growing beauty, letting go & looking forward

Shira Sela’s illustrations each tell a lovely story all on their own, and when stitched together one after another like this, they help me tell an emotional tale that I’m having a hard time expressing. Please bear with me while I muddle through … (I deleted the mushy version for all our sakes!)

“blossom” art print by Shira Sela

Growing Beauty…
Since January of 2007, I have happily poured my heart & soul into Scoutie Girl…treasure hunting near & far for fabulous, handmade items and bringing them back here for your viewing pleasure. With each post and the addition of 8 a-m-a-a-a-zing guest posters, the beauty of the blog grew & grew and attracted an appreciative audience, who let me know by commenting, sending personal notes, linking back to Scoutie Girl and, best of all, purchasing & supporting handmade with their dollars! Thank you!!

A few examples… (yes, I saved them all)

  • Thank you for providing such a beautiful venue to advertise on.
  • The traffic to my shop last week was incredible!
  • Wow- I woke up this morning to about $200 worth of sales in my shop! woo hoo!
  • Just a note to tell you how impressed I am with Scoutie Girl blog. It’s a tight run ship and it just keeps on churning. I can’t imagine organizing such at thing- you rock.
  • I just sold two vases last night thanks to your post about my shop! My sincerest thanks!
  • I have read this blog for months, and love so much that y’all find. Thanks!
  • Just wanted to let you know that I recently discovered Scoutie Girl, and I think it’s fabulous! It’s fun and all of your finds are super cool, well done!

    Tending to my own indie business, Daisy Janie, proved challenging and often took a backseat b/c I was fiercely committed to making the blog look pretty (of course), giving props to new, incredible artists as well as generating click-through traffic for Scoutie Girl advertisers. Yes, these are commitments I chose willingly day-in and day-out – but over time, burning the candle at both ends took a toll on my family, my health and my social life.

    “free spirit” art print by Shira Sela

    Letting Go…
    Something had to give – I had to find a way to grow beauty back into my own ‘real’ life – the ‘virtual’ beauty I publish on this blog that I love so damn much isn’t paying the big bills or taking my organic fabrics to the next level or kicking soccer balls with my son or taking the doggies for walks or having a beer with my husband at the end of the day. I wish, but it doesn’t seem to be working out that way!

    After some brutally honest soul-searching, I decided Scoutie Girl must go on without me. But how? I dreaded thinking about it, when suddenly a unique opportunity for me to pass the blog onto someone else came my way. All I kept thinking was, “Carpe Diem woman! What are the chances?!” I was so ready – and she was, too!

    As of Monday, July 13th, Tara Gentile will be the new owner of Scoutie Girl – Tara currently writes the “One to Watch” series here on Scoutie Girl, so you may already be familiar with her! She is passionate about handmade, capable of running the site and respectful of the blog’s readers, format and history. And she lives so darn close to me I felt like I was letting her borrow a cup of sugar moreso than handing over 2-1/2 years’ worth of relationships, hard work and a piece of my heart. I’ll still be sharing the collabo series with Jena every other Wed – and may be popping in as a guest poster once in a while! (The regular guest posters will be sticking around with Tara, too!!)

    “looking forward” by Shira Sela

    Looking Forward…
    It’s very surreal to be disconnecting from this blog. It’s a big world out there! I’m anxious & teary-eyed, but I’m also thrilled to be free to rediscover, reconnect and relax!

    My organic fabrics are about to be featured in a sorta major sewing mag, and it’s tremendous for me to be on the verge of raising the bar in this fabric category alongside some of my peers – who feel as passionately about handmade as they do about eco-friendly choices and production. We are a pioneering bunch – and I am so lucky to be starting the next phase of my career while making an important contribution to the world of handmade-at-large! I’ll be blabbing about it on my other blog, Daisy Janie.

    What really hit home in the few short weeks since this decision regarding Scoutie Girl was set into motion is that the beauty in my life was always there; I just wasn’t seeing it or appreciating it nearly enough. My life is rich, full & waiting…waiting for me to jump in without tired eyes, half-listening ears or deadlines looming. Yahooooo!

