Monday, October 22, 2012

A Milestone

 Today marks the 5 year anniversary of going out on my own, the official beginning of Marianne Strong Interiors.  Honestly, I can't believe it, time has flown so fast.  I look back on those first few months, the literally sleepless nights, the tears shed and the excitement of it all.  It seems like yesterday and a thousand years ago all at the same time.
(picture taken several years ago in my original office in the house, with my original assistant)

I am so proud of how far this little company has come.  From a small room in my house all by myself to an office I love to come to everyday with an employee by my side.  I know my company in the grand scheme of things is small fries but to me it might as well be a Fortune 500 company.
(This is not the first room I did but it is one of the first I have a picture of)

Of course I could not have done it on my own and today I want to take some time to say thank you.

Starting with my Husband.  Patrick has been my biggest cheerleader and in the beginning when I was making pennies, he was our sole provider.  He gave me the space and support to chase my dream and together we have celebrated the highs and held on through the lows.  By being such an amazing father, he has continued to make my job easier since Henry was born.
(Patrick and my Dad- move in day, an office to call my own!)

Speaking of cheerleaders, my parents and family have been there the whole way.  My parents have always believed in me (and my brothers) to the fullest extent.  It never dawned on me growing up I would not be successful because of the confidence they instilled in me.  Not loud, not proud or boastful, just a quiet voice that always said try hard, don't give up, you can do it.  For 5 years now my Mom has basically been my CFO, definitely a liaison to the accountant and that has been priceless. 

A HUGE thank you goes to an amazing Interior Decorator, Jenny Edwards...also known as my former boss.  I worked for her for several years and during that time she let me start small projects on the side on my own before fully taking on Marianne Strong Interiors.  The depth of my gratitude for her, my time with her, what I learned while working for her is bigger than words.  She changed my life.  I am eternally grateful.

There are so many friends and business peers that have given me countless pep talks along the way, those stick.  They have also shared in celebrating the triumphs, those memories stick too.
(Card attached to flowers-and a giant margarita glass because they know me so well- sent 5 years ago.  Still hanging up in my kitchen today.)

I am so, so thankful for all my clients.  Sometimes I like to open Quickbooks and go back through all the names.  I am fortunate that most of them from the past come back again and I don't have to ever fully say goodbye.  Of course without clients a business could not exist; but it is the enjoyment of working with them, their company, their families, their homes that make my days meaningful and much more than just a job.
(Sneak peek of a project we are having photographed soon)

Last but certainly not least, I have to thank the Big Guy Up Stairs.  I get asked for business advice all the time and there are pointers I give, but I believe there is one sole reason I have been so successful and that is God.  Oh so many prayers have been whispered over these years.  Hundreds.  Thousands.  Only He knows for sure.
(The new website is coming along! Now updated pictures needed.  This could take another 5 years a while.)

I am looking forward to the next 5 years and beyond.  I can't imagine how they could possibly top the first five but you never know what is right around the corner.  Since having Henry the work landscape has changed.  I have had to reign in my workaholic ways- an ongoing struggle.   My biggest goal for the next five years is to continue to grow and find success while making sure my most important job- being Henry's Mom- always comes first.