So, who am I?
It always makes me feel a little awkward writing about myself, but over the past few weeks, I have been asked about my past, so here goes...
To sum me up, I am a wife, hope-to-be-mom, entrepreneur and therefore clothing designer to tots. Born and raised in Kentucky, I am truly your average girl. I was so very blessed to be raised by an incredibly supportive and encouraging single mom, and a highly motivated and hard-working father. I learned independence at a young age and knew that I wanted to make something of myself. I never hurt for anything as a child, but my mom raised me on a very limited income (let's just say that Value City was our mall of choice and vacations meant that we drove across the bridge to Indiana for the night). From a very early age, I was always coming up with ideas to make money, from lemonade stands and babysitting clubs to charging my own grandparents for 'tickets' to come see the show that I put on with my cousins...hey, at least I was creative!
So, fast-forward...I started working at age 14 and worked straight through to my college graduation. I left high-school after my Junior year to attend night-school and work full-time during the day to earn money for college. After graduating, I attended the University of Cincinnati to major in business and minor in fashion merchandising. I was always intrigued by the fashion business, but never really exposed to it. Following college, I was offered a Buyers position at The Limited Too, which was pretty much my dream job, but with an income that left me in that same struggling situation of my childhood. At the same time, I was offered a position with Eli Lilly & Company, a pharmaceutical company that offered me the world - the new car, the company credit card, and an income that allowed me to truly get on my feet. I promised myself it would only be a sacrifice of a few years, and let's just say it didn't even last that long.
Following the short stint in pharmaceutical sales, I made my way to the real estate industry selling new homes for a national builder. I then met my now husband and joined him in a new start-up custom home building business. After selling/closing the business, we moved to Dallas, TX where I accepted a position selling high-rise condos in a huge urban development. This is where I truly got that kick that I needed to pursue my dream. I worked for a man that opened my eyes so wide to disappointment and disgust. A man of pure selfishness that used others to get to the top. He would lie, cheat & steal, and sadly enough had no shame. He talked horribly about one employee to another and pretty much did "the wrong thing" every time. Looking back, I am grateful for that experience because it gave me the strength and drive that I needed to start my own business doing things the "right way". I made a promise to myself that I would treat my employees with respect and my customers just the same. I would make every effort to do the right thing, no matter what. I just knew in my heart that if he could achieve "success" with those morals, that I could do the same (just in a very different way)!
I spent many of nights in prayer for that "big idea". I was ready, I knew it was my time, but I just didn't know exactly what it was that I was supposed to do. I always loved fashion, but I had no desire to enter the world of women's wear. I always loved children, but had none of my own, so was definitely not an expert in this field. My background was business, but I wanted to pursue something that brought joy to myself and others. It was finally after moving with my wonderful & incredibly supportive husband to Fort Lauderdale, FL in December of 2006 that I had my "light bulb moment". Having grown up in what my mom always referred to as my ruffle butt bloomers, I was searching high and low for these childhood staples to give as gifts. After little to no success with this search, I realized that this was my opportunity...the perfect clients (moms and little angels), a fun product, and the opportunity to share smiles with others!
I formed RuffleButts, Inc in March of 2007 and worked for about 6 months on the products before finally launching the website http://www.rufflebutts.com/ in last August. My world has been crazy ever since. I have been so tremendously blessed! I honestly have the best clients in the world - I receive pictures and kind emails on a daily basis. We are able to donate a portion of our profits to charitable organizations, which is a huge personal goal. We now have an entire line of fun & frilly products that spread smiles to people literally around the world! With supportive friends and family, an incredible husband and my dream business at the age of 28, I truly could not ask for more. Well, truthfully, I do have one other request, and that is to one day have a little "RuffleButt" of my own. God is good, and I have full faith that this will happen...maybe one day soon ;)