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I’m not sure if you knew this about me or not, but I thought I’d share as I think you might be able to relate to even a little part of this story...

I'm a chameleon, I'm a free spirit, I'm controlling, I'm spontaneous, I have OCD, I have anxiety, I get depressed, I take risks, I love a challenge, I'm a homebody, I love donuts and I love to be healthy and fit. I love to dance and make others laugh... and I love to laugh. I love to write but only when I'm inspired. I love camping and really hate board games... monopoly is the game that never ends like that damn song. I'm driven and have crazy determination but will spend an entire day in bed watching Netflix when I should be working on my business. I don't like everybody, and I sure as hell know that everybody doesn't like me. I love hard, I make a lot of mistakes and I learn the hard way. I speak my opinion even when it's not welcome but I'm aware of when it's time for me to shut up or apologize. I'm unpredictable, I love to travel and not to just tropical islands with 5-star resorts, I can live off of the grid, I love animals but shouldn't own one, and I'm aware of my weaknesses and strengths. I'm your biggest cheerleader, I can admit when I'm wrong, I haven't been the best mom at times, I haven't been the best friend at times, and I'm ok with all of it, I have to be.

March of 2020…

COVID had officially shown its nasty little head to the entire world, and not that it hadn’t been rumored to have already impacted certain countries in the most terrible of ways back in December of 2019, but now we officially “believed” that it had in fact went global.

And whether you felt it to be real or not, man-made or a mutated strain of a virus that had already existed, something that was more than the common flu, or a virus that could truly devastate our world, one thing that we knew for sure was that people were dying, people were losing their jobs, people were forced into uncomfortable situations, divorce rates were starting to climb, abuse was increasing, tensions were high, others were profiting off of others losses and hardships, depression, anxiety, growth, distance, drug overdoses, isolation, pregnancies, bankruptcy, suicide, loss, anger, camaraderie, was all presenting itself in a way that we’ve never seen before and never will again… I hope, at least I hope to never experience MOST of it again.

Maybe this was a form of population control, no different than when I thought that about AIDS, I mean what better way to gain population control than for a virus to be contracted through blood, semen, or vaginal fluids, especially in the 80’s when drugs were at their peak once again, and sex, well, most of the population was doing that too.

COVID forced so many of us to think outside the box, learning how to do the inevitable, develop with the times and learn more about what was already going to happen anyway… technology and the government were going to monopolize it all… wait a minute, is it possible for either to do more damage than they already have?

I sit On the fence about a lot of things because I don’t believe in black or white with most of anything. I believe there’s room for change, I believe that we should never be close-minded about anything, I believe that we all have room to grow, and I believe every single person and circumstance that we encounter is to teach us something whether we like it or not.

Social media is dangerous, as is the news, (ALL NEWS, not just the mainstream media), gossip, scare tactics, rumors, 3rd party information, negative and close-minded people, but so are those that love to push their opinions on everyone else... all of it is dangerous!

Sooooo in the spring of 2020, I too had to think outside the box, my organizing business was put on hold for obvious reasons as it revolved around working closely with my clients, young and old, as well as being in peoples personal spaces. I had to think about what was next, what was my backup plan?

My husband had been given notice that he was going to be laid off in December of 2020 and we had about six months to figure out what our future was going to look like. I often said to him, we’ll figure it out, I don’t know how, but we’ll figure it out, and if we have to sell everything and live in our van then that’s what we’re gonna have to do. Little did we know that the 1981 van that we had just bought as a fixer-upper, just might save us one day.

I started smacked Apparel, first as a POD (print on demand) business through 3rd party printers and manufacturers, and then decided in November of 2020, after a lot of mistakes and tough learning curves, to bring the business home and create and design first hand with my own brand… and not that there still aren’t mistakes or a ton of learning curves, but it’s so much more rewarding to know that I’m doing it on my own, I don’t have to rely on anyone else and I’ve created something once again, that I can take anywhere, no matter where my husband and I go.

I had scribbled notes about an apparel brand for years and had a lot of fun creating different designs and dreaming about it, I just felt that it was too much work for what I already had on my plate, but as I said, I had to think outside the box and COVID did to me what it did to many others, I had to adapt.

My husband finished work in December and smacked Apparel was starting to make sales, we were going to be ok, he was going to find another job and we were going to be ok…

Fast forward to the beginning of May 2021, and not that I didn’t have a complete understanding as to what it takes to build a business, or that it takes months, if not years to build a brand, but Brett had just found work and we were so done with living beyond our means… not to mention living in a way that made sense for everybody else but “us”.

Sooooo we’ve decided to take the Brand, sell our home that’s located in the very same area that I grew up in, sell all of our “stuff”, and move west to beautiful B.C. Of course, we’re going to keep the van, really spend some time fixing it up, and figure it out as we go along. I think that through all of this, this past year, what we've learned is that "stuff" doesn't matter, "money" doesn't matter the way it used to for us, and that time is precious, so it's "time" to do what makes us happy.

My children are grown and thankfully due to technology, yes, I have a love/hate relationship with technology, we're going to keep in touch daily with both them and our grandchildren, and I actually feel that we're going to build stronger connections and relationships through all of this.

I’ve decided to start recording it so that we can share our journey with others. Let “you” see what it’s like to really have it all, and then to let most of it all go. To my husband and I, we have it all.

Can I start over at 47, live in a van, or in a trailer part-time? We will see! ... I know that my husband sure can. And like so many others have already said to us, “you have each other”, and that’s really all that you need, but again, we will see.

smacked Apparels mantra was always created based on who I’ve become over the last 10 years which is to “be unapologetically you”. And I have to say, I’m really looking forward to 2 plates, 2 forks, 2 spoons, 2 knives, 2 cups… can we get any simpler than that?💋

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