This morning, the last day of my birthday month, I awakened to nature whispering my name. I don't know if you've ever experienced such a feeling, but it's literally like a magnetic force pulling you in, and you cannot (and do not) want to resist; you're all in. So I left my city girl life for a moment, and got lost in the gentle escape of nature.
This is not a feeling that I am unfamiliar with, but being that it was the first time that it happened to me at age forty, and on a Sunday, I quickly adopted and embraced it, dubbing the morning, "Renewal Vibes."
As I hopped out of my Lyft with the eagerness of a young child on their first day of school, I felt the welcoming spirit of Mother Earth wash over me; the air was crisp, and my senses heightened.
It was a chilly 48 degrees, and a lovely, Pacific Northwest style grey morning. I took deep breaths, taking in the subtle ripples that the ducks created as they gracefully created a work of art, t...
In six years, the company has gone international, been featured in magazines, boutiques, podcasts.. and I'm damn proud.
Now.. Let's get back to the basics.
I've been spending a lot of time juggling (and creating!) new products, as well as organizing my hard drive, which literally possesses thousands of my photos of art, nature, and of course, 303 Face | Body products.. Photos and original products that I've completely forgotten about over the years, as my quest to kick ass overruled savoring the moment at times.
As I looked at the products, the detail, the love.. I felt proud, and also melancholy. Wanting to reach for the stars is phenomenal, but not at the expense of forgetting the early days, the blood, sweat and tears.. the "woohoo" moments.
While the brand was getting to the status that I wanted.. luxe.. spa grade.. I became so transfixed on the "what next," I completely forgot to appreciate the "current."
The life of an entrepreneur requires commitment, structure, attention, organization, and heart.
Heart is what keeps you going in the middle of a large purchase order, en route to a potential supplier, and when fulfilling orders for dedicated customers. Be it first time buyers, or loyal repeat customers, love goes into each and every product.
With the successful launch of CocoaVin, a sheer, cocoa rich lip creme for 303 Face | Body, I was elated to receive quite a few new customers, as well as a number of loyal, repeat customers, which truly brings a smile to my face.
The main goal of 303 Face | Body is to create natural skincare products that are free of ingredients that are harmful to skin, and full of skin nourishing oils, butters, and herbs. When I'm able to recommend (and or customize) a specific item to meet the needs of customers, I'm reminded of how much of a gift it is to be in the business of helping others feel and look their best.
As I Carrie Bradshaw the evening away on this last day of September, I am happily reflective.
Some 6 years ago, I made a decision. That decision has lead to countless hours of brainstorming and projects for an artsy fartsy individual who loves to create. The decision has allowed for a love of photography and beauty products to marry together and develop a company. From Montage by Marci, which initially specialized in photography, to 303 Dolls by Montage by Marci, which began to incorporate a handful of charming homemade goods.
303 Dolls Face | Body became the company name as photography, though ever present, began to be a tool in the process of growing the skincare line, and less about the photographer and my landscape photography.
Through the various farmers markets, fairs, and bazaars, I began to.... although appreciative of those venues, sit, look around, and realize that I wanted the company to grow.... and to go in a different direction. I wanted it to be modern.. more sexy......
"Every photo that you see that has to do with 303 Face | Body in any way, shape, or form, I've taken. Aside from the skincare line, I live and breathe photography. From product images, to all social media, blogs, and so on, I take the photos for everything."
A direct quote from an interview that I gave to The Crazy Mind in 2016..
..... and the truth.
When I first started capturing the flower boxes and my big wheel in the backyard as a forth grader, little did I know what was developing.. which is one of the wonderful joys of discovery as a child.
My dad has always had an awesome camera, photographing here, there and everywhere, and this is how I became the owner of a kodak 110 camera as a little tyke. That purchase laid the foundation for what would become a fascination, admiration, and passion for me.
By my 14th year, I'd developed another admiration, and that was for leafing through beauty magazines, obsessively admiring the way carefully posed color palettes, stylish perfume bottl...
An avid lover of paintings, photography, and the process of various artists, I tend to visit the museum weekly.. its actually what I refer to as my healthy addiction.
Other than feeding my soul with early morning walks amongst nature, I am also fueled by watching the creative process of persons that have dedicated their heart and soul to making sure that each fabric, each color.. each finished product, is that of personal perfection, and completely compliments their craft.
One of my absolute favorite exhibitions at the museum will be closing soon, and last evening I brought along the Canon to photograph the pieces and runway video clips of the exhibition that makes both my heart and soul full with inspiration, and light.. speaking to the creative soul within me in a way that I can express as nothing short of flat out exhilarating..
It has something to do with the decorations on the vanilla candle pictured here.
Yep, that's right (even if you weren't trying to guess!) I took a pressed flower decorating course.
Approximately every two months, members of the Denver Botanic Gardens receive a guide discussing upcoming art that will be featured in the garden, courses, and events. After taking up space on the kitchen table for about a month, I finally dedicated an afternoon to thumbing through the pages and marking the dates of events that were of interest to me on my calendar.
I set this particular course date to notify me two days beforehand. I shrieked with delight because I'd forgotten about it, and asked my husband if he minded joining me. Although not his cup of tea at all.. he did.. but took his iPad and did not participate at all. :)
There were about 15 of us in the class, and each lady was possibly more stoked than the other about being there. Two course instructors g...
About a month ago, I was taking photos of the "Meet in the Street" that was happening downtown, and decided to go off of the beaten path a bit. It was not the first time that I walked down this street, but it was the first time that I saw this fantastic spot. It wasn't open at that moment, so of course I made a mental note to return soon so that I could check it out!
Cassandra Allen-Brown owns the Yarn Shoppe. (instagram yarnshoppe_denver) Nestled in the heart of downtown Denver, this neat space holds a wonderful mix of yarn, as well as a lovely, intimate space for yarn classes, and the most amazing vintage handbags that I have ever seen.
Filled with various fibers and knitting ideas, I look forward to returning and learning the craft.
The wonderful Cassandra Allen-Brown, owner.
The yarn display, which is near the charming space for where the classes are taught, and quite the ideal space for knitting with a friend.