Cue the confetti!!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started writing this post, clicked ‘delete’, and closed the screen. I simply didn’t know where to begin or how to express all of the emotions that are bundled into the journey of rebranding. I am overjoyed that today has FINALLY arrived, and am delighted that you all are here to watch the next chapter unfold. Please bear with me in my post today, it’s a hop-scotch game of emotion. It also turned into a novel (who’s surprised?). :)
A little back story into the rebranding process- at the beginning of 2012 I knew that I wanted to refocus Ashton Events and to take this company to the next level. I prayed for clear direction, and within about 2.5 weeks several major pieces fell into place. Without going into too much detail, it couldn’t have been more evident that the Lord was leading me, and Ashton Events, into a new season. I was blown away by the way the doors clanged open- and leapt at the opportunity. The spring of 2012 was the busiest business had ever been, and I was in awe of the clients I got to work with!
In May, I attended Making Things Happen. I found immense comfort and inspiration in being surrounded by a room full of women who were all reaching for their dreams. Undeniably, I left that room more aware of my own timidity than I had ever been before- and I was determined to change. About a month later, I spoke with Lara about my vision for Ashton Events and she challenged me to take the leap into rebranding. The investment, and I’m not talking about the financial side, was a huge one. I knew the time, energy, and envitable overhaul of my heart would be quite the undertaking. Still, I had peace that it was the right decision.
*image via thinksplendid.com
I teamed up with Lara and Emily (Making Brands Happen) and Ross Tanner (and the amazing Flosites team)- and the journey began. I’m not going to lie- the road hasn’t been a perfectly smooth one. My rebranding process began at the core of who I am, what makes me tick, and why I love what I do. At points, the vulnerability I felt was almost crippling as I made decision after decision for Ashton Events to become even more personal. That apprehension was then matched by the struggle of not making it about me. I am passionate about my career and the gifts I have been given- but I seek to glorify Him first and foremost. Finding that balance was hard. I’ve been giddy, confused, overjoyed, overwhelmed, inspired, drained, and then: speechless. The final package, and end result, couldn’t fit me any better or tell a truer version of who I am and where my heart lies.
Originally, I had slated my launch date to be the week before Thanksgiving. I had flawlessly timed it for engagement season and had it all wrapped up in a neat little bow. Funny how life gets in the way sometimes. The extra time, all of the details and nuances of the editing process (bless your hearts for being patient- L, E, and R!), ended up being a perfect example of the intentionality and thoughtfulness that my new brand emulates. It has also proven to be exactly what my heart needed. Unlike I had envisioned, I didn’t throw a huge launch party or have the ideal build up- but I did have an amazing holiday season celebrating and rejoicing in His faithfulness and provision with those I love most. What a gift! In 2012, I was taught that He is the master planner. Which is probably the most humbling and comforting thing I could learn, given the situation. :) I am delighted to be on the other side of this chapter- and cannot wait to start the next one!
Before I let you go, I must thank all of the incredible people who have poured into me, and thus into Ashton Events. My heart could burst knowing the community that surrounds me. Cue the waterworks!
First and foremost- thank you, Jesus, for being my Rock, my Savior, my precious Redeemer, and my ultimate Friend. I would be no where and I would be nothing without you. Secondly, to my family. Mom & Dad- I am so blessed to be your daughter. Thank you for your continued support, constant love, and an authentic example of what marriage should be. I believe in marriage because of you. Joel & Mel (and sweet baby J)- my past four years have been shaped by your open door. Your willingness to love, challenge, and support me has meant the world to me. Luke & Kristi- thank you for being my editing eyes and ears, for knowing me and pushing me to be true to myself. I am so excited for your next chapter! G&G- thank you for the incredible heritage you have passed onto our family, the prayers you have consistently lifted up on my behalf, and the unconditional love you have shown me.
To the community of amazing vendors I get to work with- thank you. Thank you for inspiring me, stretching my creativity, and creating unforgettable events for my clients! A HUGE thank you to Indie Atlantic for the new promotional video and to Dave Lapham for the new head shots. Another big thank you to Jordan Weiland, SunglowPhotography, and Studio 222 for the amazing images that dance across these pages. Lauren Grove- thank you for your encouragement, honest feedback, and advocating for AE. Emily & Lara- thank you for your willingness to pursue your dreams- it’s enabled & inspired me to go after mine. To my clients- past, present, and future: thank you for your belief and investment in Ashton Events. You all are the best clients a girl could ever ask for!
To my extended family and friends, from Hoosierland to the Sunshine State- thank you for supporting me and for all the sweet texts and prayers you’ve sent. I live such a blessed life because of each of you. To Jill- thank you for being my cheerleader, best friend, and iron that continually sharpens my heart. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t have had the guts to take the many 2012 leaps. I can’t wait to watch you to take yours!! And to Michael- Thank you for accepting my wink. For carrying heavy things. For learning how to fold napkins. For celebrating each step of courage. For holding my hand through the tough moments. For getting excited about the little things. And for loving me so well. You make my heart sing.
As for you, dear reader- it has been quite the adventure, watching my wildest dreams come true. Thank you for reading this novel, and for walking this journey with me!
Without further adieu, welcome to the brand new Ashton Events! Champagne, anyone?
(Stay tuned for tomorrow’s amazing giveaway!!!)