Products made in India, sport my new "Fashion Tiger" label and those made in Illinois, my traditional "Mrs. Emily" label. 

How to master risk-taking.

I found an ugly duckling. Literally. A basket planter that's a swan. And I saw something special. So I bought it (from my local consignment store), and I took it home. And it was ugly.

I went the next day to the nursery, doubtful. The looks from passerby's as I shoved random foliage into my vintage waterfowl did not make me less doubtful. My risk-taking paid off though, because after trying a million plants, I found this beut. Now, I have an amazing swan planter.

Baskets shaped like swans - that's a category of risk-taking that's not super difficult to master. It's the giant, overwhelming, leaps directly into the unknown we must take at times in our lives, that require massive amounts of courage.

Here's my trick to mastering big risk-taking: little risk-taking. It's the small risks we take - that make the larger risks easier. 

Risks in fashion, have made me familiar with risk-taking. Wearing hot pink lipstick takes guts. Finding the right shade means wearing a couple of wrong shades first and even when wearing the perfect pink, I know I'm standing out from the crowd a bit, and that takes courage too, because what-if-they-don't-like-me?

BUT. If I can't take a tiny risk like wearing pink lipstick, how will I ever be able to conquer my fears and take the giant risks required in reaching my big goals? Goals like starting this business; moving across country and making new friends; being a mama aren't superfluous, lofty, ideals, but rather, non-negotiables. I can be scared of being a mama, or I can be a mama. There's really only one option. I can be scared of making new friends after my big move across country, or I can smile and say hi. There's really only one option. Starting this business is a desire so deep inside of me, that not making progress causes intense frustration, which makes me an unpleasant, unhappy friend and wife and mama. Pursuing my business is the only option.

I use fashion as a tool, to train me to be a risk-taker. As a lover of fashion, this makes me giddy with excitement. It's not just pink lipstick, it's a workout for my risk-muscle. It's not just an off the shoulder floral sundress, it's an intentional retraining of my run-and-hide reflex. Why do you avoid that one thing in your closet - that you secretly love? Because it's obnoxiously shiny or loud or "different" than all the other things in your closet and wearing it would be a risk. 

I'm going to need you to take a risk now. Take a little itty bitty risk in fashion. Push the boundaries of your comfort zone. Try a new color, a loud print, a new shade of lipstick, an unexpected handbag. Pull that lovely thing out of your closet, and take it for a spin 'round town. Let's together master the teeny risks, so we can reach our big goals, for ourselves and for those around us (let us be an inspiration to our children, friends, and family so they too can push forward towards their heart-dreams).

This is a call to arms. Let's start small. So we can go big. Be brave, My Darling.

Mrs. Emily

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