A Room Makeover
Perhaps this is what this season is all about: Trusting in the unknowns, Finding gold in the little things, Trading fear of what's uncertain for freedom to thrive within it."by Morgan Harper Nichols
Megan Proctor Connelley
Small business Owner. Military Spouse. Soon-to-be Mom.
In 2017, I got married, sold my house, and moved all my belongings (and business) from Charleston, SC to Southern Pines, NC. Moving away from Charleston right as things were ramping up for Sea+Stone left me with a lot of uncertainty about the future of my business. With so much of my design aesthetic drawing inspiration from the Coast, I wasn't sure how much success I would find in the NC Sandhills. On top of that, I knew that marrying military meant that somehow my business needed to embrace the act of moving and adapt to be more mobile in the future. I moved my business into a small upstairs bedroom when I arrived in Southern Pines so that I would have some time to pivot and solidify my new business plan (while working rent-free)!
If I was going to mobilize my business, I knew that meant that I needed to embrace the internet and make it as easy as possible for people to experience Sea+Stone on their computers and mobile devices. For seven months, I crammed my entire business operation into a small (100 sq. ft) upstairs bedroom. All of Sea+Stone production happened in that tiny bedroom, with work benches, crates of gemstone beads, spools of wire and silk, and bins full of finished inventory cluttering shelves on every wall. It also housed all of the website, marketing, and general office duties, too! I spent every afternoon (when the sun was JUST right) photographing social media posts and e-commerce images in front of the window overlooking our backyard. I kept extra boxes, mailers, and packaging materials in a nearby storage unit and handled order fulfillment by driving there several times a week!
The space was small and absolutely loaded with stuff. But I worked obsessively up there (ask my hubby... he did more than his fair share of helping me, and would try to drag me out in the afternoons when I had been up there too long), and over the course of a few months, I built a the current Sea+Stone website in that little upstairs room. The extra effort paid off, and our internet sales and online engagement started climbing. After a few months, the increase in online traffic and sales on our new site was exponential. It was such a big win for me, and showed me that marrying military did not mean I had to give up my dreams of building a business.
So much growing had taken place in that upstairs office, and by Winter of 2017, I moved Sea+Stone out of the house, into a nearby office space, and hired my awesome assistant Bridget that Spring!
Since then, the space has been mostly empty or used as storage, but now, something else is going to be growing in that little upstairs room! Our baby boy is due in the coming weeks, and the space that was once my office has now been transformed into a nursery! It is so funny to look back at photos of the space filled with work benches, shelving, and supplies, and see it now so cozy, clean, and homey. There are still traces of it's past though... I have probably vacuumed the room ten times in the last two months and swear I keep finding little beads in the carpet!
We filled the room with maps, airplanes, and model ships to promote a sense of adventure. There are nautical creatures and elements sprinkled in too (we're hoping he has a love of salt and sand like us)! We decided to keep the room the same neutral tan color from when it was my office! Like I mentioned before, being mobile is key. Our little family will have wings instead of roots- our first move together with the Air Force will likely be happening later this year, so we didn't want to make any major changes to the interior of our house when nesting for the little one. Yesterday, we were admiring our baby's nursery and Jay pointed out that our little guy will likely never remember this house or the little room that transformed for him.
But for us, it has been fun to see how it's changed in just a matter of four years. Prior to our engagement, wedding, and pregnancy, and before it's role as a nursery OR an office, it even housed Jay's roommate when I first began visiting him and the area.
It's unreal how much has happened in the last four years and how much our lives have changed. But I have a hunch our greatest adventure yet is just ahead of us!
We are expecting Baby Connelley to make his debut anytime this June! With the temperatures over 100 degrees this past week, and the baby already weighing over 7lbs, I'm hoping he'll want to show up sooner rather than later! My assistant, Bridget, will be holding down the fort at our Southern Pines studio while I am out of the office. Things will continue to run fairly close to "normal" during this time, with the exception of custom orders, events, and made-to-order pieces (we will be taking a break from these facets of our business until August).
Our website will be open for business as usual with orders fulfilling weekly, and you can also find updates about Sea+Stone and baby on our social media accounts listed below!