Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Austie Eckley Relaunch 2014

This morning I have to take a huge breath because I am so nervous, anxious, scared but most of all excited about relaunching Austie Eckley. My first love was always hair and makeup before I started creating headpieces and accessories. When I first started making little things I never thought I would fall so in love or that people would actually buy them.
It is always difficult to explain my business and I overexplain it so that it flows and is cohesive. When I have to fill out paperwork and it asks me what I do I am always torn because I start with “Hair, Makeup” and then think, “But I also make headpieces, and I really love to do that, too, but I probably don’t need to put all that. … LOL.”
So, let’s be honest, I really needed to ask the Lord what it is He has for my business. As most of you know, my first priority is my relationship with the Lord, my husband, and my girls. When our girls were in the NICU I spent a lot of time in prayer asking God what my business was supposed to look like and how I could be successful with my family coming first. I was excited but very nervous about the very clear answer I got. This is why I gave my website and brand its own facelift.
I am excited to introduce you to the new Austie Eckley site. I am putting more time and emphasis on the headpieces and accessories, and will now be selling them on my site. My hope going forward is that my website will become a go-to bridal boutique, offering hair, makeup and headpieces/accessories. I want to be able to create the entire look for my brides. I also wanted to offer a lookbook section for brides and clients. This section has complete looks with a description of each. I will be refreshing these looks as seasons and trends change. I want this site to be a resource to help brides decide and create their look.
With that all said, I have a huge passion for commercial and editorial makeup, and still desire to book this type of work if given the opportunity.
Doing what I do comes with really great things and it also comes with really hard and sometimes frustrating things. When I first started making headpieces, I thought it would be really fun and cool to name each piece with a vintage name … until I realized everyone was doing that and not to mention local designers would end up having the exact same “vintage names.” At first, this was incredibly frustrating, but I quickly realized this is nobody’s fault; it’s just that if it’s a cool idea, chances are other people are going to do it, too.
One of the changes I wanted to make was to address the name issue. I went back and forth on different ideas until my sweet husband had an idea that I fell in love with. I have been scouring my Bible and the Internet for some of my favorite verses -- mostly about love – to use as style numbers. “Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the maidens” (Song Of Solomon 2:2) is a very personal and sweet verse in my heart. This was one of the first verses my husband wrote to me when we were dating. This verse has been my entire inspiration for the new collection and website changes, and I hope it will also reach the hearts of women who need to know their inner beauty.
I look forward to thoughtfully picking each “style number” to suit each special piece. My whole life I have been worried about what people think of me -- whether my business choices are the right ones, if my work is good enough... and the list goes on. God did so much work in my heart while our girls were in the hospital and I no longer fear those things, especially when it comes to Jesus. I want to share His love in a special way that reaches deep into the hearts of women. I pray that the Lord will use my business, headpieces and me to glorify Him. I will not live in hiding over my love and deep belief in Him, and I know He is in control of every decision I make.
I could not be in the place I am in without some other very special people. There have been so many who have helped me, prayed for me, brainstormed with me, watched my babies, donated their time for me, texted me incredible inspiration pictures and text, edited for me, that I could not be doing this without them. I don’t want to attempt to name them all because there are too many to name and I know I would forget someone. I do want to thank Christine Shields, my extremely talented photographer. Christine has been there for me on this journey, through thick and thin. She is one of the most talented, beautiful, creative and loving people I have ever had the privilege to get to know. She has saved me in more than one scenario; always texts me right back even if I am coming up with the craziest ideas and she has to talk me off the ledge; and she always makes me laugh when I need it. Mostly, I know she cares deeply for me and my success professionally, as well as our friendship personally. Christine is going to do many great things and I am blessed that I was able to have her as my main photographer.
I also want to thank my incredible husband -- not only for supporting me as a partner in life and love and parenting -- but also for the hard work he has done to help me with my relaunch. He has spent countless hours working on my new website, not to mention the time he has spent with our daughters so that I could catch precious moments to focus on my work.
Lastly, something I have always wanted to do is donate to a cause I believe in. I am going to donate 5 percent of every headpiece and accessory sold to NICU families in need. The process of getting our babies healthy and home was so exhausting emotionally and physically -- and was very expensive even with the best insurance money can buy. I can’t walk away from it without a strong desire to help in some way. I have a couple different ideas and goals to help support these families as well as the needs for these new mommas preparing to go down this grueling road with their babies. I look forward to keeping you posted on this very exciting part of my business.

