I'm sitting on our porch writing this journal entry just a week away from our first show. Although the transition of our business model happened almost six weeks ago, the decision was made almost a year to this day, which was not planned that way. On the last journal entry, I discussed the journey of myself evolving, and thought to balance out the conversation, I wanted and needed to talk about my business needing to evolve as well.
I started this company in my garage in 2013, which came after a complete breakdown leaving corporate America. What it is today is not the dream I had for it. To be honest, there wasn't a dream for the company, there was a dream for myself. A life full of flexibility and space while also allowing me to do what I love. Soon after starting the business, doing what I love took over my life. Not because we became an overnight success, but because I used my business to hide. It was easier for me to hide the things I needed to work on in my work. In my hustle. Addressing issues is far harder than hiding them.
I started to feel a change coming a little over a year ago, but the change had been brewing in me way before then. I was struggling. I was slowly killing myself by working nonstop and God knew I needed to change. I don't think God made me sick, but my health journey stopped me in my tracks. I didn't have a choice. I couldn't work as hard as I always had. I couldn't push through. Not only was my body breaking down, my mental and emotional state was as well. Maegan Griffin, the brilliant owner of Skin Pharm, was one of the first people I told about changing my business model. I was surprised by her reaction or lack of one to be honest. When I told her what I was doing and why, she didn't blink an eye. She said it sounded amazing and asked some questions. I followed up with a question about her and her business. I've been a long time supporter of Skin Pharm and her business looked different years ago than it does today. I asked her if there was one thing that had changed. Something that happened that made her make the change and I will never forget what she said. It's one of those core memories when you remember where you were, the feel of your environment, what you were wearing, etc. She said, "I knew if I wanted my business to grow, I was personally going to have to grow." Mic drop. Such a simple, yet profound statement. It sounds simple. It seems simple, but it's one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life.
I had dreams for OAK, but I was never going to reach them if I didn't grow. My dreams for OAK use to include multiple locations, tens of thousands of followers and notoriety. As I grew, my dreams changed for myself, which meant my business HAD to change. It was either going to change or it wasn't going to exist and I love what I do, so that wasn't an option. My dreams for OAK are now tied to creativity, space, intentionality, meaningfulness, connection and giving. If that means I have one less zero on the end of my goal, that's just the way it's going to be.
So, here we are. One week from our first show. Presenting our new model to you. I am equally terrified and excited. My gratefulness around having the opportunity to change and shift is through the roof and does not go unacknowledged. I'm an all-in kind of person and I've gone all in. All in with myself. All in with the business and all in with my faith. God gave me a vision. Clear as day. That actual vision will be shared this coming week. Although I love what I do and I've always done it for you, I now do it for Him. He gave me this gift. He made me to be uniquely me. There is no one else like me. There is no other OAK.
The evolution of our company and brand has been a full blown roller coaster ride. A LOT of ups and downs. Loops, hands in the air and hanging on to the harness for dear life. Screaming in excitement and screaming in full blown terror. My roller coaster has transformed into a train ride. Curves and unexpected stops, but full of expansive beauty and space to enjoy it.