You Don't Go Back to the Carpet Store

May 31, 2022

tl;dr Today kicks off the Farewell Tour of Marshmueller. If there's something you've had your eye on, you better snap it up! 


Story Time:

When I was still in treatment for breast cancer, and definitely after, there's been a mantra playing in my head on a loop- and that's "You Don't Go Back to the Carpet Store." That might not make any sense to you, but for now, it's my North Star as I navigate this strange time in my life and career.

The mantra is a nod to a scene from one of my favorite shows, Rick and Morty (it's definitely not perfect, but it's just bizarre and silly enough of a show that I love it). Rick and Morty go to Blitz and Chips, an arcade, where Morty plays a virtual reality game called Roy. Ehh, it's probably better if you just watch it.

"You beat cancer and went back to the carpet store? Boo."

That line has stuck with me. I don't want to go back to the carpet store. The carpet store isn't an actual carpet store for me, obviously- it's trying to do ALL the things and pushing myself to the brink of burnout, exhaustion, and tarnished relationships.

It's working a full-time job and then doing parental duties and then sewing until midnight nearly every night.

It's traveling to Portland every week in December to do all the craft shows.

It's being super self-critical when I mess up or make a mistake.

It's not accepting my looks/physical self post-cancer.

We all have our own versions of carpet stores, and some people don't need a cancer diagnosis to shake themselves out of it and find their purpose (even if it's to just serve butter--sorry, another Rick and Morty joke).

So I'm working on what me not going back to the carpet store actually looks like. I know I come from a place of privilege to even be able to consider the possibilities, which means I also get to include ways to help others who aren't as privileged. But I'm working on it.

I've already made minor and major changes in my life, knowing this would be a lifelong bonsai-like trimming process. 

I've discovered working as a freelancer works better for my brain and my energy levels. I've determined that exercise is a non-negotiable, even if it's 10-15 minutes. 

And now I've come to the decision that Marshmueller, at least the handmade products themselves, need to be part of that trimming process. 

I didn't realize just how burned out I was until I literally HAD to stop working due to cancer treatment. Before my diagnosis, there were many long days, late nights, and so many weekend hours in production, or trying to sell my wares in person at shows. 

At first, "not going back to the carpet store" meant no more late nights and weekends all the time, so last year I finally found an amazing sewist to partner with (if you need piecework done, Shannon is AMAZING and she's an incredible fiber artist!). 

Working with a sewist did take a lot of weight off my shoulders. But I was still being my own bottleneck, as I still had to cut out fabric, and once goods came back sewn, there was still finishing tasks to complete (installing snaps, packaging, etc.). And I just got to a point where I wasn't enjoying it, let alone making time for it. 

What I'm doing now

After treatment and during the last two years of the pandemic, I've been thoroughly enjoying working with other creative business owners to design their brand identity, website, or email marketing. This new services venture is called Ecommerce Arcade, and I'll be sharing the brand identity I designed for it soon. 

In order to create more space in my brain, my bandwidth, and my studio, I'll be selling my remaining inventory of finished products, and soon to follow, I'll be selling fabric yardage, scraps, and raw materials. 

What next?

I still plan to continue illustrating and putting my silly art on things, and once m2 is officially done, I'll switch gears and flip everything here on this site over to hollymarshmallow, my brand for illustrated goods. The website for Ecommerce Arcade will launch soon as well (can you see why I need extra space in my brain and bandwidth?). 

I'm so grateful to have had this incredible ride for over a decade. I would have never met the multitude of phenomenal folks like you. 

Thank you to everyone who purchased goods, or commissioned a custom order, or shared my work with your own audience. You helped build this business with me, and I'm so grateful for your years of support. 

All my inventory has been updated, so if there's something you've had your eye on, or if you want to stock up for gift-giving, get to it

All my love,
Holly Marsh

6 Responses


August 23, 2022

Hollyyyyyy!!! I just jumped on here to order some gifts and saw this post, I’m so behind! Good for you for doing what feels right and moving on to new adventures!
I’m gonna be in Oregon in October, i’ll hit you up when my trip gets closer…part of my visit will hopefully include a drive to your hood!


July 07, 2022

I love that mantra! I feel like that Captain America meme “I understood that reference”. Good luck on your next adventure!!


June 10, 2022

I’ve been following your business ever since we were at the same craft show… a bajillion years ago.

I’m really happy for you. I don’t think people who are not creatives realize how much time and energy goes into making things. And then to spend so much time trying to sell them to the right audience to make some money… it’s a HUGE time and energy suck. And then w your cancer diagnosis and treatment… I can’t even believe you had the energy EVER to do all the things. Good for you for trimming the stuff that is no longer energizing for you.

Im sure your next steps will be amazing. Good luck and congratulations.


June 07, 2022

My version of not going back to the carpet store is the mantra: work smarter, not harder. Your news is all about awesomeness! Wishing you the very best.


June 07, 2022

Cheering for you, always. Bravo for taking the leap and not going back to the carpet store! Excited for your next moves 🫶🏽🫶🏽🫶🏽🔥💥

Susan Caron
Susan Caron

June 05, 2022

Whatever path you trod, you are a beautiful, confident woman. I’m ever grateful our paths crossed. You made my jump possible. Go for it, Holly. Fellow your heart.

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