JUST SAY YES
Just say YES to random opportunities, you never know where they’ll take you.
I was on vacation last week visiting a dear friend in Sugarcreek, Ohio. If you’ve never been to Ohio, I highly recommend it. It’s a beautiful part of the country. Rolling hills, trees, and farm fields cover the landscape.
Sugarcreek is 1.5 hours south Cleveland, and 2 hours west of Pittsburgh. It’s rural with an adorable downtown. There are several neighboring small towns just as quaint and cute; Millersburg is one of those towns.
The main street is lined with old brick buildings that have been renovated into antiques shops, coffee shops, bars, restaurants, and boutique clothing stores.
Farmhouse Frocks quickly became one of my favorites. I felt inspired the moment I walked through the door. Its white walls and high ceilings give it an airy feel, pastel colored frocks fill the space, and the scent of pumpkin spice from a burning candle permeated the air.
The front room is filled with handmade frocks of cotton and lace—oversized, comfortable, boho style. The back room filled with antiques, rolls of fabric, and large spools of thread is where the magic happens.
Millersburg is in Amish country. Lena, owner and creative mind behind Farmhouse Frocks, hires Amish women to sew her beautiful clothing by hand—these frocks are made with love. Her two daughters, Sydney and Fee, work by her side to keep the store running with caring and ease.
I bought a dress while there and wore it to a fund raising backyard party that my friend took me to that evening. Lena was there. My friend Laura knows Lena and quickly introduced us. Laura knew that Lena and I would hit it off. We turned out to be kindred spirits. We both read Bella Grace and Kinfolk, love finding beauty in old things, and live simply.
I told her how much I loved her store and her style of clothing. Laura asked Lena where she got her inspiration. “California and France mostly,” she said. “I have to travel to find inspiration as we’re about two years behind here.” Yes, kindred spirits for sure.
Lena and I began sharing stories and shortly started brainstorming creative ideas. I had just been on Kim Klassen‘s website earlier that day to watch a video about her upcoming painting canvases class, so she was top of mind. I showed Lena Kim’s Instagram account, and excitedly said how she could do similar vignettes for photos combining her antiques with her clothing.
Yes, I offered my suggestions without being asked first—I get a little excited sometimes!
Lena said, “What are you doing tomorrow morning?”
At first I didn’t think she was serious, but she asked again. She asked if I would go to her store and make some photos with her. I almost said no. After all I was visiting my friend and wanted to spend as much time with her as possible—we only see each other once every two years.
Laura quickly offered for me to use her studio lights (Profotos y’all! I’m hooked!) and her car. How could I say no?
So I said yes.
I had the best time. We worked fast. Sydney, Lena and I. Switching out product and antiques. Collaborating on ideas. Sydney modeling. It was so much fun. It was outside what I normally shoot, but it brought so much inspiration. Inspiration for set design; adding antique props into my portrait sessions when it works, types of backdrops I want to make in the few weeks, putting different colors together, and adding in various textures.
It brought new business ideas; working with local small businesses in the Metro Milwaukee area for product shoots, photos for bloggers, as well as collaborating with other creatives. Everyone is online now. Small businesses need a ton of photos for social media, websites, blogs, and books. Creatives need photos to showcase their work.
My head is spinning with new ideas. I feel refreshed. I’m excited about the next few months. I’m excited to see where this goes—to see how this short shoot will change the growth of business.
More to come.
You just never know where it’ll lead you.