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My Why.

Sarah Tao

It's not about the clothes.

Trust me, I'm no fashionista. I mean, I love browsing the shoes at Nordstrom Rack like the next girl... but I've never been the type to go ga-ga over fabrics & patterns. I have a good eye for art and beauty, maybe even photography. But this idea of selling clothes?? Um... Waaay left field.

So WHY am I doing this? And how did I get here?

Let's start with this: I’m intrigued by the idea of social entrepreneurship: Tackling new ideas for wide-scale change. Innovation, passion, problem-solving, persistence. 

My parents were both entrepreneurs in their own right, and I grew up from a young age watching the family business grow. I watched my mom sew and design, I spent evenings folding flyers and labeling products, I answered phone calls from all kinds of customers, I spent summers running the back office.

But I went to college, pursued music, started the journey of medicine, found a passion in teaching, went on to pursue higher education, and then arrived at my greatest and most challenging job…  being mommy. It’s been a windy path, but I’ve told friends that when I finally became a mom, I feel like I arrived. I have lots of loves, but I think providing the best for my family will always be my greatest passion. I have an amazing, dedicated husband, and four beautiful children, ages 8, 6, 4, and 2. It’s hard to think of anything that brings me more joy and satisfaction than loving them and being loved by them.

I’ve always been wildly independent, and my mom once told me that she raised me to be ‘too efficient.’ Ever since I left home, I’ve been on my own path and was never really interested in the family business. I’d help out here or there, but it was just a job. I think it wasn’t the business part that disinterested me, it was just that I didn’t have my WHY. I didn’t have a sense of purpose there.

My WHY would have to be about something bigger. And it would have to be something I’m passionate and excited about. I’m ambitious, competitive, and overeducated… and yet at the same time I feel totally content as a stay-at-home mom. I love my freedom, the flexibility, and the intensity of running a busy household. I don’t find my worth or my identity in the workplace, at least not at this stage in my life. So why would I pursue something like this? Why sacrifice my time and energy and resources to give it all away?

It was 2am, and it was a case of mind-racing insomnia. The question of WHY was heavy on my heart. Why could I not stop thinking about signing on with this company? God, did you have something prepared for me here? I kept thinking, “I don’t need to do this, I don’t even know if I want to do this!” But I told Him that I would walk in obedience, and if He opened up these doors and wanted me to enter in faith, then I would.

The idea of “being generous” is a growing thread in our marriage. For awhile, Josh and I had been praying and waiting to know where, how, when to give.  I had also been helping a new friend run her LuLaRoe business for a few weeks under my roof, walking through every step together, praying a lot, learning the ins and outs, and truly having a lot of fun with it – but with no strings attached, and no long-term commitment. I thought I’d just help her launch, and send her on her way. Yet while I was helping my friend many late nights, stealing away to help organize or take pictures, or work to improve her business… that epiphanous night, I realized that maybe she was helping me. Maybe God put her in my life, for me.

Enter moment of clarity.

It’s amazing when you start to piece things together. You realize there’s another story happening, and events are not coincidental. And maybe all along, my husband and I didn’t have to wrestle so much with the question of how to give. That night, I realized we didn’t have to work so hard to know where to give money. Hello. It’s a clothing business, so give the clothes away. 

So there you go. The idea was born, and it’s launching sometime Fall 2016. We don’t know whether we’ll be with this particular company long-term, but it looks promising, and it will be a good start as we form a vision of running our business as a vehicle for giving. For those of you who know us personally, you know we’re people people: we love building relationships and connecting, and our home is always an open door. Josh and I are hoping that this will be marriage-building for us… and a fun way to serve our community together. 

You see, it's not really about the clothes. BUT the clothes are gonna bring people together. To yip and holler, open boxes, and labor together for something better. I don't have to worry about being the perfect model or "being right" for this fashion stuff. Instead, I get to creatively share with people how to feel beautiful & then joyfully GIVE beautiful away. 

Now, that I can do.