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Filtering by Category: Finding Happiness

Here’s looking at you, 29.

Kendle Starcher

    In my head this started as a list of 29 things I’d learned in my 29 years and I was going to drop some serious knowledge on you guys. But then I realized 29 things is a really long list and what kind of knowledge do I even have? I’m still too young to really know anything, heck I’m not even sure what health insurance I have or what the password is to my 401k account. I don’t have kids and the topic of daycare among my friends continues to blow my mind. But I realize how old I am when I get around people younger than me, I’m not on the dating scene, in fact I skipped the online dating thing altogether. I own my own home, I do meal planning and suddenly spend more time worrying if I have enough in my savings account than what I’m going to wear tomorrow (which believe me, has always been my #1 concern). I’m caught somewhere in this adult-ish middle. So what the heck kind of knowledge can I even drop?

So instead, here’s a short list of guidelines for when I'm needing a reminder. 

5.) Pick a lane, and stay in it.

Lin-Manuel Miranda from “Hamilton” was being interviewed on 60 Minutes one time and they asked him what he thought his secret to success was. See he had gone to Juilliard and had been surrounded by all these kids who could sing and dance and write music and were insanely talented and he knew he was not the most talented there. So why was he the one with the hit broadway musical and not one of them? His answer was simple, “I knew what I wanted out of life and I just started running in that direction.”

 

4.) If you can't say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.  

Not gonna lie, I’m bad at this. My parents and I have gone toe to toe on this little tidbit of vital info. There’s a little sliver of me that loves to be the queen of mean. It’s not good though. It’s cost me a lot of respect and relationships and honestly, my initial mean opinion of people has turned out to be wrong more times than not. 

 

3.) Stop worrying about how “busy” you are.  

So stop by and visit a friend you haven’t seen in a while on your way home one day. Dinner might be a few minutes late that night but who cares. Swing through your grandparents’ house more. You know you can catch that TV show online tomorrow and no one is going to love it more than your grandpa anyway. Call your mom. Run errands with your dad. Ask your brother about his new job. You’re really only as busy as you make yourself out to be and let’s be real, unless you’re saving babies or curing cancer, you can probably spare a few minutes. 

 

2.) Be Kind.  

See #4. But don’t just bite your tongue, change your mind. Say nice things to people and yourself and mean them. Be conscious of your surroundings and what’s going on in other people’s lives. It’s not all about you.  

 

1.) Be brave enough to go it alone, but smart enough to keep your friends in tow. 

This is the biggest one. 

You are fierce and strong all by yourself. But you are unstoppable when there's a handful of people who love you standing behind you and pushing you to keep going. Those girlfriends you've had since elementary school? They've already seen you at your worst, and they still love you anyways. They're rare gems and more valuable than diamonds. That friend that listens to all your half-baked business ideas and doesn't tell you you're crazy? You need her. You'd be lost without her. One day soon the two of you are going to change the world. The girls that sit on the other side of the cubicle and send you encouraging IM's and funny gifs before that big meeting you've been stressing about? The world would be sad and lonely without them. Whatever you do, wherever you go, just make sure you take your friends with you.

Ok, so 5 is better than 29. Sorry not sorry it's still a little long winded and for the heavy use of gifs.

Here's to 29! And to staying 29 forever because I don't handle change well and there's no way I'll be turning 30 in 364 days. 

All my love, 

xoxo

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For some reason I kept getting a glare that made me look like an angel, I don't hate it.

The Christmas Rush

Kendle Starcher

Earlier this year, (think August) I was talking with my best friend from college about finding time to come visit. She had just had her second baby and I needed to establish my role as Favorite-Aunt-of-All-Time ASAP. Looking at the calendar, and between craft shows and pre-planned family trips and her husband’s work schedule, we finally decided I would come to town the first weekend in December. 

(I want it noted that there used to be a time when the two of us would pack a sandwich and some sunscreen and spend whole days on the beach with less than a minute of planning. But as always, time gets away from us again.)

As the months continued on, I was getting busier and busier and the tiniest sliver of me kept saying, “that’s gonna be a really bad time to not be home making jewelry.” After all, it is the first true Christmas season for my little business and next weekend will be my biggest and last show, what if I don’t have enough made? I even entertained the thought of canceling for just a minute.