You can view the introduction video by Ashlee Murr here.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


As most of you know, I have been out on maternity leave taking care of our sweet unexpected twin girls as well as big sister Eleanor. The past 7 months have been a crazy whirlwind for our family and I have just been taking in every minute of it with Thanksgiving. I want to update everyone on what is in the future for Austie Eckley. I have a lot of big changes happening and I can’t wait to share them all with you.
Many of you have been following our story, and know that our little girls were fighting for their lives in the NICU for over a month. During this time, a fellow colleague of mine broke into our home and stole my entire hair and makeup kit along with some clothing and other small items. I want to address this because I have had a lot of time to reflect these past 7 months. When this happened, I was not going to allow it to have any part of my world because my focus was bringing my little girls home. I think it is important that I talk about it and admit that what happened to us was not a small thing and that not only was it wrong, scary, and personal, but it was also against the law. I would like to say I have forgiven this person. However, the truth is that I am still very angry, confused, hurt and deeply saddened. We are confident in who we think did it as was the detective on the case, but unfortunately we did not have enough evidence to prove it. I have chosen not to expose this person because I truly believe they will have to answer to God. I also believe we reap what we sow and pray that this person will be able to one day come clean. I also pray everyday that God will give me the strength to truly forgive this person so that I can be free however I am not going to let this situation rob anymore of me.
With that said I am hopeful that God will continue to work on my heart and help me move forward. I am so excited for 2014! I have been working very hard the last couple months brainstorming, sketching, planning, and most of all seeking God on what Austie Eckley is going to look like going forward. This time has made me ask myself what do I truly love to do and what am I the best at… I am not going to share too much but I am completely rebranding and plan to relaunch Austie Eckley spring of 2014. This is going to include new packages, an entire new collection of headpieces, accessories, and an entire new focus. I also have some fun little surprises I am praying for and working on as we speak. I am so excited to share this new venture with all of you and I hope and pray you love it as much as I do.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and if you would like to keep up with Austie Eckley please LIKE and follow me here.
Austie Eckley

Friday, July 12, 2013


You were too early for us, but not for God…

Penelope and Lillian were due July 22nd ,2013, but they were born May 5th, 2013. They were almost 3 months early. This was not the first surprise we had faced with this pregnancy. We didn’t find out we were expecting twins until after our 20 week ultrasound! The good news at the time was that they had their own amniotic-sacs and placentas. Now that I was expecting twins we had to Switch doctors and were told that they were actually sharing the same placenta, but had their own sac, which meant that they were identical, but now had a high risk pregnancy.

We do not know many of the details, for example, how we did not know we were having twins for so long, or about the placentas or amnio-sacs. I do remember waking up one morning and telling Justin that I didn’t feel right, and that I had grown really big, really fast. Justin along with a lot of my friends and family, just chalked it up to being pregnant with twins. I knew it was different, and at 27 weeks I began to get very uncomfortable and was even waking up early in the morning with what felt like back labor. I was monitored and sent home on moderate bed rest, and ordered to drink as much water as possible.

The next week I went to my scheduled 28 week ultrasound. My technician did the ultrasound, and I was informed that I needed to head directly to the high-risk Perinatologist at Providence St. Vincent. This happened to be the one time I had Eleanor with a baby sitter. This marked the start of many miracles, both big and small, but all enormous to Justin and I. Justin and I met at the clinic and we went from bliss to complete fear in a matter of 2 hours. The Perinatologist (specialists for high-risk pregnancies) was concerned with not only our tiny unborn little girls, but they also informed me that I was in the beginning stages of labor. These doctors, although very serious and direct, comforted us the best way they knew how. I was exactly 28 weeks pregnant and I was admitted into the hospital. I was so scared, but was comforted deeply by my husband and the belief that God loved these babies more than we did.

