Spring Fling

“Normality is a paved road: It’s comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow on it.” Vincent van Gogh

When spring arrives, there are few places I would rather be than among blooming orchard trees. With a short blooming season, at the first sight of pink and white, I make my way to Robinette’s. With the spring sun setting, dusk is the most beautiful and peaceful time to meander through the trees and walk the trails.

“And hard cider was the fate of most apples grown in America up until Prohibition. Apples were something people drank.” Michael Pollan, The Botany of Desire.

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Robinettes - Spring apple blossoms

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Robinettes - Spring dress, mixing patterns and prints, strapless light mint blue abstract print dress, striped button up

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Robinettes - Spring dress, mixing patterns and prints, strapless light mint blue abstract print dress, striped button up

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Robinettes - Spring dress, mixing patterns and prints, strapless light mint blue abstract print dress, striped button up

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Robinettes - Spring apple blossoms

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Robinettes - Spring dress, mixing patterns and prints, strapless light mint blue abstract print dress, striped button up

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Robinettes - Spring dress, mixing patterns and prints, strapless light mint blue abstract print dress, striped button up

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Robinettes - Spring dress, mixing patterns and prints, strapless light mint blue abstract print dress, striped button up

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Robinettes - Spring dress, mixing patterns and prints, strapless light mint blue abstract print dress, striped button up

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Robinettes - Spring apple blossoms

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Robinettes - Spring dress, mixing patterns and prints, strapless light mint blue abstract print dress, striped button up

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Robinettes - Spring dress, mixing patterns and prints, strapless light mint blue abstract print dress, striped button up

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Robinettes - Spring dress, mixing patterns and prints, strapless light mint blue abstract print dress, striped button up

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Robinettes - Spring dress, mixing patterns and prints, strapless light mint blue abstract print dress, striped button up

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Robinettes - Spring apple blossoms

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Robinettes - Spring dress, mixing patterns and prints, strapless light mint blue abstract print dress, striped button up

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Robinettes - Spring dress, mixing patterns and prints, strapless light mint blue abstract print dress, striped button up

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Robinettes - Spring dress, mixing patterns and prints, strapless light mint blue abstract print dress, striped button up

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Robinettes - Spring apple blossoms

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Robinettes - Spring dress, mixing patterns and prints, strapless light mint blue abstract print dress, striped button up 20

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Robinettes - Spring dress, mixing patterns and prints, strapless light mint blue abstract print dress, striped button up

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Robinettes - Spring dress, mixing patterns and prints, strapless light mint blue abstract print dress, striped button up

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Robinettes - Spring dress, mixing patterns and prints, strapless light mint blue abstract print dress, striped button up

Grand Rapids lifestyle, style and fashion blogger and designer - Robinettes - Spring apple blossoms

Jessica DRESS: Jessica Swagman | BLOUSE: Gap (similar here or here) | SHOES: Vintage

Spring, Summer, and the Seconds In-between

“I am still learning.” Michelangelo

I feel like Spring has flashed by me in a blur. Somewhere between the melting of snow and the flowering of plants, life happened, and I’m not sure where I was or what I was doing.  Ok, I know where I was and what I was doing, but I am having a hard time believing that it is mid-June already.

In case you are wondering what is new with the world of Jessica Swagman (fashion) or what is new in the world of Jessica Swagman (person), here’s a little update. Keep in mind, both worlds (the person and the business) are inseparable and my life is my business.

I rarely admit this and I abhor saying it, but I can’t do it all. Yes, most days I believe I am Superman, but every once in a while I have a moment where I am brought to my knees with the realization that I’m just human. To me, failure is anything that isn’t part of my plan…

Jessica Swagman (fashion) has been plodding along slowly. Building a company is exhausting but building a fashion design company has been arduous.

Juggling two companies has been both exhilarating and tiring. With my event planning company growing exponentially, it means that all of my attention is on keeping up with the growth. This leaves little time to spend on my fashion company, and when I do have a moment, I focus on the lack of growth. Neither productive nor fair.

Lately, I have been trying to look at ways to grow the selection of items without overextending the company, figuring out what is working and what is not, and restructuring some big components (ie: manufacturing).

Sewing the garments takes a lot of time, and during certain months (April – September), I am unable to do it myself. This means having someone else do it, and finding someone who has the talent and efficiency is a lot harder than you’d think.

So, what does this mean for the next collection? Well, the Fall 2016 collection has been designed, but unless I can find the manpower to help with the sewing and manufacturing, it will have to wait. Disappointing, undoubtedly. But success takes time, sometimes years. And that’s ok… I have to keep reminding myself that that’s ok.

Jessica Swagman (person) is doing ok. No, really, I am. Every day brings a new lesson and a new challenge. Education costs money and sometimes that means I learn something by making a mistake. As long as I learn, it’s not a waste. And after 31 years, I am still learning.

Yes, that’s right, another year older. I’m officially in my 30’s, not just flirting on the edge of them. I feel the same, except I think I care even less what people think of me and I’m even more unapologetically, yet tactfully, honest. I actually like getting older, but maybe it’s because I still look like I’m 13 (one of the reasons for the new bangs, it ages me at least 3 years).

So here’s to another year, another day, of learning, growing, and having faith in the journey.

Jessica Swagman

Jessica Swagman

Jessica Swagman 1

Jessica Swagman

Jessica Swagman

Jessica Swagman

Photos: New Years with my mom, February trip to Vancouver, My friend’s cocktail party,  Skiing in Colorado, Holland’s Tulip Time, Mothers Day.