2021: An Exhausting and Wonderful Year

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As I look back at 2021, I am awestruck by the endless support I received, the new opportunities I was blessed with, and the tremendous growth for my business and for myself.

This year has been both exhausting and wonderful. While my business began in 2019, this was the year that I truly took it seriously. So with 2021 feeling like my first year of business, I learned some hard things along the way including time management, learning how to say no, and I experienced burnout in a way that I hadn’t before.

With that being said, this year was also wonderful! I officially moved full-time to northern Michigan which brought so many incredible opportunities for my business including receiving my first wholesale orders and teaching in-person polymer clay classes (something completely out of my comfort zone!).

I am so beyond grateful for my friends and loved ones who made this year wonderful and grateful to God who made this year of growth and learning possible. 


Thank you for your encouragement and support throughout this year. Thank you for every comment, note, for sharing my business with others, for every order placed…it all means so much to me. Being able to do what I love for a living is an honor that I hold close to my heart and never take for granted. So to the person reading this, thank you for everything that you do to help me make this dream happen. 

 

xo, Em


Keep reading below as I reflect on this past year of Placed by Grace- the highs and the lows!


January & February

In January of 2021, I was extremely ill which caused me to have to be off work (full-time job pharmacy/retail) for quite some time. During this difficult time, I had a lot of time to reflect and decide what I wanted to do with my life and with my business. There was a whole lot of praying during this time for healing and seeking direction from God. Many decisions were made within these months! In January of 2021, I rebranded Placed by Grace with a new logo and website and decided that this was the year I would take it more seriously. My sister and I made the final decision to move to beautiful, northern Michigan permanently- I had been a seasonal resident for four years and finally could call northern Michigan home.

March

We officially moved and spent much of March unpacking and organizing! I began my fourth season at my full-time job on Mackinac Island! In early spring, ferries still don’t run from Mackinaw City- only from St. Ignace a few times a day. Because of the limited schedule, I had to move temporarily to Mackinac Island for  three weeks before the ferry schedule changed. Living on Mackinac Island is a wonderful experience, but this was my first time having to worry about packing business supplies! It was interesting working with very limited space and supplies for a few weeks! The Mother’s Day collection was photographed with props laying around my temporary house and the Earth Day Collection was photographed outside at the top of Fort Hill on my way home. 

 

April & May

In April, I had my first wholesale opportunity at Artists Market! It was such a full-circle moment because the idea for Placed by Grace came to me while I worked there a couple years ago. In May, I began commuting full-time to the island! Oh boy, this was a change in lifestyle! Having your daily work schedule/life depending on the punctuality of a boat and weather conditions is quite an experience! During May I also released my favorite summer collection and spent some time exploring the Upper Peninsula!

 

June

 

Lilac Festival was in early June and my mom came to visit! Also during this time, I started working on my collaboration collection with East Trail Salvage Co.! This collection was so much fun to make because it incorporated recycled materials from Northern Michigan! June was a big month for Placed by Grace and for me personally because I started teaching my first polymer clay classes at Watercolor Cafe on Mackinac Island! This experience was way out of my comfort zone and I was incredibly nervous to teach my first class! However, to my surprise, it went smoothly and I was so touched because my boss and team bought seats for my class! They have encouraged me so much this year and I’m so thankful for every one of them!

 

July

One of my favorite holidays is Fourth of July! I love summer and spending time with friends and family! I released a mini collection for the Fourth and had such a fun time celebrating! 

August

August is always a busy month! My sister Kati and I both had birthdays this month which was fun! And my best friend moved back to the Island! At the end of August, I released the Sun Kissed Collection which included using a new technique!

 

September

In September, I went on a girls trip to the Upper Peninsula with my sister and my best friend! Also, in September, Placed by Grace turned one! At the end of the month, I released the fall collection! These colors and shapes were so dreamy!

 

October

In October, I was able to breathe a little and catch up with friends! At the end of the month, I had the opportunity to host a make-your-own-earrings event at Watercolor Cafe! This event was for a local organization for art educators- it was incredible to meet everyone and hear their stories and passion for teaching! At the end of October, we closed the shops for the season on Mackinac and God blessed us with multiple rainbows our last week! This month also included some hard good-byes and see-you-laters as I said goodbye to Artists Market and see-you-later to my work family. 

 

November

November was my first month of my “off-season”. This month was a great time to catch up on business to-dos and prep for holiday markets! We had such a great time at Bridge and Main for our first in-person market! In November, we also set up for our first time at Charlevoix Circle of Arts for their holiday market! 

 

December

In December, we had a couple more markets to prepare for! Also, we reached 1,000 followers on Instagram! This month I also went to the Island for the Christmas tree lighting with my mom. And I was so thankful to finish out 2021 by visiting family.


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