my why and my heart!

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Every business owner gets asked the question WHY! Why are you making the product you are making? Why are you hustling to get your message or voice or idea or process out there? What is the heart behind your message? And what do you think that you are TRULY solving??? 

Today I am going to share with you my WHY and my heart and the reason I pour myself into this little business of mine! 🙂

First of all, I believe that this world is full of junk and hard stuff. Life is hard, people can be mean and icky things can happen to great people. It can suck. It does suck sometimes. BUT I believe that I have been made on this planet to bring joy. To show you (and myself) that even when things are hard, and they will be, that there’s hope in the hurting! To see the little moments that, even in the midst of sucky, can make things even the tiniest of better. To know that, even when it seems like life is punching you square in the face, that at you still have two strong legs to stand on. And to help you to know that, if even for a second, you are loved beyond your wildest dreams. Because the truth is that joy is not the lack of these icky or terrible things happening to us in life. Joy is the way we choose to handle these things!

I also believe that when people feel loved, they are their best selves and can move ANY set of mountains. Love is strong like that.

I grew up in a home that was creative and fun and full of nature and family dinners with loads of board game playing at night. I had a Mom that sewed every ounce of clothing I ever asked for (until I was too cool to wear handmade items in Middle school, but then I eventually came around). She encouraged me and loved me and built me up towards every dream that I ever spoke out loud to her. She taught me to be myself and that I matter SO DEEPLY to this world, and to her! 🙂 And I grew up with a Dad that never once made me doubt his endless and proud love for me. He taught me to never be afraid of hard things and that once I start something, I MUST complete it (oy, still working on that one Dad).

A short 11 months after my husband and I got married, my happy, easy, fun little world got rocked. My Mom died of cancer. And then 20 months later it got shaken again with a phone call that my Dad took his own life. I am an only child and was all alone. OY! My happy, solid, loving, safe, supportive, build-me-up family was gone. It sucked. A LOT! I felt robbed. I grieved. And I grieved hard. I got angry (VERY angry). But through A LOT of counseling, my husband’s unwavering love, MANY cry-sessions to friends and family and anyone who would listen and lots of Hallmark movies, I am where I am today, 10 years later! 🙂

This isn’t a message about me saying that hard things are ok, because they aren’t. And this isn’t a message about how we all move on and pick ourselves back up again, because sure, we do that. This business and blog and shop and ME is a living, breathing response to say that hard things happen, BUT JOY! My heart is what I said above:

And trust me, I didn’t choose to handle my junk and grief in a neat and tidy box with any sort of fast timeline. Nope, not even close. It took a few years. But I eventually saw how loved I was and I let that love help me dream again. Dream up something that could spread love and share color and a small bit of what my Mom taught me in her sewing room and to undoubtedly prove that JOY CHANGES THINGS!

It just does.

My heart is that you will see hope through the colorful doodles or hand-lettering. And fun in the recipes or baking adventures. That you will find inspiration in the big, small, or obscure holiday celebrations (and hopefully adopt some for your own home)! That you will see legacy in the creativity, DIY’s, patterns or tutorials that I play with. That you would see joy in ALLLL of the products and ideas! AND, most of all that you would find a small glimpse of wholehearted LOVE in everything that OH YAY STUDIO is!

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  1. Wow Emily!!! Great explanation of your why!!! So honest and real! Thank you for being you because you are really fantastic at it!!! Your mom and dad would and are so proud of you!!! Continue to spread the joy!!!

  2. This!!! This I have been waiting for you to post!!! You are an unbelievably strong woman and inspiration to many of us that have dreams, aspirations and JUNK!! Thank you for sharing your story so truthfully and I hope you never forget your why Emily!!!!!! Keep it up.

  3. Emily, thank you for sharing your heartfelt story, and the love you have for life. I am so very glad I came upon your craft and sewing ideas. You speak volumes with your honesty, and I for one love that. I look forward to following your site and Joy.

  4. Like Emily, I too, have stumbled onto your website and as I go through it, find that you are an amazing woman with an over-the-top attitude. I was similarly stricken with a dad who passed on 60 years ago, when I was 7. Mom was a stay-at-home mom who could either be found in the sewing room ar volunteering or at the stables. She passed away 15 years ago and I still miss her; so in some ways we are sisters (I’m the older one!). I just added you to my email so I don’t miss a thing. I will keep snooping around your website and also look forward to the newsletters. Keep it going, kid! You are loved more than you know…

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