Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Wine, Chocolate, and Inspiration

photography notes: the peach tree in bloom in my backyard, my daughter's ridiculously long lashes, and a few surprises clips

Inspiration is a funny thing... it greets us like the buoyant stream of sunshine through a window after a string of grey days. It brings beauty and a feeling of hope, perhaps restores a sense of purpose... makes us feel fortuitous or better yet, blessed. At least, that's what being inspired feels like to me.

Trying to launch a business is hard--so hard. So much risk, toil, and sacrifice. In the wake of those labors, I often crave inspiration like a glass of red wine and a piece of dark chocolate after the kids are in bed. I need it. {The wine, chocolate, and the inspiration.} The truth is that at the moment, despite how hard I have worked, I feel neither inspired nor inspiring. I feel like God formed me with seeds of optimism planted in my heart, but at the moment, the seedling that sprouted from those optimistic dreams is a bit wilted.

I am in the process of changing my company name or rather suspending is a better word. This is not what I wanted. Sometimes I feel God's providence in it and other times I feel like things I worked so hard to create are all starting to unravel. But that's just life, isn't it? We set our compass, chart the course, and suddenly gusty winds blow us into entirely uncharted waters. I don't want to lose the name Mia Joie; it's my daughter's name. It's not what I want, and I don't like it.

But, you know what, I'll keep going. Some days I feel discouraged, weary, and even down-right whiney. But other days, when the sun is shining, I take a long hard look at all I have built in Mia Joie, and I feel hopeful. After all, my business is still mine, no matter what it is called. Life is hard, and it's beautiful. I think I am inspired most by those who live in the tension of that duplicity, and I hope to inspire people in kind. One of my favorite authors, Anne Lamott wrote, "When hope is not pinned wriggling onto a shiny image or expectation, it sometimes floats forth and opens.” So, I am choosing to believe that God has ordained good in difficult circumstances, if I can step back, let go, and have the perspective to see it.
If life has you feeling discouraged, know that my heart resonates with yours. I hope you feel inspired to keep going, press forward, and see joy in this day. "Passion does not reveal herself only in clandestine, bodice-ripping cliches. Passion’s nature is also cloaked in the deep, subtle, quiet, and committed: nursing a baby, planting a rose garden, persevering in a dream." ~Unknown


I wrote this as an entry to Amy Wenzel's Photography workshop contest. If you've read my blog before, then you know I bought my camera used from my photog friend, Tasha, and the lesson went something like, "leave the setting here and press this button." The rest has been trial and error. I've never done any photography training and thought it would be fun to get away and be around some amazing photography talent. Plus, the workshop is very near Holland, Michigan, where Robert and I formerly lived. Despite living in Houston almost 5 years now, it still doesn't feel like home, and I'd love a reason to visit and hang with my friend, Michele! Some of Amy Wenzel's images are below, and for more photography inspiration, you can see Amy's website and blog here.

Mercy, this post just keeps going, doesn't it?! No wonder I haven't blogged in a week. I know the info about changing my name from Mia Joie is vague. The short answer it that there is big {multimillion dollar} company opposing my right to use Mia Joie. I will fight as far as I can for Mia Joie, but in the meantime, I can't continue to freeze my business and will be moving forward under a new name. I will post more on this in the future. I also wanted to add that I am sorry I don't have those peep toe shoes done yet. I'm busy with the name change. It's spring break. I'd like to tell you that it's been lovely having the kids home, but the truth is that they fight incessantly and I feel batty in the belfry. I have the riding boots done, size 3-8, available for purchase on Friday at 9:30 am CST. The pink peep toes in the picture above, size 6, are available in the paypal link. If the link is gone, the shoes have been sold.


Hana said...

Oh no! They are taking your name?! Grrrr. So sorry you are battling with this. I can imagine how upsetting that would be. Surely God has purpose behind it even if it isn't evident yet. Keep your chin up. On another note, I love reading your posts. They are always beautiful and poetic. My writing is none of those things so I admire those who can express their thoughts in such a way. My BF is the same. She wrote our devotionals for this past weekends ladies retreat and they were incredible. Your words have the same feel. Just thought you should know. Happy Wednesday Jessica!

Anonymous said...

sending hope, prayers, and love across the country :)

Sarah Root said...

I love what you wrote about inspiration {your quotes are always so poignant!} I hope you find another name that you love just as much, I can imagine how hurtful it would be to have the name of the business you feel you have established taken away from you :(

Jessica Haley said...

Hana, yes, it's a big French company. {That narrows it down, doesn't it ;) } I wish I could say more about it, but sometimes I see their lawyers sniffing around in my blog.

Lori, thanks! Are you surviving spring break or going batty like me?

Sarah, thanks for your encouragement about the new name. I have two that I am contemplating, but it's been hard to really settle on something. If you think of it, throw up a prayer or two about it :) And, yes, hurtful is exactly the right word.

Prencie said...

WHAT!!!?? That is ridiculous!! Big businesses with lots of money are like the big bully on the playground, taking and doing whatever they want just because they can. Well, I'm sure that you already know that you have Someone bigger in your corner and His will will be done. I'm so sorry to hear that your going through this:( I'll keep you and Mia Joie in my prayers!

Anonymous said...

These are adorable! are the soles made of rubber or vinyl for walking babies?? Can't wait for your website!

Mrs Soup said...

Sending so much love and support. And whatever happens with the name, you will still be the same. And it will be lovely.

Ashley B. said...

