We take great pride in the fact that each and every product is tested & sampled. We want you to love each and every item as much as we do! And for your gifts to be filled with items that leave a positive lasting experience. I share my 5 favorite go-to bath & body products that make great purchases for yourself or for any gift.Read More
It's true! Yes, even you will now have access to your very own gifting concierge! So your probably thinking, Hmmm sounds pretty cool, but what is it? Well let me break it down for you.
But first, here's a little background - In case you don't know, that's me, Malissa Smith. The creator and heart behind the brand That's Darlin'. I started this company 4 years ago from a conversation that took place while sitting in the lobby of the Grand Floridian Hotel. Sidenote - I'm a huge Disney super-fan. Love everything about their philosophy, customer service, the feeling that fills your spirit the second you step foot onto property, but most importantly the *magic.* You will from time to time hear me refer to incorporating the "Disney Mentality" into my day to day business, and I truly do. Ok, back to my story... That very conversation 4 years ago had me writing out the details on a cocktail napkin while on our flight back home. I had this idea, where gifting could actually be a business. But there was so much more to what I was thinking. I was envisioning it being more of an experience for my clients and not just a service. My natural thought process was to start within the wedding industry, knowing that it needed someone (like myself) who could design custom Welcome Gifts. Gifts that actually reflected the Bride and Groom, their love story told in the form of carefully curated items that together would aesthetically look beautiful and offer an experience for their guests. So that's where I started and Welcome Gifts were a success. My clients loved the personal attention they received throughout our process and how their gifts made their guests feel loved and appreciated. Over the course of 4 years, I would receive requests for what I refer to as 'One Time' gifts, such as Birthday, Thank-You, Housewarming etc. etc. Unfortunately, working out of my home made it very hard for me to secure wholesale purchasing power with most companies. And I found myself turning down work on a daily basis. I continued to work my business but to only take on projects such as Corporate, Client and Wedding Welcome Gifts.
Fast forward to March 14th, 2018, when I gave birth to our son Maverick Michael Smith. During this time, I purposely only booked a very small number Spring clients knowing very well I would be adjusting to being a new mom and enjoying every second with our baby boy. Shortly after Mavericks birth, I approached my husband about shutting down my business - for good. I was probably over-tired and hormonal at this point but it was something that was on my mind for weeks. My husband was taken back by my conversation, but I explained to him that this business has been 4 years in the making and I felt it was now at the point I either grew it to its potential or shut it down. I no longer wanted to waiver between feeling successful and feeling like a failure. My husband asked me what 'growing the business' looked like. My answer, I need a retail space. I need a place where I can meet with clients. I need room to grow. I need a commercial address so I can purchase wholesale. I needed all of those things so I can expand the business beyond Welcome Gifts and offer (what I'm now calling) a Gifting Concierge service and all the while offering a beautiful space for my customers to shop. It was 2 weeks after that conversation that this new mama to a 3 month old stumbled upon the most perfect little cottage while on one of our walks. And is now home to the most Darlin' little gift shop you've ever seen!
All you need is faith, trust & a little pixie dust
So here's what you need to know. That's Darlin' can now offer a service called Gifting Concierge. What does this mean? Let's say you are in need of a housewarming gift for your friends that just closed on their first home and a gift for your girlfriend that just gave birth to the most gorgeous baby boy. Now, normally you would try to find the time to run around after work collecting items from different stores and racking your brain on how to make this the perfect gift for them. Or, you are so tired between work and family and everything in between you opt for the impersonal gift-card that may or may not get lost, re-gifted or never used. This is where our services come into the picture and make your life a little simpler! We have streamlined our process to make gift giving as easy as possible. First, you will select a budget from our Custom Gift Shop. You will then be prompted to answer a few short questions regarding the occasion and whom we are designing for. THAT.IS.IT! You are done, cross it off your list. Within a few days, your thoughtful housewarming gift will be shipped off to the Smith's new residence and the most darling baby gift will be headed out the door to that sweet baby boy.
And it gets better -
For those of you that are completely visual when making a purchase, we will have our predesigned gift collection available in the next few weeks. The collection will offer gifts ranging from New Baby, Thank-You, Birthday, Thinking of You, Just Engaged, Wedding and yes even Gifts for Him to just name a few. The truth is, we can design a gift for any occasion and celebration! It is our hopes between our Gifting Concierge Shop and the predesigned Gift Collection we will be meeting all your gifting needs. This journey has been 4 years in the making and to finally be able to write it out and hit publish on this post just signifies that I am one step closer to reaching some really great achievements in business and life. I'm so thankful for your support and helping this business that started out on a cocktail napkin grow to where it is today.
