why I’m closing the Jess LC shop

September 18th, 2012   |   Life

 

(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.

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  • Marguerite

    Wow.

    I know you’ll do great at this (not-so-new) endeavor. Looking forward to it <3

  • http://www.acanthusjewelry.com Acanthus Nichole

    Wow! I wasn’t expecting that, but I cannot say I’m surprised. You’re passion for helping others is clear, and I am one “grasshopper” who can personally attest to your skills, sensei. I know how busy you must be with that side of the business and I’m so thrilled for you. It’s scary to shut down something you’ve known for so long and focus on another area, but if you follow your passion, you’ll never regret it!

    I’m also thrilled for all of us small business peeps that will benefit from your gift!
    xoxo

  • http://inspirationandroughdrafts.com Melissa

    Wow! I’m sure this was a tough decision, but it sounds like you’re on an exciting path and will truly be fulfilling your purpose. It’s inspiring!

  • Kristen

    Wow! Jess… you’re amazing and I can’t wait to support you, no matter what the endeavor. Best of wishes and luck!

  • http://www.theflightoffancy.net Meghan, Flight of Fancy

    I love your honesty and self-examination; i’m glad you are following your heart and getting to devote yourself fully to both your personal life and the professional passion you have. Can’t wait t see what’s next :)

  • http://aspotofwhimsy.blogspot.com diane @ a spot of whimsy

    jiminy crickets! i thought this day would come. just wasn’t expecting it right now! i wish you all the best with this decision, my dear. i will miss seeing what’s coming next (and buying it!) but i will treasure my JessLC pieces for years to come. they’re some of my absolute favorites :)

  • http://www.acutedesigns.org Gina_AcuteDesigns

    oh my goodness! this makes me sad, but i totally get it. i have loved watching jess lc grow over the past few years and i know i will enjoy to watch the consulting side of your business grow as well. now i must head over to the shop and buy something before it’s all gone :).

  • http://theeverygirl.com Alaina

    So sad to see the shop (and so many of your beautiful products!) go… but I am so so excited and proud of you for this big decision and transition. From the first time I met you, you spoke of helping others as being your long-term goal. You’ve already helped so many (myself included) and so many more lucky ladies will reap the benefits of your knowledge in the future!

    It’s been such a pleasure collaborating with you, lady.

    On to new adventures…!

    Cheers,
    Alaina

  • http://kellystonelake.com/blog Kelly Stonelake

    Congrats, girl! Yeah, sometimes you have to choose between several good things. You need balance in your life. So happy for you, congratulations on the next period of your life. Woo!

  • http://margaritatartakovsky.com/blog/ Margarita

    Jess, I’m sorry to hear that you’re closing down your shop. But I’m super excited for you about your new projects. Thank you for always being so thoughtful and honest with us; for letting us have a peek into your personal and professional decisions. You always share great lessons. I’ll be buying something as well. I love my tote! :)

  • http://www.megustaensalada.blogspot.com SEMinegar

    bittersweet. i really love your shop, but i’m excited to see what you have ahead of you!

  • Lauren

    Wow! I am very sad but also happy for you. I’m glad that you are going to have time to pursue what you are really passionate about. Looks like I need to start planning my holiday shopping early ;)

  • http://www.jostwrite.com AdeOla

    I was waking up from a nap when I saw your update pop up on my iPhone. My heart dropped, but I was not totally surprised. I am excited to see where your new direction takes you. I wish you all the very best. With Love
    AdeOla

  • http://www.hifromcolorado.com katelyn

    huge news! good for you doing what feels right.

  • http://www.daykarobinsondesignsblog.com dayka robinson design

    congratulations! i always wondered if/when you were going to take this leap and it is the PERFECT fit for you (here i am, speaking like we personally know each other!). you will FLOURISH in this new-ish phase, i just know it. so many wonderful new things are beginning for you…seriously stoked. looking forward to seeing you take off.

    dayka

  • Kristi

    I read this post on my iPad, which is in its Quincy case, while wearing a pair of your earrings, so yes – call me sad. All the best to you in your new adventures though…and get everyones ready, because I’m taking advantage of that sale!!!

