It's hard to believe it's been 3 years since I hit "publish" on Well + Wonder, and yet it also feels like I have been working on Well + Wonder so much longer (which I suppose is accurate). 3!!! My youngest child is 3 so I can always remember the age of my dear Well + Wonder (which coincidentally I sometimes refer to as my 3rd child). How I launched Well + Wonder with a 7-month-old is a bit beyond my comprehension, maybe I was crazy or maybe the foggy new Mom brain and sleepless nights sparked a fiery creative bone and I couldn't wait any longer to share these artists I began to rep with clients all over the southeast? Let's go with the latter. So in the interest of turning 3, I'd like to share 3 things I've learned since launching Well + Wonder three years ago.
- The Power of Community. When I launched Well + Wonder I knew I was building a small community of talented artists where I was sharing their work, their stories, and their art with clients and friends, but I didn't realize how large this community would reach. It's not just about artists and collectors anymore. It's become so much more than that. It's designers who are passionate about original artwork that they then share Well + Wonder with their clients. It's folks I've worked with along the way - photographers, business consultants, creatives, female business owners, PR and marketing professionals, and the list goes on. I've leaned on these folks since day one and they have encouraged me and challenged me beyond what I could have imagined and I'm still comprehending how special this community is becoming. But I can say with confidence that it's growing and I can't wait to see where it is in another 3 years.
- A Female-Owned business featuring all female artists is a compelling thing. Here's the truth (and something I don't tell many people) when I wrote my first business plan in 2014 I didn't write ANYTHING about Well + Wonder being only female artists OR being southern artists (zero). And yet here we are today with 25 FEMALE and SOUTHERN artists. As I often say, never say never but for right now this seems to be what Well + Wonder is all about AND what our clients resonate with. An art gallery owner that has been a mentor to me encouraged me to stick with this all female and southern line up of artists. "You have an aesthetic here that is resonating with your clients, why change now?" On this same note - I heard Reese Witherspoon speak two nights ago (during her book tour for Whiskey in Tea Cup) and she said something that resonated so deeply with me. We, as working women and mothers, often think we are simply failing at balancing work and life (aren't you sick of people asking about your "work-life balance"??) BUT, here's the cool thing Reese said, she said she prefers to hire working mothers because she finds they are the best employees. She said that working mothers are the ones who realize the importance of getting all their work done in a finite period of time. When we are on, we are ON and that's something that reminded me of all the women I work with regularly. Of course on the flip side, we could all use some help turning OFF when we are off, but that's for another blog post...
- Gratitude is key. Here's the thing, owning a business is harder than I could have imaged but if I had known that perhaps I would have never taken the leap. But here's the cool thing, everything that has come from all the hard times and the sleepless nights, is so very worth it (see #1). And most days I remind myself that curating art work and selling paintings by some very cool southern artists that I now consider my friends, that's the best job in the world and I'm so very grateful to do it every day. Gratitude can carry us through just about anything and I'm grateful for this job and each and every one of you! Xo, Mollie