(Of all the posts I’ve written, this might be the hardest one to write.)
On November 2nd I have decided to close the Jess LC shop.
This little company of mine, which I began at the age of 15 by accidentally selling (ugly) ankle bracelets at a pool, has brought me so much joy, sorrow, knowledge, stress, and success. I can hardly put it into words.
By the time I close the shop doors I will have lived almost half of my life with this business. Besides my family and childhood friends, it is the biggest constant in my life.
And though the company is doing well and could continue to grow and reach new heights, I know that it is not the path I am meant to take.
Since I launched the business full-time in 2007, I had a clear life purpose in mind: to help people. I knew that my business was something I could craft with intention and mold around my efforts to help people. And since 2009 I have been typing at this same computer, on this same blog, in order to do just that.
Along the way I have had a fantastic journey with the business. I have sold my jewelry in over 100 stores in North America and our online sales have reached Paris, Singapore, Japan, and South Africa to name a few. I have worked with big PR firms, I have worked overseas, I have worked domestically, I have collaborated with several other designers. I worked with assistants, interns, and the most important person of all: Susie the Jewelry Queen.
I have gone for over a week without an online order, I’ve had over 100 orders in one day. I have worried about how I would pay the bills, I have clocked in over six figures in revenue.
I have traveled, I have worked from home. I have laughed with my Jess LC ladies listening to 80′s music while eating baked goods, and I have cried in frustration after a manufacturing situation on the side of the road.
I have made everything myself, I have designed and collaborated with others who are experts in their field.
I have sold jewelry, bags, iPad cases, posters, stationery, totes, scarves, and trays.
I have re-branded four times. I have crafted lookbooks and photoshoots and product pages galore.
I have had a few dud products, I have sold out of styles in a week.
I have done home shows, trunk shows, and trade shows. I have been nominated for awards.
I have everything I have due to a lot of faith, my share of talent, and the simple ability to just keep going.
While I have been pushing to forward this business I have also been reaching out and helping others as I go. And though I have been balancing my business with my purpose, I have consistently gone towards what best enables me to help others the most.
When I could have been focused on increasing manufacturing of the bags, iPad cases, and jewelry that sold out, I decided to simplify so I could focus more on helping others craft their growing businesses instead.
The problem was not with demand, it was with balancing everything on my plate so I could keep helping people design lives and businesses with intention.
And over the course of this year a funny thing happened: without even trying I built myself a full-time career in helping people. The consulting, workshops, and blogging began to spread and flourish.
For the past seven months I have tried to balance the shop, consulting, workshops, and blog. And while I did manage to keep all the balls in the air without working insane work weeks, I found myself mentally and emotionally drained by the end of each day.
It might have looked like I “had it all” when it came to my career.
But the truth is I never wanted “it all.”
I just wanted to help people.
So after a startling a-ha moment and a lot of prayer since then, I have realized that the strength of my Helping People career is ready to replace my role as a full-time Shop Owner financially and emotionally.
But once the doors of Jess LC close, I plan to open a window. I am currently in the process of exploring how I will be able to give back and extend what Jess LC has done for me to other women starting businesses under the age of 25. When I have more clarity in the structure of this venture I’ll be sure to expand in more detail. My hope is to launch this new project in 2013.
Meanwhile, I also plan to continue to design products in collaboration with old and new business partnerships. Though I know juggling the shop, consulting, and blog is too much for me, I cannot imagine living life without design. It’s something ingrained in me now which brings me so much joy.
In fact, I am happy to announce that the Lake Shore bag collection and Quincy iPad cases are now going to continue on in a collaboration with K.Slademade. We are in the process of working together to make this happen and we will share updates as we get closer to the launch.
Also, from this point forward the Jess LC shop now has a 25% off code good on all orders until November 2nd.
We have a limited inventory of remaining items, so please feel free to use the code FINALFINALSALE to get your savings on the remainder of our products. I deeply hope that you use, love, and enjoy the products we created with you in mind. And due to the nature of the sale, all sales are final as we prepare to end the shop.
In closing, I cannot thank you enough for joining me on this journey. So many of you have purchased Jess LC items, cheered me on, and helped me make the company better each day. I am deeply grateful for your support.
I’d also like to thank those of you who have worked with me via the consulting, workshops, and blog sponsorships. You have helped me prepare for this next chapter in my life.
Thank you all so much. I really mean it.