Yes, CurlyRed's office has REAL WINDOWS now. 3 of them to be precise. With the windows open, a light breeze floats in, and there's little sound other than the chirping of crickets. To quote Hamilton (as I so frequently do): “Look around, look around, at how lucky we are to be alive right now.”
Thinking back to a little less than 6 months ago (when my office had zero real windows), I gave two speeches about the power of virtual teams. I spoke about how I've crafted my company to grow as projects demand, pull talent from around the country when called for, and about my passion for work/life balance. CurlyRed has followed a virtual team model since its inception, first out of necessity, then out of choice. The freedom and flexibility I had thanks to this model quickly became of upmost importance to me.
Then that freedom was put to the ultimate test this summer—what exactly would it look like to relocate CurlyRed to a brand new place?
This was NOT part of the plan. I was born in Baltimore, and have lived in Baltimore my entire life. And despite what my stepmom from Pittsburgh wishes, I will never give up my Orioles and Ravens fandom. However, my heart had begun tugging me in a direction of greater simplicity—something that I was finding increasingly hard to come by.
My life, and my family's life in Baltimore was a good one. We have a wonderful support system there: loving family, an amazing church home, life-long loyal friends, and even fabulous creative peers (a quick shout out to my fabulous B'More Creatives ladies).
But my inner life was a hot mess. My default state was frazzled—and I hated that my impressionable young girls saw me that way. While CurlyRed has remained a source of joy, I didn't even feel like I could often give it the head space it deserved because there were too many other things vying for my attention.
So yes, simplicity and peace became a deep desire of my soul. And shortly after we decided to put our home on the market, I stumbled upon a listing for this home. A dream house, in every sense of the word (for us at least—we've been dreaming about buying a historic Victorian home for ages—and did I mention that it has a SPIRE?).
Looking through this listing sent off fireworks in my brain. What WOULD it be like to begin a new adventure with my family? To put to the test my ideas about what a virtual team model could truly be?
After convincing my husband that I was actually serious about this house, we took our girls to see it, and I knew. We knew. This place, 3 hours to the west of Baltimore, is an ideal place to raise a family. Nature is abundant, the schools are fantastic, the pace of life is much slower, the small-town charm is right up our alley, and yes, high-speed internet DOES exist. So after saying many very difficult goodbyes to so many loved ones, we packed up everything we owned and headed west.
I was listening to this podcast the other day, and I think what Rob Bell says really sums it up: “Some people make drastic changes in their life to reclaim their heart.”
So, this is the next chapter in CurlyRed's life. We will continue to create unique and timeless branding, print and web solutions for our existing clients. We will still be back in Baltimore for in-person meetings, networking events, and to visit family and friends. We also hope to meet lots of local businesses here in historic Mountain Lake Park/Oakland, MD, as well as areas like Deep Creek Lake, Cumberland and Morgantown, WV.
To my clients and peers: I want to say thank you so much for the love and support you've given me and my family. To my Baltimore family and friends: we miss you everyday and thank God for the phone calls, emails, letters, etc, that have kept us connected.
As a constant reminder of this amazing blessing of a house and neighborhood, I have begun posting a photo each day of new discoveries to my Instagram feed. Please follow CurlyRed there to see what we get up to.
with love, gratitude and some much-needed peace,
president and principal designer, CurlyRed
P.S.: And as a special thank you for being so awesome, we have created a freebie reference guide called "Vector versus Bitmap." Download the full PDF here and Enjoy!