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When you support a SMALL BUSINESS…

Jannel and I had a wonderful vendor event at April Sound Country Club this Wednesday for the April Sound Ladies’ Association Holiday Market.  Not only is it fun to meet customers and “show off” our clothing, but it’s interesting to meet the other vendors as well.  I love hearing their stories, and it reminds you, when you support a SMALL BUSINESS you are supporting an actual PERSON and FAMILY.

My goal, this Christmas, is to purchase all my gifts from a local, small business.  It makes my heart warm and giddy knowing that I am supporting someone local and part of our community.  Part of my vision for forming “Sister Tribe” was to promote other small businesses in our area, especially women business owners.  Too often, I find women criticize one another.  Why?  We should be there to support one another.  Most of us know and understand the daily struggles a woman endures and all the stress that comes along with just simply being a woman.  So, why not help each other out?

I have created an interactive app for Sister Tribe that I am hoping will bring together a “tribe” of women.  Promoting “Sister Tribe Boutique” is only a small portion of the app.  I really want it to be a resource for connecting with women in our community, promoting local small businesses, offering recommendations for good reads, providing information about community events, and simply allowing women to connect with one another.  After all, WE understand and can relate!  The app is currently available on Google Play and iTunes App Store.  It is still a work in progress (ironic because so am I), but I hope you will take a look at the different functions I’m implementing and try them out!

One important feature I am implementing is a “Local Small Business Directory”.  I plan to utilize this when I start my Christmas shopping, so I can find unique, local gifts.  I met many awesome vendors, Wednesday, at the April Sound Holiday Market and will be including them as well.   If you own a small business, please send me your link, and I will be happy to add you as well.  No catch, no fees – just simply helping and promoting to “pay it forward”.

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Below, I will list a few of the awesome vendors I met.  Check out their social media or webpages!

Wreaths By Mary

The pictures simply do not do these beautiful wreaths justice!  The detail, creativity, and quality is simply amazing!  Mary is the owner, and has a store front, in addition to attending local events.  She will even be at the Nutcracker this year, so if you are attending – go check out the beautiful wreaths!

 

They even have a wreath that matches our Crazy Train Fall “Happy Harvest” shirt!

The Garden Lady – Texas

Not only is Vickie, the owner and talent behind “The Garden Lady – Texas”, she is also a hoot!  After a long day of standing on our feet and getting stuck in the pouring down rain, she had us rolling with her sense of humor and stories!  My girls and I LOVE her grape jam.  She makes MANY different flavors, in addition to pickles, relish, and other jellies.

 

Scentsy Consultant Kim Merdian

Kim had a large selection of fragrances (in stock), and products for your home, car, kids, etc!  Everything smelled amazing, and I loved the little stuffed animal buddies that can be clipped on a backpack.  Visit her site to see additional products and scents, or book a party with her!

 

Mary Kay Reps Gaylene Koehn and Cynthia Ponder

Gaylene and Cynthia gracefully shared a portion of their space at the April Sound Holiday Market.  Well, truthfully, we kind of invaded their space, but they were kind not to kick us out.  LOL 🙂  These women are knowledgeable about every Mary Kay product and skin care line.  They can host an in-home party, schedule a one on one consultation, or make recommendations based on your skin type and complexion!

 

Drawing by Stephanie “ARTiculating Memories into Masterpieces”

Pure TALENT!  Stephanie is an incredibly talented freelance, professional artist and custom framer.  She can create hand-drawn drawings and portraits of people, animals, architecture, and much more!  We met at the end of the show, as we were waiting out the storm, and they graciously helped us load the truck afterwards.  I learned that she is a former teacher as well!  Stephanie can be reached at 832-244-5511 or colorwheels2016@gmail.com

 

Wine Shop at Home, Loretta Jammal – Wine Consultant 

If you are interested in learning more about wines, or even a wine expert, Loretta is the person to call.  As a wine consultant, she organizes and hosts in-home tastings and offers wines that can not be found in stores.  Contact Loretta to host a tasting, and swirl, sip, and enjoy exclusive, award winning wines in the comfort of your own home!

