A look back at 2020

Personal
Wednesday, December 30th, 2020

You guys…we made it to the end of the 2020!! Wow, what a crazy time it’s been. It’s hard to find the words to fully describe it. This has been the year of PIVOTING for all of us. I believe we’ve all learned something from the past 10 months and while it’s not been easy, I’m thankful for all the lessons, hardships, tears, OH SHITS, laughs, and ultimately personal and professional growth 2020 has unveiled. Possibly the most humbling and self- stretching year I’ve ever been through — shedding light and challenging my previous assumptions, judgements, and views. I think it’s safe to say 2020 hasn’t turned out how any of us planned or imagined, but hopefully we are all able to take this new perspective and self-growth into 2021 for a new chapter, a fresh start.

The year started with the launch and grand opening of Happily Grey HQ and the Happily Grey store, which was a DREAM come true for myself and my team who has worked so hard to make it all possible! Interior designer, April Tomlin, and I worked together to bring my vision to life. What had been in the works for over two years was finally a reality. Thank you all for your support and excitement along the way. You guys have kept our new, small business a float through such a trying, rocky time and from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU.

In addition to the Happily Grey store, we also launched HGHQ. I’ve always had a vision to create in an inspiring, beautiful, collaborative workplace for my team and this year it finally became a reality! VERY, VERY different then spending the last 3 years in our house bonus room, kitchen, guest room, or whatever other random space we all worked.

Not long after we opened the store and got settled into the office so much started changing. In early March Nashville was hit by a devastating tornado, which left a lot of the city in rubble. It was heartbreaking to see my city hurting but so humbling and inspiring how Nashville came together with so much love and hope to rebuild affected small businesses, families, and individuals! The community, unity, and resilience of this city are some of my favorite qualitites about Nashville. Unfortunately, soon after the tornado the COVID pandemic hit and globally shifted our world. No one individual or business was exempt. Everyone felt the toll. Along with many other small businesses, we were forced to close the store and office in order to keep everyone safe.

The weeks following our store closing was suuuch a learning experience and we pivoted once again. We quickly moved all product online and focused on restructuring our efforts to e-commerce. Honestly, we weren’t sure how the Happily Grey store would work as an online business, but it has been truly amazing to see you guys continue to support us through all of the uncertainty. The impact you’ve had on our store and the whole HG team has been huge and we are grateful. Your support has saved us through this difficult season!

This year was also incredibly sobering as the civil rights movement grew across the country following the tragic death of George Floyd. In June, Mad and I marched in a peaceful protest in Nashville with 25,000 other people and it was one of one of the most moving experiences I have ever been a part of. I’m thankful our city took a stance against racism, violence, and police brutality. We also took time as a team to look inward and think of ways we could take action personally, in our community, and at Happily Grey. I am continuing to address biases in my own life, unlearning, listening to black voices, and actively learning to understand how to best become an ally for my BIPOC brothers and sisters. We are committed to change as a company, starting with taking the 15% pledge to carry more Black owned businesses in store. This is something that is important to me and to us as a team. I’d also love to hear from you guys on any other Black owned businesses that you want to see in the Happily Grey store!

Navy girl turned ONE!! Getting to be home more and see so many of her milestones this year was absolutely a silver lining. First steps, first words, and so much more… It’s been my greatest joy watching Navy James grow! If there is any lesson 2020 has taught us is reminding us the importance and priority of family time.

Like many others this year, Mad lost his job during the pandemic. After eight years he stepped out of the music industry. I remember him getting the call and telling me. Shocked, uncertain, and emotional as we both processed another change. But as one door closed another opened….

It’s always been our dream to work together. The past 2 years I’ve been working on a new company and with so many shifts through the pandemic it’s made this new brand an even closer reality. Mad has now joined the team as Co-Founder and COO of our new brand that will soon launch in 2021. MORE DETAILS COMING SOON! EEK.

Since we had so much time at home this year home projects became my new obsession! I gave our master bedroom a fresh linen update and finally got around to adding personal pictures that I’d been meaning to do the last 2 years. I also finished Navy’s playroom, which was a quarantine project that kept me very busy!  Since my baby became a toddler this year (WHAT?!) we decided to convert the movie room into a massive playroom …basically a space she can run wild, go crazy! I’m so glad we ditched the movie room and did it! Doubtful there would have been too much moving watching happening anyway!

With my love for London and many visits, I’ve always dreamed of getting to go back to spend an extended amount of time traveling in the UK. With Mad shifting jobs and me being able to work remote we packed our bags, booked flights, and took a leap of faith. We planned every last detail and were as cautious and careful as possible. We started our trip in Prior’s Hardwick, where we stayed in the MOST charming cottage (built in 1289 (!) for 14 days while quarantining. We cooked meals, built cozy fires, and enjoyed the pastures and sheep just outside our window. From there we visited the city for a few days where I spent my 33rd birthday, and spent the remaining 5 weeks in the Scotland Highlands and Edinburgh for a lot of outdoor adventures and scenic drives. After our stay in the Highlands, we wrapped our trip early to get home, get settled back into Nashville, and give long overdue hugs and snuggles to our pups.

This trip was especially memorable because it’s where we finallllyyy announced that our family of 3 is growing and it’s a BOY!!!  We were overwhelmed with messages of love and excitement. I can’t wait for the little guy to be here in just 10 short weeks!

2020 has been full of highs and lows. This year has given all of us a new perspective and a much needed reset for our family, as I hope it has brought to you and your families as well. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the continued support and for allowing me to do what I love. None of this would have been possible without your support especially in this really crazy, uncertain time. I am so incredibly grateful. 

Happy New Year and goodbye 2020! 

Xx,

M

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