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Since changing the name of this blog/brand I've run across a few funny looks. I promised I would address the name, where it came from, and what it means to me . . .so here we are!
A little bit of background: For several years I've had a little side gig that I called Southern Momma. Quite a while back now, I started learning to knit. As a Mom I've spent quite a bit of time sitting at practices and games of different sorts and I loved the portability of it and that I could do something productive with my time while I would otherwise be doing nothing. It wasn't too long before people started asking me if I sold things, and I said, "Well, sure, if you want to buy I suppose I'll sell!". I never did get completely overrun with knitting orders, but I did discover that some years I would get rather busy leading up to Christmas. To the point that I didn't have time to knit the things for gifts I had planned on. I'm still working out how to handle all that. My intended solution mainly involves me not procrastinating, but that's really a topic of discussion for another day.
With the name Southern Momma I got a lot of compliments, but over time I learned it wasn't as original as I had thought. I would receive messages in my Facebook inbox asking me to come to such and such venue or city and I would politely reply they must have me mixed up with someone else. I eventually learned there was a comedian who went by his name, but part of his act was titled Southern Momma. That explained the confusion. And the seemingly drunken messages. I was becoming less and less enamored with the name.
Another line of background: I have pretty much always wanted to have a shop. You know how we all have things that are just built into us and no matter how much we try we can't get away from them? That's how it is with me and two things. Design and entrepreneurship. I can't get rid of the designer in me and I finally figured out while in my late 30s that I'm an entrepreneur at heart and I just can't get rid of that either. After reflecting back I realized that I basically spent my entire life living some cycle of making things and then wanting to sell those things. Friendship bracelets, apples (I didn't make those, but I did pick them), the knit items, and now back to bracelets. Full circle now!!
So at many times in many times in my life I seriously wanted to have a shop. The what I would sell depended on where I was in my lifetime, but I just kept going back to that. I've had some serious dreams, some pipe dreams, and some serious plans, but I have yet to make that leap to actually move into a commercial space and really go for it. At the moment I've had a little booth at a local vendor mall. I call it my mini-booth b/c it's just a shelf really. I've been there well over a year and started out with two shelves shared between me and my husband. We expanded to three shelves and then had the opportunity to move to another location (in the same building) and have a full stack of shelves. We went for it and while it was nice to have the whole stack I finally admitted it was more work and more expensive and backed off to one shelf. The bonus is that I have the top shelf so I pay for the shelf and get the tippy top for free. Two shelves for the price of one! This seems to satisfy my need for a shop for the time being . . .mostly. We will see when I cave and graduate to a big girl booth or actually move into a commercial space. It's been on the table for quite some time for Building 313 to move into a commercial space and for me to do that in combination with a retail space, but to tell you the truth it's soooooo much cheaper to work from home. And more flexible. There are pros and cons to both, but right now the pros of working from home and keeping the mini-booth win out.
So you must be thinking there's a lot of rambling here and what the heck is up with the name already?!
Well, a couple of years ago when I was very seriously brainstorming, taking notes, and putting some actual plans on paper I was mulling over what I would call this shop. I discussed with some friends and family (I do that since I don't have coworkers) and tossed around a few different things. I had already reached the point where I knew Southern Momma wasn't going to stay forever and needed something that was unique and all me. And that's how House of Wolf and Lamb was born. I finally had my name for my future shop and I LOVED it. It was so me and I couldn't wait to use it. Except that I had to.
I was already set up with Southern Momma and it seemed a hassle to change. I wasn't opening an actual shop for the foreseeable future. So I just sat on the name.
Then during the second half of last year I started rethinking a few things . . .I wanted to get serious about some facelifts for Building 313 marketing and materials AND I wanted to rebrand both this blog and my Southern Momma items. After much discussion I also decided I really wanted to start YouTubing. In the end it made sense to cover all the items that weren't Building 313 with the House of Wolf and Lamb name. So it is now, in effect, my personal brand. Both for blogging and vlogging as well as for the merchandise I currently sell and any I might sell in the future. Since there's a real possibility I might never open a real shop (but I sure hope I do!!) I didn't want that name I loved so much be a total waste.
So where did it actually come from and what does it mean?