    I hope you all have as much ‘real’ beauty in your own lives as you do on-line – there’s no shortage of it out on the www, but the real deal is is beyond comparison. Go get yourself some!

    (I’ll post my contact info on Friday!)

  • 29 thoughts on “growing beauty, letting go & looking forward

    1. Beautiful post and I can relate on many levels.

      Thank you for all the hard work you did here (and my feature!). It has been a pleasure reading the blog while you’ve been running it. I’m sure the voice you created here will continue in the coming years.

      Good luck with Scoutie Girl!

      Adele xo

    2. what a thoughtful and lovely post to read. it seems a bit of a recurring theme in this wonderful online world. it’s such a fun place to be involved in and to get lost in, but to be able to balance it with a full + honest “real life” is sometimes difficult! congrats to you and your big decision.

    3. Well said and of course we understand where you’re coming from. I can’t wait to see how Daisy Janie grows from here, and how you grow from here! I hope you enjoy your added free time and let me know what life “out there” in the real world is like! Hopefully someday I can go get some too. 😉 Thanks for being a constant inspiration, encourager and awesome e-friend!
      <3 jena

    4. Thanks Jena! Feeling very relieved but a good bit of personal upheaval, too. Trying to take the second guessing out of my anxiety equation – there’s enough without adding that! Hoping you get a taste of the real stuff soon, too! Don’t age yourself before Mother Nature takes care of it for you….

    5. Thanks Lesley – it’s been so nice getting to know you and seeing your comments here! Balance is the key – my husband & kiddo won’t know what to do with me!

    6. Congratulations Jan! I can only imagine what a big decision this was, just as I can imagine what a HUGE relief it was once, even if you are somewhat in shock over actually letting it go. I think you’re making the right decision for all parties concerned, but namely you and your family. It seems like there’s a lot of big decisions, upheavals, life changes, etc. happening lately. Good Luck and I can’t wait to see all the wonderful things that Daisy Janie is headed for!

    7. this IS bittersweet, but such a well-written and thoughtful post, and behind it, obviously so much soul-searching. good for you! and congratulations on the growth of daisy janie! it is good to know you won’t be going away for good, i like those collabo posts with jena. now you can be “textile designer extraordinaire, and FOUNDER of scoutie girl”.

    8. the shock will subside in time, and leaving nothing but relief in its place. i think. my family has to come first – i’m not a young’un anymore! please stay in touch.

    9. Jan, wow, this is certainly bittersweet, as Laura said, but so much is in your future to look forward to and what an honor to you that Tara wanted to continue this special place, and you will keep you hand in it. :) I am sure it wasn’t an easy decision, you are a newer blog to me, although I did chat with you about your fabrics a couple of years ago. Oh, now the two twitter pages are making so much MORE sense :)

      Hugs and support and I can’t wait to see how Daisy Janie transpires—good is coming :) Great is coming !! Peace to you on this journey.

    10. I just found your blog a few months ago and I’ve really been enjoying it- you’ve done great work! It sounds like a lot of new opportunities are opening up in your life- congratulations on taking the leap! I look forward to seeing what new directions you take.

    11. “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.–Frost

      Thanks for all of the great posts, and much continued success with Daisy Janie.

    12. jan, you’ve done a brilliant job with scoutie girl and i applaud you for having the courage to make such a difficult decision! it sounds like the handoff couldn’t be more ideal, though. thanks for your long hours of hard work digging up such cool stuff for all of us to enjoy, and i look forward to continue following scoutie girl as tara takes the reins!

    13. Jan, wow, really. You’ve been so good to me and I am hoping I will see you around again. You are amazing and your fabrics are gorgeous and I have no doubt that you will succeed at whatever you do. Tara is a wonderful person so I was glad to see that you are passing SG onto someone we already feel so comfortable with. Good luck!

