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    American Dreams Aren't Free!

    American Dreams Aren't Free!

    We get emails weekly from aspiring entrepreneurs who are curious as to how I got started, what steps I took, etc.  I try to respond back to as many as I can, but lately there seems to be an influx of them and as much as we'd like, we can't respond to all of them.  With Independence Day coming up, it always reminds me of the freedom we have as Americans to dream, and I thought it would be the perfect time to pen a blog that might answer some of those questions!

    First of all, I admire those who have the courage to reach out.  It's a scary thing to do, I know, because I've been there.  You wonder how the person will respond or if you're overstepping boundaries.  Obviously, there are going to be questions I can't answer and for good reason, but I try to help others out when I can.

    Aside from prayer, many mistakes and a lot of faith, I'd have to say one of the biggest things that has gotten my company where it is today is networking.  Building relationships with people is what has carried me through.  There is no way I could have done it on my own.  I knew nothing about the apparel industry when I set out on this ride and I am still learning something new every day many years later!,

    I reached out directly to screen printing companies, shirt suppliers, show/event producers.  I was literally clueless and had many questions.  What I learned is that people are typically more than willing to answer questions and help if they can!  I would advise that you be transparent about what you know and what you don't know and then learn all you can along the way.  Many times I was tempted to let fear keep me from learning the trade and accomplishing my goals.

    This all began when I was a college student at Charleston Southern University.  I created a design that had all 46 counties in South Carolina along with facts and history about the state.  I thought to myself, where is the BEST place to sell this shirt?  Keep in mind this was pre-social media days. It hit me that some how, some way I had to get into the South Carolina State Fair as a vendor because this one shirt represented all 46 counties in our great state!  

    I called representatives from the State Fair and they said they weren't accepting anymore vendors at the time.  Not one to be denied, I sent the person in charge a free S.C. design shirt and the backstory about the design.  Two weeks later I received a letter stating my shirt was shown to the State Fair board, and they accepted me as a vendor. But, on top of this win, I also signed a contract to be the only person at the State Fair selling T-shirts that had the "South Carolina Palmetto Tree" on them.  

    This was a big deal for a 19 year old!  I still hold that contract with the State Fair today, 16 years later.  I said all of that to say this, I could have let that initial phone call keep me from chasing my dream.  I could have said "Well it wasn't meant to be." Instead, I decided to give it one more shot.  And I'm sure glad I did.  A dream doesn't require advanced knowledge or a college degree, but it does require a lot of hard work, vulnerability and dedication.  

    Speaking of dreams, have you ever sat back and wondered how different our lives would be if we weren't allowed to dream?  And I don't mean the dreams we have when we enter peaceful slumber.

    I"m talking about the ones that keep us awake at night!  The ones that drive us to learn more, do more and invest more, because we know in our hearts we have the right to turn them into something if we so wish!  As Americans, all we know is freedom.  We are taught from young age that we can do and be whatever we want to be, right?  It's a blessing to know that we can actually pursue AND turn our dreams into a reality.  

    However, these dreams don't come free.  We can dare to dream today because of the  countless men and women who currently serve or have served in our military and most importantly the many who sacrificed their lives so we can continue to dream and be free. 

    So this year as we celebrate the July 4th holiday, I hope we all are reminded that we some times take the little things for granted, like "American dreaming."  It isn't free.  It's a gift.  And it's up to us to chase our dreams and turn them into a reality.

     

    SUMMER SALE!  Use Coupon Code HOT30 and get 30% off (Sale ends July 5th!) Click here to check out our collection of short sleeves to get you through these HOT Summer months!

    Spring Fever Believer!

    Spring Fever Believer!

    Spring fever, we have ALL experienced it at some time!  That stirring within us that makes us want to organize, plant gardens, wear flip flops, clean blinds, etc.  

    Actually, scratch the desire to clean the blinds, I am still waiting on that one!  But anyway, you get my drift.  

    With Easter being late this year, for me, spring fever seems to be stronger for some reason.  I can't help but think it's because of the actual meaning of Easter.  A time of renewal, a time of hope and change.  

    Back in March, I participated in the "40 Bags in 40 Days" challenge that I saw on Facebook.  This is where you get rid of 40 bags in 40 days.  These bags can be things you throw away, donate, or sell.  The choice is yours. Your job is to just simply get rid of 40 bags in 40 days.  Simple as that, right?...Okay maybe not so simple, but it sure sold me!  

    Now I will admit that a few days in, I questioned myself as to why on earth I committed to this, and there were some days I secretly justified my 1st graders book bag walking out the door count as a bag to leave my home.  But, at least I was making progress and had the end in mind.  

    Looking back, I realized the challenge taught me more after it was over, than in the midst of it.  I didn't realize during the challenge that it was going to bless my life.  It wasn't until after!  You see, in my mind, during the 40 days, it was just "one.more.thing.to.do."  I mean come on, like we really need something else added to our list of things to remember (or forget), on a daily basis?  BUT...when it was done, I took some time to reflect on what this challenge taught me.  

