievement nor had I ever seen myself shutting down a location. It felt like a loss, a goodbye, a “what could have been”. That love that leaves a hole in your heart. It was a new feeling. And if it wasn't for my “propel you forward” attitude, I might still be sitting in those feelings.
What propelled me
Emmett Raymond Durcholz was born during this strained love story. I mean 8 hours after I made the decision to close the store I went into labor. Talk about a weight being lifted off of me (both literally and figuratively). And He. Changed. Everything. The moment my tired swollen eyes joined his squinty little eyes, all the hope of the future just exploded within my heart. And in that moment, I knew that I was a mother, his caretaker, protector, and nurturer. And he was mine. And our future together along with Nathan was the single most important thing to protect.
I knew that I had to hustle like never before. I must be a present mother while continuing to run and grow my business. This business is part of his livelihood, his legacy. And I had to protect that. I also knew I had to protect our time as a family. And the only solution to where I was in my life was to close a chapter and refocus on the new one. I was going to pull away from the Owensboro store, focus my efforts on my existing stores, and be present for my family.
So here I am now with a nearly half year old, two stores, and an empty retail space. And I couldn't be more at peace. Pulling away gave me space for things that are propelling me forward. I have a new motivation in life and a new perspective. I have learned more than I cared to, but it has equipped me for the future. In 2018, I am focused on building my team, growing my brand, being the best mommy, continuing my avid coffee and wine drinking (you guys have to see this app I’m about to introduce you to!), and bringing you the best damn fashion in the area.
I cannot send out enough heart kiss emojis to my customers. The ones who are really rooting for all of us. You share the joy of my motherhood with me, you are loyal to my brand, and you are always eager to tag me in wine and baby humor. You all are like family. And I can't wait to move forward in 2018 with all of you. So raise your glass! Here's to 2018!