Hudson and Harper Co. reached a huge milestone last week; growing to over 10,000 instagram followers. There is so much to say about this. Let me just scratch the surface.
Last March as spring was renewing and a new cycle of life was blooming, I embarked on a path of self-discovery that would ultimately change the trajectory of my life. I was still very much in the raw stages of grieving the death of my stillborn daughter Harper who passed away on May 8, 2017. She was the second child I had lost and fourth I had delivered. I found myself 35 and the mother of four children yet parenting only two. I was a bereaved mother in deep mourning but I had two lively, rambunctious little kids at home.
And they needed me; all of me. Not just some half-assed part of me. Because giving them only a portion of their weepy and damaged mother wouldn’t be nearly enough. They needed a mother who was fully present. But it was as if I was being pulled in two very polarizing directions; moving forward in to the land of the living or letting my losses define me. I knew my children were at a critical time in their development and that even the slightest disruption in their day-to-day lives could be catastrophic to a then two and four year old. How would I gather the strength I needed to dive into playdates, preschool pickups and carnivals when all I truly wanted to do was crawl into a cave of darkness and close my window to the world? I had seen and experienced the very worst AND best that life has to offer, all in a tumultuous six year journey. And I was emotionally drained.
After my first loss, I went back to work almost immediately. The work was unfulfilling and monotonous and while it was extremely painful to grieve in such a public platform as a school counselor it was also a chance to run away from the trauma that had started to define my life. And running away was something I had gotten very comfortable doing. Whether it was from family or long time friends, distancing myself from the people that mattered most had become a defense mechanism that seemed to allow me the space I needed to process my pain. It was alienating and hurtful to those I loved – but it was something I could control. And after having lost so much control in my life, it let me navigate the ship again.
This time though, after the second loss, I took a sabbatical from my school counseling position for a year and set some serious personal intentions. Grief had simply taken too much out of me. And as a counselor, I had nothing left to give. I would invest in myself. In my own self-care. Because, at the very least, I knew that if I didn’t I would never to able to be the mother my living children needed and deserved.
With all the tragedy I had endured, severe PTSD had left me numb and void of any semblance of the spirited person I used to be. So much of my adult identity had been branded around my ability to bear children. And that identity had been questioned by the ways I felt my body had failed me. I needed to reclaim myself. I needed to go on a journey of self-discovery and find myself again. And while I knew it would never be the same person I once was I had to try and see if there was any part of her left. And if I was able to find even just a piece of her, I had to bring her home.
So that’s what I did. I took the time to heal. I invested in the things that mattered most to me. The things that fed my soul and replenished my spirit. Things I’d always loved but had somehow slipped away after becoming a wife and mother. I escaped through literature. I discovered new art. I studied design. But most of all, I wanted to create and be creative. So I took sewing lessons and started making pillows. The sewing served as a space to get out of my own head. A place of quiet and calm. And I guess you could say the rest is history.
Hudson and Harper Co., was a concept born out of great pain and suffering but the company has since become a token of resiliency. It has given me the freedom to chase my dreams so fiercely and to honor the children I have lost. It represents the strength and conviction of the human spirit. A strength I believe we all possess deep down inside. Ultimately, our battles test that strength and let it surface when it’s needed most.
Through Hudson and Harper, I have been able to marry my love of art and home design with sourcing beautiful and unique textiles from artisans around the world. More simply put, I support goods that are handmade and made in small quantities. I believe handmade is better because it tells an authentic story. And I love storytelling. That’s not to say that there isn’t a purpose and need for things that are mass produced. It’s also not to say that I don’t LOVE a good find at Homegoods or Homesense. Because I do. More so, I believe in supporting creative people with massive talent and a heart full of hope; supporting the skills of people living in rural parts of the world.
I believe in craftsmanship. I believe in community and awareness. I believe in knowing where your products come from. And curating these beginning collections for you all has been such a life changing gift. As the company continues to expand and evolve, I am so excited to build a lifestyle brand that speaks to people and joins us in hope and renewal. Thank you to all of those who have followed along on this journey. It’s only just begun and I can’t wait for what’s in store. So come for the pillows and stay for the conversation. Let’s talk design, fashion, motherhood, female empowerment, love and loss. I promise it will be worth it.