Happy 2017, friends!
I have some very exciting news to share with you.
When I was starting this business, it was really important to me that this brand had a name that was all its own. I didn’t want to use my own name. I had no intention of sharing my brand with any one else, of having staff photographers, or of ever selling my business. But it was really important to me that it wasn’t about my name.
Petal & Vine was born.
I’ve poured my heart and soul into this brand, into my clients, into my work, for the last several years.
It has been an honor and a joy.
It has been life giving and life changing.
It has also left me with minimal time to soak up my own family.
Many moments in this journey I have wanted to cut back on my workload, but I have had a terrible time saying no when I need to, and have struggled to set personal boundaries.
About the middle of 2016, I felt a tugging in my heart more than ever to find a way to be able to pour into my kids more while they're still little, for this very little while.
After failed attempts to slow down and set boundaries for myself,
I made a plan to close Petal & Vine in the Spring of 2017
(when I had completed all the work for my current and upcoming clients.)
After struggling with my feelings about that because I love everything about Petal & Vine so much - I settled into a whole lot of peace about it.
Then, one fine day, I got a phone call...
... from a lovely woman that I’d had the pleasure of getting to know and photograph before. Maddie is a beautiful mama with a heart of gold. She’s humble and kind, incredibly fun to be around. She’s honest and I have always had such a soft spot in my heart for her. She called to ask me if I might consider mentoring her in photography - she’d spent time studying it in college and had it as a hobby for quite some time, but really wanted to hone her skills, build her portfolio and learn about running a business. I feel like at this point, the rest of the story seems pretty obvious, but I’m going to finish it anyway. Maddie and I met to talk over coffee. She shared with me her hopes and goals and I shared with her my plans to close down my business in the Spring. I simply can’t afford the overhead of the business if I only took 1-2 clients per month, and I also can’t seem to say no to all the rest of my inquiries.
When it came down to it, Maddie didn’t want to start a photography business, she wanted to be a photographer. (Which I completely understand!!!)
SO much more goes into this whole process than just shooting and editing.
We talked about what it could look like if she might be interested in joining Petal & Vine. We agreed to pray about it, talk to our husbands about it, get some counsel from wise folks in our lives, and meet back the following week.
It all seemed so clear, very quickly.
When we met, we had each come to address all the same questions and concerns, and agreed about everything.
The last couple of months we have been working together, training, talking a ton, solidifying her contract, and preparing for the transition.
For the first quarter of 2017, Maddie will be accepting many of our inquiries. At first, I will be with her at her sessions to oversee and help, guaranteeing quality that is consistent with the Petal & Vine brand, and style of photography that you recognize. I will move into a role of quality checking her photos before they go out, and eventually, she will completely stand on her own as a photographer for Petal & Vine. Maddie will primarily work with new clients, and Lee Anne will primarily focus on the repeat clients that I’ve come to know and love these last several years. (WHAT A JOY!)
You may remember my announcements about hiring an assistant in 2016 - April has been a lifesaver. She is an incredible addition to Petal & Vine. She’s hilarious and hard working, thoughtful, honest, and kind. April works hard to keep me organized, helps me set boundaries, handles all of my contracts and invoices, helps to fulfill print orders, design albums, and so many more things. April has helped carry the weight of running a business this last year and it’s given me so much more freedom to be with my family and to give even more energy to my clients - putting more of my heart into my work, too.
SO - Petal & Vine is really, truly, now a team.
Maddie and I, Lee Anne, will be your photographers, and April will continue on as an Administrative Assistant - totally owning in all that she does.
I am so grateful for how wonderful you have all been as clients and as a community in supporting me as I grew this business. I am so honored, relieved, and overjoyed that I will be able to continue on with this business in a way that allows me to be most present as a mom, too.
I have no doubt that you all will love Maddie and her work as she joins us moving forward!