Alina Sewing and Design

Hello, my friends! Sorry in advance for the length of this post…perhaps if I wrote more often, the updates wouldn’t be so long. 😉

Today is just the official announcement of something I’m sure you all saw coming. I’ve officially closed the My Yellow Umbrella Etsy shop as of today. We left Kansas, moved to Virginia, had a baby, moved to Connecticut, moved to Florida, moved back to Connecticut, moved to Chicago, IL, and had another baby…in a 20-month span of time. It was a wild adventure. Anyway, for obvious reasons and, as most of you know, things were left “on break” here and in the shop. I didn’t know when I posted about “The Future” what things would look like in January 2015. When January 2015 arrived, I was hugely pregnant with baby #2, and not in a great place to reopen a business. 10 months later, I’m ready to officially switch gears, and that means closing the chapter named My Yellow Umbrella.

I started this blog as a school project in college in December 2008. It was called “The Case for Creativity” back then. I talked about online marketing and branding (my degree is in marketing and communications). My professors loved it and used it as an example in classes (hey, that was pretty cool!). Then, I graduated and began working at an advertising agency in a different city, and decided to start updating it with blog posts about the thrifting, DIY projects and fun things I was doing in my new city. I renamed it “My Yellow Umbrella.” I had started over from scratch; I didn’t know anyone and, since this was before I had a smart phone, would spend my weekends driving around the city with a paper map, picking new destinations so I could figure out how to get myself around. I found amazing places that my co-workers–who had grown up there–had never heard of. It was there that I met Cowboy (now my husband and favorite guy ever…also, how hilariously young is he in that photo?! And weird that I keep posting important things in February? Cowboy, The Future, Chloe’s Birth Story…it did all start with that Kansas Cowboy, I suppose!).

From there, we moved back to the city I went to college in, got married, and he finished his last two years of medical school. During that time of dating, getting engaged, getting married, and making a home for us, I found great joy in blogging about the things I was doing. I was deep into the culture of DIY and so was the content for this blog. Eventually, I left my job at the ad agency (I had been working remotely in a different city for awhile), and began to run MYU full-time as an Etsy shop and sewing+upholstery business. What an exhausting, fulfilling, wonderful adventure that was. Running a small business is not for the weak at heart. You must have enough passion and desire and dreams to fuel you when your physical energy runs low. That’s the stuff that pushes you to continue working when the going gets tough.

In the process of moving to Virginia, I left behind the client base for my sewing+upholstery business. A few months later, Harper was born…and I found my heart different. Overnight–quite literally–my entire focus and perspective shifted. Time became very valuable to me. I suddenly had a new job that I wanted to take very seriously. I am grateful to be a mother; not everyone who wants to be is given that opportunity, and I don’t take my gift(s) lightly. I have these little souls looking to me for direction and guidance and it’s terrifying and exhausting sometimes (okay, all of the time)…but, there’s nothing better. No business venture will displace their importance, and there’s really nothing else worth my time more than my family.

If I may be honest, I do miss having “my” thing. It was part of my identity for a long time (in fact, writing this blog post feels a little bit like coming home). I’ve spent a lot of time praying and thinking about how best to juggle motherhood and “business”…I honestly don’t know what that answer is for me. Or if there will ever be a clear-cut answer. Likely, it will be changing on a day-by-day basis. Some days, the stars align and my children nap at the same time and I think, “HALLELUJAH! PRODUCTIVITY!” Other days, we have what I call “popcorn” naps–one naps, then the other, then the other again–never at the same time. Some days, no one naps! That’s normal. Sometimes I can work a bit on things in the evening after bedtime or on the weekends. My husband is very nice and tries to take over with the kids for times on the weekend, but we’re all still in the same house, at opposite ends of the same hallway with no solid doors to close, and everyone panics when mom is trying to be productive and needs her right.this.very.second. (At least that’s what it feels like.) It happens. It’s a wonderful thing to be needed, even if I don’t want anyone to need me for a few minutes sometimes. (Ah–the struggle of all parents!) To sum all of this up–I’m in a special season of life where I have very young, high-needs children. I won’t ever be able to get their baby years back. So, I will not be reopening the MYU shop or selling read-made products again (in the near future, at least). I simply don’t have the time, nor the desire.

MYU has been like my first baby, of sorts. It’s something I loved doing and having. It taught me so very much, and I will always have that. This is the perfect time and place to close the chapter on MYU.

BUT–I’m not going anywhere! I’ve had something different in the works since July. Something that I think will fit into our current season much better. I’m not quite ready to give you all of the details (sorry for such a teaser), but I’m really excited. I had hoped to have it up and running before Christmas, but at the rate I’m going, I’m not sure that’s realistic, and that’s OK. This needs to be very low-pressure to fit into our current life.

As for what this means for, I will essentially be re-branding the same website. One, there are a lot of blog posts housed here that I want to keep available, and two, I don’t want to host two web sites. I have a new logo and a new URL that I will eventually redirect toward. And speaking of all of that, if anyone has a graphic designer/web designer that they would recommend, please do forward their information to me. That’s the piece of the pie that I do not enjoy doing myself. Rather, it makes me want to poke my eyes out. 😉

A big thank you to each of you who have supported my blog and shop. You’re the ones keeping small businesses alive, and that is so important to keeping our respective cities unique. Stay tuned for the next round of rebranding.

P.S. If you’ve ever purchased (or been gifted) anything from me, would you be so kind as to tell me what it was in a comment below? I plan on saving all of your comments in some sort of way to commemorate MYU and its role in my life. Much love!



Photo by Cate DePrisco



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