The Very Beginning…

There are a few questions about Plume I always get asked.  I answer them happily every single time because what momma doesn’t love to talk about her baby.  But most of the questions don’t have short answers.  They have stories.  And so…as Julie Andrews would sing…”Let’s start at the very beginning…”

I offer these stories to you.

Q: Did you always dream of owning your own shop?   

Not really.  But I believe sometimes we have little dreams deep in us that maybe we don’t realize.  For example, I remember growing up and my mom and her best friend, Sandy (our neighbor) would have annual garage sales.  I loved these days.  I loved pricing and helping set everything up.  Greeting the customers.   All of it.  One particular year I remember continually fretting around through the sales tables and coordinating items, filling in the holes as things sold and moving things to a more visible spot if they weren’t getting good attention.  I’d arrange dishes and accent decor that went together; create outfits with all the random clothes, shoes and handbags.   I was probably a pre-teen at that point and didn’t realize it then but I was merchandising and staging and creating vignettes.  I loved the creative process of designing and I also got a kick out of making sales, particularly when my “staged” items sold.

Q: What did you do before Plume?

I was born & raised in Louisville, KY and I have a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Louisville in Marketing.  For most of my professional life I worked in business-to-business account management and sales.  Everything from personal lines insurance, cost containment services for the managed healthcare industry and finally pharmaceuticals.  I dug the relationship building side of account management and I loved the challenge of sales.  I was pretty good at both.

I met Jeremy when I was traveling in Joplin on a business trip.   He swept me away and after dating long distance I officially became a Missouri girl and we married in 2002; we were living in Joplin then.

 

{I dont have the energy to dig for old pics right now..I think they’re on another hard drive somewhere but here are some more recent ones.  An anniversary trip to Chicago a couple years ago.  Just picture us about 13 years younger on the beach and that’s our wedding!…And he still sweeps me off my feet sometimes.}

In Joplin, Jeremy had a career in retail management.   A promotional opportunity for me in pharmaceuticals brought us to Columbia in 2005.  He was kind enough to completely switch careers so we could move and he began working for State Farm, something we continue to be so thankful for.   Especially since just 3 years later, in 2008, I would “retire” at the ripe old age of 34, the year I finally became a mom.

 

Chance & Luci came first in October 2008, after 6 years of trying to conceive and multiple infertility treatments.  I learned I was pregnant with them in April 2008 and by August I was on complete bedrest at 21 weeks with pre-term labor.  I was terrified as they had not yet reached the point of viability outside the womb.   I struggled with severe anxiety and panic attacks but managed to keep them inside for another 9 weeks.  They weren’t due until January 5th, and were born October 30, at 30 weeks.  Chance weighed 3lbs 8 oz and Luci was a whopping 2lbs 13oz. They had a six week NICU stay and today you would never know they had such tiny beginnings.  Anni was born in April 2011.  A single, full term, 8+ pound baby girl.  It’s amazing the difference having only 1 baby in your belly at a time makes.

Our family was complete.

I would spend the next 2 years being a full time stay-at-home mom.

13055292_10153731325459195_1436541702529733588_n.jpg

Q:  How did you get the idea to open Plume?

Ideas are funny things.  Have you ever found yourself immersed in a thought and you have no idea how you got there?    That’s how it was with Plume… and where the story gets really long.   I didn’t start out with a business plan, or even an idea.  It just kind of grew…from the intersection of several random chain of events.

If you care to step down that rabbit hole with me…I’ll take you along.

Come back tomorrow.

kelly-black