This marks my last month on the American Crafts 2013-2014 Design Team. I've been trying to think of a great way to compose a post about this that would sum it all up. I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about the term coming to an end. I don't even know if I can find the words to encapsulate it all, but I'll try.
I want to start out by saying how very grateful I am to have been chosen for the team. It was such a colossal long shot. There are SO many talented designers out there. SO many variations of styles and aesthetics can been found. I often feel like I can never begin to compare, measure up. I spent years, YEARS, looking up to the American Crafts team members (and still do).
Someone in the industry told me early on in my scrapbook endeavors not to try out for the "big name" teams. "Don't even try," she said, "they will never choose you unless you have some team experience under your belt." "Start small and work your way up." But I submitted anyway, because that's the kind of person I am. Why wait? Why can't a big name BE my design team experience? Sure I may never get chosen… but I will never know unless I TRY.
Then it happened. When I got the email from Paige about making the team I almost couldn't breathe I was so excited. I was paralyzed with shock. ME?!?!!!!! I made it???? Tears filled my eyes. The happiest, most fulfilling tears. Truly, I could hardly believe it. After serving a full term I still have to pinch myself. I feel so lucky to have been a part of this talented group of ladies.
Finding full lines of the best collections in the industry, fresh off the presses, there on my doorstep.. it's the stuff of dreams, people. I looked forward to every single assignment. Took great pride in the fact that I was able to complete my term without missing a single gallery or blog assignment. I would do anything for this company… they treat their team like gold. It was everything I'd imagined it would be, but somehow better.
The things I've learned this year are invaluable. Being on a big team pushed me to great lengths creatively. I developed a strong personal style. I thought outside of my own scrappy little box. I came up with new ways to use products and tried new-to-me techniques. I learned how to take better images of my pages (although, I admit, I still have to work on this *grumbles*). I gained a lot of confidence. Connected with some really cool people. Made some of my best work ever.
Sitting down with a stack of American Crafts products became the highlight of my months/weeks during a really difficult transitional time in my life. A bright spot. I will always cherish that… it made me feel really happy, and feel really special… and man did I need that!
When I learned that I was not being asked to return to the team for a second term… well, there were some tears there too. Listen…. I think deep down I knew I wouldn't make it when I heard that they were cutting the field to six members. But I crossed my fingers and toes and hoped for the best. Because that's the kind of person I am too.
I won't even begin to write about why I think it is that I wasn't chosen… even though I have thought all of those thoughts, and then some. At this point that doesn't really matter, right? Like anything in this industry it's fleeting being on a team. Things are always changing, there are no guarantees. I loved and valued every single minute of it because I knew that at some point it would come to an end.
Instead of being sad about my time running out (although I've allowed myself some of that too) I want to share some of my favorite American Crafts projects…. I could not be more proud of these.
and I will leave you with this thought.... If you're thinking about doing something… do it. TRY. Even if people around you say it can't be done… or if you think you might not be good enough. Try anyway. Go for it. You never know what could happen. You could actually get a yes!! But you can't even be considered if you don't put your hat in the ring…. and a "yes" could lead to one of the best experiences of your life. Scary, and inspiring, and fulfilling in the best possible ways! You may even surprise yourself along the way. Hope to see you around!