Mother's Day had been an especially difficult holiday for me because on this day ten years ago, while I was visiting with my mom to celebrate, we realized something was very wrong. She had mentioned on the phone she wasn't feeling well, but by the time we arrived, she looked in agony.
Her life ended in two short, hellish, weeks, after being rushed to the ER multiple times and her husband's taking her out twice against medical advice. The lump in her left breast was rock hard; the cancer had metastasized. We were devastated and in shock.
Four years after my mom passed, baby June was born, and Mother's Day started to feel more joyful and one filled with hugs and kisses and laughter. I think God sent little June at the perfect time to help me heal through this painful loss. She has been my greatest joy and love, next to Hubby, my rock.
And she's more than I could have asked for. As she has gotten older, she often reminds me so much of myself when I was her age. She can be a little rambunctious and silly, and all at the same time super sweet, thoughtful, compassionate, and bubbly. She is full of ideas and creativity, and I can see her little brain always working, the way her eyes light up when she has a brilliant idea or an insight into something. My favorite moments with June are when we are cuddling and sharing deeper moments about our day, our thoughts, and what we are thankful for or fearful of. And now, she helps me with my designs by helping me decide the best colors (usually pink and purple haha).
My mother during her life inspired me to pursue my art, and believed whole heartedly that I would succeed at whatever I put my heart to, but my daughter June enables me to be the mother and designer that I am and aspire to become.
A few years ago, when little June was watching me pick out what to wear for the day, she made a comment, "Mommy, I don't like that because I wish I could have it too." Turned out, that was her way of complimenting my outfit at that age. And it gave me the idea that I had always dreamed of doing someday: outfits for Mommies and their little girls who aspire to be just like them.
Just like June, I had always aspired to be like my mom someday. She was strong, beautiful, soft-spoken but firm, and always impeccably dressed - her favorite clothing designs were Italian, and she would tell me how much she loved the simplicity, the cut, and the exquisite details of the construction. She herself couldn't sew beyond putting on buttons, so when I learned how to sew in high school, she would ask me to do some complex alterations for her to salvage her favorite wardrobe pieces (such as, turning the collar of a shirt inside out because it was raw from being worn and washed so many times). Mom bought me my first fabrics when I was little, and Dad bought me my first sewing machine in high school. In graduate school, Mom bought me my first serger machine, and I haven't stopped since.
It took a while for me to finally be brave enough to jump into Women's apparel (it is daunting still because it is much more complicated to make clothes that would fit women well), but ever since our first launch of our first Mommy-n-Me set: Tutu Cute Dress and Twirly Tulle Skirt in gold, the response has been so overwhelmingly positive, that we're launching the Tutu Cute in a icy pink color this year, as an anniversary celebration on Mother's Day! It even comes with a little flower clip, fit for mama or little.
We continue to be so grateful for you mothers out there. Thoughtful women like yourselves who continue to send the sweetest emails, post pictures to share, and encouragement on days when I feel bogged down by the business part of Ele Story. When you share about your moms, yourself as a mom, or even just taking the time to leave us a kind review, it really keeps me going. So hugs + kisses to all of you out there -- I hope you know how much you are loved. <3
And finally, in that vein, I wanted to share about our special collaboration with a fellow mompreneur, Heidi @littlefieldlane. Heidi makes beautiful jewelry for mommies and littles, and I could not resist asking her if she would share my vision for joining together to give away something special for you mamas out there. June and I are proudly wearing ours in these pictures you see here. :) Whether you are a Mom, a godmama, have wanted children, have lost your mom, or have gone through the unimaginable heartache of losing a child, we want you to know that you are thought of and loved.
For the giveaway we are running on Instagram for the next 48 hours, we encourage you to speak up and nominate a woman who you feel deserves to win. If chosen, you yourself and the mama you nominate will each receive $100 gift card to both Ele Story and Little Field Lane. Again, thank you for being you, and we hope you feel loved. <3
P.S. So thankful for Jenny Soi Photography, who graciously captured me and our little family so beautifully. Will forever treasure these in the years to come.