It’s happening! We’re super excited to announce our first Gift It Forward giveaway!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
For the past year, I've had a running list of idea's that I knew I wanted to blog about, eventually... The one topic that kept coming up for me was how I define success, what does being successful look like? I feel like the success talk is much like the money talk, no one wants to have it. Success should not be something we are embarrassed about, hide from or even feel the need to exaggerate. Your success and victories should be celebrated no matter how small they may seem. Here are a few ways I learned to embrace the process of accepting my own successes.
IT'S NOT A NUMBERS GAME
I've been there, I've done it, I'm guilty as charged. I have compared away, whether its the number of followers they have, number of blog posts, amount of times they have been published, number of likes, numbers, numbers, numbers! I thought in order for me to be/feel successful, my numbers needed to be off the charts, that the amount of followers would equate to the amount of work I received. #FALSE
Yes, of course as my following grows I do tend to feel encouraged and the amount of likes I receive may shift from day to day. But I can now attest to the theory, that the amount of followers equals the amount of work I receive is false. (At least for me this is true) Hand raised high; I am busy, I sometimes receive more inquiries that I can answer in a promptly time frame, I have enough work for my two hands and small studio space can handle at the moment. Numbers no longer control my image of success. Instead, the time and care I can offer each client is how I define my success. When a client sends me a message reassuring me that I am meant to do this, that is what makes me feel successful.
FORWARD IS A MOTION
Don't get me wrong, yes I have semi-mastered the non-numbers game of thought but that doesn't mean I still fall into the comparison game from time to time. I am only human after all, and definitely not perfect. Gauging your success on someone's portrayal of their success is a negative place to let yourself drift into. Here are some tips for when the self-destructing starts to step in.
- GET BUSY! This is when you need to dive even further into your own situation. Recognize your journey is exactly that, YOURS.
- STAY FOCUSED on you and that special gift you are offering to the world. What keeps you unique? What are you offering to your clients and customers that is needed? Reminding yourself why you began can jump start the motivation train.
- SHOUT IT OUT to everyone, letting them know who you are and what your business has to offer. Compose an email and send it other's within your industry introducing yourself. Get out from behind the computer and meet other creatives. Join a meet up, one where you can chat among other like-minded individuals. If you are looking to find one in your area you can check out Rising Tide Society, to locate one near your home town.
- KEEP MOVING, even one small step at a time. Because in the end, forward is forward no matter how big of a jump or little a step. Forward keeps the energy going.
- BE YOUR OWN BIGGEST FAN. Everyone loves a cheerleader, be the best at it!
In the end, we will all have different definitions of success. For some, success may very well be a certain number of followers, while the next may say it's the amount of inquiries they receive in a single day. For me, success is the end result of each gift design I hand over to my clients and customers. Success is the thoughtful email they send to me afterwards. Success is the feeling a gift I designed gives someone who is preparing to start chemotherapy or the Bride that needed help with saying Thank You to her best friends. Success to me will always be a feeling and not a number.