Motivation Monday: You Can.

“This is the year, Kris!”

I’ve lost count how many times Kelley has said this at the start of a new year. It’s a running joke between us at this point. (She even said it at the beginning of 2020. Ha.) I tease her for it, but honestly, many of the milestones we’ve had with Hemlock & Heather began with that optimism and forward-thinking attitude.

We balance each other out

The truth is, I’ve never been the optimistic one in our relationship. As much as I hate to admit it, for many of the obstacles we’ve overcome and projects we’ve taken from concept to reality, my first thought has often been how we can’t rather than why we can

I know. I’m not proud of it. 

A lack of ideas isn’t my problem. I’ve got those running out of my ears. It’s the belief - no - the certainty that we can bring them into existence that has often eluded me. Fortunately, I have Kelley. I’m not sure how different our business and my personal list of accomplishments would look without her standing in the breach when I lacked the belief that something was possible. 

Would I have gone back to school full time when I got laid off or would I have found another job in my floundering industry? Would I have applied to UT or would I have settled for another nearby school? Would we have taken on designing and building the huge Waterloo mural that currently occupies 28 feet of wall space at West Elm’s downtown Austin location? Hell, would we have started Hemlock & Heather at all?

I’m lucky enough to have someone who has believed even when I couldn’t.

I’ve been lucky to have someone to tell me we could (I could) when I wasn’t sure if we could. And it has made all the difference. 

The world needs your talent. The world needs your ideas. The world needs the thing you want to make, the business you want to start, the music you want to make.

If you lack the belief to get you to go from thought to action and you just need someone to tell you to get started, that you can do it, take it from Kelley and I:

Just get started. You can do it. Go in the garage. Make the thing. Start the blog. Buy the paint brushes.

And share your gift with the world. It needs it now more than ever. 

Thanks, y'all - Kris

"The World needs who you were made to be." - Joanna Gaines

Like many great discoveries in history—chocolate chip cookies, Post-it notes, the Slinky—Kris and Kelley Denby came up with their popular Texas wall hangings almost by accident.
In 2013—about a year into their sputtering business of repurposing furniture, called Hemlock & Heather—the Denbys decided to make and donate something to a silent auction that would benefit the victims of the fertilizer plant explosion in the town of West. Kelley, who is from West, asked her husband to build something “Texasy.”
So Kris came up with a colorful wall hanging made entirely from reclaimed wood and in the iconic shape of Texas. It sold for $150. 
“People just went crazy for it,” recalls Kelley. “We were like, Maybe we’re on to something.”

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