 

 

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The Founding of Sister Tribe

Where do I start?!?!

Photo credit:  Kristi Bracewell Photography

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I’ve always played it safe, not taking many risks in life.  Starting a small business is definitely a BIG RISK and NOT playing it safe.  However, I decided recently that I needed a change.  I enjoy visiting new places and going to small, local boutiques.  Usually, when visiting most boutiques, it’s rare to find a place that offers plus size clothing.  So, I came up with the concept, why not find all of these different, unique brands and have them located in one place?

THIS is where the journey started.  I began researching brands, where they were made, the quality reviews, and contacting companies for wholesale opportunities.  I decided that I wanted to promote Texas and USA made products, for the most part – so I researched several companies and their backgrounds.  My goal is to stay local, and stay small.  I want to offer unique fashion, to my community, in clothing options of all sizes.  If you notice, on my website ,  many of the styles have limited inventory.  I did this purposely.  I want people to have a uniqueness about them and their style.  I don’t want to see everyone wearing the same exact thing.  We are all different, and it is important to express our differences through many different outlets, with fashion and style being one of those creative outlets.

My second goal, was to ensure the products I offered are AFFORDABLE.  I am a mother of 2, middle class, one income family.  I know how important it is to budget.  Although, I enjoy looking and trying some of these brands at the high end stores in the mall or exclusive boutiques, the price is way above my budget.  I strive to offer a few of these same brands, at an affordable price.  Women, mothers especially, have the tendency to put ourselves on the back burner.  I think it is important to treat ourselves sometimes.  We can get the job done, while looking good, too, right?

Although it is a very scary feeling to put yourself out there to the world, I WANT the feedback and criticism.  I’m not, by any means, an expert.  I’m just a woman, trying to share my style and fashion, support my family, and gain some fellow sisters to add to my tribe.  Different people provide different perspectives.  I feel that is super important in order to grow and learn, to have a tribe that is honest, supportive, and genuinely wants to see other succeed.

With that being said, I would LOVE to hear from you!  I want feedback, suggestions, encouragement, criticism, and support.

XOXO, ROBYN    FACEBOOK     PINTEREST

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CHRISTmas is a coming….

This weekend we had our first event of the holiday season with the Jingle Bell Market in Anderson, Texas at Anderson-Shiro Elementary School.  Unfortunately (profit wise) there was not a very large crowd.  However, I (personally) got a lot of Christmas shopping done, so it was worth it.  I really didn’t expect to make a large profit, but knowing that the vendor fee goes back to support the school and education, makes a former teacher’s heart happy.  Sister Tribe has my heart, but teaching will always be my first love.

Although it was a small event, the amount of talent in the vendors attending the event was amazing!  My goal this year is to purchase all my Christmas gifts from local businesses – that includes my children.  It’s nice to know that you are “giving” a gift to 2 people – the person receiving the gift and the person who sold the gift.  Although I didn’t get to stop by every booth, I was impressed with each one I was able to visit with and (lucky for you) I am going to share their talents in case you are looking for unique, local gifts as well!

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Sweet Home Sweets

A local young lady, who has grown up participating in the Grimes County Fair, attended & graduated from Texas A&M University, and who has established a recipe for success with her Sweet Home Sweets business located in Anderson, Texas.

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Analeigh Lamb, the owner and “Chief Everything Officer of Sweet Home Sweets, has a constantly growing menu of sweet creations made from scratch.  Currently she has a three categories of sweets – brownies and blondies, cakes and pies, and cookies and bars.  I purchased the Coco Loco Triple Chocolate Brownie, Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice Pumpkin Pie Blondie, and Bye-Bye Dollies Blondie.  My kids, husband, and I all gave her an A+ rating.  Absolutely delicious and look forward to ordering a few for our next family event!  Check out the Facebook page for updated information and local events or the website for the menu and ordering information!

