You’re here because you want to get to know me a little better, right? I get it. It’s one thing to put a name to a face, but it’s a whole other thing to explain the story behind the maker. Most of you know me pretty well already, because let’s face it; I share a bit more about my life than anyone should on instagram. But few of you know how theblushingscript originated. Let’s go back…. like WAY back.
I was born in Madison, WI @ 4 in the morning on the day after Christmas, 1988. I often thank my mom for “holding me in” until she did because the only thing worse than a birthday the day after Christmas, is a birthday on Christmas (IYKYK). I don’t really remember a ton from my early childhood. I know that I really enjoyed singing out loud + pretending I had a karaoke machine. I liked to dance and “shake my booty” – per embarrassing home videos. Singing was my dream, that’s what I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing. Was I good? Idk, ask my mom.
When I was 3, I had major reconstructive surgery to correct a birth defect that was causing problems. I was born with 3 (not 2, like normal people) ureters. They are the tubes that travel your pee from your kidneys to your bladder. TMI. You’re supposed to have one on each side, and I had 2 on my right side. So that whole event was a BIG deal in my life. I have some PTSD, and a huge C-section scar to show for it. But I am thankful that the doctors were able to fix the problem. Let’s move on to other, more positive things, shall we?
I got my artsy-side from my Dad. He’s a pretty epic artist and can do some rad realism drawings. I definitely credit my talents to the creativity I got from him. Too bad I haven't talked to him since I was 20 (HAHA).
I was the student in middle + high school that always went way above and beyond when it came to projects. Like, if a project required a poster, I made it a tri-fold pop up poster. I did everything I could to make it so good (and beautiful), that the teacher would ask to keep it, to use it as an example for next year’s class. And trust me, I was successful more times than I can count. Almost all my projects reside at Baraboo High School and that’s something I am pretty dang proud of. I had to borrow them for my HS graduation party, lol.
I loved art class, and I played an instrument (clarinet baby). I took singing lessons, and piano lessons, and I danced ballet (when I was super little, but still). Sports were never my thing. I landed on the B team in middle school basketball – probably because I rolled my eyes at the coach, oops. And then I tried out for football cheerleading when I was a freshman. I’m PRETTY sure I only made the team because I was dating the coach’s son…but let’s not assume. I did that for 2 years and then randomly decided to be a wrestling manager. Out of nowhere. And I loved it. Wrestling has a very special place in my heart, and that’s probably something that none of you knew!
Who’s sitting there saying to themselves, “well geeze, I wasn’t expecting her life story.” *HAND RAISES* Apologies, I tend to blab. Let’s move on. Fast forward to college, because that’s when I met B…and that’s a story that you guys are actually here for.
I began my freshman year of college at the University of Wisconsin – Platteville the fall of 2007 where I studied criminal justice, not art. I know, shocker. When I left home to head to school, I had a boyfriend. But that shit didn’t last long. I originally wanted to pursue a career in crime scene investigation (thanks CSI). That was also short lived. After taking a few not-so-glamorous courses about how un-fun that job actually is, I decided to change my emphasis to corrections. I had one professor that made probation & parole sound like the greatest job in the world. He convinced a lot of us to jump on that train. What a nightmare, thanks Professor Ross (sarcastic voice). I often tell Brandon and everyone I know that if it weren’t for meeting B, I would 100% regret going to college. I am STILL paying off student loans, 10 years later, for a degree I don’t even use. Okay, rant over. Jump to freshman year, second semester (March 2008)….
I was seeing this guy, let’s name him LAX guy, that played on the club lacrosse team. (Leaving names out to spare embarrassing anyone.) I had a major crush on LAX guy, but he didn’t feel the same. Apparently he only liked certain parts of me (wink), how bizarre. Anywho, one night after we “messed around”, I was leaving his room (walk of shame basically) and I passed an entire living room full of guys. Like oh, hi, hello, who are you people? Some of the lacrosse guys were just like "chilling". So LAX guy introduced me to all of them and I remember this one kid was wearing basic hammer hole jeans, a black adidas t-shirt that was 3 sizes too big for him, adidas shoes and a matching black adidas ball cap. They introduced him to me as “Shoes”. I sort of giggled and I left. Walked my ass back to my dorm.
