2012. Where do I even start with you?
Just the other day I was telling a close friend that 2011 was simply put just a really happy year. You can read my recap from last December over here to see for yourself. But despite all of the happiness, new beginnings and fabulous trips, I felt like my head was a bit in the clouds. I think when you’re new to an industry, team, school or whatever, you really just want everything to be positive and problem free. You’re always eager to make new friends, make great first impressions and make it, whatever it is, bigger and better. I think 2011 was a crucial year to really establish the framework for my business and personally was really wonderful, but 2012 was a year I could have never prepared for.
When I used to write for print, I did a piece for a health magazine that focused on new year resolutions and how it’s hard for so many people to keep theirs. The people I interviewed for the article all had such interesting opinions on resolutions and why people can or cannot keep them. I personally have always hesitated making resolutions that are too lofty because I hate to feel disappointed when I fall short of my goals so I went into 2012 with a vague goal of having faith in whatever was thrown my way. I had an open heart, an open mind and an eagerness to be successful and fulfilled. But then it hit me. And it hit me hard. I totally blew my easy peasy resolution within just ten weeks of 2012.
I took a brief blogging break in March of 2012 to collect myself. To reassess what matters and what makes Rhi really happy. Because the fact was I wasn’t. 2012 was so different from 2011 in the sense that I really learned a lot about not only the industry and the people who are a part of it, but myself and how I fit it to it all. I learned so much about the kind of business owner and colleague I want to be and the kind of business owner and colleague I never want to be. I learned to be less naive. It wasn’t an easy year I’m so unbelievably thankful for every single day that was part of it.
When I was little I wanted to live in New York City. Actually I wasn’t little but in high school and had aspirations of becoming an attorney who’d wear too tight pencil skirts and kitten heels to work every day. I’d be powerful, fulfilled, and rich. I’d trade in my car for subway tokens, my suburban home for a small studio loft and I’d take yearly trips to exotic faraway places. Life so often plays out differently then we expect though doesn’t it? My New York dreams have changed but my heart has always remained the same. That’s the sweetest part. I’ve just always wanted to be happy.
So following my little hiatus from social media and blogging in March I decided to do something I wanted to do so long ago. I finally signed up for Making Brands Happen to take Hey Gorgeous to the next level. I started writing about it all here. And I slowly shared bits and pieces of the process with you like my branding inspiration board below. This is when I think my year really began and when I started listening to my gut. Life begins when you listen to that inner voice.
Then in May, I celebrated my 26th birthday by putting together far too many paper chain links and florals for this. We put together an incredible team of vendors to make this production come to live and we were thrilled to have the editorial featured over on Green Wedding Shoes. Make sure you watch the video there too because it’s so awesome.
I also spent a good chunk of time preparing for this gorgeous wedding in June. Ash and Dallas were my first 2012 bride and groom and I was seriously on pins and needles just waiting to kick start my season. I was able to work with Beth Kaye at this event and she’s always able to bring me an inner sense of peace. Since October of 2010 she’s been a constant source of inspiration to me and a rock steady friend who has done nothing but encourage and love me.
In July I had two events in the dead of summer heat. I never blogged either one of these events at the request of both couples, but I made some newlyweds (and parents!) really happy. My handsome husband even made an appearance at a gorgeous Detroit wedding I had on my roster to help me out. He’s the sweetest and I just love him and how much we’ve grown together in this adventure. We also decided to take the plunge and purchased the cutest little pup you ever did see. Go read this here to meet her. While getting used to a small puppy is quite the adjustment, we love Zoe to bits and are so happy with how she’s enriched our lives. Sometimes we think we’d be pretty awesome parents because of it.
Then August hit and it was all such a whirlwind. I had three back to back events up at Crooked Creek Ranch. I hired an assistant to help me with all three. Natalie was such a life saver and together with Michele, we not only rocked out some seriously amazing events but we had way too much fun. Seriously. I’m dying for some more CCR weddings!
