I was scrolling through photos on my iPhone the other day and it’s amazing how much has happened in the past 12 months! It has been a roller coaster of ups and downs, but mostly ups as today we celebrate our 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY of Morning Lavender Cafe & Boutique in Orange County! It’s hard to believe we went through our IVF journey during this first year of running Morning Lavender OC. Life isn’t always perfect but I’d like to think our story of hard work and determination will inspire others going through tough times whether it’s personal or business related.
Hi friends! I’m sorry for being super MIA on the blog and on social media lately. The past 4 weeks have been the most intense 4 weeks for us both professionally and personally. We recently opened up the cafe portion of Morning Lavender OC and it has kept us super busy to say the least. In addition, we had our IVF transfer last month! I wanted to update you all so stay tuned for a super long post today! I’m also sorry if there are grammatical errors or if I’m all over the place – it has been a very long 4 weeks!
Today marks the 3 Year Anniversary of Morning Lavender and we cannot feel more #blessed. It feels like a long journey to get here but it also seems like just yesterday we were shipping out of our home garage. I’m happy and proud to say that our team has grown so much! In year 3 alone, we opened our first retail location, signed the lease for our second retail location, added 5 new employees, was featured in over 20 national publications, launched our first Classic Collection, collaborated on 2 curated collections, and doubled our social media followers!
Hi friends! So I decided to start a new series on my blog called #Bosslady Lessons, where I provide an insight into my life as an entrepreneur and small business owner. Join me as I provide lessons, strategy, and tips on what it’s really like to own your own business. I’m also looking forward to your questions and suggestions for content regarding this. I receive quite a bit of emails on this topic and I’d love to have a forum to share my thoughts to your questions!
Today is the 2 Year Anniversary of Morning Lavender and I can’t be more proud of what we have accomplished in these past 2 years! Sometimes I say “I can’t believe it’s already been 2 years” and other times “I’m thinking wow it’s only been 2 years” lol! We never would have imagined that our favorite feminine styles would be so popular and well received. I have never worked retail prior to this (ok I did one month at the UCLA clothing store one summer) so it’s definitely been a learning process for me, but it’s partly why I love it so much. I love being creative and challenged and I’m probably guilty of working too much and dragging my wonderful husband into my madness. Everyday has been different/exciting/fun/sometimes not-so-fun but it’s all in the challenges of being a small business and we love it. Our team has dedicated each day to improving our curating process and providing better customer service and delivery. In the last 2 years, we have moved from my tiny home garage to a warehouse/office space, opened up a gorgeous showroom, expanded our pop-up shops outside of Orange County, been featured in various National publications, shot more lookbooks than my husband could bear :), and sold over thousands of pretty tulle and flowy maxi skirts. Of course, none of this would have been possible without the faith and support of our wonderful customers, my husband, team, family and friends. I am truly grateful to do what I love and have people love what we do. We can’t wait to celebrate many more anniversaries with you all!
We recently took some new photos our office/showroom space. Here’s a sneak peek:
When I started this blog, I wanted to share way more than just cute clothes – I wanted to share my experiences with life, love, travel and more. This year I made it my goal to blog more consistently but also to provide insight into something that is so important to me – my work. I actually find it so enjoyable that it’s hard to call it work, but rather my passion. After graduating from UCLA (I won’t tell you when but you probably have an idea with my years of work experience), I was an accountant for 7 years, been doing photography for almost 8 years (wow) and decided in 2014 to start something I really had no idea about. In 2014, I started an online women’s boutique called Morning Lavender to fulfill what I thought was a need for affordable feminine clothing (see the full story of why I started Morning Lavender here). I definitely shop a lot online but running a business online is completely different and I was met with the challenge of learning how to start a new business in a competitive market while balancing being a new wife and full time photographer. It has definitely been a huge learning experience – both professionally and personally. I still struggle with managing stress and finding that balance between work and life. I am fortunate to have an incredibly supportive (and talented) husband who has done everything from shooting our lookbooks to building furniture and setting up for our crazy pop-up shops. I am also very blessed to have built a motivated and hardworking team who is just as excited about seeing Morning Lavender grow as much as I am. It’s hard being the boss but my desire to help my team grow not only within the company, but also in their careers pushes me to be a better leader and mentor. The life of an entrepreneur is not for everyone but when you find something you are truly passionate about, I say go for it! I have tried many different career paths and pushed myself harder every time. I really believe you can achieve anything with hard work, an open mind and a true passion for what you are doing. Anyway, I hope I haven’t bored you too much with this long post today and inspired you even just a little bit! I hope to write more blog posts with career tips this year so stay tuned! Thanks for reading today!
Here’s my go-to shift dress that I think is so simple, yet so stylish and versatile. It’s perfect for the office and is so lightweight and comfortable.
Today marks a big day for Morning Lavender – we launched just a year ago and it has been a year filled with growth, excitement, fun and a whole lot of prettiness! I wanted to share my thoughts on our first year with you all today!
I often get the question – “so why did you start Morning Lavender?” Well it all started with photography (sorry for the long post to follow). I started my wedding photography business over 7 years ago while I was still an accountant. I needed a creative outlet and get exposed to weddings while helping my sister with hers. I fell in love with the details, the dresses and more significantly – the happiness from such an important day. While I wanted to be a wedding photographer, I also knew nothing about cameras, light, exposure, etc… So I splurged on an SLR, read countless blogs and online tutorials, attended workshops and practiced and practiced. 2 years after I started, I was able to quit my accounting job and pursue wedding photography full time. It was the biggest and most life changing decision I ever made. I was of course scared to take the leap of faith but I found something I was truly passionate about and wanted to devote my time to it wholeheartedly. That year, I also started shooting boudoir and portraits for women and from there, I learned a woman’s shape and body. I learned how to make women look more flattering and at the same time, different women’s preferences, insecurities and vulnerabilities. It was then that I realized I loved making women feel and look beautiful. During this time, weddings were becoming more and more stylish. Facebook and Pinterest made everyone want to have the most creative and beautiful weddings. Many of my clients asked me for opinions on what to wear and I enjoyed helping them because (a) I love to shop (ask my husband) and (b( if it made my clients look and feel good, I was all up for it! In 2013, my husband and I began planning our wedding yay! I loved being engaged (and being married of course) but when it became time to plan our own engagement pictures, I was frustrated and lost. After all these years of helping others, I couldn’t find anything for myself. I ended up putting together looks I was happy with (and our photos turned out amazing thanks to our photographer) but I had bought A LOT of options and found it very time consuming and costly to find anything pretty or special enough. I thought to myself – “why can’t one website just have everything I need?!?” And “why are there sooo many options on one website and it’s so hard to find something?!”