Entrepreneurship runs in my family.
I was raised in rural Oklahoma by two hard-working parents who seized opportunities to not only get ahead in life- but also to improve life for our family. From garage sales to designing and promoting crafts to consulting on interior design to running a small business; my family was fueled by an entrepreneurial spirit that continues today.
I come by it naturally, so it was no surprise when the COVID-19 pandemic rocked the world, robbing us of normalcy, I began thinking of what my next career move would be.
In the midst of such uncertainty, I decided to pivot.
Oddly enough, it felt comforting to leave behind a seemingly stable salaried income and benefits. After all, too many of my friends and family around the world had likely thought of their salaried livelihoods as stable as well until they were laid off. Entrepreneurship at least put me in the driver's seat.
I'd be remiss if I did not mention the privilege of my circumstances that allowed me to feel such comfort in the unknown. First, I offer heaps of heartfelt gratitude to my husband and partner in life. Without his support - both emotional and financial in nature - Cottonwood Creative would simply not exist. His encouragement has fueled this project and this brand. Thank you, Preston. Second, I owe my parents a great deal of appreciation for blazing a trail for me in the area of entrepreneurship. Your examples have not only improved my life and lived experience but also those of countless others as you roused and embodied hometown pride by providing local employment opportunities and financial support to individuals and causes in Oklahoma. Thank you.
As a marketing and communications professional, I knew how important branding would be as a marketing consultant. As I mulled over potential names, I was reminded of my small town Oklahoma roots. The puritanical work ethic on display all around me, the physical location of my childhood on a picturesque plot of land in Southeastern Oklahoma, deep in the heart of Creek Nation.
My parents had selected this property, cleared it, and designed and built this little yellow house to sit atop the gently sloping 2.5 acre plot. It's no wonder now that when I look at homes with mere inches between them I find it so peculiar and unnatural. The ratio of house to lawn in my childhood home greatly favoured nature, the house acting as a resting place for the stewards of the land it sat upon.
Looking just over the little yellow house's bay window, you can see a tall, strong tree emerging from what seems to be a tiny crack in the earth but is actually a shallow creek bed. It's a cottonwood, and it framed my life there.
It was the tire swing tree, the source of annual cottonlike seeds drifting across the neighbourhood, the natural amplifier for the wind as it blew through the tree's many leaves and branches, and it was the subject of one of my mother's poems entitled "My Cottonwood Tree."
Having carefully and dutifully watched over the land and its stewards all my life, the cottonwood tree left its mark on me long after I'd left this land.
Cottonwood Creative was named for the gentle, strong presence of the land that raised me.
It is my hope that my work and the ways in which I conduct myself will bring my clients and customers a sense of comfort, belonging, and ease.
Friday, April 9, 2021