starting our own Finding Home maple syrup line. We are so excited. And nervous. And overwhelmed. But, in all the good ways. Right now, our biggest challenge is logistics. Shipping and packaging and all of those things that come with it. We decided early on not to wait until we had ever detail figured out to launch, so we are moving along figuring out each step as well go. As far when our online shop will be open, we are hoping for November 1st. But, hopefully, it will be sooner than that. When I was young, my grandfather used to ask me all the time what I was going to be when I grew up. I used to tell him I was going to open a flower shop. He would scoff at that idea and tell me to become a lawyer, that I would be good in a court room. I always think about what he would think about what I do now. Actually, he owned a paint and hardware store. Somehow, I think he would approved. When I lost my grandfather at the age of 15, I lost a guider and a cheerleader. Over the years, though, I have always felt he was watching over me. Actually, whenever I have faced really hard things, I have seen a cardinal (not very common around here) and I have believed it was him letting me know he was watching over me. I never told anyone this, because yes, I know it sounds crazy. A few years ago, I brought this up with my sister and seems she thought the same thing! Believing that someone is watching over me has helped me through all of the leaps of faith we have been having to make. I have known all along that even know this was something Dana and I were doing, we were going to need people to help guide us and help us find our way. When we first made the decision to start our own maple syrup line, the biggest challenge was deciding if it would be branded as "Finding Home" or something else. The truth is, I really wanted it to be Finding Home because I love our brand so much. It really is who we are and what we are about. But, I also knew that I was so close to it that I was having trouble seeing it. I knew that if were going to be banking our future on this brand, putting it on labels and growing it, it had to make sense. If you don't already know it, my background is in marketing. I love marketing and all things branding. I love being able to do a lot for myself in that respect. But I knew in this case, I need professional help. After a stop and start with another company, Pinterest lead me to Braizen. I loved their aesthetic, but I really loved their spunk and sass. They turned out to be the perfect partners for us to re-launch Finding Home as something even more. I knew we needed more than someone to design a logo for us, we needed someone who could help guide us through a brand. We knew, actually we learned through each step, we actually had to do a lot of the work ourselves, but Braizen and their amazing team are the ones that got us there. They helped us find the questions that we needed to answer. Working with them has seriously been amazing. From the first conversation, our logo idea was born. And everything since then has been built around that. So, how did we get to our logo idea? When we started with Braizen, we filled out a questionnaire so that they could get a sense of us and what we needed and wanted. One of the questions asked if we had any mascots or marks we wanted included in our logo. I mentioned that if it worked, I would love to include a cardinal. Ashley from Braizen asked me about that and I shared this story with her... This past February, I went on a blogging trip to Tybee Island, GA. One of the days we toured Savannah, GA, which really is a lovely city. We started the morning at an awesome bakery, Back in the Day Bakery. I will digress slightly and tell you that their coffee and savory baked goods are amazing. Anyhoo, we had the opportunity to hear Cheryl, one of the owners speak, and share a little bit of her story about starting her bakery and successfully selling her cookbooks. At the time I was there, I was very nervous about the prospect of going into the maple business. I just could not see it. I couldn't really wrap my mind around it. For some reason, after Cheryl spoke, I felted compelled to share our story with her and see how she responded. Did she think it was stupid to sell maple syrup? A woman with her background should know. Well, I shared our story and she was just so gracious and enthusiastic. And for that I was so thankful. After our conversation, I excused myself to the ladies room. As I washed my hands I found myself feeling an overwhelming sense of peace and understanding. For the first time, I could really "see it". I could feel it. And I felt it was God providing me with the peace and foundation that I still walk on today. I walked out of the bathroom with a smile on my face. Just as I walked towards the front, I heard my phone notify me that I had a text message. As I opened it, there was a message from Peanut. "Mom, I just saw a cardinal." Lets just say that my eyes filled with tears and my day was filled with joy. And to top if off, I was so blessed to share my day and excitement with some of the dearest blogging friends you can hope for. And just like the dove carries the olive branch, our cardinal carries a maple leaf on the journey to finding home. Thank you sweet friends for reading. P.S. My lovely friends at Joss & Main have partnered with a group of amazing bloggers to share their Holiday Hostess series and it just launched with the ever talented Marian from Miss Mustard Seed - stop by to see her beautiful collection. Thanks!