(The following is a letter I sent out to The Pearl Girls customers today. I also wanted to share it here with you because I am so excited about this new plan for 2013!)
This really is the most wonderful time of the year. Yesterday I got to experience the thrill of my sons opening Christmas gifts followed by the amazing imagination that allows Buzz Lightyear to soar through the sky and toy garbage trucks to load small dinosaurs, princesses and other “garbage”. I love the kids, the family time and the wonderfully delicious meals my mother-in-law serves. No matter what holiday you celebrate, we can all agree that nothing compares to the companionship of friends, love of family and the joy of children. It truly is an amazing time.
Another incredibly exciting time of year is New Years and the promise of starting over, creating new things and analyzing the previous year. I have been doing a lot of soul searching these past few weeks as I analyze what I want for The Pearl Girls and for my life in general.
Bear with me while I tell you what I have gone through. The most dominant theme in my life in the past couple of years is the fact that I have been raising two small children. It has been the most incredible journey of my life and had filled me with love I did not know was possible. It has also filled me with guilt as I struggle to both build this business and balance time with my boys. I truly believe in the work I do with The Pearl Girls but there certainly have been sacrifices. I feel the mommy guilt. I have felt very isolated from other women and I have not quite found my place between women who stay home with their kids and women who work. I don’t seem to have the time or energy to devote to either. I also think I am just always pretty stressed. I wake at night worrying about finances, struggling over business decisions and otherwise just pushing myself into new, different (and sometimes difficult) areas.
However, recently, something amazing has happened. I have connected here and there with women who experience the same struggles I do, mainly, the desire to work and contribute financially to their families. There are so many women who want to devote themselves to their families but they also crave an outlet and identity of their own. These are some pretty incredible women. They are smart, capable, committed, focused and smart women who made the decision to put aside their career path for their families. I see this as a great opportunity to allow my work with The Pearl Girls to go above and beyond being one awesome cultured pearl jewelry company. I think there is a great opportunity to keep doing what we do right with The Pearl Girls while transforming our entire business culture.
Here is how I plan to transform things. Starting in 2013 every new piece of The Pearl Girls jewelry will be made in the U.S.A. My big vision is to bring women together to create The Pearl Girls jewelry using the gorgeous gems that I source from all over the world. We will tap into the wonderfully creative artists living here in Athens, GA. Eventually we will bring in more women to handle the day-to-day office work and sales. I want to create a business where women can both support their families and supply their own creative needs all within a supportive and loving work environment. We will be a flexible work-place so women can still put their children first when they become sick, have programs at school or otherwise just need time with their mammas. The big vision will eventually include on-site daycare so the mammas in the group can be close to our children. I also hope to eventually incorporate on site wellness programs so we women can take care of ourselves along with the ones we love. I know that is a bit more “on down the road” but a goal I hope to be approaching as this time comes again next year. For now, though, it is all about expanding The Pearl Girls to offer more jobs to women and more jobs in the U.S.A. I am sure this vision will evolve and improve as different women come on board! For now, we will still sell the pieces we currently have in stock that may have been created overseas and slowly we will replace our entire inventory with American made jewelry. It makes me feel pretty awesome about growing this business in 2013.
I want you to know how much I appreciate your support of The Pearl Girls so far. Thank you for your business, your kind words and super positive feedback. I feel great knowing that 99.9% of your feedback has been nothing but uplifting. Thank you! I hope you will be able to relate to the new path our business is taking and I hope I can count on you for support as we continue to grow in 2013 and beyond.
With love and appreciation,