Today my best friend and her husband come to visit! This will be their first time visiting the state and I joked with my parents that it is because they know me enough to have wait until I got settled. That got me thinking... do people remember the insane journey we had the last 3 years? I know we have some new friends on the page so I wanted to do a quick recap sharing the twists and turns that eventually led us here.
The first leap was away from our family and friends in Connecticut to an apartment in Carrboro, NC. We had never been there before but it seemed close enough to the Chapel Hill/Raleigh/Durham area that we would be able to find jobs quickly (clearly that didn't happen). We signed the lease while we were still up North and luckily it turned out to be a great decision. We loved our apartment! We stayed there for a full year, using our second bedroom as an art studio and doing some construction on the deck. For most of the time we commuted about 10 minutes to a friend's garage where we worked throughout the day so we could paint/package at night. That year was all about building up inventory and learning about online sales. We had a slow start and even sold Christmas trees on the side to help, but we managed.
Next was the tiny house! People who have been following us since the beginning probably remember this home the most, partly because we built it ourselves! From May until September we balanced building the tiny house with our work and it was so busy but SO rewarding. Honestly building the house and living there was one of the greatest experiences of our lives. We had 219 sq. ft to work with so having a separate space to paint was key. Unfortunately having an open area and dirt floor in the winter meant I was freezing. Some days I moved work into the tiny house! That year we had 752 orders in 6 weeks during the holidays. Looking back I have NO CLUE how we did it, but we did.
We were only at the tiny house for about 7 months before we had to look for something else. We almost ended up in Jacksonville where the military housing was affordable and the homes had garages (not common down here!). Instead we ended up staying right in town at a home that was not being used while the owner was working out of state. Somehow it was arranged that we would stay in the 4000 sq ft house which also had a 3 car garage. We honestly missed the tiny house while we were there but we couldn't deny how much the space helped us grow. We were able to stock inventory for Christmas, buy new photography equipment, and build some new furniture. Once again, we only had about 8 months before we had to start working on finding another home.
As you can imagine, by this point we were just tired. Moving ourselves wasn't a huge deal, but moving our business so often meant we were never settled and it was nearly impossible to reach out to a local market. We knew it was time to have a space that was OURS. No landlords, no one-year lease, just our first home. After 2 weeks of searching, we found it!!
And that brings us to today, where my best friend can now visit us :) We have 9.2 acres with cleared land and a hill we can hike up to get a better view of the mountains. We have 12 chickens and a rooster, a 44' x 36' garden, mature fruit trees, a heated and cooled workspace in the form of 3 bedrooms and a basement (I cannot wait to work in the warmth this winter!!!), and of course we have our puppy. We are finally settled. We can finally call a place home. We never would have predicted ending up here, but we could not be happier with how everything worked out.
Thanks for taking the time to read about our journey. Now that we aren't moving constantly and traveling the world we may be a little less exciting than we used to be, but I'll take it.
Have a great weekend everyone!