This time last year we rolled out a huge piece of butcher paper, hung it on our freshly painted studio wall and began writing down creative goals, events to host and personal projects we wanted to pursue in our new space. It was the same excitement that you feel when have a brand new sketchbook -- endless potential and opportunity.
And we worked mighty hard. This season was the busiest yet for each of us and often the most challenging, but also the sweetest we've ever experienced.
There was so much coffee and so many high-fives.
We tried a lot of new things and became vulnerable within our creative professions; when we goofed up the other would reassure that "we're learning, we'll do it differently next time." We met new people and grew closer to existing friends.
I think we both knew what a huge risk we were taking by acquiring a physical space, but I don't think either one of us could have expected how absolutely wonderful it would be. We were given the opportunity to be 100% where we were; to work at work and to be at home when at home. Not only did our professions benefit but our families and friendships did too.
There was always the question of the future -- where this collaboration could go, where our husband's jobs would lead. My husband Ben had a great gig here but not one at which he could stay forever. There was talk of Los Angeles next Winter, after wedding season, after another good chunk in the studio, so far down the road. But then, after a series of ridiculous circumstances, an opportunity arose this Winter that we couldn't pass up. Shocking and scary but after a season of creative fulfillment with Hart + Honey I knew we had to pursue the same for Ben.
When we signed the studio lease there was an understanding that it was now or not for a really long time. All the pieces were just right and I'm so glad we did it.
So in March BG packed his bags and drove to L.A. Ruthie-girl and I stayed to see out our leases, complete work and remain in the company of our sweet community a little longer. There have been really long days and quite sad days but the last four months I have known community in a way like never before.
This week has been packing and cleaning and sorting and crying and hugging and I haven't changed clothes in 48 hours. On Thursday myself and three of the greatest gals I know will drive West and I'm sure the crying and hugging will continue. (Don't worry, I'll bring extra clothes.)
It will be tough and it's already been sad. We hope to be in the same city again someday but for now we are grateful for group texts and face time and the ability to compose beautiful moving stories using only emojis. This adventure has always been about more than work -- when you work that close to someone they're bound to rub off on you and I know that I love those around me better because of the countless times I got to see Ashley love on her community. Time with my husband is more important because I saw how intentional she is with her own marriage. I am more quick to ask for forgiveness because of the humility I've witnessed in her relationships. And, no less important than the former, my knowledge of Beyoncé songs has increased thanks to her steadfast devotion to the Queen Bee.
And in the midst of all this transition Ben and I have only experienced encouragement, prayer, support and you guessed it, high-fives from both Aaron + Ashley. They've been two of our biggest cheerleaders in this crazy pursuit (hell, they took us to L.A. in the first place!), and we couldn't be more grateful for their friendship.
A few of our collaborations will continue cross-continent : this blog, of course, and our new journal STUDY along with several other projects. We're excited to offer a fresh perspective, to share this virtual space from afar and are confident in the foundation we've built over the last year. So in short : stay tuned.
Yesterday we took down the butcher paper and realized that the only thing we hadn't checked off our list was a themed game night (don't worry, there's still time). And so we high-fived again. We considered keeping the list but then saw the stack of 100+ polaroids sitting next to it and decided those would do a pretty decent job of helping us remember.
Our hearts explode a little when we think of the love and support we felt from our friends -- in tangible ways like painting and cleaning and moving, but also in the sweet notes, little treats and words of truth on the hard days. You know who you are and we love you. Hard.
Here's to the next chapter, long-distance high-fives and countless more dance parties. You've been so good to Hart+Honey, Columbus. But it's time for us to stretch our wings a little.