But then I realized, the next time I see her babies, they might not be babies anymore. They might not come running to greet me at the door and just lay in my lap and snuggle. And it wasn’t entirely just about 2 of the cutest kids on the planet, I missed my friends. I miss catching up on their lives and the people we’re growing up to be. You can only stay so in touch through text message and with her being a mom of two and me trying to start a business, we really aren’t even good at attempting. So on Friday, I made the journey east. My house is in complete disarray, and maybe I truly don’t have enough jewelry made for next week’s craft show, but what I can be sure of, is that my soul is happy. I got to spend 36 hours with people I love and It. Was. Worth. It.

So maybe you’re like me and you needed just a little reminder, Christmas isn’t about rushing around, hosting the perfect party and buying up pretty things. (Maybe that’s odd coming from a girl who’s trying to make a living selling really pretty jewelry, but whatever.) It’s about looking around at what you have and being so so grateful for every bit of it. It’s about love and grace and joy and snuggles. All the snuggles.  

All my love, 

Kendle

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One of the good ones.

Kendle Starcher

Growing up, all the boys I dated were the same type. Tall, athletic, brunette, jerks. Okay, maybe they weren't all jerks, we were just young and didn't know any better. When I met Luke, I was just about to graduate and go off to college and I was in no mood to settle for the boy back home. So my first year off at school we talked here and there but I was not interested in anything serious. After all, I had this big life I was gonna conquer far away from Alexis, NC and, he still kinda had a girlfriend.

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Fast forward 10 years and here I sit, on my dream couch, in my dream house, with my dream yard, married to my dream husband. Of 5 years. Today, in fact. And guess where I am? About three minutes from where I grew up, in Alexis. I've managed to live just about my whole life in the same 3 mile radius. Now that I'm back, I can't imagine being anywhere else.

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I'm getting off topic. This post is actually about Luke, not me and my inability to keep my angry 18 year old promises. The thing about Luke is, I honestly never saw him coming. He was nothing like my old boyfriends. He called every day right when he said he would. He drove 600 miles a weekend to spend 36 hours with me. He wove himself so tight into the fabric of my life that I can't remember where he ends and I begin most of the time. He has devoted himself to us and our life and is the hardest working person I've ever met. He was and still is the best decision I  ever could have made for myself. I don't know who I would be if it wasn't for him. 

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Long story short, we don't always know what's best for us and I'm really thankful for that. Left to my own devices who knows where I would have wound up and what I would've dated. God put exactly who I needed in my life exactly when I needed him. Amen, Hallelujah for that.

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So here's to you babe, for always being the steady in my hurricane and for loving me the way you do. 5 down, 80 to go. Then maybe you can hunt down Sandra Bullock. :)

Happy Anniversary!

All my love, forever.

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Land of the Free

Kendle Starcher

The other week there was a news story of 8 bodies found in the back of an 18-wheeler that was parked behind a Walmart in Texas. A Walmart employee called 911 when someone from the truck asked for some water. Medics took 31 people to the hospital suffering from heat stroke and exhaustion. After reviewing the security cameras, police realized there must have been over 100 people sandwiched into the back of this truck. They watched as car after car came by and carried off more and more people. A ninth victim died from injuries in the hospital. Two of the victims were 15 years old. 

 Luke and I were glued to this story as we ate dinner. Can you imagine wanting a better life for yourself and your family so bad that you're willing to climb into the back of an un-airconditioned 18-wheeler in the dead of summer and literally risking your life for the chance to come into America? As we sat in the comfort of our house, watching this new story, my heart just broke for those people. All they want is a chance for a better life, better opportunities, things most of us are lucky enough to have at our fingertips. 

 

The reporters kept referring to the victims as "undocumented immigrants illegally coming into America" and really making the story about that, when really the story is this. A group of awful people took the most basic human needs and used that as bait to take advantage of another, less fortunate group of people. These people were taken from their home and put into life risking situations probably not by their own choice. The ones that were sent to the hospital were the lucky ones, they got away. The ones that were picked up by the trail of cars are the ones that now need us the most. They're probably being forced to sell their bodies, or work in awful conditions just to keep surviving. We must do something. Yes, the truck driver has been arrested and will hopefully pay a price for the crimes he committed, but that's not the whole solution. There will always be bad people who do wrong and prey on innocents, but the key is to start empowering people to not fall victim to the traps and recognize when this is happening either to themselves or others and to do something about it. 

 

On October 14th 2017, in cities all across the globe there are going to be long lines of single file people marching in unison in the Walk For Freedom. My best friend is getting together a team to participate in the walk happening in Charlotte. Our goal is to raise $1,000 for the organization hosting the event , A21. They are an inspiring group that rescues, rehabilitates, and trains victims of human trafficking. They teach people the signs to look for to not become a victim but also provide legal support and aid to those that need it. Please go to www..a21.org to find out more about their cause or to find a walk near you. If you are in Charlotte, we would love for you to join our team! Our team name is CoordinateFreedom and everyone is welcome! This little blog couldn't begin to articulate all the good they're doing, it truly is incredible. 

