A New Year, a New Goal.

My, oh my. The year is coming to a close. & it has been  q u i t e  a  y e a r .

It has been a year and a half since I last wrote an update here and a LOT has changed. My brain has been on overdrive and my body was not far behind. I’ve barely had time to think as of late, and without that quiet, I cannot possibly write. Writing only flows when I have silence. I am very excited to begin inviting more of that into my life in 2019.

images from #thewestportproject

Atop the list of change that has occurred since I was last here, is the realization that I cannot do it all. That used to be the basis of this blog. I used to want to be everything and took pride in the self deprivation/exhaustion that came with it. Now, I would never change what life used to be like (as hard as it was, I LOVED raising my own kiddos, 24/7 for eight years!!) but I would be gentler with myself. If I could go back in time and speak to myself in that season, at the peak of this blog, the wisdom I would share is that it is OKAY to not do it all. Deep down I always knew that. But the lessons I have learned since my time as a SAHM came to a close have been infinite. I heard the same message a thousand times, from a zillion voices, and never wanted to believe it. But the truth is, we cannot to it all, well, alone. & that is a fact. We are not meant to. & I wish I would have believed this long ago! The good news: that lesson stuck. & I am in such a better place now.

Since I last wrote, gosh, many things have happened. Let’s do a quick update!

  • We moved into that fixer upper that I poured my heart into here in San Antonio, Texas! I learned that I love, love a bright white kitchen and that I will never put marble in a bathroom again.
  • I sent my youngest off to Kindergarten, and now, First Grade & am living life in the parenting sweet spot. My role is now more of a facilitator and taxi driver, organizing life and attending sports, while I am not working. I work when they are in school, and some extra hours in the early morning, before dawn. BUT, I always pick my kids up at three. Except for one day a week, when they stay to play.
  • I pivoted my business and am proud to be the founder of a growing, thriving Interior Design Firm serving the Alamo Heights, Olmos Park and Monte Vista neighborhoods (and a few beyond 78209/78212)!
  • I hired a creative agency to build a custom website…which is about to get another overhaul with our revised services and offerings. Grow, grow, change, change!!
  • I said NO more than I said YES and used all that extra time to learn everything I possibly could about the Business of Design. & still feel like I have only scratched the surface!
  • In May, I became certified as a True Colour Expert. I knew a lot about color going into the course and learned so much more. There truly is a science behind what makes colors coordinate and I bring that knowledge base to my work every single day!
  • I worked with an Interior Design Business Coach, learned that I adore the business side of things, and have worked to to scale my company and implement a model that works well for my goals. By June 2018, we became a team. (!!!)
  • As a team, we have tinkered with our systems and refined our process. Using a variety of platforms, we have smoothed out our client experience. I love tech and bringing our digital savvy to the design world (with notoriously dated tech!) excites me!
  • In July, I traveled to Switzerland with my 89 year old Grandmother, and visited family I had never met. Seeing the family Alpaca farm (one of the largest in Europe!) way up in the Swiss Alps was spectacular. & those seven days were the only seven days of the year I shut my computer. Which felt like bliss!
  • Upon my return, I began work with a Financial Consultant, who has helped me understand every last bit of the financial end of the work that we do. This has been a total Game Changer.
  • With her help, I uncovered “My WHY” and look forward to sharing more about how we do what we do, and, of course, why, in 2019!
  • & above all, I learned to outsource. Social Media can lead you to believe that these beautiful images are produced by the one person narrating the little squares, but I have learned that that is SO FAR FROM THE TRUTH. I will never let go of being the voice on my Insta Feed (and several other parts of the business that I insist remain mine!). But there are so many ways to hand work off to even more capable hands than my own, helping support other small businesses and creating jobs for incredible employees, so I can keep doing what I do best.

Whew. Still with me? Part of the reason that I have not been around here much is because I have been so busy IN the work, that I haven’t been able to step back to look AT the work, as a whole….to examine the sheer volume of what has been accomplished in a little over one year. I have learned SO much. Today, now that I have begun to delegate, can finally step back and take a breath. & then exhale. & feel really, really good about the company I am building and the kind of work we get to do. I am so PROUD!

If you follow me on Insta (which is where you will find me most!) then you know that I am a big believer in the focus that a “word of the year” can provide. Last year I made the ridiculous decision to choose “uncomfortable” and gosh, was that SPOT ON. Everything felt hard last year. Everything was new. Everything was a little glitchy. It was out of my comfort zone and it involved a lot of sheer GRIT. The whole experience was a process of defining so much, but mostly, defining ME. I was uncomfortable. & I had to be to get where I am today.

Do you know what happens when you are uncomfortable? Either you shy away from the way life feels and give up, or you PRESS ON. & in every situation, every hard conversation, every difficult decision, every risk, I chose to press on. In my work life and personal life, it was hard. The transition from a SAHM to a Working mom was a little rough. My husband doesn’t have a job where he can take time away to support me, so we had a lot of “figuring it out” to do. & it was tricky sometimes. Even my workouts were harder (& earlier…like 5:45 am earlier…!) this year. & they were new and challenging and I was SO sore afterwards! Uncomfortable, uncomfortable, uncomfortable. I chose my engagements carefully, spent my time wisely, and today, I feel like a different person. I am still the same, in so many ways. My heart is the same, my values are the same, but I am different. I am clearer with my objectives, wiser, & know so much more. I have acquired more skills and I have GOALS. BIG goals. And that is what GROWTH looks like.

