Oh what a week it has been! If you haven’t seen any of our videos or posts yet, the finale of the Shoals Alabama Launchpad was Tuesday night. We won 26,000 dollars!! We have always been confident in ourselves and our company, but to have our idea validated in such a big way is unbelievable. We have such big things planned for this money and for Southern Swaddle this year! We want to give a big thanks to our family, our friends, and all our supporters. When we went public with our idea I was terrified. I didn’t know if we would be successful and I was scared of being embarrassed if we failed. Once we went Facebook official, I felt like it was do or die, especially after the AL.com article. I couldn’t stand the thought of everyone we’ve ever known knowing that we couldn’t make it work. So, we made it work. The last seven months have been a mix of hard work and lots of fun. Working with Adam has been such an adventure, and building something for Ellis has been a dream come true. Accepting the check Tuesday night with both of them by my side was such an incredible moment. I would relive it every day if I could.
As much hard work has gone into building Southern Swaddle, it has been built by lots of small moments that almost didn’t happen. It goes all the way back to November 2015. Adam and I decided to elope. That next February we got the best surprise of our lives when we found out we were expecting our sweet Ellis. Now, if we wouldn’t have made the decision to elope, we wouldn’t have been expecting our sweet girl a few months later. Only two days after we found out we were pregnant, Adam lost his job. I had just graduated and was still looking for a way to start my career. After Adam's department was laid off, we were given a great opportunity to move back to Florence. We weighed our options and decided with a baby on the way, it was a good time to go back. We both think if it wasn’t for Ellis being on her way that we would hast toughed it out in Tuscaloosa. Because of our sweet Ellis we also had the idea for making swaddle blankets. If not for her we wouldn’t have had a reason to build a baby company. If not for her we wouldn’t be in one of the best places for start up companies in the south.
See how all the dots are connecting so far? It gets even better.
So one day Adam suggests that we go to Bizz Buzz at the Florence Library. We figured it would be a good networking opportunity for us. So we get there and unknown to us we are about 30 minutes late. Now, I hate being late to anything and I didn’t want to walk in the room in the middle of the speech. I suggested that we leave. I was feeling super pregnant, we needed to leave for Tuscaloosa that day, I didn’t want to be there. Adam pushed me to stay. That one moment, that one single decision changed our company, and possibly our lives forever.
We went inside the room that hosts Bizz Buzz even though it only had about 10 minutes left. At the end, Dr. Santanu Borah came up to us to ask about Southern Swaddle. He had seen our article in AL.com and was interested in what we were doing. He had some people he wanted us to meet and helped us network. I’m not going to list everyone, because I’m afraid I would leave someone out, but that group helped encourage us to grow Southern Swaddle. Dr. Borah had known us for five minutes and decided we were worth helping. He invited us to lunch that day, and Adam and I both are so grateful. We went with strangers and left with friends. That day Dr. Borah also encouraged us to enter Launchpad. We would not have applied if he did not give us the push.
I know this is a long blog, but isn’t this so cool? God works in mysterious ways.
You know the rest. We entered, spent months working to get to the finale, and walked away with 26,000 dollars. It’s fun to take a step back and look at how small moments, moments that didn’t seem like anything special, build into each other. Our last year has been a rough one, but looking back each moment, big and small, has led us to this point. I feel like we are doing exactly what we are supposed to be doing with this company. Everything has fallen into place with patience and persistence.