Class of 2003

Its amazing to look back at the last 10 years.

The good the bad and the ugly.

This year will be my 10 year High School Reunion,

and since I was Class President I am in charge of gathering my  74 other classmate.

(Thank goodness for Facebook)

(Senior Class Photo, 10 years ago… CRAZY)

Feels like just yesterday when I was dreamed of  becoming a famous

Fashion Designer in LA. Well, that and a Forensic Scientist.

Oh how times have changed.

(Don’t laugh, that’s me at age 6)

Most of you have no idea, but I grew up in a SUPER small town of 1800 people 2 hours south west of  Fort Wayne.

A lovely farming community where jeans and t-shirts where a staple.

Our spirit weeks consisted of bail tosses and drive your tracker to school day.

After school activities were all about sports and summer for me was spent at

Indiana Beach (Summer Job)

(Miss Volleyball more than anything else from High School)

(We went undefeated this year 42-0)

I remember that girl  in High School,  the girl who volunteered at the Indiana Veterans Home. The girl who had an array of different friends, and the girl who more then anything wanted to be different.

For the most part, I still think I am that girl.

I remember my graduation, and how more then anything I wanted to leave that small town and prove to everyone I could be something BIG. For me then, a small town was only going to hold me down. It wasn’t long after I graduated and went off to college in Long Beach, CA that I realized that it didn’t matter how far I ran because deep down inside I was always going to be that small town girl.

I laugh when I look back at that girl. The girl my journalism teacher nick-named “Money” because of a pair of ridiculous pants I wore just to be different. (Just for the record, I was still voted Most Fashionable.)

The girl who seemed so confident, yet  I was so naive, and the girl who LOVED to write poetry.

But more then anything, I was a girl who wanted to make a difference in any way possible.

(Easter is just around the corner, Age 7)

I think it is so important to never loose track of  “That Girl.”

To always remember the girl you were before life happened.

Which reminds me of a conversation my boy friend and I had.

In that conversation he said,”We are all a product of our past experiences”

I can not tell you how many times I have thought about what he said.

He’s right, but I think your past experiences should ALWAYS improve you for the better, not the worse.

So when I look back on the past 10  years, I asked myself  if I have improved.

I am still that country girl who loves camping and canoeing.

I am still that girl who LOVES to be different and enjoys having an array of  friends.

But for me the most important part of myself  I am glad I never lost track of  is,

I am still that girl looking to make a difference.

If you would have asked “That Girl” 10 years ago if  she thought she would be a part of a company who has touched hundreds of  life’s I would have said there is no such place.

I LOVE Matilda Jane for the differences it has made in other peoples life and the difference it has made in mine.

With out Matilda Jane, I am not sure I would be the same person I am today.

I can say  with 100% confidence than I am a better person because of  Denise and the experiences she has given me.

My only hope is that one day I can improve someone else’s life the way Matilda Jane has improved mine.

So CHEERS to the Class of 2003!!!!

May the next 10 years be as fantastic as the last, and may you never lose sight of  the inner “YOU.”




Lil - March 27, 2013 - 11:53 pm

You haven’t changed much after 10 years miss Kayla. Beautiful as always!
Have a great 10 year reunion :)

Brittney - March 27, 2013 - 11:59 pm

This post hit home for me and I really enjoyed how much you just shared. It’s posts like this that inspire and invoke feelings of joy. I love MJC. I do. I really really do!! Lol (to put it simply)

Chelsea - March 28, 2013 - 12:05 am

Love this<3

Roxanne Jacobs - March 28, 2013 - 12:05 am

Kayla , thanks for sharing ! Love ya girl xoxox Miss you and Romeo ! YOU are an awesome and amazing person …. (((hugs)))

TinaC - March 28, 2013 - 12:11 am

So pretty! You totally look like Lauren Conrad!

Whitney @RambleSAHM - March 28, 2013 - 12:37 am

Love this post and it’s always nice to see the people behind a brand! :)

TinaC - March 28, 2013 - 1:07 am

Only the last part of my comment posted. I have felt this same thing so much lately with the passing of my grandmother. I almost felt like an orphan, like where is ‘home’ where did I come from. Now what? I’ve really been trying to get back to my roots so to speak. Not get so caught up in life and material things and just remember the simple things. I recently found a quote that said ENJOY THE LITTLE THINGS IN LIFE FOR ONE DAY YOU WILL LOOK BACK AND REALIZE THEY WERE THE BIG THINGS. (Robert Brault) True, true and True! What I wouldn’t give to have one more night sitting in our (small town IN) front yard with my gramms and my grandpa. Listening to him play the guitar and watching lighting bugs. Soaking in every second.

Ashley S - March 28, 2013 - 5:42 am

Cheers to the class of 2003! You and me both! I’m also a 2003 grad! Doesn’t seem right that 10 years have pasted. The saying “time flies” really does seem true! Just seems like it was yesterday….