First there was Jessy and Erik’s Anthropologie-inspired ranch wedding.
Then Kelly and Andrew’s big day (coming soon) and of course Mary Beth and Tom’s lovely fete.
September came around really fast and I was back up north again for Sarah and Bryan’s gorgeous wedding.
And in mid-September I was over in Chicago to coordinate Claire and Doug’s big day….
Before jetting off to Toronto for Megan and Eric’s celebration.
In October I had my finally had my final 2012 wedding and these two lovebirds below were hitched. This was one of my favorite events from the entire year as I took on all the planning, design and florals myself. Nicole was just a dream client with such a unique sense of style. I wish I could help her plan a wedding every year. It was truly that good.
And just two days after that I was back in Chicago with this girl, this one and this one here too. This is when things really started to click. At Making Things Happen my heart changed a whole lot. I became less consumed with any sort of negativity I had soaked up from earlier on in the year. I made lists of what fires me up, I made lists of what scares me, I made lists of people who are supportive and encouraging and those who are not. I said things I would have never admitted to myself if I hadn’t of been in that room. I decided that one day I too could become a Mom and that it would be special. I told a room of 40 people that only I need to be content with the addition of floral services to my business. And I felt so supported and loved about it. If that wasn’t enough, I then spent a few days roaming around Chicago with my new friends, soaking in this new sense of calm. I left Chicago feeling new again. Feeling restored and hopeful.
In November, I did some bouquet mock ups photographed by this lovely lady.
And had my photos taken by this talented chick here for the new website.
December was such a blur. Between getting hit with the flu more than once, prepping for the relaunch, planning the relaunch party, multiple client meetings and site visits, this chick here and I finally met in real life to collaborate on my favorite shoot yet. It’s taking me every little morsel of will power not to show more from this editorial but I’m so proud of how everything turned out. It was the perfect project to have under my belt with the new brand. Just gorgeous.
Speaking of which, the biggest and most exciting thing to happen in 2012 may have just been the relaunch of Hey Gorgeous. I feel like a broken record here in saying this but for as overwhelming as this process was for me it was as equally fulfilling of an endeavour to take on this past year. Not only did I walk away with a gorgeous new identity that really showcases what I do and what I’m all about but I was given a new sense of confidence that I feel I lost back in March of 2012. I learned to value real relationships, my family and my husband. To set office hours, to set time aside to play with Zoe. I walked away from a part time job that was hindering me from success and learned to embrace the gifts I’ve been given. I was given tools to be a better business woman. A smarter business woman. To. Focus. On. What. Matters. Only. The feedback I received on the new site was more than I could have ever hoped for. I feel so grateful.
Then just like that the holidays hit. We sent out our holiday cards just in time. Andrew and I made our traditional mac and cheese Christmas Day dinner and the two of us sat on the couch and did a whole lot of nothing. Much deserved nothing. As I type this I’m sitting at Starbucks watching everyone around me talk with family and friends over hot coffee and lattes. And my Mom just walked in since her and my Dad’s new home is just mere minutes away by foot. My heart lights up when I see her. Today my Nan would have been 83 years old. My Aunt is also celebrating a birthday and is turning 53 today. And since my Grandpa immigrated to Canada from the then Yugoslavia when he was only 23 with just the clothes on his back, we too have has always celebrated his birthday on this day. We only recently learned his actual birthday is in April. But nevertheless, we will all join him tonight at his favorite place, Red Lobster to celebrate the sweetest gift of all. Happiness, health and love. I feel so lucky to be ending 2012 in a place that matters.
To all of you out there, who have been supporters of my work, my dreams and my goals, I wish you too all of the best in 2013. Don’t let anything or anyone hold you back from what makes you happy. My heart is literally close to bursting with hope and intent for living life differently in 2013. And I hope yours is too. With love from my little space to you.
Love, Rhi xoxo
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