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.
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.
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!!!
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!