The Fruitful Vines 

We had the pleasure of having a neighboring booth with The Fruitful Vines.  Candice Vines, the owner, and her 2 daughters were working the day of the event and I learned her daughters are just as talented as their mother.  One daughter created unique, customized notebooks and magnets, while the other daughter had a talent for sewing.  They grow and use herbs, from their garden, to make the organic products – including lip balms, salves, soaps, tea baths, and lotions.  I purchased one of each of these products, and you could literally smell the freshness.  I’m excited about using the healing salves!  After recently being diagnosed with auto-immune, I am trying to “convert” to full organic products since most of the research about the disease suggests using all organic  to help control the symptoms that come along with having different auto-immune diseases.  To order, visit her Etsy Shoor Facebook Page!

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Horseshoe Candle Works & Gifts

Local residents, Debbie Phillips and Kim Allen, create quality scented smell goods and beautiful, unique crafts!  They had an assortment to offer including air fresheners, candles, Christmas decor and crafts, handmade ornaments, keychains, and much more.  Almost any of the crafts can be personalized, which they do as well.  I purchased 2 beautiful wooden unicorn ornaments for my daughters, with their name on each, and a couple additional gift items.  To me, when you personalize a gift, it really shows you put time and effort into it, instead of a rushed, last minute buy.  😉  Check out their Facebook Page for local events they will be attending!

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Amber Moreland – Custom Sewing

I found out that I actually went to school with Amber’s husband, and worked at Navasota ISD with her mother-in-law and sister-in-law!  Amber has a talent for creating and sewing unique gifts.  I will definitely be purchasing one of her custom casserole carriers!  It was designed well, and very useful – yet convenient to store – unlike the bulky carriers that you have to make room for!  Although, I didn’t get to look as long as I would have liked to, I did notice that Amber makes custom handbags, pot-holders, and much more!

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Cara’s Creations

Cara Mooreland and JoAnna Mooreland, a mother and daughter team, are educators by day and skilled creators by night.  They offer many different types of home decor, as well as, seasonal gifts.  I purchased a specialized wine glass, a fabric Christmas tree, and a “Key for Santa”.  I am so excited for Christmas Eve, so my daughters can hang Santa’s key on the door.  As they are getting older, they are afraid Santa will pass them up since we do not have a fireplace.  What a clever idea!  Now, I can reassure the girls that Santa will have his own special key to deliver gifts on Christmas Eve!  Cara’s Creations attends local events in Grimes County and Navasota.  Visit their Facebook page for additional information.

By the way, I taught in Navasota with Cara and JoAnna.  They are both very dedicated, active teachers!  I can’t believe they can fit anything else into their busy schedules, but here they are – killing it!

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A Present from a Bird

Plantersville resident, Jennifer Penny, attended the Jingle Bell Market with her personalized gift boutique, A Present from a Bird.  She offered a variety of personalized shirts, hats, cups, mugs, kitchen decor, and much more!  In a neighboring booth, her mother-in-law and sister-in-law featured custom hand-sewn blankets and signs.  I purchase a small blankie for my daughter, which had different shapes and each shape was a different texture of material.  I can’t wait to give it to Audrey, and I am hoping it will replace her current blankie!

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There were many more vendors I did not get a chance to visit.  😦

Rust to Roses is located in Anderson, Texas and I hoping to get by soon to check out their unique shop!  My mother, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend Jannel all highly recommend them, so I know they are great.  Luckily, they have a physical shop in Anderson, so I am hoping to get by there soon!  They offer a variety of items including custom handbags, women’s fashion, home decor, jewelry, and seasonal items.

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So, when you’re making your Christmas list, don’t forget the creative talent we have within our community!  Shop small, support local businesses – give 2 gifts in 1!  Happy (Pre) Holiday Season everyone, and don’t forgot the main reason for the season!

XOXO, Robyn, Chief Sister Triber

Sister Tribe

We’d love for you to check us out as well!  We carry unique, quality made women’s and girls clothing in contemporary and curvy sizes.  Our focus is to provide quality, true to size clothing, at an affordable price, with the convenience of ordering online or local delivery options!