  • http://flaviasflavors.com Flavia

    Dear Jess, Thank you for sharing another wonderfully written and honest post with us. While I was sad to read your shop would be closing, I completely understand your reasons and it makes a lot of sense. Having had a consulting call with you this year, I can see how your calling is to help people–you certainly helped me tremendously! I am so proud and thrilled to own a piece of your jewelry and it delights me every time I wear it because 1. my sweet husband gave it to me and 2. I know the person who designed it! I am looking forward to following your new endeavors, particularly the one for helping women starting businesses. I am trying to turn my blog into a full-time business, so I just might need your help once again. Blessings and best wishes! –Flavia

  • http://www.sweetmamam.wordpress.com Sweet Mama M

    Wow! That must have been a hard call for you to make but good on you for making it. I’m at a bit of a cross-roads with worklife at the moment and this encourages me to make those brave choices. Thanks!

  • http://www.rebeccalately.blogspot.com Rebecca in NC

    Oh, wow! I am so surprised … but, kind of not surprised, too. I love your candor and openness. Your blog is one of my favorites to read (and I love your Wednesday newsletter). I might have to put a bug in my husband’s ear about your sale!!

    Congratulations (is it weird to say that?) on continuing down the path you want. That is amazing!

  • Linda

    Wow Jess – that took a lot of courage!
    But I can feel it … you’re destined for bigger things. :)

  • http://katelynbrookeblog.com/ Kate

    Wow! I am so excited for you Jess! I was surprised by your announcement, but at the same time, it totally makes sense. I can tell by the way that you wrote this post that this is the right decision. You go, girl! I’ll be cheering for you in your new endeavors, and in the meantime I’m planning on putting that 25% off to good use :)

  • http://oliviating.wordpress.com olivia

    OHMYGOSH. I’m so sad, but so happy for you!!! These kinds of choices cannot be easy, but if they feel right, then you got to move forward! Best of luck and keep us posted! :)

  • http://spryonthewall.blogspot.com Jenny

    Like everyone else I’m sad, but so happy for you at the same time! It makes total sense to me and I’m glad you are following your passion. I’ll certainly be putting the 25% off code to use! I wish you nothing but the best!

  • http://www.prettyfluffy.com Serena

    While part of me is sad not to be seeing anymore of your gorgeous creations and stunning lookbooks, Jess, this post mainly has me jumping for joy.

    Your approach to guidance, passion for branding and the innate ability to help others just jumps off the screen. This next step will be amazing for you and all those that will benefit from your help.

    Congratulations on such a successful business in Jess LC and your brave new future!

  • http://www.ampersanddesignstudio.com Morgan

    Jess, you know Carrie and I have LOVED collaborating with you, so, of course, we’re sad to see the shop close it’s doors! But, we know that we’ll get to partner with you in new ways, so it’s only bittersweet. We can’t tell you enough times how excited and proud we are to watch you follow your intuition!!! congrats on the big decision, can’t wait to watch you follow your dream!

  • http://Www.byebyebitters.com Helena

    Congrats on the next step!

  • http://daydreamer-alifestyleblog.blogspot.com Jackie @ Daydreamer

    This must have been such a difficult decision to make. I will definitely continue to support you in whatever you do next. I hope you’re able to build a new wonderful, amazing brand that helps people in lots of different ways! Best of luck and I can’t wait to see what you do next!

  • Giovanna

    I have been following you along for some time now and indeed, this decision makes perfectly sense, but is so brave I can’t believe it! And I am sad to see your shop closing down, what will your clients do??? Good luck, I applaud you, and will be following you even more eagerly, you are such an inspiration!

  • http://www.eleanorbusing.com Eleanor

    I’m another who was expecting this announcement to come at some point, though perhaps not so soon. But I think this is wonderful news- bittersweet perhaps, but to be finally at the point where you can focus all your professional energy on what you *really* want to be doing is a blessing indeed. Congratulations, I can’t wait to follow along with this new journey of yours!

  • http://mylovelyfrench.wordpress.com Anouk

    This is such a great decision ! I really admire you Jess, you know what you want, you know your intentions in life, you know how to make the decisions to get there. I should try this way too.

