Breaking Open – The Birth of a Business

Posted by Stacy Schwam on

How Amber Moon Boutique Got its Start...


Giving birth to my daughter literally broke me wide open – in every way. Once she was born and I healed for a bit, I thought I’d be able to jump back to my previous life and career, and I was wrong. There was no going back - in any way.

I had worked really hard to become a teacher – UC Santa Cruz in four years immediately after high school, then Pepperdine for my masters in education and my teaching credential. Worked at elementary schools all during my college education and started my career as a teacher with my own class right away at a small private school in Los Angeles. I had a great career! There were so many fun times filled with learning, success, creativity, incredible colleagues and amazing families. I am so lucky to still keep in touch with so many sweet students who are the reason educators do what they do. But after I gave birth – I wanted none of it.
The only child I wanted to be with ever again was my daughter. I ached for her all day long... I always thought that my reality was that I had to go back to teaching after giving birth. That was my career after all, I worked my ass off for it, had a great and well-paying job, tons of support, and STUDENT LOANS. This is what I chose to do in life and I had to stick with it, right? WRONG.

I grew up thinking you picked one job and that was your career and you never changed, and I didn’t give up on things…. I made them work. I still liked being at my school and was so fortunate to be the school’s librarian for awhile. It was a dream job – working with all the students of the school, reading to them, helping them pick out literature, doing school wide projects, serving on an amazing humanities team. It was fun! But I yearned for more – I hated having to drop my daughter off at daycare and then full time preschool. You literally feel like you are leaving a piece of your heart behind every day and you are…

When my daughter was a baby, I used to get into bed so exhausted at night after teaching all day and my partner was not around helping as much as I needed - more on this and my decision to be a single mom in another post soon. ;/ I was way too tired to focus on actually reading a book or even watching a tv show. So I’d sit with my iPad mindlessly shopping and scrolling on Instagram, which was in its infancy at that time. I was a real good shopper and loved fashion…. People were constantly asking what I was wearing and asking me to take them shopping.  Almost fifteen years of having disposable income due to my nice salary and no kids had allowed me to build up an amazing wardrobe.

I had spent so much time shopping as a form of therapy after work and online, that I was an expert on so many brands, how they fit, what looked best on me. I was also shopping through Instagram. I knew where all these little affordable boutiques were getting everything they were selling – at the Fashion District in Los Angeles. I started wondering if there’d be another path for me. Before I started toying with the idea of opening a boutique, I literally thought there was nothing else I could do – that I was completely stuck being a teacher since my training was in education. Well, it took a long time to realize that was a very limited and close minded view of the world, and that I could do, be and have anything I wanted! 💫

It took me a few months of thinking about whether or not I could make the leap to opening a business, before I knew if I was going to do it or not,  But once my mind is made up on something, I do not waver. My heart and soul told me everything I was planning on was the right path. Nobody agreed with me – but I learned a long time ago not to ask for advice if I don’t want to hear the answer or need the opinion. So rather than asking anybody if they thought I SHOULD make this move, I just started telling people WHAT I was doing. I knew I had to take a leap of faith and there was no stopping me.

I completed that school year. The day after my contract ended, I immediately started working on Amber Moon. I never took one day off and was so excited to get started. I taught myself everything I needed to know to open a business and did a lot of research to figure things out. The new found freedom of starting a business, being my own boss, making my own schedule and being with my daughter was exhilarating! We rolled into preschool way after 9am, some weeks she barely went at all, we got Disneyland annual passes, did all the fun things everywhere, and made so many memories. I was so grateful to have trusted my intuition and to have a few extra years spent with Amber before she went to elementary school.
Now, I work almost every second of every day – while my daughters in the bath, in the carpool line, as I’m cooking dinner…Finding a balance between the hustle of being a working single mom and being present with a beautiful quality of life is still something I’m actively trying to find my flow with, but when your work is so much fun, it’s hard to turn it off. I love the amazing sisterhood that Amber Moon has evolved into!
All in all, owning your own business is amazing! If you’re looking to take a leap and follow your passions, I highly suggest you do so – you won’t regret it! Will there be many long hours worked, loss of stable income and benefits, waiting on each sale to come through so you can pay your bills – YES, but will there also be increased creativity, confidence, freedom, so much pride in your work, time spent fostering things you love and spending more time with people you love – also, YES! 
I get asked multiple times a week all the necessary steps needed to take to start your own online business, and there are A LOT. As much as I love everyone here, I can’t get to answering all the emails and questions each week, so I’ve started a section under our new Amber Moon Collective, where you can purchase my guide to starting your own business + action steps…. Coming soon!
If you have been on this journey with me since the beginning, thank you for all of your love and support. If you are new to Amber Moon or have joined at any point along the way, thank you for being here! Your love, support and BUSINESS mean so much to us.
 

xx Stacy 

 

Our treasured Disney Days ✨

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