Missy Jungling - March 28, 2013 - 6:13 am

Beautifully written. This should be your speech at the reunion-if you have to give one. A great reflection on then and now! Congrats on all your success!

jennifer - March 28, 2013 - 6:49 am

What a great post! I love when they are just a glimpse into your lives :)

Mkelley - March 28, 2013 - 6:57 am


Sam - March 28, 2013 - 8:00 am

I didn’t finish my comment before it posted!! I was SAYING…
I’m so proud to call you my friend and colleague. Fancy word, eh? Not for high profile executives like ourselves :)

Renee - March 28, 2013 - 1:01 pm

Great post Kayla. I loved it :)

Africa Tuesday

Looks like it’s “Africa Tuesday” again..I’m thinking that’s what we should call it since every Tuesday I just ramble on about Africa to you guys again..

My girls say they are getting tired of reading (I think what they really mean is hearing) about Africa every Tuesday and every other day of the week too since it comes up on a daily basis back here in Platinum..oh man, I think I’ve turned into “that girl”. You know, the one that won’t shut up about whatever it is she is obsessed about.

Sorry Platinum girls, I don’t know if I can even make myself stop talking about it so I guess you’ll just have to suffer through.

Instead of just rambling about my many thoughts and feeling towards Africa like I usually do I thought I would just direct you to someone else who has a better way of putting our trip and experiences into words. Plus Steve and Jenni share some of their amazing photos on there too so you should check it out just to see the photos at the least..but seriously, you should read about Nate’s experiences too cause he’s pretty great at putting it all into words . So head on over to Finding Hope in Kipsongo to read even more about our most recent trip to Kenya.

That’s it for today, happy (Africa) Tuesday!


Cheri - March 26, 2013 - 5:22 pm

Oh, Kiara… I love stories about Africa. Let’s do lunch! I will listen happily!! thanks for sharing that blog, too.

Hope Boyce - March 26, 2013 - 5:23 pm

I love Africa Tuesdays! It’s like reading your heart!

The March of Madness

I guess I’ll start with the beginning of the year 2013.

January was a terrible month. I don’t think I had ever been so exhausted, stressed or depressed. I was actually quite concerned I was going crazy. And that’s the truth. I remember watching Walk the Line and crying cuz I thought I’d end up crazy like Johnny Cash did for a bit. Aghhh February rolled around and Sir Maximus Gloominess started to disappear and things got a wee bit better. And then March.

Love March. I’ve been so good. So balanced between work and home. It’s been kinda crazy feeling. I keep asking myself “so this is what it feels like to be normal?” If so, I’m loving it.

Last weekend, I got super stressed for the first time since January. It freaked me out. I knew I couldn’t go there again. I kept telling David and Lynette “I can’t do this, I can’t get stressed like that again”.

All our Fall 2013 fabrics were due this month. It’s quite an important time and nothing is more important than the fabric being the quality and color we designed.  Our MJC team (Sam, Kayla, Sarah Pip, and Amy) spent last week with our ladies in Shanghai to make this happen. But sometimes the communication is tough. When it came down to it, our interpreter was not quite understanding sunshine yellow from a pretty golden yellow, periwinkle from sky blue. Color is tough.

The girls got home Monday and Monday night we decided it was best for me to make the trip on Wednesday with Sam. Yes, Sam was literally home for a day.

My girls are amazing. They own Matilda Jane to the core and want nothing more than to create beautiful pieces, offer great customer service, and build loyal friendships. I’m so thankful to be surrounded by people who are as passionate about Matilda Jane as I am.

So, Sam and I left Wednesday morning and got here Thursday afternoon. I asked Pan, our main supplier, to travel with us to help communicate the importance of color/quality. It has been so nice. I wish I had thought of it last week when the girls were here.

She is very much like Carla. Pan has been with us since House of Clouds and has grown to love that we are very “picky”. For she is picky too….and it is most fun to make a beautiful garment than a less than beautiful garment.

It is a great feeling to have pride in your work, and our clothing shows it.

I know I’m rambling, once again, but it is sometimes fun to understand all that goes into a clothing line. And a trip across the world just to explain color is sometimes what it takes!

Gran - March 25, 2013 - 9:57 am

Sam, you don’t look like you’ve been around the world and back in 2 or 3 days. You wear the travel well, as all of the clothes you wear! Glad the trip is being successful for you and Denise.

Lisa - March 25, 2013 - 6:21 pm

This line means the world to your brand: “And a trip across the world just to explain color is sometimes what it takes!”

Being in marketing, I always find what you guys do interesting. A growing company trying to keep the quality and feeling of a small label is not an easy task. You seem to be doing very well!

Bronwyn McInturff - March 25, 2013 - 10:57 pm

Those colors are stunning. Thank you for sharing your story and the story of Matilda Jane. The clothes are amazing and seeing a little glimpse into all the hard work that goes into them is amazing too. Amazing – and interesting.

Leslea - March 26, 2013 - 12:43 am

Your clothes are so cute. Do they sizes truly only go up to a 27″ waist? That’s size M for most labels.

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