The next day, they had a lacrosse game, and you best believe I was gunna be there because of LAX guy. After the game, I saw Shoes again. I went up to him and asked how he liked lacrosse and how things were going, yadda yadda etc. He was so shy. Like, SHY. And I am the polar opposite of shy. We chatted a bit, exchanged AOL instant messenger *screennames* and went on our way. We ended up adding each other on AIM + got to know each other FAST. Somehow, we quickly became best friends. We would hang out, eat lunch together every day, text each other constantly (he would always go over his 250 texts per month limit and his mom did not like that very much). OOOPS. And one day guys, he asked me to be his girlfriend on AOL. And I said yes.
And not even 24 hours later, I dumped him. Yes, I am a cold-hearted bitch. I thought about it and realized that I couldn’t date such a “good guy”. He was so different from any guy I had been with previously and just wasn’t my type. I just wanted to stay best friends. He was sad, but understood.
Skip ahead to the summer – I started dating someone from back home (let’s call him, Patrick). And Brandon was SUPER bummed. I remember getting a call from a number on my phone that I didn’t recognize. I answered it to realize that it was one of B’s good friends telling me how mean of a person I am for dating someone else. Woof, that was a low point. We returned to Platteville that fall, still best friends. He still loved me. Now, Patrick was (how can I put this nicely), an alcoholic, and I’m pretty sure he cheated on me regularly. But I was smitten and you know how it goes. We were very on and off, he treated me poorly, and every time we got back together, B was there for me to support my decision. Except for one time, after I promised him I would not take Patrick back. He was so mad. The one and only time he has every actually been mad at me. I will never forget it.
Skip ahead another year or so, to junior year of college, I found out that Patrick got another OWI and that was it for me. I was so done with that BS. So there we were, single and best friends. Jump ahead to December of senior year and this poor guy musters up the courage to ask me out, AGAIN. I said yes. And a few months later, I broke up with him. Again. It was senior year and I didn’t want to be tied down. I wanted to dance with people and get drunk and live my best college life. He understood and we remained best friends.
After we graduated in May of 2011, we returned home to live with our parents. We worked our summer jobs, scrambling to try and find professional jobs while trying to spend some time with each other. We lived about an hour away, so it wasn’t that often. And then B accepted an offer with WIS-DOT based out of Waukesha. He moved to an apartment here and asked if I wanted to move in with him (we were not dating at this point). I said yes. Because I figured I had a better chance at finding a job in my field, closer to Milwaukee, than I ever did in the Baraboo. I moved in and a few days later (at a Wisconsin Badger game – October 15th, 2011), he asked me to be his girlfriend one final time. I said yes, and the rest is history.
Our love is not a straight line, but it is a continuous line. He loved me first, harder, and longer. And he truly is the best man I could have ever imagined for myself. I am beyond lucky to have met him. And now you know why I often kid about me not deserving him, because hello, I was a bitch for so long. He proposed on March 9th, 2013 on a beach in Florida (in the pitch black) – that’s a whole other story. At first, I shoved him and said “are you seriously doing this right now, I can’t even see you” and then I said yes (WITHOUT SEEING THE RING). And on August 22nd, 2015, we were married. And now we spend our free time fighting about renovations :).
Now that that’s out of the way, I suppose you want to know how theblushingscript got started. Sure, 14 paragraphs in and now she gets to it…
After I handmade almost every decoration for our wedding, I had this sort of fire in me to utilize my creativity to make some additional income. At this point, I had already landed my “dream job” as a Probation & Parole agent, only to realize that I absolutely hated it. I transferred to a local office and took a huge demotion to basically be a receptionist for the WI-DOC. I felt like my brain was dying a slow death every day that I was there and knew I had so much more potential. So after chatting with B, we decided to open an etsy shop together in November 2015 and we named it “belleslumieres” or “beautiful lights” because we strictly sold large marquee lighted letters. I worked so hard to make the listings, took photos, added bios and all that fun stuff as we anticipated our first sale with bright eyes. After months of nothing, I was a tad heart broken.
One day, I decided I was going to try and “hand letter” onto a canvas. And after posting that on my belleslumieres instagram page, I got a ton of likes and people were digging it. And from that moment on, I started practicing lettering. I practiced and practiced and I sold my first set of hand-lettered canvases at the end of January 2016. I still remember that first sale like it was yesterday. I decided to change my name to “theblushingscript”. After a lot of thought, I chose it because my favorite color is blush pink and I was lettering, so “script” just sounded right. It’s really that simple.
