Since I started SugarSky in 2015, one of the most unexpected blessings that has come from this business has been the real and authentic relationships formed with many of you. So, in this year’s annual letter, I wanted to share with you what’s on my heart — friend to friend.
If you’ve read these letters in the past, you know how I normally talk about the business, reflect on what the year has brought, and share how grateful I am for your support. After all, I feel it is very important that you know that when you purchase a product from SugarSky, you're not only receiving a very high-quality, one-of-a-kind, versatile product, but you're also putting food on people's tables, helping pay power bills, and allowing our team to exercise and share their amazing skill set(s), talent(s) and creativity with the world. Most importantly, you're making them feel empowered in what they do. These are the things I love sharing with you on a yearly basis.
Well, this year’s letter is a little different. I’m taking off my ‘business strategy’ hat and putting on my ‘personal perspective’ hat — though it’s a bit dusty and one that’s kinda hard for me to wear. I’m not writing through this personal lens because I feel like I owe my personal life to anyone or because I think anyone really cares about what I’m going through personally, more-so because this is the very fiber of SugarSky - to encourage and empower. All this to say, my hope is that something below resonates with just a single person and provides a little bit of encouragement in some capacity.
I usually leave the personal things at the door because this business isn’t really about me or what is going on in my life. There are so many more people that this business is about — those who design our patterns, our team that prints our fabric, the crew that cuts and sews all of our products, and YOU who chooses to spend your hard earned dollars buying our goods.
My goal has always been that SugarSky wouldn’t define me. The thought I often have is, “If it were gone tomorrow, I’d be super bummed, but so grateful for the experience and all of the wonderful people I’ve met along the way”. I’m a firm believer that when we start letting material possessions / businesses / things of the world define who we are, we have, in fact, lost ourselves. In my opinion, associating yourself with something and defining yourself as something are two vastly different things.
I’ve truly thought this to be the case between myself and SugarSky — that it hasn’t defined me and that my identity has not been wrapped up in this business. It’s what I’ve practiced and preached. As of about a month ago, however, it became very clear just how hard it would be to not just talk the talk, but to actually walk the walk.
Let me explain:
This is me (Skyler) and my husband (Brian) while we were on vacation in 2019:
Through the pretty filters and big outwardly smiles, everything seems so perfect, but it wasn't. You see, we started trying to grow our family beginning in August 2018 and experienced the joy that comes from finding out we were going to be parents. This picture came two weeks post surgery for me after our first loss. The rollercoaster that we’ve been on since this time is a ride from a nightmare theme park. From the excitement of naturally conceiving and experiencing loss, to naturally conceiving again, experiencing another loss, to conceiving via fertility shots/medication and procedures two more times, but having two more miscarriages…these last three years have been challenging, lonely, confusing, frustrating, and down right hard.
The positive by-products of these last three years though?
Experiencing and realizing first hand how grief and joy can exist in the same space and finding comfort in that.
Becoming more of an empathetic person to others and being a better friend because of it.
Seeing that there is an army of people around us that hold hope and love us so big.
Believing that there’s a bigger plan for us and truly having faith in that.
Experiencing, realizing, finding, becoming, seeing, believing.
It’s taken me a long time to cope with the emotions surrounding the situation at hand, but there’s definitely proof that these last three painful years haven’t been all life-sucking… instead, life-giving and I’m choosing to chalk that up to a win.
We’re not ready to give up on this dream of growing our family. We’re starting the IVF process next month and still have a long road ahead *deep breath*. That’s why, about a month ago, Brian mentioned in a (very loving) conversation with me about taking a pause with the business. Reflecting back, the main words I heard from this conversation were, “Close SugarSky down totally for a bit” and, y’all... I laughed and proceeded to fire off an onslaught of questions in rebuttal:
“How and why would I do that?”
“November and December are our highest grossing months… this would be detrimental to the business!”
“Like what do you expect me to do? Close the store down during the 2 biggest months of the year?”
… and more.
I’m not proud of how I responded to his suggestion. My internal thoughts that followed were:
Am I sure SugarSky doesn’t define me?
Can I confidently say that my identity isn’t wrapped up in this business?
After taking a long hard look in the mirror, and through much prayer and conversation, here we are. So, friend, it’s time for me to walk the walk.
The walk that is not being defined by what SugarSky could, would, and should be over the next few months, but instead shifting priorities as we start the IVF process. It’s our hope that this decision will help us gain one of the biggest blessings in life — becoming parents.
Though society will have us believe we should be remembered by how much money we make, how big of a following we have, or how many cool possessions we own…there are quite literally so many better ways to be remembered. Me personally? I want to be remembered as the woman of faith I strive to be, the spouse I am to my husband, the daughter and sister I am to my family, the mother I am to my children (hopefully!). This pause with SugarSky is necessary to continue to build those important parts of my personal life.
We’ll be closing the shop on November 17th and will open things back up sometime at the beginning of 2022. For every person who chooses to support us (in whatever capacity or way that you can — sharing, tagging, purchasing, gifting, etc.) during the days leading up to this, I am abundantly thankful.
Thanks for hanging with me for this long. My hope is that something in the above sticks with you and can help you process or cope with where you’ve been before, where you currently are, or where you’re headed.
Friend, the valleys are deep and dark, but experiencing, finding, realizing, becoming, seeing, and believing can pull us out of the valleys and into who we are.
With all of my love,
Owner + Founder, SugarSky
PS: If you've made it this far, you deserve a lot more than a discount code, but that's all I have :) You can use code THANKFUL20 at checkout for 20% off in the shop.