  • http://www.sequinsandstripes.com Liz Schneider

    You’ve done so much good with your companies Jess, my Jess LC products will always be some of my favorites! So proud of you for your strength, direction, and drive to do good for others! xoxo

  • http://www.rubyreddesignstudio.com Linda

    What a surprise to wake up to this morning! Jess, I’m so excited for you. Yes, it’s sad, but I bet you felt So Completely Awesome when you made the final decision. Here’s to the new you!

  • http://www.prosperpr.com Alyssa

    Congratulations on taking this huge leap of faith! I have been so excited for you since the moment you mentioned this decision a few weeks ago. Let me know if you want to chat more about the structure of your new Jess LC-related venture. I would love to help you get it off the ground.

    Here’s to your next adventure! I know you’ll be amazing :)

  • http://www.selectivepotential.com Tieka, Selective Potential

    Oh my gosh, Jess – this was beautifully written. I’m so proud of you for taking this next step and I’m excited to follow your journey! I am beyond thrilled that I was able to be a part of Jess LC Jewelry. That day is STILL one of my favorites in my blogging history – so thank you for that. <3

  • http://byjacki.com Jacki

    Cheers to your next adventure! I have no doubt that you’ll be amazing in whatever you do next. What a relief to be able to be honest with yourself about what you want and need to pour your energy into.

  • http://channelingcontessa.com Clara

    Yayyy congrats lady :) So excited to be part of this new journey with you!

  • http://channelingcontessa.com Clara

    Yayyy congrats lady :) So excited to be part of this new journey with you!

  • http://wordsofwilliams.com kelsey

    wow! but it totally makes sense, huh? this is so great! you are living your dream! i can’t wait to follow along on your journey. and, i’m so glad to feel like i helped a little when we sponsored your blog for a few months last year. :)

    P.S. i’m totally snatching up one of those “be brave” posters!

  • http://shewritesundone.tumblr.com Kim

    You are a true testament to what it means to evolve. You are listening to your intuition and letting your faith guide you into the next chapters of your life. So often we let our ideals of what we “should be/do” dictate what we do with our lives. But the secret is to keep growing and evolving so we can be the people we were intended to be.

    Shine on!

  • http://thecapitalbarbie.blogspot.com Kelsey

    Hi Jess,
    As a loyal follower of Makeunder My Life, Jess LC and all things Jess Lively, I want to say thank you for all the inspiration you’ve given to me over the years. You really are a great role model and I’m so happy for the next phase of your life.

  • http://www.stansberrydesign.com Natalie

    You are on the right path…I really think this is your destiny. Look forward to working with you again…soon!

  • http://www.etsy.com/shop/seesongdesigns Liz

    Good luck! I love your products and I believe you are an transpiration to all women who are trying to start a business in what they love. I can’t wait to hear more about your future endeavors, and thanks for writing this and inspiring hopefuls like me :)

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  • http://chefjamielevine.com Jamie @ green beans & grapefruit

    Hi Jess- I just discovered you–you are very talented! Though this small chapter has closed, I’m happy for the next phase of your life. Go you!

  • http://ashleynicolecatherine.blogspot.com ashley

    wow! congrats on this brave, new step! will miss seeing your products and cute lookbooks, but i know lots more exciting stuff is in store for you!
    xo

  • http://www.vmacandcheese.com victoria | vmac+cheese

    I think that though it’s bittersweet, this is such exciting news. The best part about life is that when we start out on one path, sometimes, it leads to even better and more beautiful ones. And that’s the way it should be — an adventure. You are such an inspiration to me and I know all your future endeavors will be met with crazy success (however YOU define it. :) ). Huge congratulations, Jess!

  • http://www.annetheadventurer.com anne

    Jess! I am so proud of you for making this choice to help balance out your life, and to live YOUR life with intention! I will miss JessLC for sure, but will be apart of the Jess Lively (MML) family for as long as you are writing! You are an inspiration!

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  • http://www.aheartandsoulstory.blogspot.com Anja

    I do agree with all the other – wasn’t expecting this, but it does make sense. You seemed like a lot was on your plate for quite some time and this might just be the right step. Glad we will still see some things from _Jess LC in the future, even if I would love to have a chance to get one of those little wallets as well.
    All the best for the future_!!

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