Celebrate, Make Memories & Belong!

Celebrate, Make Memories & Belong!

When was the last time you took a hard look at your life and what you’re doing with it? I think a lot of us may be reevaluating our lives with the effects of a global pandemic. But I think a lot of us are so busy in the day-to-day survival routine of life, family, work that we just move through our days as they blend into weeks and months. 
Last year at some point, I started acknowledging the stirrings in me that there was something more for me. More than just making and selling cute stuff, material goods we just continue to accumulate. Instead I realized that my life was all about three things: celebrating, making memories, and helping others belong. And I started making products that would help us do that. 

Celebrate

I grew up in a family where we always made a big deal of birthdays - that was our special day and we would get our favorite cake and splurge on dinner at a restaurant of our choice, no matter what night of the week it was or what else was going on. We’ve continued that tradition with our kids and they have grown up celebrating last day’s of school, Labor Day and the last day of summer, the independence of our country and our local Coast Guard, our new year and the Chinese New Year and all the birthdays in between. We celebrate new jobs, business successes, and athletic and academic endeavors. There really isn’t a shortage of moments to celebrate. 

Make Memories

Of course while celebrating, our family makes plenty of memories, but we are intentional not just about milestones but about moments. I would take my kids out to breakfast at our favorite local restaurant when they had a day off from school. Sometimes that meant two breakfasts in one morning but the time with them was worth it. Earlier this summer my daughter suggested we share milkshakes on the porch - which made us both smile as we remembered how often we did that in the middle of a hot afternoon when she was younger. My son and I went on walks often this past spring in our local woods and sometimes we’d just be quiet but sometimes we’d reminisce about snow forts, sledding, and climbing trees from his younger years. Memories shared and moments remembered.  I am glad our family has a lifetime of stories of making memories from vacations and camping trips to baking and cooking together.

Help Others Belong

I am a gatherer. I gather people. When I see someone on the sidelines of a room I usually go up to them or pull them into the conversation. When I’m in a meeting or a group and someone is quiet, I’ll ask what they think of the subject at hand. I want others to feel included. Heck, I want to feel included! We all have this innate sense of wanting to belong - either to be included or part of something bigger than ourselves. This has been challenged while some of us are separated and isolated right now. I’ve been trying to check in more often with friends, peers, and family. Even though it’s not the same as in-person, we still need to know we aren’t alone. 
Making sure I celebrate, make memories, and help others belong in my personal life and business has been defining for me. It gives meaning to how I live and how I run my business. I am thankful my days no longer blend together into weeks and months and years. 
Jennifer Smelker

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