My birth mother died December 17, 2019. Ever since, December has been hard for me. As I’ve shared before, I received an inheritance from her & her family which enabled me to start this business. This was a blessing but also felt infused with a guilty sadness, not sure how else to explain it. But, I knew it was now or never to follow my dream of opening my own shop, and I knew that my mission would be to give back where I could, giving back seems to help balance out the unfairness of the world in my heart.
I connected with Kinship/Seneca Agencies Foster Program last year and decided to give a percentage of this December’s sales to their non-profit organization. Last December, 2021, was very quiet, so I wasn’t sure what to expect – maybe I’d just be able to give $30, but you guys SHOWED UP!! One of my busiest months yet! I wrote a check out for $1531.00 and dropped it in the mail Monday, with tears in my eyes. My heart felt heavy yet happy.
Foster care is full of grief, for one reason or another, families struggle to stay together, adoption isn’t necessarily the happy dream that is presented – it is full of loss, no matter how great the adoptive parents are. Bringing kids who have faced trauma into your home calls for lots of support, therapy, counseling and other services.
Programs like Kinship/Seneca offer such support and make sure these families have what they need to help these kids recover and thrive. I have to imagine with housing & food costs here on the Central Coast, that families are struggling more than ever and I truly think it takes a village to strengthen our community. I know from reading my own foster care files, that my birth mom received support as she tried to care for me, then my parents also received help through the transition of adopting me and beyond.
Being able to start my business with the help of my birth mom’s money, then being able to give back to families, feels like I’m completing the circle. Thank you for loving cool eyewear, for thinking of me when you needed to utilize your insurance benefits for the year, even though I’m out of network, and for coming to spend your hard-earned Health Savings Dollars before 12/31. Thank you for helping me give back!
The December Art & Wine walk was fun despite the misting rain, thanks to Hubba Wines for donating wine and Page of Art History for collaborating! Jenna and Janet donated a subscription of their Art Pages to Seneca as well, Seneca has an art therapy program for the kids too so it felt meant to be!
In other news more related to spectacles, I received my first sports eyewear line from Milan Italy, called ALBA Optics. We have a huge cycling community here on the Central Coast, as well as an abundance of outdoor activities that require protective eyewear. Alba offers many lens options to enhance your vision and an optical insert with prescription is available for all of their frame styles.
As 2023 starts, I’m filled with gratitude to be here, to feel my feet stronger on the ground as a business owner, to know I’m here to stay. Thanks for all the enthusiasm for the Atascadero Downtown Passport last month, congrats to the lucky winners of the gift baskets but I like to think we all won by supporting our local businesses! I look forward to growing it next year, we learned how to make it better and we had fun!
Goals for the new year, continue on with what I’m doing. Increase inventory and maintain the ability to offer attentive customer service despite getting busier! You are my priority, your vision and your comfort and of course, your style. Goals for the next month are two things I’m kinda scared about. A radio commercial, yikes, and a video about my business. Pushing myself out of my comfort zone is always worth it. Listen for my shaky voice on KRUSH 92.5 soon. 😬
Cheers to a new year! I know it will hold challenges and blessings and it feels good to be ready to face it all!