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.
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.
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.