We’re Ready For The Next Chapter

Kacey went golfing the other day for a charity event, so I was home alone deep into my thoughts. 

Within these thoughts, an epiphany hit me. 

When Kacey and I first started dating, we were traveling at the speed of light. We moved in together within 2 months, bought a house at 3, and were definitely on track to being married and having kids by the end of the year. Some people we know were mildly concerned, but everything felt so natural to us that it was a no-brainer. 

Then, we both quit our jobs. This wasn’t an impromptu or irrational decision. Far from it. We wanted to start a business together. See if we had what it takes to make it in this world doing our own thing. You could say, “Putting our money where our mouth is”. 

Our first endeavor was developing a job app. Think Tinder but for jobs. You’d swipe left or right on a job opening, and the person in charge of hiring would do the same on potential candidates. If you matched, you’d be able to be in contact immediately. Our idea was that you could screen much quicker whether the job or person was going to be a fit. Hopefully, the app would make finding a job a lot more personable. 

This was a great idea in concept, and we even began the design process. A couple of months into our project, well, some big dog competitors began popping up. And boy did they have funding behind them. And experience. Two things we didn’t really have. 

So, we put a kibosh on that project, and we had to pivot. Something we’re relatively great at. Thinking back on our first dates together, we needed to have a plan A, B, and C for reasons I can’t really remember now, but nothing ever went swimmingly, I do know that. But, hey, we always figured it out. 

Our next target was opening up a pack-and-ship store with printing capabilities. Our name: ShipTape. Our slogan was going to be “Tape it, ship it.” It was pure genius in our minds. We designed the logo ourselves, the signage even, and were damn close to opening our doors. That was until we realized how much rent would be in the area. I’m talking damn near $4,000 a month for a less-than-desirable location. Now, could we have made it work? Knowing us, I have no doubt. Outside of the rent, we ultimately backed out of this plan because of the hours we’d have to work. We’re no strangers to work, but we just quit our jobs because we felt like a ball and chain was attached to us every time we clocked in. That’s not something we wanted to relive going into ShipTape. The freedom we wanted was missing from the equation. 

What was next?

Well, custom journals of course. This was something we were doing on the side while trying to get the bigger business ideas to fruition. See, Kacey had built a pretty decent business on Etsy called Legacy Memories before we met. I mean, this store was featured in Buzzfeed and had thousands of 5-star reviews thanks to her killer customer service and amazing product design. When we met, Legacy was on vacation mode because, between work and the journals, it was just beginning to be too much for her. I can understand that completely. 

Well, seeing the potential of the store, we thought what the hell. Let’s bring this little journal factory back to life. And we did. We probably spent a month straight of 12-hour days doing SEO and posting new designs before we started getting orders. 

Legacy Memories has been our main source of income now since September of 2022.

Of course, with any e-commerce operation, there are ups and downs. Orders are slower in the summer and ramp up in the fall and winter. 

So, back to me thinking when I was home alone. 

This entire journey we’ve been on for almost a year now, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. We’ve realized, through an entire year of working together daily, we hate every second of it….no, I joke. We absolutely love it. And I mean, love it. I can’t imagine my days spent without her. We work so well together, communicate like we’ve known each other our entire lives, and love spending every second together. It’s been a dream come true. 

I can’t think of a time in my life when I’ve been this happy. 

Through this year-long journey though, we’ve had to put a pause on some things. To be specific, we’ve been so focused on building a business that we’ve paused starting a family and getting married. Two very important things to us. 

We just don’t want to be on pause anymore. The journals have been just enough to make ends meet, but looking forward, they’re not going to be enough to raise a family. 

Boy, I wish they would because good lord I love working from home, waking up with Kacey, and having our morning coffee together. A retired kind of life, you could say. 

But I think I’m going to have to find a job. That makes me squeamish to just say that, but for the future we want, some freedoms have to be traded. That’s ok, I just have to find that balance between work and life this time around. Something I severely struggled with when I was working before. 

So, here’s to finding a job that doesn’t feel like a job. Hopefully, those exist somewhere out there. 

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