In order to reflect on 2013, I actually have to go back a couple weeks before the first of the year. Even though my due date was coming up, I was too restless to stay at home so I came into work on December 17th and we photographed my last maternity outfit shoot. Just in time too, because the next day we welcomed our beautiful baby Amelie into the world! So the biggest change that has come in 2013 is that in addition to wife and entrepreneur, I added mom to my list of titles. Today is Amelie’s 1st birthday, so it’s the perfect time to think back over the challenges and joys of this year. Someone once told me that a baby’s first birthday party (a.k.a. cake smash) is really for the parents – a way of celebrating that we’ve made it this far, through the long sleepless nights and the new parent learning curve! Being a mom is certainly a tough job, but every time Amelie smiles up at me, I know that becoming parents is the best decision Josh and I have ever made.
This was my last maternity shoot taken 1 day ago, last year - December 17, 2012.
When we brought Amelie home, it was important for me to be home with her and have that time to bond, so I worked primarily from home for a little over 2 months. It was challenging and certainly tiring, but a rewarding time for me. I had to get better at delegating in the office and keep up with the demands of a creative, fast-paced job, while taking on the responsibility of motherhood. I definitely had to become more efficient and prioritize my time so that I could keep up my productivity by working hard but also working smart. Juggling motherhood with work has reinforced my belief that you can do anything you want if you put your whole heart into it. Any mom-preneur can attest that where there’s a will there’s a way!
The Ruche crew being silly at the Ruche x Zooey Magazine event.
This year I have watched both of my babies, Amelie and Ruche, grow leaps and bounds. At Ruche, we have become more involved in events and collaborations than ever before. With our love of flea markets and vintage, it was only natural that we would take attend Vintage Whites! We were honored to be a part of the fashion show and host a fun dinner for vintage and style bloggers. We love collaborating with Zooey Magazine, an empowering and inspiring publication that covers all the topics we love to read about! We provide clothes for the magazine’s styled shoots and are always thrilled to see our clothes in the pages of such a great magazine. Since we love weddings at Ruche and are proud to offer an affordable, vintage-inspired bridal collection, we were so happy to partner with Utterly Engaged for the Frizz and Frills event. We also went to Texas Style Council for the first time this year and connected with so many lovely style bloggers and new friends. And in August I returned to the Magic shopping trip with our buying team, scouting out all the new trends for upcoming seasons. Amelie came along for both of those adventures, and she was such a good little traveler!
I still feel so amazed when I step in our ever expanding warehouse, when I think of starting out in our living room!
I’m so proud of the achievements and improvements that 2013 has brought to Ruche. We have started offering free shipping for orders over $75 in the US and for our friends up north in Canada too because we know how important that is to our Ruchettes. Another improvement we made to make online shopping easier for our customers is the launch of our mobile site. This means our website is optimized for viewing on a phone screen, making everything from flipping through lookbooks for style inspiration to shopping easier. I almost like shopping more from my phone than my desktop! This year we also opened a customer phone line so we can chat directly with our customers whenever they have questions. We are so excited for all the new upgrades coming in 2014. This year has also been an exciting one in terms of the press Ruche has been getting. The OC Register featured us in a great article, I was recently featured in Zooey Magazine, and I'm looking forward to seeing the interview I did for Where Women Create which is coming out soon! And our Ruche family has grown as we continued to grow our staff this year. Of course as we meet one goal we come up with new ones, but I’m so thankful for the opportunity to work towards these goals and to have a job I’m truly passionate about.
Making sure the styling is perfect during our winter lookbook shoot!
Ruche has always been more than an online boutique that sells beautiful clothes. It’s a collection of all that inspires us, from beautiful design to photography, from fashion to lifestyle to the modern-vintage aesthetic. As Chief Creative Officer, it’s such a joy to look back over the year at our lookbooks and features where we share our inspiration with you. My favorite lookbook was our winter edition, “Once Upon a Time” shot by the talented Brandon Kidd. I loved the concept and all the little details came together perfectly. While Snow White photo shoots have been done before, it was the subtlety of the details that made it feel sophisticated with a dash of whimsy and magic. And my favorite feature was “An Enchanted Tale”, shot by Stephanie Williams, simply because you can’t beat LIFESIZED origami! Some people thought the origami was Photoshopped in – it wasn’t! All of the origami creatures were handmade with love by our wonderful Creative Coordinator Orchid. For me the feature is another example of how we are always pushing the boundaries of our imaginations to bring to life inspiring, creative shoots.
2013 was an incredible year for us at Ruche and for me personally, but I know that 2014 will be even more wonderful. I have all of our fans, friends, and customers to thank! We are so grateful for your support. Ruche exists because of all of you, and you keep us motivated and inspired every day.
Our Christmas card shot by Stephanie Williams and Brandon Kidd.
Happy holidays and wishing everyone a happy new year!