My maiden name is Wolfgram. On my Dad's side I'm a descendant of German immigrants. My Dad and at least one of my cousins (I have 25 on that side!) always had an affinity for Wolves. Wolf pictures, blankets, artwork, knick knacks. Pretty much anything with a wolf. If you've seen a giant wolf blanket from the 80s you'll understand why I wasn't as big a fan. However, my Dad passed away in 2006. A few years ago I found a beautiful, but inexpensive necklace with a wolf howling at a moon. It was just done in a lovely way I hadn't seen before and I think that really woke me up to seeing other items I hadn't noticed before. I just started becoming drawn to all the wolf items I never was before. Well, not the same items, but more modern minimalist renditions. Hence my newfound love embracing that part of the name that's always been a part of me.
My Mom has always had a thing for sheep. I'm so serious here. When I was small and we still lived in Minnesota we had a small hobby farm. We had 6 horses, a German Shepherd name Schnapps, a good lot of barn cats, and we also had sheep. For me as a child it was normal to have a barn with horses and sheep! It was only after moving to Arkansas right after I turned 8 (and after my parents' divorce) that I learned that wasn't normal for everyone else. And that was the last time we owned either horses or sheep. But my Mom had knit. She had raised the sheep, shorn their fleece, carded it, and then spun it into yarn. When we first moved to Arkansas, I remember my mom coming to school for some kind of demonstration spinning wool into yarn. In my home growing up (and ever since) if you came across some artwork or a Christmas ornament with a sheep or a spinning wheel, you got it! They can be few and far between. While I'm self taught at knitting, it was still my Mom who got me started. I can't even remember when it was, but it's been several years ago now. I kept seeing all these beautiful knit items on Pinterest. Being the crafty DIYer I am, I generally refuse to pay for something if I can make it myself. So I kept talking about how I needed to learn to knit so I could make these things for myself! Lo and behold, my ever listening mother got me what may actually be one of the best Christmas gifts I've ever received: A couple of cheap skeins of yarn and a beginners kit. The kit included a book for beginners, some needles, and a few of the other items I needed. I spent the rest of that Christmas break knitting TERRIBLE things. They were horrible and awful and I thoroughly enjoyed making them! Or attempting to make them? At some point I finally grew as a knitter to making not terrible things and made items that could actually be worn. Now I'm almost always knitting and have done everything from hats (sooooo many hats!!), to headbands, little bracelets/ponytail holders, scarves, kitty beds, boot cuffs, an extremely large and chunky cardigan, and probably my proudest knitting achievement: A lovely sweater that really doesn't get enough wear. So while I'm not quite as obsessed with the sheep as my Mom, I've grown to have a healthy love for them that's become my own, while reminding me of her.
Well, this one probably doesn't take much of a stretch for anyone to "get". I design homes for a living. Of course, I live in a house, but home and house are at the core of all of my design work. Homes are my bread and butter. They're what most people know me for these days and they're mostly how I make my mark on the world. I cannot explain how rewarding it is to drive past a home that someone is now living their life in and know that you designed it and drew the plans for it. It's just some of the best satisfaction in the world to have been able to play that part in someone else's life. It lets me be involved with other families in a very intimate way that very few people have the pleasure of doing. I absolutely love my job. I love homes. I love what they mean to us. The word "house" means so much more to me than just my job or where I live. House is where home is. It's where families gather. It's where special moments occur. It's our safe place where we find refuge. It's where we share the good, the bad, and the ugly. It's where we celebrate holidays, birthdays, graduations. It's where we mourn a death. For me, house also means ME. My body, my self . . . it houses ME. All of me, who I am.
HOUSE OF WOLF AND LAMB
I hope you can see now how much of me is in this name. It's a name that reminds me from where I've come. Two different sources that each gave something to me. Some bit of themselves to carry on when they're no longer here. This has actually been really emotional to share with everyone. I tend to be an oversharer by nature, but there are some things I generally keep private. I suppose the depth of this name is one of them. I do hope you'll all understand now why I love this name so much. It's taken me a long time to come around and embrace some things about myself in my life. To decide to not worry so much what people think and finally just be who I am and let the lovers love and the haters hate. You can't please everyone, but you can enjoy the pleasure you do bring to the ones you can.
Thanks for reading, thanks for following, and thanks for loving. :)