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Be AUTHENTIC

I have many “titles” I truly cherish and am proud of – wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, (former) teacher, (new) business owner, etc. However, the one “title” or character description that I have come to embrace and take ownership over the years is being AUTHENTIC. It took years for me to truly embrace this quality, and on some days, I still can’t decifier if it’s a blessing or a curse.

My best, and sometimes worse, quality is the inability to be fake. I just truly can not “hide” my feelings or “act”. As I get older (and hope a little wiser), I just don’t have the energy to be anything other than myself. Am I perfect? Absolutely not, and you will hear me repeat that A LOT. I overreact at times, nag, say something in the heat of the moment that I probably don’t really mean, have a short fuse when I’m not feeling well, wear my feelings on my sleeve, and so on. However, I own my actions, give honest feedback, love big, give what I can, share what I have, and constantly try to find ways to be a better “me”. If I feel or think a certain way, my body language, energy, and face will have my “thoughts” written all over them. These qualities probably inhibit me from having a large “following” on social media or a huge circle of friends. I do not say this negativity. I say it proudly. The “following” or friends I have, are true, hardcore, have your back QUALITY, REAL, AUTHENTIC people. I will take quality over quantity any day. I want the “call me on my shit”, help me through hard times, cry with me, laugh with me, people in my life, because those people are hard to find and I value each and every one of them!

How does this relate to “Sister Tribe”? I knew coming in to this business that I would not be the most “popular”, have the largest following, or make a huge profit. I did not put myself out there to make any “gains “. I’ve had a people tell me that I’m too cheap, too expensive, not competitive enough, and I need to do things like such and such boutique. While I value constructive criticism, I didn’t take a leap of faith to be like everyone else. I took a leap of faith to be MYSELF, set an example for my daughters, give back to my community, and most of all, to be AUTHENTIC.

Although I probably donated every bit of profit I made this week, I am okay with that. Why? Because through this process, I have had friends and family give their time to literally help me with nothing in return. I know, I know….thats what friends are supposed to do. Y’all, I mean work a long, hot, exhausting 13 hour day simply because they believe in me. Give up their weekend and sleeping in on a Saturday morning to watch my girls so I can attend an event. Take time out of their busy day, to email, text, or call, just simply to check on me or encourage. Stay up until 2 in the morning, on a work day, helping me tag clothes. Litterally, dropped what they were doing in that moment, to help me with whatever crisis I was having. This may not seem like much to some, but it tremendously makes an impact on me. These are people just as busy. They have kids, families, husbands, boyfriends, full time jobs, errands and tons of stress just like I do.

There have been so many sleepless nights and long days that I have dedicated to learning and mastering new skills. I’ve sacrificed and “given up” things, events, and moments to prove to myself I can do this. I’ve cried myself to sleep at night with fear of failure.

Yes, I am still okay with all of this! Crazy, I know, and once again, why??? Because it has shown me strength that I didn’t know existed. This process has shown the quality of friends in my life, made me so damn thankful for the blessings in my life, find a new self worth, and embrace the imperfect person that I am. So, at the end of the day, I can reflect and truly say that I am trying to do the best I (keyword here I) can do.

I knew coming into this, and still know, Sister Tribe will not ever be a “get rich” type of business, but what I didn’t know is I would “get rich” in so many other aspects of my life. For that, I want to say THANK YOU to my tribe for simply being AUTHENTIC. I value you, and the life lessons you’ve provided, more than you’ll probably ever know! 😘

Having “Sister Tribe”, and a true Sister Tribe, has shown me that there ARE people who still value authenticity, hard work, and individuality much more than most would expect. People, who deep down in their heart and soul, want to see others succeed for absolutely no reward or recognition. These are qualities and characteristics I want among my tribe. I don’t want to feel the need to be guarded with my words, embarrassed about an emotion or reaction, worry about how something is perceived. I want authentic, true, know my intentions people in my life.

