The Journey Of A&L
“Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.” Newt Gingrich
As i sit here trying to write out the Journey of A&L, its a bit overwhelming to say the least. Like any business, there is always a beginning, a start point or a spark of a fire that creates what might feel like an impossible dream to something much more than that.
Here is my beginning:
It starts with my life at age 21, fresh into marriage and really wanting to start a family. You never really know how that will go, so we decided to start trying. My husband Shaun and I got pregnant pretty quickly but, shortly after we lost our first to miscarriage. This scenerio HAPPENED 2 more times until we started looking into medical advice.
After tests and negative results the Doctors just chalked it up as normal. I didnt believe that and really wanted to do some research on why my body was reacting that way. After becomming pregnant for the 4th time, we started taking progesterone shots every other day to support the pregnancy and it allowed my body to carry to full term. Decemeber 1, 2008 we welcomed our daughter Ava Grace into our lives!
A Year later, We decided to try again knowing that progesterone worked, we felt very confident! A few months later we were pregnant for the 5th time.
This pregnancy was very different. I knew something was’nt right. Seven weeks into my pregnancy, the doctors informed us that the baby was located in my abdomen, attached to an artery (blood supply). We were heart broken. In about 2 weeks the artery was expected to rupture and it would be life threatening. Having gone through two rounds of chemo to preserve my life, I was devastated to lose another child. I really struggled with why God would allow me to go through such trials, why it had to be so difficult to have children. God was preparing me for something.
I was struggling with anxiety, depression and having a lot of mouth pain to top it all off. After multiple trips to the dentist, they told me I needed $50,000 worth of dental work and for some reason every tooth in my mouth had an issue. Through a woman in my church, she advised me to speak to a holistic doctor in California. I sent him an x-ray of my mouth and within a few months was flying down to see him. He told me I had to have all of my teeth removed. The chemo treatments had killed off all the living roots in my teeth.
Leaving my husband and baby behind, my mom and I stayed in California for two weeks while I had the procedure done. I healed holistically, no pain medication, no antibiotics, only fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, juicing, organic supplements, and essential oils. We were learning to depend on the earth to heal my mouth and body. I learned that my uterus was affected by mercury poisoning, stemming from infected root canals, and I learned that there was a connection between this and my history of miscarriages. My body was shutting down, I had several tumors in my mouth, mercury poisoning, and over 6 abscesses. This was life changing. Before boarding a plane with no teeth, I had an exit x-ray to see if everything was cleared away. The doctor went on to tell me that there was evidence of a tumor in my lung that was possibly cancerous from all the toxins that traveled through my body for years.
I trusted that God would tell me why I was really there. Why, after having my teeth removed, would he spring this on me? God was teaching me to trust him. I did. We flew home and reunited with my little family, I told them to pray. Life went on for the next 2 months, I continued to juice, take supplements, change my makeup and skin care routine to metal and chemical free, and ate organically. After going to a doctor for a second opinion, by God’s grace it was completely gone! There was nothing there! A year later we welcomed our beautiful little boy Levi on October 23, 2011.
God Knows what He is doing. his plan had played out in every step of my life to allow my journey to unfold in such a way. He allowed me to learn from living throught it, research from my own testimony and through these trials and exhausting events, it allowed me to create products that heal the body naturally.
Around the time that Levi was 6 months, i decided to start using the holistic supplements that i personally healed with and created different skin products. They had a great reputation of healing the skin fast and effective because every ingredient is pure and had medicinal value. We started selling the products at fairs, shows and farmers markets to get our name out! after a year or so, we decided to try for another baby, i know, crazy. We were able to get pregnant and carry Jonas Grey full term with zero complications! I knew God had healed my body!
How we Persevered:
It was not easy selling holistic, natural, homemade products from my kitchen 10 years ago. We still pushed through and i was passionate about what healed me. i truly believed in these products and it did’nt take long to get other people to believe in them because they worked!! After a few years of defining our brand, we moved our home production to a little mill in putnam. This mill had no overhead lighting, no heat and no bathroom…...…i was phsyched! We were not open to the public and only sold online and farmers markets. it was hard. it was exhausting..but, we persevered. A year later, we opened up our first REAL store on downtown putnam’s main street.
Owning a store on putnam main street was a true dream. When i started this little hobby, i said, “i want to own a store on putnam main street one day”. there was a certain location that i really wanted but, it was’nt time yet. I moved my mill location to my new dream spot and i couldn’t have been more excited! I had the sign above the door on main street, the foot traffic and the 500sq ft. space with overhead lighting and a bathroom!! it was amazing! i was so grateful for every door god opened to allow me to own a store!
We worked incredibly hard. i personally worked wed-sun. I have an amazing supportive husband who saw my hobby and allowed me to pursue it. He saw something in it, believed in it and supported me through it. I met amazing people, had fun and really enjoyed telling customers my story on why i was so passonate about what i did. It was truly an exceptional experience!
A Year to the day, an unimaginable OPPORTUNITY, the dream of all my dreams, the 1500 sq. ft spot, the street level location, the XXL store front windows was available. i couldnt believe it!I didn’t want to push it, so i prayed about it. God had perfectly designed a way for me to have it and we moved in a few months later! What an incredible blessing he allowed me to have.
Fast Forward a year.
We Enjoyed every minute of our new shop! We had 4 incredible employees. We had and still have amazing customers who support us ever single day. June of 2018, we had to close our store front. It was the hardest thing, yet i knew it was the right thing to do. I had found out that becuase of the mouth surgery i had 9 years ago, i had suffered severe bone loss in my jaw. I needed and still need a series of surgeries over the course of 17 months to rebuild my jaw and teeth.
Closing the store was difficult, it felt like i was throwing away everything i worked so hard for. It was truly a blessing in disguised as i realized, like any business, its draining, hard, sacrificial, and can really put alot of strain on a family. I would have kept going, but God knew what was right for me and for my family. It was a huge relief to close and has dramatically calmed my life down in order to go through this year and a half long medical procedure.
The Journey isn't over yet...
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” -Maya Angelou
Here i am today. I am healing from the first major bone surgery and preparing for my jaw surgery next. I have learned so much over the last 10 years, but nothing compares to what i have learned in the last few months.
I am capable of great things when i work hard but, i am also cabable of pushing my limit and the limits of my family to a stressful and uncomfortable place. God allowed me to STOP. God allowed these new trials to help me see and grow and realize what is truly important here.
I started at home and in the end god brought me back home to continue my passion, yet heal, recover and be with my family.
my favorite plan yet.
God knows our limits and he gives and he takes away purely for our good.
My Husband and i decided to renovate the side of our house into a store and product kitchen!
Thank you for loving us and supporting us.
we cant thank you enough for your
support through our journey.