I'm so sorry to hear about this! As you, and others, have said, God is in control. If you do have to change the name, know that you have SOOO many people that will love you and follow you no matter what the name of your company is. Hebrews 6:9-15

Anonymous said...

thinking of you... i am sure it is rough. yes like the other ladies said does not matter what your name is we will still be buying, reading your blog and be inspired!
love the barrettes in the pretty pinks and browns-the peep shoes shoot some else got them!
Have a wonderful day.
spring break is always a fighting week at our home, so is summer break. then summer is over and i hate to see the kids go back to school.
go figure.

Amy said...

"I can do all things...." You've got a Power bigger than the big dogs. :) Praying for you. xoxo

Amy said...

PS. the surprise clips...DARLING!! Can't wait till Evy has some hair. :)

Jenni said...

I was wondering once you made it "big time" if this was going to happen to you. You always hear about stuff like this...

Prayers and thoughts are with you during this trying time.

Seems like I say this to so many of my blogger friends, but I really did wish we lived closer, think our kids would have fun together, as they are so close in age. I would try to take them off of your hands for a little bit, give you a break that you deserve!

Good luck with the contest! You are such an inspiration to all of your readers and buyers of your products!

We love you.

Mande said...

Thinking of you, praying for you. We all love you girl!! Big gigantic puffy pink heart the peep toes. :) xoxo

Meredith said...

Oh no that stinks about the name but really, whatever the name will be I am sure it will be beautiful like all things you create. HUGS and I hope it all works itself out.

I am crying over those peep toes, wow those were stunning and exactly what I had hoped to get Harlow. I check your Blog all the time but I guess I need to check it more, maybe every hour or everyday to be sure to not miss a PayPal link ;)

Thanks for working on those peep toes during all of this, I know everything you do really brightens my day. I hope your making some in size 3 because I already have a bit boot collection for Harlow..LOL!

Jessica Haley said...

Thanks so much for the encouragement! I am hangin' in there--it varies by the day :)

For the questions regarding the soles, I answered a few questions about the soles and durability in the comments in the previous post or you can read about the durability under my Etsy shop policies.

So, I just have to ask, have you ever had a child that thinks mom's job is wait on him/her hand and foot? Since my Aidan hurt his knee, he seems to think it's my duty to fill his every need {drinks, snacks, find his toy, etc.} I tell him he can help himself, but he's just not getting it. Any tips on how to deal with this, aside from retorting with a frustrated, "Get your keester of the couch and get it yourself!"

Meredith, yes, 3's are coming...

Vanessa said...

I did wanted and say thank you so much for this post. I just started my business in November and really needed this. You are an inspiration.

Dear Lillie said...

I don't have time to write now...should be sewing, but just wanted to check and see if I was missing out on any shoes. I am so sorry about the name issues! That must be sooooo incredibly frustrating! I cannot even imagine. Am soooooooooooooooo excited about the boots. Have been dying to get Lillie a pair since your first posted a picture of them! Can't wait for Friday!

Becca said...

Good luck! I love this post and I'm so impressed by your photography :-)

Melinda Ann Photography said...

Awww stink about having to change your name. :( I'm sorry. Hopefully you can feel just as positive and inspired about your new name as you are/were with Mai Joie.

I've been a fan of yours for a LONG time on Etsy and now that I finally have a little lady (9.5 months) to buy shoes for, your shoes are hard to get. haha I'm hoping to get some of those adorable boots on Friday!!! :-D You do amazing work, keep it up!
xo Melinda (From your home-state)

chrissie said...

I have decided that I am just going to keep your blog open on my computer at ALL times maybe I will actually get to a sale on time ! !
:) you just keep bringing it with all the goodies!!!

Ariana said...

Hi Jessica, I can read your sadness and I am so sorry. I will follow your blog and your business not matter what the name. You are so incredibly talented. Especially your pictures!

Yes, I feel like a slave at home too sometimes. When one of the kiddos insists on me getting something, I usually ignore them. They eventually do it themselves. When they do it, they have a sense of satisfaction and I congratulate them (good job, I knew you could do it, kiss).

Anonymous said...

on dealing with kids that want to do this or that i have found reverse phycology works best...."i dont know if you are big enough to do this or that....it usually works. worth a try..

Ashley B. said...

Maybe if Aidan had a basket of things specially for him with a neat cup for drinks and some favorite snacks and other things to keep him occuppied... You could have that basket ready for him and when he needed something then he would know that it is there for him to get himself. New things usually get kids excited, and when they know that it's just for them they sometimes get a thrill out of the independence. Just a suggestion....

Us Four & No More said...

Wow - you must be doing something right if the "big dogs" are snooping in your blog.

You are truly gifted. Don't give up!

Jer 29:11

Angel Warrior said...


My heart goes out to you... I'm sure it must be very difficult to feel forced into such a decision. To be expected to relinquish something that is so personal to you just does not seem fair. I cannot understand why such a prosperous company would intrude on your personal success and opportunity to flourish. I love the name you have chosen for your business, but try to remember, the same love, beauty and joy that it brings to your business will always be yours in your beautiful little girl! It can never truly be taken from you.

In my prayers and thoughts,


Anonymous said...

Love the pink shoes! So sweet!

Cora Anne Designs said...

Wow, I didn't realize you were originally from Holland...I'm from Grand Rapids! :)

I bought some hair clips and a headband from you back in January and wanted to tell you that my daughter wears them DAILY and gets compliments on them everywhere we go! They're lifesavers as we're trying to grow her hair!

Thanks much!


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