For all the women out there stressing to be perfect, tired of impressing others, giving energy to people or things you think don’t deserve it. STOP! You can be YOU and find a tribe that values YOU, appericates YOU, believes in YOU. If, for any reason you feel the need to be anything other than authentic, recognize that as a red flag and find a different tribe! Love y’all! 😘😘😘

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Living on a Prayer

Well, it has been a while since my last update. I’ve been fighting a bad infection that seems to just keep lingering instead of getting better. I’ve also been working nonstop on Sister Tribe Boutique, as well as, normal mom & wife duties. I must admit…it has taken a toll on me, but I am so thankful to have my “sister tribe” behind me.

Last weekend, a holiday weekend at that, they all came to help me organize and tag inventory. The BEST part….I didn’t even have to ask. They knew I was stressed, tired, and possibly about to hit my limit, so they volunteered their time to help a friend in need. I’m so thankful to have such caring, strong, selfless women in my life.

This weekend, they all helped make sure my babies were taken care of, because the infection still has yet to heal. Now, I’m on an even stronger antibiotic that has me physically ill. I’m sure hoping this will knock it out. Thanks, auto-immune!

With all that being said, I’m super excited about our first event this weekend at a local winery. I’m hoping to “show off” my clothing selections and accessories. I’ve worked extremely hard to focus on finding quality merchandise to make women of all shapes & sizes feel comfortable, yet trendy, without having to spend an outrageous amount. I think once people see the selections, in person, they will agree! So, if you happen to be traveling through my little hometown of Plantersville, Texas, Saturday, September 15, stop by Bernhardt winery and see us! It’s a free event with wine-a-ritas, live music, food trucks, and much more! Even my hubby is excited to go (the food trucks sealed the deal for him)! 😘🍷

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Insomnia Thoughts

It’s 12:45 a.m., my daughter has her first day of kindergarten tomorrow, and guess what?  I’m wide awake and can’t sleep.  I’ve been dragging butt all day long, because I was so tired, and even resisted the urge to take a nap just so I can sleep tonight.  Thank you Hashimotos, full moon, or a combination of the 2 for having me wide awake!  However, it is the perfect nice, quiet, and relaxing time to jot down some thoughts.

Small towns – they can be a blessing and a curse sometimes.  As I get older, I truly see it as a blessing.  We all have busy lives, and it is very difficult to fit “stuff” in our daily routines, but when someone really needs you, I guarantee you can count on the people that live in Plantersville, Texas and Grimes County, Texas.  I am truly proud of where I come from for many reasons, but when I sit down and reflect, I think the best word to describe our community is support.

It is so nice to see people “give” their time away, just because they WANT to help others.  We need more people like this in the world, and especially in our “tribe”.  Whether it be a friend in need of a favor, so you drop your Friday night plans to come and assist, a member of the community experiencing health problems, a neighbor that recently lost a loved one, or just offering your front porch and a cold beverage with some “girl talk” – the people in my “circle” are truly amazing with the selflessness they will offer.  This is what matters folks.  Establishing relationships, helping those in need, slowing down to enjoy a front porch conversation, offering positive feedback to someone struggling – these are the ways you build your tribe.  Yes, I probably never in my life will gain the title of “millionaire”, but my life is rich in so many other ways.  In fact, after your last breath, are those materialistic things and possessions going to be the ones giving your Eulogy?  Nope – probably not!  Although making enough money to survive is necessary, don’t forget to enjoy the journey and return the favors.

After considering all of this, my challenge, for myself this week, is to slow down and complete a couple acts of kindness for absolutely no reason at all.  Here in Texas, it is HOT and miserable at the moment, so a majority of people are already in a foul mood.  What can we do to change someone’s day?

I challenge everyone to evaluate your current “tribe”.  What are you doing to support them?  This can be as simple as nice, positive feedback, offering an hour of your time to help someone, supporting an individual or cause.   Find what makes you FEEL good.  You will never have enough time in the day to finish all your work or make that “last” business call.  That STUFF can wait!  Don’t be so obsessed with one thing, that you neglect everything else in your life.  I am telling MYSELF this advice, because I tend to have so much “chaos” in my life, I forget about the small things.   Cherish the moments – one day we will miss them.

XOXO Robyn