In the beginning sales were slow, I would maybe get a few per month. But it was a side gig and it made me happy. All the while, my insta was like exploding from lettering videos and embossing videos and somehow I went from 500 followers to 20,000 in a week (mind you, 2016 instagram was heaps and bounds better than it is today). And then from 20,000 to 75,000 and it was just plain nuts. With more followers, came more sales. 2016 was crazy! So crazy that I was having to package orders on my lunch break from work because I had no other time to do it.
And then one day that summer, B and I were at the public swimming pool in Waukesha, and I asked him, “so what if I quit my job and just did this full time?” He looked at me like I was legit full on crazy. His eyes were as big as tennis balls. Rightfully so, because that’s a super scary thing to think about. Abandoning a steady income to do something that could result in financial failure. We talked about it, as we swam, and he was on board. I told him that I was confident if I was able to devote all my time to this, I could make it grow and it can work for us. And he trusted me. So in August of 2016, I put my 2 weeks notice in at a job I hated and said “PEACE OUT 9-5, MAKER WORLD HERE I COME”. And that’s that. I’ve been doing this full time ever since. It’ll be 5 years this fall. CRAZY.
Alright, now I didn’t really want to bring this up, but apparently many of you want me to address it. So here we go.
2019 was a tough year for me. I suffer from depression (I’ve had it ever since I can remember). And I definitely let it win in 2019. It was so bad, that in July I announced I would be closing my shop FOR GOOD in December. Many people were supportive but equally devastated. I thought, at the time, that the best course of action would be to return to an actual job and receive a steady paycheck. That was the plan as of December, when I closed. I took a month and a half off and then I returned. Because I realized that I was born to make. A part of me would be literally missing if I stopped doing this. So I dug down really deep and I used that energy to project myself into 2020, and then a pandemic happened. Go figure. But it was actually my best year yet, all thanks to one very special little ornament and all of you. So that’s the true story about how I almost quit, almost left it all behind me, but then changed my mind in the last hour.
That’s my story and how I got to where I am today. Several of you recently asked me how I stay motivated and what my biggest source of inspiration is. Honestly, I truly enjoy making things. Plop me down in front of my loom, hand me a cone of warp string and a big ole pile of beautiful yarn and I will go to town.
Speaking of weaving, I was asked, “why did you choose weaving as your business?” And that’s a legit question. Let me answer that real quick. I started strictly lettering. And then I dabbled in embossing, and embroidery and I tried macramé and weaving and a whole bunch of other stuff. I like to keep things fresh and always try new things. Weaving has been something that I most enjoy. Over the years, I have gotten pretty good at it, and I feel like I have found something really special with my themed minis. So I didn’t really choose weaving, it just sort of stuck. And that isn’t the only thing I do, but it is an aspect of my business that I very much enjoy. Who says we have to only offer one skill?
Anyways, (got side tracked) of course I am inspired by outside sources, such as TV shows or themes. But the number one source is from within my head. I strive to make new, exciting, beautiful things that my customers want to fill their homes with. I had some stretches there for a while where I couldn’t find the energy to make anything and that’s normal. But right now, I can’t contain the ideas I have and I’m excited to execute them for you guys in 2021.
Looking at my life now, it has evolved quite a bit since 2015. As most of you know, Brandon and I are currently renovating every room in our 1964 ranch home. We have our hands full and we are doing it all on our own. So you can say I’ve dabbled in interior design. Am I trained professional, heck no. But I feel like I know what I’m doing and I feel as though I’m pretty good at it. It’s probably just another side effect from being a creative. It feels normal and natural and I enjoy it. I haven’t always had the skill, like anything, you get better at something the more you do it.
Other than that, I’m just a normal 32 year old woman, living with her husband in southeastern Wisconsin. I enjoy watching scary movies, a tasty Southern Comfort old fashion, a perfect 65 degree day and the color pink. My 2 dogs, Luna + Harper are my only children (yep, no kids for us, not now, not ever). See, I’m pretty dang normal. Thanks so much for reading this novel; hopefully I haven’t bored any of you to death.
And one more thing: I know that blasting “my story” on my website like this, ain’t so normal. Trust me, I get that. It feels kind of bizarre writing it. BUT I have always been real and transparent with my followers. I believe in the importance of being authentic and instead of pretending to have this perfectly polished business, this is who I am and what I offer. NO FAKE SHIT AROUND HERE.
Brandon and I, this past summer at the beach, celebrating our 5 year anniversary.
Luna (Oons, Toons, Tuna, Oona, MiMi, Meems) 8 YR Old Miniature Dachshund
Harper (Harp, The Harp, Harpster, HarpyDarpy, HarperLee) 7 YR Old Bull Terrier