Once I was admitted into the hospital, Anti-pardem nurses and doctors started the process of trying to keep our little girls in my womb for as long as possible. I was given Magnesium, which is a slow muscle relaxer that is supposed to stop contractions. Along with this came serious discomfort, and I was hooked up to heart and contraction monitors around the clock to make sure our babies were stable. My vitals were checked regularly, and I was only allowed a certain amount of fluid due to the magnesium. Magnesium is also supposed to help protect the babies’ brains and spare us enough time to get steroids in my body for possible lung immaturity. The doctors informed us that every day, every hour, and even every minute that the babies were in my womb was a milestone.

Our big milestones were 24 hours for the first round of steroids and then 48 hours for the second. Our daughters were also observed by ultrasound every day to monitor any concerns. The girls had shown signs of “twin to twin transfusion syndrome”, as well as some slight skin edema (swelling in the skin). We also learned that the reason I had gotten so big and so uncomfortable was due to Penelope having 3 times as much fluid in her sack than normal. These were all signs pointing to twin to twin transfusion. The first night I stayed at the hospital without my family was extremely hard. I woke up at 4 o'clock in the morning and began to pray and ask God to have favor on my family. He answered and very clearly spoke to me... I will never forget the words, "This is going to be long and hard, but I will be with you the entire way.” I held onto HIS words throughout the entire process.

Once we reached 48 hours my contractions had almost come to a stop. The doctors decided to take me off of the Magnesium to see how my body reacted. I was allowed my first shower in days and was also able to drink as much water as I wanted! That moment was like Heaven! I was only off the Magneseum for less than a day when my contractions started again. Something was different this time, and I knew deep in my heart that our girls were going to come. My labor started for the second time around 12pm Saturday afternoon. I was dialted to a 5 and it was clear that there was no stopping my body...the doctor was called to come back to the hospital for the delivery.

There was a moment before the delivery I will remember for the rest of my life. I was laying in the hospital bed holding Justin’s hand, as well as his sister Meghan's, along with his Mother Joanne...and we were all crying. Joanne prayed and asked for Jesus to protect me, my babies, and that HIS will would be done. That was the first time in my life that I was able to give everything to the Lord. It was a breaking point in my life that made me realize I had no control, and that ultimately everything is in God’s hands. This was just the start of Gods transformation in Justin and my life.

After trying to hold off labor for close to 15 hours, another round of Magnesium, countless prayers, tears, and so much discomfort, our little girls were born. Our girls were delivered by C-Section at 5:07 and 5:09AM Sunday, May 5th, 2013...Cinco De Mayo! I didn’t know what to expect because my first child was a beautiful natural birth. The one thing I was so fearful of was that my babies would not cry. God is so good! He knows our fears and nurtures our souls! Both Penelope and Lillian cried loudly and vigorously for their tiny weights of 2.2 and 2.3! I knew at that moment that Gods words were true, and that our little girls were going to be ok!

I was not allowed to see my babies right away. Justin followed a team of 10 doctors and nurses into the NICU. After I was stable I was wheeled back into my hospital room without my babies in my womb...or my arms. This was an extremely hard time for me. I was still numb from the chest down, I had no idea if my children were ok, and I didn’t have Justin by my side. Praise God after an hour I was wheeled in to meet my precious daughters for the first time! I was still numb and on a stretcher. My little girls were inside their new “womb” in the incubators. They each had a dozen cords attached to their tiny bodies, hooked up to 3 separate monitors, and a CPAP machine in place to help remind our little babies to breath. I was allowed to reach my hand inside the small opening of the incubator to hold their tiny hands for a couple of minutes. I was later able to hold my girls skin to skin, (which they refer to as “Kangarooing”). I looked forward to my kangaroo time each and every day I woke up. I will forever cherish that time that I had with them.

