Happy 2017 you guys! Yes, yes, I know I am VERY late to the game in well wishing. I wanted to share wth you a big update in my life that I haven't officially gone public with here.

As some of you know, at the end of each year, I spend time reflecting on the previous months, and spend time praying and contemplating what my word for the following year will be. This has been my tradition since I started working for myself 6 years ago - to remind me throughout the year, what to focus my heart on. 

Last year, my word was "Connect", and little did I know what that word would mean, but I felt an overwhelming sense that that was my word. A few months later, it became clear with a job offer which would cause me to connect with others on a daily basis. I accepted the position, making the decision to go back to work full-time in the design industry exactly 1 year ago today. Yes, I've been keeping this under the radar (well, kind-of) for an entire year.

Last April, I took a Sr. Designer position with Starbucks here in Seattle. I get to do trend, design collections of product, work with an amazing team of talented designers, and create artwork for Starbucks merchandise worldwide - things like mugs, cold cups, tumblers, etc. Oh and YES I promise to let you know when something of mine can be found in Starbucks stores! Just follow me on Instagram and I'll be sure to post them there.

With me taking this full-time position, I've moved my licensing business to the back burner. It's definitely been bittersweet, and I'm still working out the details of what I want my life to look like in the future. I'm still doing some licensing work for some amazing, loyal and wonderful companies that I've been working with for years, which has been such a treat.

However, overall, It's such a strange place to be in right now. I'd dreamt of running my own business since I was in college, and waited 12 years to do so. It was something I was always working toward in my mind, gathering experience in the corporate world along the way in order to do so. And I did it, and enjoyed it, and I learned an amazing amount - both what I'm made of and who I am as an artist. I got to play & experiment creatively. Push myself. Find my voice. Create with conviction & vision. Just the way I love to create. The way I was made to create.

I also got to use the left side of my brain, which is pretty strong, by designing websites, creating internal structures & procedures (um, yes, I'm a bit of a geek). I got to hire web designers, brand stylists, photographers, sewers, lawyers & social media experts. I had the opportunity to create artwork for some really big brands and some delightful small businesses all around the world. I got to hold the reigns of my business, strategize & build a business plan. Work with lawyers, an agent, negotiate contracts & exhibit at trade shows. I was able to listen to countless business podcasts & books throughout the day and Skype with some wonderful artist friends throughout the days. It was invigorating, exciting, challenging and oh so fulfilling! I grew more in those past 5 years than I ever thought possible. And a huge part of me healed too (I'll bore you with those scars some other day perhaps ; ).

And yet through all of this towards the end, I also started feeling a bit bored, unchallenged, and restless. I didn't feel like I was learning anymore. I created a lot of different options and business strategies for me to consider, to shake things up. And one of those options was to go back to designing in-house for a company. This was the one thing that I didn't want to do. I seriously thought I'd be working for myself for the rest of my life.

I laugh at that thought now, because I'm someone who is always pushing myself to achieve more, learn more, grow, etc. and the thought that working for myself would deliver all of those things to me FOREVER is a bit unrealistic. Oh to be an artist!

So I reached out to many friends who are currently working in-house to get some ideas, leads and interviews lined up. And one door that opened was this Sr. Design position at Starbucks - and I walked through it.

And here I am a year later, sharing with you my word for 2017 - "Ease".

This word was burnt on my heart towards the end of 2016. And what it means to me is to live in the ease of who I am. How I was made. With the gifts I've been given. And to walk through doors that open with ease. To not live my life full of "shoulds", but to live my life following my hearts wants and desires. The things that bring me joy. To not long to be someone I'm not but to embrace the someone I am. And to love her. (You're 30's people...they're REALLY GOOD!! : D)

So, this isn't goodbye. Stay tuned - I'll still be posting on Instagram. Still creating & sharing! I've still got lots of fun things coming out this year and will keep you up to speed - especially on Starbucks stuff!