Hello dear friends, and Happy New Year! The New Year is always a time of change in my life, and this year is no different. I started Bear's Beauty back in 2013 in Atlanta. For the last few years, I have been developing products and running the business on my own. Bear's Beauty has been growing every month. I started to get a lot more orders than usual toward the middle of October. As this was happening, I also had a devastating personal loss that put my living situation in jeopardy. I love Atlanta, and I love the people there. When I told my Mamma about what was going on, and about how worried I was about the business surviving a move over Christmas, she offered to let me move in with her and my youngest brother in Indiana. I was beyond grateful to know that I had a place to go, but hesitant to leave my home of ten years and all my friends. I tried my hardest to find a way to stay in Atlanta and a place that could support all the things I needed to do. I kept making orders and sending them out, but soon started to see that I could not do it alone.
I am the kind of person who does not like to ask for help, but thankfully it was offered. My very sweet friend Ben came in and helped me get my orders out in time for Christmas. I had to make the hardest decision of my life, if I wanted Bear's Beauty to keep growing, I needed to make a change. So, I packed up my life, my business, my two dogs, my one cat, and a mouse named Bob. I loaded up a U haul the week before Christmas and made the 12 hour journey to Indiana. The entire drive was scary. I had never driven a truck, especially not one that was full of my life ... and towing my car.
Before I even left Atlanta, I almost had a tragedy. As I was pulling in to get gas before getting on the highway, my car rolled off the dolly into traffic. I slammed the truck into park, and jumped out. Leaving my dogs very confused in the front seat. They had never really left the house where they were born, and were already on edge. I ran into the street and had never been so thankful for being a big girl. I grabbed the back spoiler as the car roll backwards onto the sidewalk and began rolling back into traffic. Thankfully, I was able to stop it and drive it up to the gas station. I sat in my car sobbing and shaking. I felt so alone and scared that I couldn't do this. I resolved to make it happen, and found a YouTube video on how to attach your car to a dolly (which I had not done, but had help doing the first time.) I got the car back on and was on my way.
My poor pups were scared, and I was exhausted from packing my whole life that day. I stopped every hour or so, and slept a few times on the way. It was the scariest drive of my life. When I got to the exit in Mooresville, I had NEVER been so happy to see my family. There they were, waiting at the exit to lead me back to the house. The first few days were stressful. I unpacked and began to arrange the mother-in-law apartment attached to my Mamma's house. My youngest brother has epilepsy, and had brain surgery when he was just two. He is the kindest gentle giant I know and is my new roommate and shipping helper :) I cannot even convey how blessed I am to be able to offer him a job. Because of his health issues, he cannot work a regular job, but he still wants to be an adult. He has helped me with everything from packing orders to labeling and moving boxes while I have been here, and I could not have gotten things running here without him.
Since I got here, I have been able to get things much more organized, and to start looking for a commercial kitchen. I missed home. I missed my family, and most of all, I missed the indescribable feeling of Indianapolis. The hustle and bustle of big cities can't touch this place, and everything seems a bit slower paced. Within days of being here, I found a flea market to present at. The crowd was my kind of people. Eclectic, interesting, and warm.
Making a decision to move my business and my life was not an easy one, but I am fully confident that it was the right move. This whole state holds my childhood. Memories of swimming at the lake house in Buffalo and Lake Shaffer, Indiana Beach and the Pronto Pup, the last time I saw my Grandpa at the Father's Day Brunch, Oliver Winery not far from where I was born near IU, Central Catholic and my High School friends in Lafayette, Logansport and Riverside Park, and so many more places. Sometimes, you have to be pushed to make the best decision for yourself. I am so thankful that I was.
Bear's Beauty is going to flourish here, and I have not been so at peace in a long time.