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!
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.
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.
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.
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,
Hey there, I'm Holly Marsh (Maker/Illustrator/Mama/Nerd), the force behind MarshMueller. I started the company in 2011 after getting frustrated with the ho-hum options in big box stores when creating my first son's woodland-animal-themed nursery. I hand-pick every fabric, thread color, and zipper, design my own sewing patterns, and moosh them all together to create rad products for parents and gift-givers in my Astoria, Oregon studio (aka MarshMueller Secret Labs).