 

10% of every single purchase from my shop always goes to the cause but just for the walk, Stacey and I have come up with these awesome goodies. Everything is $20 and a portion of every purchase will go straight to our goal of $1,000. Contact me or Stacey Spicer to purchase!

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Freedom Fighter Tee, available in sizes Small thru  XL

Long Stamped "FREE" Pendant Necklace

Long Stamped "FREE" Pendant Necklace

Dainty Chevron "FREE" Stamped Necklace

Dainty Chevron "FREE" Stamped Necklace

Thank you so much for your support!

When in doubt, wear it.

Kendle Starcher

A little backstory.

I know, shocker. But whatever, this is my blog and I can write whatever I want. Anyways, a few months ago I was working my booth at the "Small Business Saturday" event in Charlotte the day after Black Friday. Beside me was this adorable boutique, Five13 Studio, and she had two racks full gorgeous sequined jumpsuits and tops and dresses and this skirt, all at incredible prices. I made the promise I always do, Don't go shopping until you've made back your booth fee. When you're surrounded by amazing makers and shop owners, you have to have some kind of rule for yourself or you'll go crazy shopping. All day long this skirt stared at me until finally, and $20 later, it was mine. Best. Purchase. Ever. I toted it home and hung it in my closet just waiting for the perfect opportunity to pull it out. 

Every morning for two months that skirt stared at me. Waiting. I just never found the perfect moment. The weather was going to be too cold, the event too casual, me too chicken. Until the morning of Wednesday Feb 1. I was sitting in bed checking the weather and saw that it was going to be 70 degrees. This is it. Paired with my "Cabernet All Day" tee that my sweet friend gave me for Christmas and a Chambray button up tied at the waist (because I do still work in an office, it's chilly in there) and my black strappy sandals, I was ready. Luke was having to go in late that day so he was actually home for once while I was getting ready. It's been years now since he's questioned my outfits so he just looked me over, kissed me and told me to have a good day without any other comments. 

These are a few things I noticed that day.

1. I glided. 

For real. There's just something about wearing a full floor length ballgown skirt and heels that makes it impossible not to. Suddenly I wasn't just tromping through the Atrium on my way back to my desk after snagging a few forks from the cafeteria. No, I was a super star in Milan. True Life.

2. There was a surprising amount of negativity. 

None. Really. I was honestly expecting to get a few comments or looks. In an office where casual is King and jeans and sneakers are winning the day, my skirt and heels did not really blend in. Sure there was a few sassy comments from my friends, "Where are you going in that get up?" "Who wears a ball gown to work?", but they were always followed with an approving smile or a "That takes balls". If anything, I had more people I did not know, (read: had never even noticed in the building before) stop me to tell me how beautiful my skirt was. It's such a validating feeling.

3. My heels never started to hurt.

I'm seriously not lying. Or maybe I am just a little. Although, you go put on an incredible outfit that demands just a little bit of height and dare yourself to not wear the heels. You can't do it. Girl struggle at it's finest. 

4. I wish I had 10 more.

With the skirt being such a statement that it is, it's not something you can wear that often. Don't want to shine to wear off. However, I want to. This skirt has been inspiring all sorts of new DIY projects in my head. I feel like I need a tulle one, a white one, one with a fun dramatic slit, maybe one in a bolder kind of pattern. 

Moral of the story is, in a world where everyday feels like a struggle to belong and fit in and survive, it was nice to just be myself. We spend all of our time facing serious issues, like our new president and potential job layoffs and paying mortgages and having to rebuild the transmission in your car and thinking far enough ahead in advance to buy groceries then turn the groceries into something edible every night. It was nice to just feel comfortable and confident in my own skin. A skirt's not gonna change the world, but it changed the way I felt about myself and my outlook for the day and that was enough for me. Whatever it is that makes you feel the same way, you should do it, wear it, visit it, savor it often. You deserve it. 

If you do happen to be like me, and the best way to turn your day around is with a great outfit, I've linked my items below. 

You should note, I got home while the sun was still out -which is rare!- and was feeling myself so here ya go. Cheers to self timers! hahaha

You should note, I got home while the sun was still out -which is rare!- and was feeling myself so here ya go. Cheers to self timers! hahaha

Here's to Happiness, loves!

May it find us, but may we also find it.