October 2, 2017 Wendy Partain
As we celebrate 10 years in business, you may think LucyBlue Knits is the natural outgrowth of two close sisters deciding to share something they love with the world. Today we decided it was important for us to share honestly about our journey together, not only as business partners but as sisters. What you see today isn't how it's always been. You may be surprised to learn that our road to claiming each other as both "sister" and "friend" was long, winding, and bumpy.
In fact, it was our kids who paved the way for us.
You see, we didn't really like each other as kids, and we hadn't found a way to relate differently as adults. In 1994, Sue's oldest, Karl, and my third son, Gabe, were born just weeks apart, and 16 months later, Sue's daughter, Olivia, came into the world not long before my Max. Our children formed a unique and tight bond as not only neighbors, but cousins, and their relationships gave Sue and I a way to connect as well.
As we experienced the challenges of motherhood, we found in each other the encouragement, support, and understanding that only a fellow mom can give. We needed—and still rely on—the comic relief, the shared shoulder to cry on, and the loyal reprimand that is accepted because each knows the other has been there. Through all those highs and lows, I gained not only a sister, but a friend.
So, when we decided to start a business together, you'd think it would be all sunshine and rainbows, right? Well, not so much. To put it bluntly, I was bossy and harsh. And Sue cried all the time and was late more often than not. We spent many a day sewing and stewing at our machines—Susie with tears down her cheeks, me rolling my eyes at her tender heart.
I honestly can't remember the turning point, but it probably started when Sue said something like, "HEY! Lighten up, big sister!" And you know what? I did. I became nicer and more patient. And Sue cried less. We started to have fun together and began to look forward to work.
Today, our days spent at the machines are our haven. We talk incessantly about everything from the speeding ticket one of the kids just got, to how we can be better wives to our husbands, to what we're having for dinner. We laugh til we cry, and when the true, deep tears of sorrow bubble up, we have a roll of TP handy in the drawer to dry our cheeks.
Although our bond is now both familial and relational, we have different professional roles. We both love the creative process, but Sue manages our Instagram account (follow us @lucyblue.knits) and is our designer and inventor of new products. I maintain the website, respond to most of the correspondence, and oversee the calendar. Sue makes the dog toys, while I make the infinity scarves. Sue is strong as an ox, and I can talk my way out of anything. Pretty much everything else, we do together!
I hope this post encourages you in your family relationships and helps you know the full story that's behind this family business. We're grateful for the way God has worked in both our hearts to make possible this joy-filled endeavor.