The auction we are running for Val has totally made me realize a few things. Well, not that I don’t already know it but I think I didn’t understand the magnitude. The magnitude of Matilda Jane Clothing . To me MJC, is just my small baby. I know it has grown, I see that when I pull into a parking lot with 20 cars. What a weird feeling that is. I never saw MJC as being a big corporate place. It’s not me. It’s not what makes me happy. It actually intimidates me and I’m not comfortable with that at all.
At times, like today, while I am so happy that we have grown big enough to be able to actually make an impact on the lives of so many I am a little confused. I grew up in a family that was very giving, and it really is part of me. But to give at this level is a whole new thing. The feeling I get, and you must get from being part of it, is unexplainable. I’m am filled with so much love from all those who are giving and caring yet, I read FB and I am brought to a place I don’t want to call mine.
What confuses me is I am questioning myself. I have always been nice. This is who I am and we don’t have to always get along but we do have to be nice. I say this to my boys all the time, “If so and so is mean to you, you do not have to be his friend but you have to be nice to him.”
I don’t like to question myself and what I love about MJC. I love the group of girls I see everyday, I love I know their stories; their families and I just love them. I am so thankful for all our Trunk Keepers who walk in the same shoes as I everyday. They take ownership of MJC as I would; they work like non-other, deal with so many things, build great friendships and have totally brought my dreams to reality. I love all of you. I love that we recognize customer names as we pack. It means so much to me that each of you share your stories with us. The girls at 435 all know you too. They could all rattle off lists of customers that they enjoy talking to and those who do not work phones could rattle off the customers who buy the best outfits cuz they are packing them.
I don’t want to not be that. I don’t want to be so big that I have 100 people at 435. Let alone 50. I like my little team. I like that we each take such pride in our roles and we all do everything from phones to packing to unloading a truck to having each other’s backs. We are more than workers at 435, we really are a family.
With that said, I am sure you all obviously know I am very passionate about my company. I never asked for it to be as big as it is, nor had I tried to make it that way. I get so many emails asking about how I built my business that I can’t answer. It just happened naturally. Yes, I do fight the growth. I am so fearful someday I will have to rent a big convention center for our 435 pre-party. I love having you guys at my house. I love letting you into my life and becoming part of yours.
The hardest thing is letting go of how close MJC is to my girls and me. And I don’t think I can. I don’t want to be Gap, or Gymboree. I don’t want to run a huge company. I don’t want to risk every penny I have saved for my kids on MJC. I did that once. David and I spent every dime we had on MJC in the beginning just to prove I could do it to a man who said I could not. All I want is to love my job and being close to my girls, hearing how girls just smile when they get their package and be able to do wonderful things for deserving people. That is seriously all I want.
What is eating me today is I know we sell out of things, I know. I sometimes feel some of you do not realize we have feelings to. Have you every heard someone say “It’s okay if you don’t get an A, as long as you try your best”? Well, I say that all the time. I seriously don’t care what Joe’s grades are or if he wins a game, I just want him to put every ounce of passion he has into it. We do that at MJC. That is why your little ones want to wear it. They can feel it. I can feel it. We try our best every day. We don’t just guess at numbers. I don’t feel like I need to tell the public what we order for their approval.
I am me, and I am happy with who I am.
I am Matilda Jane and I am proud of what we have built.
I know I usually don’t touch on issues of conflict because truth is it usually causes more. But today as Jami and I are working so hard on this auction, doing something wonderful for someone we love, hearing negative comments just put me over the edge. Would some of that be said to Big Box retailer? (sorry, I shouldn’t have put names on their, I’m feeling quilty?) Probably not, because they may not care, let alone the owner would probably never hear it. So why is it you would say a hurtful thing to someone who does care? Why would you yell at your kid for getting a B on his test when he does his very best everyday? I certainly don’t want to be that kid.