Meghan, our amazing social media maven and bubbly little assistant is NORMALLY who writes the blog, but today you have me...Lala! I have some big news and thought it only appropriate that I be the one to share it with all of you guys first hand! I still cannot believe it has been 6 years since we began this crazy dream of a company. My mom had given us $2,000 to buy Nico a new laptop, and we were off. Many of you already know this, but we literally worked all night, every night brainstorming on ways to get new customers, fulfilling the slim amount of orders we did have, and fostering the relationships with the movers and shakers of the Nashville social scene...and to be frank, begging our friends to order and trust us. They did, and after about 9 months of living on ramen noodles and Stouffer's lasagna, paired with a healthy dose of 5 Hour Energy shots, we were finally at a point of where Nicole could quit her day job and we could scrape by. The next few years were the hardest times of our lives, but the MOST rewarding. It was amazing to watch this tiny idea blossom into something viable.
Two and a half years later we were ready to be in a bigger city and really force ourselves to spread our wings and grow the company beyond the walls of Nashville. New York seemed TOO big..TOO expensive and just overall too overwhelming. We came to Chicago for a long weekend helping with an event, and FELL IN LOVE. And the odd part?? It was December. We loved the cleanliness, how friendly everyone was, and all the amazing restaurants, bars, and neighborhoods! Two weeks later we were back in Nashville and struggling with our feelings--if we could make it, if we could afford the rent of a studio AND apartment in such a large (and more expensive) city. Every single thing fell into place. We met friends, we found the cutest space in the world right around the corner from..you know...Chanel, Hermes, our favorite stores. To top it all off, the rent was unbelievably low (probably because it is a 3rd floor walk up..our poor UPS and Fedex guys), and we were set.
Here we are almost 4 years later with a growing Chicago/Midwest customer base (they really have some preppy people up here, y'all!!), but at the same time we know that the South is our true base and following, and felt it was time for one of us to begin growing that client base once again. We still have such amazing customers in Nashville and truly felt that this was an opportunity that needed to be fostered! I have made it no secret that I am NOT a fan of this Chicago weather, so as this thought became more omni-present in my mind, Nicole and I decided the best thing was for her to stay here (I am not sure she is EVER coming home!) and for me to head back down South...and back home. I am thrilled to be reunited with all my Nashville friends and for some bearable winter weather! (NO MORE PUFFERS!!) I cannot wait to start reaching out to all of our contacts back in the South and expanding Nico and Lala even more!
For now I will be working out of my new apartment and the long term plan is to open a studio in Nashville within the next year! We currently have an AMAZING Nico and Lala Wedding Invitation album with 25 stunning samples to showcase! We will be distributing the album to wedding and event planners nationwide this fall, and I would personally love to meet with any potential brides in Nashville, for you to see it! These are such exciting times for all of us and we are all thrilled at what the next few years will bring! I am SO going to miss Nico, Meghan and Courtney but of course will be traveling back and forth a lot! Please bear with us these next few weeks as we both pack up, move apartments, and for me...move cities!
Thought I would share a few photos from over these amazing past years!!!
Will miss this view of downtown from our apartment rooftop!
Our first Christmas in Chicago with Allyson, who was our very first employee!!!
Walking to work in the snow and the infamous PUFFER!!!
You cannot beat a summer game at Wrigley!! Will miss the Cubbies!!!
That night I attacked Bill Rancic for a photo, told him I needed to do Baby Duke's birth announcements. Still haven't heard from him..SHOCKING.
The last night of one of our besties, Maggie who we met here and will be friends with forever!!! She has since moved to the BIG APPLE! Reunions in Miami are in the works. DUH.
Our street covered in snow and so beautiful...I will miss our neighborhood TREMENDOUSLY!!!
Lunching at RL is one of my very favorite Chicago past times. Impeccable service and food in the most stylish room you've ever seen.
Our Chicago Children's Charities Derby Party! One of our favorite days of the year!!
My first trip to China Town!!! Can you tell I was excited?! Thanks to our friends Jancy and Ben who oddly enough go literally twice a month (and I am not sure why).
Chicago, it has been an unbelievable ride, and Nashville, I am coming home!