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My other two tattoos are of a dream catcher & of the phrase "Let it Be". Now, it's funny, because people will see the one on my arm, ask what it means, ask if I have any others & give me a kind of look when I tell them what else I have. And, I don't think anybody has asked me why I have those 2 other ones, ever actually. Partially, I think people don't want to pry & that's fine, and I think honestly, others just assume I got them so I can say I have them. Dream catchers & let it be are common, yes (as are anchors). but my stories aren't.
A little over 2 years ago, my family experienced tragedy. I will always remember getting a phone call from my Aunt saying that my cousin Christopher was in the hospital & that we should come down. She didn't tell us what happened & part of me wanted to believe it was just a broken bone and we would go to the hospital to make him smile about it. But I had this knot in my gut, I knew it was worse than just a bone.
My cousin Christopher was a little more than a year older than me & towered over me by more than a foot. He was this loveable guy with no fear in him. If he wanted to do something, he did it. He wasted no time. Christopher never wasted any time making sure that the people in his life knew how much they were loved by him. He made sure to tell you often that he loved you, he would hug you & give you a big kiss on the cheek so you could feel that love. He reminded me that he would always protect me & that he always had my back.
When we got to the hospital that night, I knew my gut was right. My cousin Christopher, the indestructible one, was on life support & the outcome was grave. My system was shocked. I remember sitting at the grand piano in the hospital lobby thinking, "how could this be happening?" Saying goodbye to my cousin, while he was hooked up to countless machines was a moment I never thought my family would have to experience.
The days & weeks that followed were unreal. I couldn't sleep, my mind wouldn't stop replaying what happened, my heart would race while it ached. I come from a close knit family & this shook us to the core. His services were beautiful, people were laughing while telling crazy stories they shared with Christopher. His memory lived on in the smiles & laughter of others and will continue to do so.
Even though I knew he was gone, I really struggled with accepting it. When I saw my family & he wasn't there, I just told myself he was working and I would see him next time. People would ask how I was holding up & I would smile and tell them I was fine even though I wasn't.
It wasn't until a few months after Christopher's death that I figured out the stepping stone for my acceptance. I was at work, had my headphones in & "Let it Be" by the Beatles came on. It's a song I have heard countless times, but the moment I heard 'let it be', something clicked. I felt something deep inside as I was reminded of Christopher.
The song was the kick I needed to stat to move forward. I kept repeating in my head, "I have to let it be." There was nothing any of us could have done to save him that night. Terrible things happen but we can't let them devour us, destroy us or bring us down. We have to pick up the pieces, piece by piece & put ourselves back together. It takes time & it takes will. But at that moment, I knew it was my time to start picking up my pieces.
I want to share with you one of the last memories I have with my cousin only 10 days prior to his passing. It was Christmas Eve & we were hosting it at our house. I got home from work a little early & soon after my arrival, Christopher pulled up, literally hours before we told the family to come. It didn't phase us, he helped out in the kitchen, and by helping I mean that he tasted everything and gave my mother the approval to make entirely new plates of our anti pasta since he ate one to himself. My mother laughed & make numerous extra plates of food.
A few minutes after that, Christopher & I were alone talking in the kitchen. He decided to hug me & it was one of those hugs that lasted 5+ minutes. He continuously told me how much he loved me & how he always loved me. He reminded me that he would take care of any guy who broke my heart & that I deserved only the best. I remember rolling my eyes and laughing because he told me these things often & he didn't have to say them out loud for me to know. I am thankful that he felt compelled to hold me & tell me those things one last time. I can still feel his embrace when I need it most.
I still can't believe our 3 year anniversary is here already!
I started Love Struck soon after I was out of college, working only part time because a full time job was hard to come by & I figured I could make extra money by selling things I made. I had always been into scrapbooking & at that point recently fell in love with sewing and found that I was naturally pretty damn good at it.
A few months after Love Struck began, I started working full time and the balance between the 2 was tricky. But at that point, I wasn't sure how long I would be even doing Love Struck. There is something very satisfying though, when somebody brand new is looking through all these items you have hand made & loving them. It's of course an ego boost, but there's also an overwhelming sense of happiness. Your hard work pays off & when you can make somebody happy with an item you've made, then that's incredible.
A lot has changed over the past 3 years at Love Struck. In the beginning, I was making anything & everything. Trying new things, but making things that weren't practical. I kind of had to come up with the uses of some items as I went along, and that worked out fine. I would prep for craft shows and make dozens of an item & then they wouldn't sell. It was constantly this tricky balance because one show there would be 2 or 3 really popular items, but then the next show, nobody would touch those same items Finding a balance was very difficult & a little frustrating to be honest.
That was one of the reasons why I made the decision to make the change to primarily selling made to order products. I have found that working with a customer one on one has been really rewarding. I really enjoy getting to know the person I'm working with, it helps me be able to make something a little more customized & special.
One of my favorite things that hasn't changed one bit over the years is giving back to a cause that is near & dear to my heart. Giving back to the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life program with every purchase made, is really important to me. I have seen the incredible work they have done over the years, I have personally participated in free programs they run for cancer patients when my aunt was needing a wig after her cancer treatments caused her to lose her hair. Helping them continue to do such powerful work is deeply valuable in my opinion.
Over the years, Love Struck has become an extension on the person I have become. It has tremendously grown just as I have these past few years out of college. It is something I am so proud of & it's something I will continue pursuing.
To thank you all for continuously coming back here & for being great customers, to celebrate our 3 year anniversary month we'll be doing some giveaways & some special deals ahead!
Our first mystery giveaway package will be chosen from anybody who comments here on the blog, our Facebook page, our Instagram or Pinterest page!
Share with us the most special gift you have ever received &
My name is Kristina and I'm the founder of Love Struck. Read about how Love Struck came to be, see how I make it happen or just read a random thought I just might have! Anything can happen at our blog & I wouldn't have it any other way! It's time to get Love Struck, and what better way to start than right here!