Photographs in this post taken by Love & Light Photographs and Malissa Smith
In my last journal entry I shared my first non-negotiable in life, which was my daily meditation practice. Meditating is one of the two things that help me deal with daily anxiety and fear. If you would like to read more you can find it here.
Today I wanted to share with you my second daily non-negotiable that is done in correlation with my meditation practice in order to keep me feeling calm and balanced. Unlike my meditation practice, which is done first thing in the morning, writing can happen at any point in the day. This is a more organic and natural process versus one that is regimented. I keep a notebook in almost every room in my house, so when the spark hits, I can just grab the closest one, find a comfy spot and share my thoughts with the paper. I am going to explain below what my daily journaling looks like, however you can create something that is better suited for you if you find my technique not matching your style.
I always start by choosing my top 10 things I am grateful for, whether that be my home, health or relationships, etc. I choose each one carefully, write it down and then connect the feeling of gratitude for each one in my heart. This is not a list that I steam roll through, this is more of an exercise in reminding myself to not just say "I am grateful for X" but to actually connect the feeling of gratitude for each one. Once I have my daily top 10 and walked through the feelings for each one, I re-read the list and out-loud thank God/Source/Universe for each one.
- Write It
- Feel It
- Say It
Next, I will write about whatever is pressing on my mind in that moment. This could be business related, relationship issue's, financial worries or health. (My topics vary from day to day) This week in particular I have been feeling stuck, not really progressing or regressing but just sitting still. I wanted to explore more on why I was feeling this way. When I feel the need to get deep into a feeling I will normally meditate on it and then write about it. I have been taking mental note on all the self-defeating stories my ego has been telling myself lately. I write down why these self-defeating thoughts are simply old stories that no longer serve a purpose in my present day. As humans we tend to carry our stories with us even though they are from our past and no longer serve us well today. Maybe its because we feel our past pains are like a badge of honor. They show someone how much we have endured and experienced. But, in order to leave them where they belong (in the past) we need to greet with them lovingly, let them surface and then be willing to part ways, knowing very well you will not benefit from them today, tomorrow or next week.
When I started to write down all those self-defeating stories I was telling myself, there was a common thread among them. It was the notion that I did not deserve the success I was working very hard and diligently towards. Even though I was putting in the 10 hour days, giving my all to every client, working smart in order to avoid creative burn-out and having a steady calendar of work in front of me, I was still telling myself old stories from the past that I did not deserve success. Even if I kept at it longer, harder, smarter, as long as I was believing that I did not enjoy the fruits of my labor, it would never come. Hence, leave me feeling stuck, not progressing not regressing, just standing still.
In the past there was a time where I did believe this, but that was no longer truthful and real for me today. See, even though I can say, "No I do not believe this story to be my truth anymore" I needed to make peace with it, thank it and release it. I need to believe and remind myself this is no longer the story I want to live out. Instead, it would stay with me, waiting for me to eventually believe it again. And this is exactly why I have my two non-negotiable's in life. I have come to trust that the action of meditating and writing are just as important to my mind as healthy food is to my body. It has become so ingrained into my daily routine that I now look forward to completing each one as I would my favorite glass of Cabernet after a long day.
Now, how does any of this relate to business? Gifting? Being a creative? Because when my mind and thoughts are not aligned with my purest intent, then I am no longer living to my truest capabilities. How can I possibly offer my very best if I am not thinking my very best, feeling my very best, acting my best? Simply put, they walk hand in hand. My business is a direct reflection of my heart. My heart is a direct reflection of my thoughts. And I work everyday to create thoughts that are aligned with all of the above. Full circle, one working off the other.
As apprehensive as I was to share these extremely personal self-care practices, I felt that if one person could benefit from my openness, then that would trump any insecurities I may feel. I'm not embarrassed of where I am, I am so proud of how far I have come. I plan on sharing more often with the hopes that it speaks to your heart. Take what you need, file what may be needed and disregard the rest.
If you are interested in starting a meditation practice, I recommend checking out The Chopra Center where you will find free guided meditations as well as the 21 Day Meditation Experience. And if you are interested in starting a journal routine, well just pick a pen, and write one word at a time. Glory comes from the willingness to begin.
The intent of this journal or other information provided is not meant for self-diagnosis or use in place of medical advice, but to share my personal journey dealing with various mental health topics. If you or someone you know may be struggling with mental health issues, please seek support from the appropriate professionals within your community.