    First of all, I realized for me, this was not a "clean your house" challenge.  A clean house is something everyone else can notice.  Matter of fact, for the most part, my house looked the same to those who visit on a regular basis.  Most of these items I sent out the door weren't even visible in my home.  These were things in cabinets, drawers, the attic, garage, warehouse, things you couldn't even see unless you looked for them.  Not only that, I cannot tell you ONE thing in those 40 bags that left our home that I am currently in need of or am missing.  It wasn't until the end, when it hit me that my mind felt clearer, my shoulders felt lighter, and my spirit felt renewed! 

    I even felt as if it had a positive impact on the rest of my family.  Well, except that now every time the kids can't find something, they automatically accuse me of throwing it away instead of actually looking for it!  Ha!  

    But on a serious note, it made me evaluate what I allowed to clutter my life, my mind, and most of all my spirit.  It made me compare the challenge to my spiritual life.  What if the unseen struggles or situations in our lives that we don't really think affect us or anyone else, weigh us down more than the obvious ones?  This led me to think about my spiritual junk drawers, what can I let go of that I don't realize is hindering me?  What do I have within my spiritual cabinet that can be given to someone else to bless their life?

    So maybe, there is a correlation between Easter and what we know as "Spring Fever." Maybe Spring Fever is the Spirit's nudge to de-clutter our lives so we can feel that sense of "renewal" within us?  I'm thankful for that natural instinct that we all share, and I hope that in the future I don't ignore it as I have in the past, but rather take full advantage of that urge to purge and need to clean!  Because for some reason this year, it benefited much more than my cabinets and drawers.  And as the year goes on and my physical and spiritual drawers fill back up with stuff, I hope next Spring I'll be reminded yet again to find that renewal.  

    Speaking of drawers, who doesn't have a "T-SHIRT DRAWER?!?!"  I mean, don't we all? In the South, we take our t-shirts seriously and we KNOW if one is missing!!!   I'm not suggesting you get rid of your Cancun '99 shirt because I just about have that one broke in, and my husband KNOWS I'm gonna sleep in that thing until I'm 75.  Even when we Spring Clean, we skip over the t-shirt drawer!  Some of us might move a group to the top shelf in the closet to make room for more, but we usually don't purge our t-shirt drawers.  We become emotionally attached to our t-shirts y'all, it's just a southern thing. =-)

    BUT...when you need to "ADD" to your collection, when you need a fresh new tee for Summer vacation or graduation gifts, keep us in mind!  They are super soft and the hand drawn designs are hard to beat!  We'd love to have you as part of the Crescent Cotton family.   Click here to see our Spring stash!

     

    Also: Want more info on the 40 bags in 40 days challenge?!  Click here!  Good stuff!

    What is a BLOG?!?

    What is a BLOG?!?

    Y'all think I'm kidding!  It wasn't so long ago when I literally had to ask someone that question.  So here we are, writing our first BLOG!  (Happy Dance).  Our marketing company suggested we start these blogs, and to be honest I was a little hesitant at first.  I've always been more of a private person and to me these blogs were a little unnerving.  But the truth is, I love my customers, we love our fans.  And as the founder/owner of Crescent Cotton, this journey has been one that has made me grow and learn in more ways than I could have ever imagined.  So, they had me feeling a little convicted as to why I didn't share more of who we are with you guys!  

    The journey.  A love for drawing, which led to an accidental side business, and now a brand that sells across the nation.  Sometimes it still doesn't seem real honestly.  With anything, you just live in the day-to-day duties of life and work and you forget how far you've come I suppose.  I've always been grateful, first with God who blessed me with a talent that turned into a career I love, and second, for my customers!  I have such a deep appreciation for those who support me in this journey, it makes my heart so thankful.  

    With that being said, Easter is around the corner and our new Tis' So Sweet design couldn't be more appropriate!  This watermelon color shirt is a comfort color shirt, (translated to mean SUPER SOFT and SUPER COMFY).  I mean you really have to feel this shirt to believe how soft it is!  They run "slightly" on the bigger size, and they are 100% cotton, but pre-shrunk!  

    When I came up with the title of this design, I was going through a rough patch.  You know, one of those times where you know the world won't end, but you're scared to death of bad news.  I mean, why do we worry so much?!  I thought I worried before I became a parent.....WRONG.  There is no worry like "Mama Worry," whew!  Make you crazy.  My sweet husband is MUCH more of the steady soul, who helps calm my fears.  These are the times where we just push through, and pray through.  I literally would find myself walking around the house singing, "Tis' So Sweet"....you know the rest!  

    So, when I got out of that valley (which looking back was probably more like a pothole), I was inspired to create a design titled, "Tis So Sweet."  So I contacted my SUPER talented friend Jeanne and pitched her with the concept.  I told her what I had in mind and she drew the super cool outline of the cross.  We took it from there and couldn't be happier with how it turned out!  So this Easter, as we shop for those baskets, goodies and dresses, may we all remember and reflect on the true reason we celebrate.  "Tis' So Sweet..."  

    Thanks for reading my first BLOG guys!  I survived!  Much love!  

    See our "Tis So Sweet" shirt here!