Good Morning!

I apologize for the lack of posts this past week… after months of frustration with the site being slow or down, I moved to what I’m considering a more grown-up server – as a friend told me recently, if I believe in TAE, I have to treat the site with the respect that it warrants, even if it hasn’t quite earned it yet.

“If you build it, they will come…”

And let’s be clear – I do believe in TAE. I left my corporate job – which had at one time been my dream – just over a year ago, and never could I have imagined that I’d be as creatively fulfilled and inspired as I am now. It hasn’t been an easy year – punctuated with more downs than ups, to say the least- but the feeling that I’m building something that I believe in, and that others see value in, keeps me going.

The other thing that keeps me going (besides espresso) – the people I’m so fortunate to call my family and my friends. I wasn’t prepared for the fact that leaving my job would be a bit like a divorce. I moved to Minneapolis when I was 22 and built my life here around that job – until I met Matt, everyone I knew worked and lived within the same two blocks in the city. My entire life revolved around my place of employment, and when I left I had to rebuild. To find a new common ground with the people I’d been friends with for years, and to find new people who understood what I was going through. It was tough. I was lucky in that Matt had had undergone his own professional reinvention years before, so he understood the process – but I was wholly unprepared. Last summer was pretty dark – I think I’m just now accepting how hard it really was for me – I felt immense pressure to succeed and to prove that I’d made the right decision, and I really had no idea what I was doing. And I was lonely, and at home, most likely in my sweatpants.

But there were many bright spots. I’d written a personal blog for about a year, and through that had become internet friends with local (and many non-local) creatives – that’s how I met Megan, and Wing, and Michelle, and Elizabeth, and Melissa, and Kate, and Lisa, among others. Megan forced me to quit my job over dinner one night, so she had no choice but to be my friend afterwards, but the other women were just incredibly supportive of my dream from the start. That they believed in me helped me to believe in me. That they were willing to sit me down and tell me the hard truth about the life I was setting myself up for (over wine, obviously) terrified me but also helped me to know exactly what I was getting into. Without them, I’d have been back at my corporate job with my tail between my legs in months. Because of them, I’ve survived a year – and even partnered to launch a new endeavor – and I’m confident that I’ll make it through at least a few more.

Another, obvious bright spot – the readers and followers of TAE and the makers I’ve had the incredible fortune to meet and profile. This will never be the most popular or the biggest website in the world, but the fact that there are more of you each day brings me incredible joy. I really do believe that little things make all of the difference, and if together we can promote conscious consumption and domestic production, we could legitimately change the future.

That’s pretty incredible.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for reading, and PLEASE let me know what I can do to make this site better for you.

[some thoughts on “making-things” & the internet – by adam-j-kurtz,  via swiss-miss]

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8 thoughts on “04.25.14

  1. I only discovered TAE this week and I’m already smitten. I really want to discover more American designers and made in America products that are stylish and fit into my lifestyle. Your mission is awesome, and you’re definitely being heard. I’m excited to join this journey with you as a reader.

    1. Bekuh! This comment – and your tweet earlier this week – makes my day! thank you so much! please let me know if there is anything in particular you are looking for! xx

  2. Such a touching post Rita. I was so thrilled to find your blog and think what you’re creating here really is great. I’ve really enjoyed the content you bring and the message behind it- it has definitely opened my eyes to some great new lines and products.
    I can’t image going through quitting the corporate job and all that you’ve been through in the past year. It’s wonderful that you’ve had such support rallying around you! 🙂

  3. Rita,
    This is such a great, honest and inspiring post. As a person just trying to carve out my niche and connect with people through blogging and building a business it really helps to hear about the struggles you faced. It can be incredibly hard to push through and believe in yourself when you are faced with challenges(and there are many!). This is a great reminder that hard work, authenticity and connecting with like minded folks are crucial to gaining success on any level. Before I rant anymore… Thanks! Love the blog. You are doing great things.

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