    14. jan, it has been so nice working with you as a guest-poster on scoutie girl. you have been nothing but supportive and thoughtful. you will be greatly missed. we will do our best to carry on your lovely blog. thanks for bringing beautiful things to our everyday life.

      p.s. i love the artwork featured with this post and snatched one for my own blog since today is “things i want tuesday”! i linked back to you.

    15. I’m sure your husband will appreciate you spending a little more time with him…even if it’s while he’s cutting fabric for you! 😉 I’m glad you’re figuring out how to balance life out – you’re a great role model! And I’m not sad, cause you, you’re not going away…you’re just focusing more on the stuff that I find so inspirational – your incredible design work – I can’t WAIT to see what you come up with next!

    16. your articulate, deeply honest + emotional tale has me inspired… I have so enjoyed getting to know you and I am immensely proud you – both for creating the force that is Scoutie Girl and for having the wisdom to move forward from it. You are talented in so many ways, wise, funny, driven + unique. Brava ! I can’t wait to see what happens next !

    17. Jan~
      I’m proud of you for standing up for yourself and taking a step away from Scoutie Girl. It will live on and prosper because of the direction and foundation you’ve given it! Also, congratulations on the exciting opportunities ahead of you for your fabrics. We all knew you had the talent, we were just waiting for the rest of the industry to catch up! All the best to you and the family. Enjoy your summer!

    18. Jan:

      I thought I posted something the other day but maybe it didn’t go through. I wanted to be sure to wish you all the best and congratulate you on all your hard work. You impress me as someone who is always ahead of the learning curve in business and I know you next adventure will be successful! Hope to see you around! I am finally getting around to a blog and an Etsy store and here you are moving on! Luck and best wishes!

    19. You’ve created an amazing space that only you could have created….. you always have that to be proud of! And you have wonderful people to continue and build upon what you started – you will certainly be missed, but part of you will always be here :)

      I love Daisy Janie and look forward to seeing what exciting things are in your future! Thanks for all your inspiration – I know it will continue both here and at Daisy Janie!

      Best Wishes,
      Meg :)

    20. Jan–beautiful post, as always–it speaks the volumes so many of us feel as we attempt balance in our daily creative lives. How auspicious that, as you drop the reins of one creative pursuit, I am picking up another set as I open Hello Bluebird, and, somehow in the middle of our circle, sits Tara, who is instrumentally basic to each of our new dreams and directions. We (you and I) were lucky to find each other years ago at the beginning of this journey, and now we are both blessed with another amazing friendship from this unlikely town. As it turns out, there are some pretty amazing ladies here in Reading, PA! I am anxious to watch this new incarnation of yourself grow and prosper–I think 2009 holds a lot of excitement for all three of us!!

    21. I’ll be sad to see you “go”, I’ve truly enjoyed your blog and your voice! This has obviously been a labor of love for you. However, I am excited for you and inspired by you decision!! I’m a big believer in “less is more.” Now you just have more love to put into Daisy Janie and to share with your family. Good luck!! xo Sara

    22. On to bigger and better things…you have created a blog that people enjoy spending time with. That is something to be so proud of…and I’m sure all of your future endeavors will just as significant. Thanks for creating this and bringing in guest bloggers that will continue to do it justice!

    23. Wow!!!! Good for you on taking the next step. You are an inspiration in so many ways, I’ll be checking in on Daisy Janie to follow along and cheer you on!!!
      Best, Linda

    24. I completely understand where you are coming from Jan (as I sit here at my computer typing at 2 am!) It is sooo difficult trying to get everything in – family, relationship, your own creative work! It sounds like you made the right decision, and I hope you enjoy your new freedom! Yay!

    25. just returning from a week away and am catchin’ up on scoutie girl news…i was so surprised to read you would be moving on but of course it makes sense…thank you so much for being the first blog to post any of my work, as well as for being friendly, responsive, and kind. i wish you much good fortune and happiness! caroline (coolranchstudio)

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