As I begin the first day of 2019, I want to tell all of you how much you mean to me! I appreciate your support, encouragement, reassurance, advice, suggestions, and just a simple hello from time to time! Starting a business is no easy task, and some days I’ve wanted to throw in the towel. Y’ALL gave me the strength to continue, talked me off the ledge (a couple of times), and YOU are the reason I am still pushing through! Whether you know it or not, YOU have made a difference in my life, and I appreciate each and every one of you. Everyone of you are beautiful, but that’s not what I love and value. What I LOVE and VALUE is your SOUL! Some of you are old friends, and some of you are new friends. You are never just a “customer” to me. I love you all and wish you a very happy NEW YEAR! ❤
New Year’s seems to be the typical time people reflect on the past 12 months and make goals for the next 12 months. As it seems almost customary, I too follow in suit. However, I encourage everyone to implement self-reflection more than just once a year. I (try) to self-reflect as often as possible, as I believe we can only grow, learn, and make changes by analyzing our victories and our downfalls. I’ve found that having this blog site helps with the reflections, but it’s nice to write thoughts down privately, obtain advice from friends, verbalize my thoughts, and seek guidance through faith and the man 🙏upstairs as well.
In fact, I don’t think it’s even necessary to share your self-reflections. The one component to a SUCCESSFUL self-reflection is HONESTY. You must be able to admit to yourself where you’ve gone wrong or why something may possibly be your fault. This means sincerely looking at yourself and your choices as almost an outsider. This is SCARY! Who wants to me wrong? Not me….I’m right 99% of the time! 😂 Yes, I know I give off that persona sometimes, but the truth is – I KNOW I’m not right all the time. I’m pretty much winging it each day I wake up. Being a mother, wife, daughter, friend, business owner, sister and the many other not-so-glamorous titles I hold is difficult! It’s chaotic, overwhelming, and sometimes just makes me want to throw the towel in and run away. But….I don’t! The good Lord gives me strength to tackle each day and obstacle, and for that, I am beyond grateful. So, with that being said, I’d like to share a few lessons I’ve learned this year!
* Don’t let ANYTHING consume you. It’s not healthy for your body, relationships, or your mental health. I will not ever be perfect, but to my kids I am. Therefore, I have to maintain balance to show them that sometimes you just have to stop, take a break, and trust everything will be okay. Starting a new business REALLY tested this area of my life. I was consumed with being a perfectionist, feeling like everything was urgent and couldn’t wait. Well, once I took a moment to reflect I found this wasn’t healthy. My body was telling me, my kids were telling me, my friends and family were telling me, but I was too stubborn to take a minute to listen. When I finally decided to take that moment to listen, I had to come up with ways to get better and not being totally obsessed with one aspect of my life. I’ve found that asking myself questions, and giving true, honest answers help me to balance. I’ll share a few I like to ask myself to decide if I’m being consumed.
1. What is the WORST thing that will happen to me if I don’t finish the task?
2. Have I taken time – focused, unplugged, active listening time, to dedicate to my family and friends today?
3. How can I spread this goal out to not make myself so anxious that I feel like it needs to be completed now?
4. If I lost EVERYTHING, what would I NEED the most?
* Pay attention and LISTEN to your gut (intuition, holy ghost, inner voice). As I’m getting older, I care less and less about how weird I may be or being judged by others. When my gut is telling me something, I need to listen. Why? Nearly 90% of the time, it’s right. I’ve also learned that I don’t owe ANYONE an explanation. My explanation is only owed to myself and my kids. These are the people I was put on this Earth to protect. I carried them for 9 months, and I will do what I feel is in their best interest. You’re free to give advice, but at the end of the day, it’s just that- advice and opinions. I make the choice to listen to it or not. If you think my decisions are unfair, wack, or not valid, that’s perfectly fine. As a compassionate human being, I’ll try to explain my thought process, but truth is – I owe you nothing. I’ve let other people’s “feelings ” change my mind against what I felt was the right choice. You know what? I’ve found that those gut instincts were right. I DID have a reason to see red flags. Don’t ignore those feelings….TRUST it. If something seems off, question it. YOU know what is the best choice for yourself and children. PERIOD!
* If something or someone is upsetting you, TELL THEM. Explain how it makes you FEEL, and WHY you feel that way. Too many relationships are ruined, because we are scared to show emotion. Why? It doesn’t make you weak. It makes you HUMAN. Nonetheless, what are we teaching our children when we, as adults, can not verbalize to someone we care about in a calm, cool, collected, and honest environment? I want my girls to say, “Mom, I’m sad because….” or “I’m mad because…”. Don’t assume the other person knows what you’re thinking or how it made you feel. We need to learn the triggers in relationships so we can avoid them, and grow. Being honest, vulnerable, and AUTHENTIC is not a weakness. It shows you are brave, big-hearted, strong, and not afraid to face judgement. It’s amazing how much more free, less anxious, and healthier you feel when you take a risk of showing your TRUE SELF. It’s also amazing how much more respect you get and confidence you will gain in your life. Try it for yourself!
Tomorrow, will begin a NEW year, and I will work on NEW goals. I may not accomplish them all, but you know what I will do? SURVIVE. When something feels so debilitating – enough to knock me down – I’ll turn to my faith, my friends, and my family. I’ll turn to my TRIBE, and I will conquer it! How do I know? I’m surrounded by warriors. Whether you know it or not, our TRIBE is the secret to our survival and strength, so don’t get too consumed to ignore your Tribe, trust those gut instincts, and show some vulnerability this year. Looking forward to learning and growing in 2019. Love and encouragement to you all for the same. 😘 THANK YOU for being YOU!
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!
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.
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!
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 Shop or Facebook Page!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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
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!
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”.
Below, I will list a few of the awesome vendors I met. Check out their social media or webpages!
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!
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.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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!