Monday, February 6, 2012

Y: more than just a letter

In 2007, when Emily was still a wee bundle of grins, Ben came to visit us in Texas.

Isn't that just the cutest Emily you ever did see?

We were chilling on my parents' back patio while Daddy grilled something tasty, when Emily decided she wanted to go inside. I asked her why. "Because," she answered. I explained that "because" is not so much a reason as it is a word that comes before a reason and repeated my previous question. "Because I want to go inside," was the reply she gave me along with a look that said I was clearly as dumb as I was annoying. "Yes, I know you want to go inside, what I don't know is why." At this point, Em's frustration was pretty apparent. She marched up to the screen door, the handle of which was mounted just out of her reach, and declared "BECAUSE YEAH!"

Because yeah. I like it. Why can't that reason work for everything? Because no, that's why. It doesn't work for getting out of family dinners on the back porch and it doesn't work for operating a small business. In case you're wondering, that latter statement has been occupying a lot of space in my brain lately.

Last April I told you Never a Plain Jane Designs was founded because
"garters are important. The materials, the design, the colors are all expressing something about the wearer.  Sometimes she wants to express those things to someone else - like a spouse - and sometimes she just wants a private reminder that she is strong/sexy/whimsical..."

That's still true - in fact, I think it might be even more true now - but I had forgotten all about that. In the last few months I could not, for the life of me, tell you why I made garters. I certainly couldn't tell you why making, selling, wearing them was important. I think I lost touch with my "why," my mission statement, because I assumed it was enough to just put it out there one time. Spoiler alert: it's not.

Once I put nailed down the "why' of NPJ Designs I got busy on the "how." I got so busy, that I let it consume my work day. Then, the how - the blogging, tweeting, Facebooking, the accounting, and the making - became habit.  I everything I had been doing was to start my business, grow my business, maintain my business.  Now you tell me which part of that last statement addresses my desire to help women discover and express themselves.

Yeah, I don't really see that there either. It pretty much looks like I was doing a bunch of work because yeah.

And that's just lame.

This time around I'm going to step back from my work more often to evaluate why. I'm not sure what will come of all this evaluating, but I suspect asking myself "why" will keep me better connected to my passion, which, in turn, means I can let you in on more aspects of why i do what I do.

I make garters for offbeat brides, burlesque, Tuesdays...because the closer something is to your body, the more it should represent the things you stand for. And because every woman should have a reminder that her strength and beauty comes only from her.

What is your why?

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