In early 2022 I thought that we may have lost our minds. We started out the year realizing that we had three stores, unintentionally, scheduled to open at the same time. Due to Covid delays and changes along the way we had three locations that their opening dates all lined up to be in the same quarter. In the past we would open 1 store a year, maybe 2, but certainly not at the same time. This year I asked my team if we were crazy...they laughed and said maybe, but we can do it! We all jumped in with the best plan that was a huge moving target but with passion, excitement and ready to tackle a lot of work ahead.
We had things thrown at us along the way that presented their own challenges each month, but in the end we opened 2 of the 3 stores and the 3rd one was delayed again by the hotel construction, but will be opening by February 2023.
I have always bragged on my incredible team and said that I couldn't do it without them, but this year was one like no other. They REALLY stepped up for me. Before I always thought I had to personally open every store myself and be there to do everything, but I didn't know all the challenges that would be ahead.
This year in April, Sparrow my four legged co-founder, was starting to lose weight and lose hair in patterns that no one could understand. We had vets in Mexico, US and Canada all trying to help us get answers- after months with no answers from bloodwork, biopsies and tests and I was desperate to know what was wrong. I took my son for a once in a lifetime experience to study abroad and the timing of that was as we were preparing for all the openings, when I returned in August Sparrow still wasn't better.
Finally in September it was confirmed that she had Cancer and we didn't know if she could have treatment. It fully consumed me day and night caring for her, making her special food, hand feeding her and begging her to eat, walking her to the beach for a daily meditation to just send her love and good energy and hold her and pray with her. While all of this was going on- our location in Baja at Rancho Pescadero was preparing to open and our new store in San Miguel de Allende was under construction.
My team managed the entire construction, set up and training for the store in San Miguel de Allende while I worked remotely from our office with Sparrow by my side. I carried her to work with me every day and had her next to me, sat on the floor for conference calls while hand feeding her and carried her back to the car at the end of the day- and the next day we started all over. I fought for her every day until we had done everything we could- as there was no cure and I was dying inside seeing her suffer even more. I couldn't imagine life without her but at the same time I knew that this wasn't the life we had together. She left us October 14th, 2022 but I know that not only is she still with me everyday- all that she taught me and gave me not only helped me but has helped thousands of people.
I didn't know that I could be so inspired by a dog, but she definitely changed my life forever. She is the reason I was able to start this company. I wasn't alone, I always had her by my side. She taught me about love throughout her life, we shared adventure and fun, in her sickness she taught me patience and empathy and she connected with me in prayer and meditation. I could go on and on- she was truly one of a kind. I am forever grateful to those that helped me find her 4 years ago when she was lost for 6 days and I thought I would never see her again. The 4 extra years with her were magic!
Despite my loss of my co-founder that was everything to me and to this business, we pulled together as a team. We all survived and realized that what we once thought was impossible was possible. Funny enough- once again we now have three more stores this year scheduled to open and while life will have challenges that come our way- I know that our team is capable of anything and that together we will continue to have major impact as we continue to change the lives for artisans across Mexico and beyond.
Thank you for being part of our past, our present and our future. Cheers to you this New Year 2023- let's make 2023 the best year yet in the love we share and the choices we make that will make a difference in the lives of others.