To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I’d find my way back, but I also knew that deep down, I just couldn’t let it go.
Has it really been 17 months since we last decided to press the pause button? It’s no exaggeration when we talk about time flying by, but there’s also no denying how much has happened and how much has changed in the last one and a half years.
I moved. I got married. I entered my thirties. But, more importantly, I’m just… in a different headspace. Before I wrote my last entry in June 2015, I was battling with a quarter life crisis about what I wanted to do with my life, if the path I was on was something I saw myself doing long term… all the while, not understanding why I felt so drained and unmotivated. It does that to you sometimes. That creative void. Creativity is not something you can force, but when you turn your passion into your paycheck… sometimes, you have to. And while you’re thankful to be doing what you’re doing, it’s really easy to get lost in it all.
In the last 17 months, I’ve realized a few things. And I wouldn’t have realized them if I just aimlessly kept moving forward. When I first started making art and listed them online, there were absolute no expectations of it being my career, let alone the sole contributor of my income, of my well-being. It was just an outlet. It was just for fun. It was for me.
Fast forward through seven years of constantly creating products, selling at countless events, and packaging and shipping out almost 8,000 packages all over the world… I got a little burnt out. My creative tank was empty. And the one thing that used to get me excited to wake up in the morning, now became a chore, and well… a job.
Don’t get me wrong. I was thankful. So. Damn. Thankful. But that gratitude can also make you feel guilty to admit when it didn’t make you happy anymore. It took me to put things on hold, focus on myself, focus on other aspects of my life to kind of put all the puzzle pieces back together. Planning a wedding became a creative outlet for me, a new project, and ignited that excitement in me I hadn’t felt in so long. Becoming apart of the family team at California Donuts not only provided me with financial stability, but it also allowed me the opportunity to work with others and value the presence of teamwork after having worked by myself for so many years. Becoming a wife forced me to think beyond just myself, to start taking action for the future, but it also gave me a space to reflect, understand my journey, and understand where I wanted to go next.
Six weeks ago, my husband and I finally went on our belated honeymoon to Hawaii. We parasailed and ziplined in Maui, took a helicopter ride over Kauai, and hiked along the Na Pali Coast. Everyday, we did something new, but we also took the time to relax and take everything in. Something about just watching the waves crash on the sand and watching a sunset so different from the last calmed something in me. On the plane ride back home, I started listening to the audiobook by Shonda Rhimes, Year of Yes. Every time she talked about the joy she gets from writing a new script, I kept comparing it to my old joy for being creative, for making things, for having a platform to connect with others through those things. And I started missing it. After ignoring it and putting it on the back burner for 17 months, I actually missed it. And the more Shonda kept saying “yes” to things in her life, the more I felt motivated to say “yes” to mine.
I am bringing back Steppie Clothing, but only under one condition. It will no longer be viewed as a “job”. Steppie Clothing will be my creative outlet, my passion project… just like how it all started eight years ago. I’ll be delegating everyday work to a team I trust, so that I can focus on the part I love most — being creative. I’ll come out with products when I feel inspired, and I’ll only do things because I find joy in them. And let’s be real here, that’s when we all do our best anyway. I’ve re-released a lot of my older classic favorites because I know some of you didn’t get to snag them before my hiatus, but best believe – I’ll be hitting you with some new products in the next coming weeks.
Lastly, huge thank you’s to those who have stayed on this journey with me. Some of you have been around since I was doodling on canvases in my college bedroom. To still have your support even with my long hiatus has definitely given me reason to give this a second go.
Note: We will be donating 10% of all your purchases this entire month to charity : water. We are lucky that our biggest concern this season is getting those holiday gifts under the tree, and are hoping your holiday shopping with us can help others not so fortunate get the simple bare necessities we all deserve.
I know, I know… I have a lot of explaining to do.
Every once and a while, every creator goes through some type of creative block… and for the past year or so, I was experiencing just that with this brand. Seven years ago, The Steppie started off as a passion project and I was so lucky to watch that grow and cultivate into something that could support me and fill my creative void. But after 7 years… sometimes you just need something more, something different. Your passions change, you crave a creative challenge, and just need something new to inspire you.
It was during that time that my life also started taking new turns and dropping new opportunities in my lap. My family’s little donut shop in LA (@californiadonuts) was picking up momentum, and my fiance and I made a huge decision to come together and join the family team. We now work full time, long hours, and have watched the business grow… and with almost 200k followers on Instagram and long lines of customers every night, we definitely know this is where we are supposed to be. Above everything, we’re doing it together… and I think that’s the most special thing that’s come out of it all.
We’re also in the middle of moving to a new house — and HELLO — planning a wedding (!!!) which has been one of the most exciting and fun experiences I’ve had in a while. You know I love a good project, and this has definitely got my creative juices working and flowing in a completely new way.
We hope to get those same creative juices flowing for this brand, whether it be in new designs or in a completely new business structure and venture. Whatever it may be, we know that the only way to get to that place is to press the pause button for a little while to explore the new adventures life has brought us that will hopefully freshen our minds and inspire new ideas and passions.
What does this mean? Yes, we will be closing the online store for a bit. We do hope to put what inventory we do have on hand up for sale once we’re moved in and settled in though, so keep a look out for that! While The Steppie may be on hiatus, we welcome you to join us on our journey. We hope to find you on the other side with something new and inspiring.