Greetings from TLC!

How many of you remember when I was talking about launching a company called “Lettered Olive”? Well, that was before my design consultation business started to keep me so busy that I didn’t think I’d ever get to launch it! Since last fall, I’ve had the opportunity to answer questions, create inspiration and design room plans for folks all over the globe, and while the work load is heavy, I really feel like for the first time in my life, I’m finally doing what I was born to do.

(My first virtual design consultation!)

It took me 34 years to figure it out, and I made many expensive mistakes along the way. (I quit the Commercial & Technical Art program at Southcentral Technical College in Minnesota to attend a Music Business Management program at the Art Institute of Atlanta? What was I thinking!! Still paying for that one.) Either way, I hope that now my parents can finally find some comfort in knowing that I seem to have figured out what I want to be when I grow up. To be honest, it feels more like IT actually figured out ME. Almost like my inner designer just finally snatched away the reigns and said, “Alright Missy, it’s showtime! Hang on for the ride, it’s gonna be bumpy for a bit!” :-) But my inner designer isn’t the only one responsible for motivating me.

My husband, Kevin, has effortlessly contributed 6 years of inspiration. It started on March 13th, 2003, with a tiny wave from across a crowded room in Springfield, Missouri. Sure, I was instantly smitten, but I had no idea what an impact he would have on my life at that moment. Within the first year of our relationship he had single-handedly inspired, encouraged and helped me to create JustLaylaArt.com, an online gallery where I sold my pop art paintings.
I have vivid memories of the two of us sitting on the floor in our first home, stretching our own canvases, so that I could offer custom sizes to my clients.

And while I painted colorful cats, & dogs and cityscapes and country lakes- he was boxing up my finished works, to be shipped, so that I didn’t have to put my brush down, and could take advantage of every second of daylight.

Daytime is still my favorite time to create, and six years later Kevin is still my main source of motivation. His approving smile is the ultimate confidence booster, and his open and genuine heart encourages me to become a better person every single day.

And then there’s YOU. The witty, the talented, the sweet incomparable you. :-)
Even if this is your first time here, the fact that you took time out of your busy day to stop by and read this post is unbelievably flattering. If you’re a regular reader of my blog, I love reading the comments you leave for me. Whether it’s a friendly hello, or one that opens my eyes to fresh & fascinating new perspective- it’s comforting to know that I’ve got a network of friends out there that I can not only count on, but also lean on, and be inspired by, 24/7.
Thank you SO MUCH.

Another person that has recently stepped into my picture in a positive way is my friend Sarah. You may remember her bedroom re-do I helped her with, and you may remember when I blogged about her extraordinary etched glassware available on Etsy.
A while back, on a road trip to a distant flea market, Sarah and I chatted about why I couldn’t ever seem to find time to launch LetteredOlive.com, and about her desire to work from home so she could start planning a family. By the time we had reached the flea market, we both realized that, together, we might actually be able to accomplish our goals. “Lettered Olive” was the name my Mom and I were going to use, but not long after deciding on it, Mom discovered that she was actually happier creating her Shellboxes, than running an online home store.
So the name Sarah and I have decided to call our new venture is

“Lettered Cottage Home”

We’d like to welcome you to stop by and check us out anytime you’re searching for a unique gift or something special for your home. The site is pretty basic right now, and it’s not super full yet either, so expect to see it evolve quite a bit over the coming months and (hopefully) years. Sarah built it from scratch though, and I’m so impressed with what that girl can do when she puts her mind to it. (You should’ve seen the picture-perfect cake she decorated for me for my birthday this year!)

I’m especially excited to report (to all those who emailed me asking about them) that we are carrying the Herb Crates I used in my Kitchen. :-)

But my favorite part of our website is the “Flea Market Finds” section. Once or twice a month, we head out to various flea markets and antique stores in search of enchanting and inspired goodies to add to the site.

It is hard for me to think about parting with most of the things we collect, but the thought of something bringing as much joy to someone else, as it did to me is such a positive rush!

My only hopeful request is that if someone buys something from that section, they will send me a photo of where they used it. I love a happy ending. :-)

In honor of our Grand Opening, we’re having two giveaways.
Leave a comment on this post, and be sure to include your email address for a chance to win our small Parisian Cake Stand. We haven’t added this item to our store yet, and I don’t have a photo of it yet, so you’ll just have to take my word that it’s adorable. :-)
To win the large Parisian Cake Stand, leave a comment with your email address and help us spread the word about Lettered Cottage Home by linking to it on your blog. (For everyone who takes the time to do this, we really appreciate your support!)

So there ya have it. Lettered Olive is now LetteredCottageHome.com, and its all because I’m surrounded by such an incredible support team.
I hope you enjoy browsing through our selection of wares, and that you’ll stop by often to check out our delightful, new arrivals.

If you have any Lettered Cottage Home-related questions, you can find the ever-so-helpful Sarah at [email protected].

And just because I’m feeling a little mushy, after writing this post, I’ll sign off today with an optimistic reminder…

We all have a dream inside of us. Once you’ve realized what yours is, be brave, and chase it with every fiber of your being. Don’t let fear of the unknown, or an already busy schedule deter you. Decide what you want to represent, and commit yourself to your dream, just as you would commit yourself to making sure you eat each day, and sleep each night.
Our dreams allow us to feel the most alive.
Pursue your dream with the same sort of intensity and passion you would derive from experiencing the results of it coming true.

Layla :-)


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