What? There is a Preemie kingdom?! Hahaha, no that term was given me recently by my family when I purchased Preemie Store. We combined Perfectly Preemie with the Preemie Store and now our Perfectly Preemie brand of preemie clothes are sold at the Preemie Store, Amazon, Etsy and of course, at Perfectly Preemie. Since they have been around me for the last 25 years and know how much I LOVE Preemies, and everything we have going to help clothe Preemie’s that’s why they tease me about being the “Preemie Queen!”
This also causes me to be a little crazy at times! I can be somewhere, see something and then all of a sudden I am working on an idea for the store or a new style for Perfectly Preemie. Similarly I can also read a Google alert article saying a certain company announced they will be offering new Preemie styles that end up resembling one of the styles I personally designed and it can make me go bonkers.
You see being an entrepreneur isn’t easy! It’s constantly worrying, working, wondering and wishing! Come to think of it, that sounds like being a parent! I have three kiddos all now in their 30’s. WHAT, how did that happen?! Yes time flies by, I’ve been making Preemie clothes for 25 years and now have grandkids, of which the oldest is 16! Yes life can all make us a little crazy, but that is if you let it get to you! I recently saw a Facebook post from a Mom making the point that as adults no one ever asks you about what age you were potty trained, or when you gave up your favorite pacifier. So why are we so worried? I can clearly remember a crazy Mom time when my daughter, who now works for me and is awesome, was kinda attached to her pacifier. But I didn’t love hearing her talk with it in her mouth as she was somewhere between 2-3 years old. One day, totally out of frustration I pulled it out of her mouth as she was trying to talk and cut the end off! Yikes! Your totally appalled and so am I! If it were now I wouldn’t care if she went to kindergarten with it because if she did, I’m sure it wouldn’t last long! Nowhere on her college or job applications has it ever asked “how old were you when you no longer used a pacifier?” It actually didn’t last much longer then either, she was so upset that after a few unbearable hours I hunted all over the house for a pacifier found one, gave it to her and had peace. Only a few months later she lost it and never cared! Lesson: Never a good idea to do things out of anger. Rather, be patient, walk away, chill out, get perspective, breath or go sailing!
My husband and I started sailing about 5 years ago when he decided he might like to sail around the world! Crazy idea, right?! That’s what I said but he has supported me for years so I am supporting him. Besides I love being on the water. The stress goes away...well most of the time. We do have some rather "exciting" sailing stories! But I have learned so much and continually learn from being away, slowing down and taking time to reflect. I still work a lot when we are on the boat, it’s nice because I am a little more focused without as much around me. With today’s technology it’s much easier to stay connected, even though the gals at the office may not always agree! I take this time to plan for new styles, write, edit product pictures, and schedule the next group of outfits to go to our small factory in Seattle. There is always plenty to do as we are a very small operation with just the four of us. My husband and I, daughter Melissa and Rachael who helps us package and get everything ready to ship to you! We all wear many different hats to get the job done.
I find removing myself from the center of the Preemie nucleus, and the day to day “normal” life, I can clear my crazy little mind and get perspective. Today the seas are fairly calm, winds are only 3.5 knots so we are really motoring more than sailing. Swells are minimal, however every few minutes a larger one comes under the keel and rocks use from side to side. It makes me think over and over of perspective! If we never have the rough passage, or uncomfortable anchorage, we may not appreciate the flat calm the next time it comes around. As we have discovered, many times it is those scarier moments that are our favorite stories to tell!
Today we are moving south to be ahead of the weather and closer to the place we will fly home from for Christmas. We pulled anchor at 7:00am as the sun came up over the mountains with a gold glow all around. I am at peace, no longer worried about the competition. This Queen just wants all preemie babies happy, getting heathier and having the ability to be clothed! If that’s by us or someone else fulfilling their dream - awesome! The perspective that there is room for everyone. Everyone’s needs are different and not one person or company will fill them all. We are a community all working for the same goal. I am grateful that I am doing what I love and I have been able to see the smiles on families faces when their unexpected early arrival gets to finally wear clothes and they look awesome! I have joy in the fact my daughter has been able to come to work with me and she loves it as well.
This is the Season to reflect on the year we are leaving behind and the New Year we are about to begin. 2018 has been a good year: We sailed a few months in the Sea of Cortez, we grew as a company and added another store, (didn’t really expect that to happen) we had an awesome summer at home with family and friends. We also cleared our land for a new preemie "shop"!
What will 2019 bring to you and me? We will begin a building project in the Spring and we will manufacture a lot more cute Preemie clothes! We may add more newborn sizes to your favorite styles and I have a couple new ideas I want to try! Of course, a few more weeks of sailing to help clear this neurotic mind, and continue to be grateful, thankful, and joyful - for we are truly blessed.
My wish for you? I hope you are able to find your happy place that leads to a grateful heart. That you can let go a little bit more and enjoy your journey. You may have some difficulties but those will hopefully give you a greater perspective. May you find Joy, Peace and most of all LOVE!
Thank you for allowing us to be apart of your lives and your Preemie journey!