"You can't possibly live long enough to make them all yourself"

I got this fortune and I laughed out loud. It was one of those cringy laughs though because for as long as I can remember, I was that person who thought that I had to do it, make it, be it all. I was a wife, a stay at home mom, a small business owner, a friend and a doting daughter (to 4 parents). I grocery shopped, cooked meals, cleaned the bathrooms, swept the floor, woke up at night to feed the baby, woke up early to play with the toddler, hung out with my husband, did the dishes, handled the bills, worked in my studio making jewelry during nap time, worked on the computer doing marketing and designing packaging after the kids were in bed, hosted dinner parties, met girlfriends for coffee, sold my jewelry to stores and at trunk shows, spent time with my parents regularly and even went on weekly walks with my 90+ year old grandmother. I was the CEO of the house, an entrepreneur and all around complete over achiever. Annnnd.... I was falling apart. I was suffering from anxiety and I was tired and bitchy. I was unhappy, ungrateful and running on fumes. I couldn't enjoy my life, my kids, my relationships or my business. All because of this misguided belief that I needed to be everything to everyone, that I was somehow responsible for making sure the universe didn't fall apart. The world was truly on my shoulders and in all honesty, I didn't even know it because I couldn't see it. I do know that I never slowed down. I never even sat down unless it was to drive or pee.

It took a devastating heartbreak, some scary health crises, a number of years, and a LOT of introspection and inner reflection to get a handle on my over-scheduling and over-doing and it's still a work in progress. I've had to learn how to ask for help (gasp!). I've had to learn to practice the art of recieving (gasp!). I've had to get clear on what I want, and then actually go for it (gasp!). I'll go into more detail on how I learned to do those things in my next series of blog posts titled Success, but to fast forward, when I was evaluating my business this year and trying to decide where I wanted to take it, I knew that I wasn't willing to wear every single hat in the business anymore. I've been referring to "us" at Luscious Metals as "we" since I hired my first assistant in 2008 but when my last assistant left in 2011, I never replaced her and so "we" has really been "me". But I'm an over achiever remember? I can design and make and package and ship and stock and sell and blog and email my butt off and still have time to take care of 2 kids and a house and have a life. Right? Right?

No. The answer is no. Not anymore anyway. Not if I want to have a life that I like and can relax in. Not if I want to be in a good mood and enjoy my kids and have my health. That much I (finally) understand. So guess what? I hired someone and not just an assistant. I hired someone who is going to come in an co-create and co-design and co-help with everything. She also happens to be an amazing metalsmith with a vision and a plan for success. Everyone, meet Whitney Santamaria.

Whitney is here to help Luscious Metals grow and thrive and prosper and you can read her bio here. She is fresh out of art school with a shiny new BFA in Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design, from Metro State University of Denver, and she graduated under the same professor that I had (and that means she's good because Yuko Yagasawa has some of the highest standards of any professor I've ever taken classes from). Whitney is also going to take over some of the social media responsibilities so you'll start hearing from her around here too. I'm planning to teach her what I know about business and she's going to move into more and more responsibility as we gear up for our holiday season.

So this is an exciting time for both of us and for Luscious Metals. We have a brand new line designed for our fall season and we are planning to sell jewelry like never before. We're also getting ready to change our brand up a little bit and move into being a lifestyle brand which means we're becoming so much more than jewelry. More about that soon. For now though, help me welcome the beautiful Whitney on board and let's raise our glasses to the fact that I no longer have any plans to make them all myself.

~ Natha