Our little girls were in the NICU for 48 long days plus the 6 days I was in Anti-Pardem. I never understood what it meant when people would say situations were for Gods glory until this past 2 months. Our little girls did everything they were supposed to do. We were told countless times how amazing they were, and how they continued to surprise the doctors and the nurses. Through this process I would drive to and from Beaverton every single day, as well as making sure my precious Eleanor was taken care of. I still cannot believe how strong and incredible my sweet Eleanor is. She was my rock throughout the 54 days. I had to bring my milk in without a baby, and continue to pump 8-10 times a day in order to prepare to nurse twins. I am so blessed and happy to say that both of my girls are exclusively fed on breast milk today!

I had many days where I would just cry for no reason. There were also times I would question why God chose this for our family. I know now it was because he loves us so much! We would not be who we are today had we not went through what we have gone through. We experienced someone breaking in to our house while I was in the Hospital by someone we knew. For us... it didn't matter. For the first time in our lives we could truly see life for what it was, and see the big picture. It was a speck compared to what we were going through. If anything, we felt sad for this person that they could take advantage of us while we were in this situation. The great thing is the good in people far outweighed the bad! We were, and are still stunned at the kindness and generosity we endured throughout this process.

Not only did we receive love from the incredible doctors and nurses we grew so close to, but from all of our family, friends and complete strangers! People put their lives on hold to make sure we were taken care of. We had meals provided for us for over a month, complete care for Eleanor, gifts, donations for my stolen products, cards, text messages, phone calls, visits, and most of all prayers! I was able to keep a prayer journal of all of the people that came to the hospital and prayed with and for our family! I believe that our girls were prayed for every minute that they were in the hospital. I even had a nurse stop me when I was leaving to pray for me because Eleanor was also in the hospital for food allergies. Our daughters were born to GLORIFY God! Who HE is, and to show us what really matters in life.

We checked into the hospital April 30th and the girls were discharged June 22nd, exactly 1 month before my due date. I prayed and begged God to send them home together, and again he was faithful! We have been home now for over a week and are taking in every moment with our 3 beautiful daughters!!! We had to deal with food apneas the first couple of days home, and this was almost enough to break me. Again, I prayed and begged God to help them grow out of these, and of course they did! Our life has been changed drastically in under a year! If you told me a year ago this is where we would be, I would have said that I could not have handled It. I know now that I can do all things through Christ, and that without him I am nothing. I was able to spend some very sweet and intimate time with HIM throughout this process that has changed me forever. Truly and deeply. My goals, dreams, and desires have all changed. I feel grateful and lucky that God chose this path for us. I live for him and for no one, or nothing else. I pray for everyone we were able to reach during this process and hope that our lives have glorified him!

I can only hope we can bless and love other people the way we were blessed and loved. I am so thankful for our family and friends, and most of all for a God that loves us so much!

In Awe,

Austie, Justin, and our sweet sweet daughters... Eleanor, Penelope, and Lillian

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


I am really excited to share a couple shots from some recent work I was able to participate in.

I have had the privilege to meet and work with an incredibly talented photographer and his crew. These are shots for AARP MAGAZINE AND IEEE SPECTRUM MAGAZINE.

I look forward to showing you some of the other exciting projects we have been working on. Once they are published of course!!



Tuesday, February 26, 2013


I wanted to share with all of you my newest feature in the beautiful Oregon Bride Magazine for Spring Summer 2013. I had a blast working with Oregon Bride's incredibly talented stylist Julia Platt-Hepworth. Creating custom pieces for her inspiration was magical and to see them in print was unforgettable.

Thank You Oregon Bride!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012


I am so excited to share these incredible images with all of you...Christine Shields and I got the opportunity to work with Zoe Sherman on the most perfect day at the Oregon Coast. We couldn't have done it without Holly Stalder, Margaret Saunders, and Kate Rutter.


As most of you know I am a mom to a precious little girl. My favorite thing in the world is to stay in our pj's all day and do nothing. However I also love being a girl and taking a little time for myself. I strongly believe its very important for mom's to take a little time for themselves whenever possible. I know this can be challenging so here are a couple easy tips to help getting ready easy with little ones.