the biggest lesson i’ve learned from closing Jess LC


One year ago, I heard a message in my gut to close my successful fourteen-year-old accessory company, Jess LC.

Though I had every intention to continue the business, one simple word from my intuition led me down a completely different path. I went from preparing to hire a manager for the business, to closing its doors two months later.

To many people, my decision seemed crazy. But I knew, deep down, that the company was always a bridge to my full-time vocation – helping people design lives with intention.

While I basked in the new full-time career, helping people through consulting and workshops, others continued to ask how I was doing. They were worried that a huge part of me had been lost and that I might feel sad. But in reality I was relieved. I was finally able to be myself!

No longer did I need to describe myself as a “designer,” I got to merge my passion with my career. 

Looking back over the past year, I am simply astounded at how things have progressed. One year ago, I was coming to terms with the fact that a company (that lasted 50% of my life) was ending. Now, that time seems like eons ago. I truly feel like that girl with the jewelry company has vanished.

The biggest lesson that I have learned from this experience is that by letting go of what no longer serves us, we make room for the wonderful things that are to come. 

If I still had Jess LC now, I would not have the time to re-brand a hotel, design a hotel lobby, help clients design their homes with intention, or, to work on the biggest project of my career (which is still under wraps).

I honestly believe none of these amazing opportunities would have come my way had I continued Jess LC. Or, if they did come my way, I would turn them down because I could not handle that many large projects, consulting, and launching eight product collections a year.

My career – and life – was too full to allow my future to enter. 

By making space and doing what my gut told me to do, I let go of one trapeze bar and grasped the next.

In taking the leap of faith, I had no idea what was in store. I just simply knew I needed to let go of Jess LC. Like an acrobat, I needed to hang in the air, suspended for a short moment, before the next bar was within my reach.

Was it a little scary? Surprisingly, no.

I had taken so many leaps of faith in my career by that point that I simply trusted my gut. I also knew my income from consulting and workshops was matching my Jess LC income. So worst case, I’d be in the same financial position.

However, the wonderful opportunities that have occurred in the past year have shocked me. Though I had faith, I had no idea things would play out so wonderfully.

Don’t get me wrong, things are far from perfect and I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the scope of my current projects. But I cannot imagine my life as an accessories designer any longer.

Jess LC was a wonderful experience that taught me a lot about business, life, and faith.

But in closing the company, I understand the importance of letting go when prompted. I now deeply know that the moment in mid-air will pass, and unforeseen potential will come my way.

This Post Has 23 Comments

  1. Alison Kelley

    Beautifully said. So many times we don’t listen to our inner thoughts and instincts and in a way it’s funny because when we do it’s usually rewarding. Thank you for sharing this!

  2. austxcat

    Totally off topic – but wanted to remind you the B&BW candle “Leaves” you turned us onto last year is back in stores now. There are 2 versions – the one with “Leaves” written in white block letters is the same as last year’s……I just ordered a bunch online because they sell out fast.

  3. Claudia Bravo

    You’re awsome Jess! Another good read from you. xx C

  4. Megan

    This is great timing. I’m planning to raise my rates today. I know it’s time, but I’ve been dreading the conversations. Hopefully higher rates will lead to more space for new ventures. I’m going to remind myself of that when I feel like throwing up mid-rate change call.

  5. laura gaffke

    This is such a valuable lesson in trusting our intuition! Thanks for sharing. I do believe ANYTHING is possible if you take some action, however small in that direction.

  6. Jeanee

    Hey Jess! I haven’t been by lately. But when I do stop by you always are telling me the perfect thing. It’s been a year now that I quit my cushy full-time job as a graphic designer at Hallmark and moved to Miami with hubs. Lots of things have changed. Including I’m about to let go of my cupcake bath fizzies They have served me well, but it’s time to move on. I’m approaching the last year of my 30’s, so my thoughts are filled with uncertainty. However, your honesty, and my gut, lets me know that I’m making the right decisions for my life work. Thanks Jess!

    1. Jess Lively

      Aw, that is so great to hear, Jeanee! I’m happy to hear that things are going so well for you and that you are making such great progress by following your gut, too. : )

      Just keep going!

  7. Allie K

    I’m glad you know you made the right decision, always best to go with your gut. I however have friends/strangers who would say you made the wrong decision when I tell them they can’t buy an amazing “Just Keep Swimming” tote like mine. 😉

  8. arin

    nice post — not easy to lay it out like that! thanks for the inspiration, i have really enjoyed your journey! Heart of Chic

  9. Sage Grayson

    Great post. I’m learning to trust my intuition too and step back from certain projects so I have time for the ones that really light me up inside.

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