That time Lara Casey convinced me to close my business | Creative at Heart Conference Round 7

This headline isn’t meant to be clickbait or #fakenews. It really happened. I have come close to sharing my recap of Creative at Heart Round 7 about a dozen times. Most of those times were before June died. Then again after, but I never knew exactly what to write. My intention was to share that I came back from C@H a changed woman...and a woman who decided to close her business. 

Let us back up to Day 1 at the Merrimon-Wynne in Raleigh, NC. Everyone was SO excited to be there, myself included. I had carefully selected photo worthy outfits for the 3 day experience. I had my favorite pens, coffee cup, and my snacks ready to go. As a surprise to us all, Lara Casey was the very first speaker! She came bowling through the back door and I burst into tears! She was not on the schedule and ended up being the BEST surprise of all. (Thanks, Kat!!!)


Lara started off by telling us that someone (or ones) in the room would hear her talk and decide to quit. I laughed, silently, to myself, not quite ready to realize she was referring to me. She spoke about our arrow and where we aim it. Were we doing things for the right reasons? Would we look back on our life and have regrets about the things that truly mattered? The wheels in my head began to turn. Was I spending enough time with June? Were those 15 hour wedding days away from her really worth it in the long run? Was my arrow aimed at the thing on Earth that was most precious to me?

Now, I know moms who work. I know moms who own businesses. They hustle. There is nothing wrong with that! There was nothing wrong with me working my tail off and being the best I could be for my brides. But my unique situation with my very unique daughter called for me to rearrange things. June's life was expected to be short. Would we have 1 year? Three or five? Would we be blessed with TEN years? No one knew and the doctors would not risk guessing. So, I thought that 80 year old Sterling would want me to focus ANY time I had with June on June. That was where my arrow needed to point.

Lara Casey was right about one thing, somebody would leave that conference ready to hang it all up. I was that somebody. 

Since June's passing, I have thought a lot about Lara's words and where I need to point my arrow. There is no good reason for me to give up a business I worked so hard to build. It brings me joy, helping my brides. I have been so blessed that the right women have come my way. All of them have been kind, generous, loving. All of them.

What's my final decision? Well, I'm happy to say I am not going anywhere. I truly believe my decision to close shop was the right one at the time. Without June, I have my old life back. Granted, it's not a life I want anymore, but I will use this outcome to reenergize what I do, to fill my days with good things. Working in weddings is good for me. I am good at it. My brides deserve the attention I can now give them. If I could have her back today, I would gladly give up every single bit of it. 

Why did I share this if nothing is really changing? Out of every bad situation, good things can come. I have always been an open book with my readers. The main purpose of my blog isn't to boost my SEO, website rankings, or find that random girl who might be interested in hiring a wedding planner. I write for you, girl who has just been given terrible news. I write for you, friend who wants to desperately to take a big step and start that business. I write for you, young mom who might have forgotten what it's like to have your own dreams. Because when I so desperately needed to read something that would help get me to the next day, I had a hard time finding it. 

Photos: Holly Felts Photography