& damn, it feels good.

So this year, as I have begun to really think about those goals and this life I have and the life I want, I have run through a zillion words, and keep coming back to one that I threw out there off the cuff in an insta post recently. This year is the year of being…

STEADY.

What does that mean? That means it’s not hurried but it isn’t relaxed. It isn’t rash but it’s not reserved. It isn’t calculated, but isn’t unplanned. It’s no longer consistently uncomfortable, because I have laid so much framework. But there will be discomfort sprinkled in there, because I have no intention of inhibiting my growth by choosing only what is comfortable. The difference is, now I know where I am going, and staying steady will take me where I want to go, and beyond.

images from #theprimeraproject

After a year of what has seemed like a total grind, I am ready to make space for some breathing. I abandoned my yoga practice in 2018 and instead, kept my promise to myself to get uncomfortable. I love the gym I joined and I rowed, and kettle belled, and TRX’d my way right through the year. No doubt I am stronger, but I am all wound up. & now, I need to get back to the strength that is gained when I loosen. I am back to Yoga (& also, here!), which has been an important part of my life since I was sixteen. I cannot even believe it has been that long. It’s felt so good and I am excited for more. To me, Yoga is always about strength in the steadiness: a combination of mindfulness, focus and movement. How fitting for the year ahead.

This year will mark twenty years with my partner, a man I learn more about every day. We’ve been through a lot. & he has been my biggest cheerleader and firmest challenger. But none of this would be possible without his small nudges to just go for it. I have taken for granted his patience with me during the months when I invested my entire salary back into the business, and the very early mornings spent taking courses and tapping away on my laptop. This year, my family gets more of me. Steady at work, so I can be steady at home.

images from #themcallisterparkproject

We, Team Styleberry, created beauty in over two dozen spaces this year and consulted on plenty more. What fun we had! I know I can no longer do this alone, and it has been so fun to work with other experts to share some of  the work load.  Our Q1 2019 is just about set, & we have more exciting projects. Bigger projects.

About a year ago I started visualizing my dream team. I thought about my first hire and her skill set and how she worked, how caring she was, how easy she was to work with. I said a little prayer and deep in my gut, knew that something would happen and I would just know when it was right. & sure enough, it did. Thank God for Instagram, because one day I received a message (which I had started to get often) from a young interior designer, asking to send over her portfolio. & the rest, is history. We met for coffee and within weeks, she had moved to San Antonio for the job. That was six months ago and Kennedi has quickly become my right hand gal. She brings with her the ability to 3D model our projects and most importantly, manage our projects beautifully. I joke that if I could clone myself (a much, much younger myself!) she would be it. She is one step ahead of me at all times and I am BEYOND grateful to have her! I count my blessings daily & can’t wait to introduce her to you all! In addition to having a full time Designer on staff, I have an Account Manager and a host of other Freelancers I rely on to keep this ship running. I have no intention of creating an empire. I simply care about building a small but mighty team that can provide a really warm, joyful, organized design experience for our clients.

images from #thesandtrailproject

From Kitchen Design, to full day Kitchen Blitzes (out of state, even!), a Mudroom, a few Bathrooms, and styling galore–our 2018 was packed. These are just a handful of peeks at what we’ve been up to–many more are underway and will be ready to share soon! We are learning what we love to do and creating our own way of doing it. I like to say we are “de-Texas-ing” Texas, as I bring my West Coast, modern vibe to this part of the state! Design should be fun and smooth, joyful and bright. & that is what you get when you partner with us!

images from #thesandtrailproject

I hope that those of you who have consistently stuck around over the decade that I have been on the internet know how much I appreciate you. From a little color consulting business that started in 2008, to styleberry BLOG, to the stylebabyLOG, to now, it’s been a joy. The saying goes, “find something you love to do and you will never work a day in your life”–and that is what I have done each step of the way. But I have worked. OH, how I have worked. & I’ve changed. & the work has changed. But deep down, it’s always been about the love of serving others. Bringing order to your chaos and helping you feel a little happier at home.

Thank you for your endless support, and to my fabulous clients–I am so grateful you chose ME! I adore each and every one of you! 2018 was amazing.

& now, onto the next.

May your 2019 be STYLED and BRIGHT!

Xo.

Shawna

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Hi! Hello! I am Shawna, the founder of Styleberry Blog. This creative corner of the internet has become a learning haven for moms and creatives, offering a warm and encouraging nudge to those who wish to be better and do better, but often don't know where to start. From Decorating to DIY to Diapers and Paleo-ish Dishes, I strive to make the complicated simple and empower women to take action beyond their personal comfort zone. I subscribe to the Shine Theory & so strongly believe that we shine when the women around us shine and mutual support—lifting up instead of tearing down--will always be the culture here. Are you in? I hope so! Beyond the computer, I run Styleberry Creative where I work with clients to create low fuss, high function spaces that are pretty and practical in San Antonio, Texas and beyond. I LOVE making a house a home. My own studs out renovation is now complete and I am now back to working with clients. Please don't hesitate to drop me a line if you'd like to work together! I hope you’ll join me on this fun new adventure! Xo.