A New Chapter for Millay

Where I’ve been.

If ones twenties are for forging ahead in adventure, for putting yourself out there and going at life with an almost reckless abandon, then I think I’ve succeeded. I worked abroad right out of college. I left my home in the south to explore an academic career in the cold and fast-paced northeast. I dropped out of graduate school to follow my heart, which meant starting my own business out of the hallway of my tiny Boston apartment while I did every side gig you can think of to keep the finances stable. I jumped every time my gut told me to, which meant leaving behind a full scholarship and living stipend, then leaving all my side hustles to graduate my little online shop—at the time called Millay Vintage—to a full time gig with a beautiful studio space in Philadelphia. I jumped again when a storefront space opened up in Philly and launched the Millay brick-and-mortar, then jumped yet again when it was time to hire a small team to help me grow, all while scoring amazing press and awards along the way.

Right now you’re probably asking, “what’s with all this humble-bragging Mer, what’s your point?” First of all, I say how DARE you! (cue Mindy Kaling for those of you who watched every episode of The Mindy Project like I did.) I’m kidding, of course, this is still just a humble little thing I’ve built in the grand scheme of things. But my point is that trusting my gut has gotten me far, and kept me really happy. This ole gut of mine is pretty damn good: its gotten me a life of love with my best friend, its gotten me the sauciest, cutest chihuahua rescued from a dusty rural Georgia flea market with fleas and all, and it got me a thriving shop that I got to build and run all on my own.

Where I’m going.

And here I am, freshly minted into my thirties, and my gut is speaking yet again. While I had every intention of opening a new storefront here in Boston and continuing to grow Millay as a shop, a couple of hurdles and missteps made me pause. And my gut feeling these past several weeks was screaming that forging ahead with what I had planned no longer felt right. It didn’t feel like it was going to challenge and fulfill me the way it had before. I found myself missing in many ways how Millay had functioned when it was in a studio space. That year in the studio gave me a certain sense of flexibility to pursue avenues beyond ecommerce yet still under the umbrella of Millay. And in truth, I’ve really missed that ability to have more breadth and variety in my offerings, and the space to be more creative and to simply create beauty for beauty’s sake. I’ve missed making a big ole mess and staging lovely photos, I’ve missed prop styling, and I’ve missed having the opportunity to push myself more on editorial shoots.

Enter Millay Studio.

It’s a blog. It’s a shop. And just a bit more.

Overall, I want this to be a creative space to pursue a variety of projects, to share what I’m digging, and to dive into amazing conversations with you all and with incredibly talented businesswomen and artists I’ve met through my years in fashion and home goods. I’ve become more and more passionate about sustainability and responsibly made modern goods, and hope this is a space where I can further explore and flesh out that passion.

And let me make this side rant about blogs and why I felt like really recommitting to one now. Many people say blogs are over. But I say blogs have effing endured, you guys. I LOVE all the conversations that unfold in my Instagram DM inbox, but managing and responding to everyone and re-sharing things in an effort to make it a “conversation” has been tricky. And while Tumblr is forever my favorite web place to hang, it wasn’t cutting it in offering a place to comment and engage. So over here, I want to explore and share the things I love in fashion, interiors, skincare, chihuahua care (haha, I kid…or do I?!), shopping small, and every little thing in between. Viva les blogs!!!

What about Millay Shop?

Now let’s address the elephant in the room: the Millay Shop. What’s happened to it? Is it gone forever? Definitely not, but it will look a bit different. I’ll address this in a forthcoming post, I promise! (How’s that for suspense? Any less satisfying than The Handmaid’s Tale season finale? No? Too soon?) In the meantime, I still have a lot to photograph and list as far as leftovers from the Philly store, and now that this site is finally published, I’ll be adding goodies over there at bargain prices ASAP.

Now’s the time where I shut up and let you look around, click some tabs, and explore the new site. Because god knows it took me many hours and many glasses of wine to make this happen—a coding genius I am not—but ultimately I think things shaped up pretty decently over here! Give me a few weeks / months of growing pains while I balance all of this out (like all the new services I’ve added, etc.), but I plan to share as much as possible all along the way. Because life is a journey, and for the past several years, you guys have been on that journey with me. And I’m so damn grateful.

Cheers to the next chapter! Leave me your thoughts below—and definitely let me know if you see any glitches or errors—I’d love to get the conversation rolling!

xoxo,
Mary

  1. Clairesse Reyes

    July 26th, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    Congratulations, Mary!!😊

    You are truly a visionary, and I appreciate your continued connection with this community. Seriously-I know we’ve never met but I definitely feel like I know you!! So looking forward to these new ventures and as always loving the aesthetics of this new site♥️

  2. Mary Spears

    July 26th, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    Wow, thank you so much Clairesse, seriously this just made me so so happy. So grateful for your encouragement and for following along, its the highest compliment to have it feel like we are all actually truly getting to know one another! I’m so grateful for this community and all the friends that have come out of it. Sending you all the love! xoxo

  3. Clairesse Reyes

    July 26th, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️

    P.S. Please give General Gazpacho XOXOs too!!

  4. Perri

    July 26th, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    So, so excited to see what’s to come! I loved getting to know you in Philly and I’m excited to be able to follow along through this new space! Love and miss you!!

  5. Millay Mary

    July 26th, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    Aw thanks so much sweet Perri, it put a smile on my face to see a comment from you! I’m so happy that having the storefront brought you into my life, you are such a sassy gem and I wish I could still go to ballet class with you every week! Let me know anytime you are in beantown girl!! (And say hello to Stevie and Baby Cat!) xoxo

  6. Kathleen

    July 26th, 2018 at 10:01 pm

    Congrats on the new site and Millay Market, Mary! Have been missing your cool vibes along Main Street but following along on Insta (and now here) and just so happy for you. Everything looks great; keep doing you!

    xo Kathleen, aka the one who wouldn’t stop buying Consider the Wildflowers rings and Object Enthusiast everything from you!

  7. Mary Spears

    July 26th, 2018 at 10:29 pm

    Ah, hey Kathleen! So good to hear from you, I always loved when you came in and still laugh at that time you came in the middle of that awkward conversation that would never end! I hope your summer is going well, thanks so much for following along and saying hi, you totally made my afternoon 🙂 xo!

  8. Crystal

    July 26th, 2018 at 10:33 pm

    Congratulations Mary! I have literally been checking every day to find out what you had in store! I’m so excited for you to have a handful of channels to express your creativity. I’ve said it before but I really do mean this – you are an inspiration. <3

  9. Mary Spears

    July 27th, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    I can’t thank you enough for saying that and for being so encouraging – thank you Crystal! I’m excited to see how this next year unfolds. It’s already been an exciting couple months in Boston, so I’m ready for the ride 🙂 xoxo

  10. Mynor J Carcamo

    July 29th, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    I think your story is unique and yet it’s so relatable. Your work is beyond anything I’ve seen before. You’re creativity, your attention to detail is truly impressive. How do you do it? How do you capture such emotion?

  11. Michelle

    August 30th, 2018 at 9:22 pm

    I joined this change As you landed here in Boston. Can’t wait to see it infield. I love the slower deeper reach of a blog!

  12. Mary

    August 30th, 2018 at 10:07 pm

    I’m so glad to have you following along Michelle! And you said it PERFECTLY: you can go slower and so much deeper on a blog, and I hope a great community comes out of this! xo

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