Let’s start with my obsession with childrens books. The AR reading list was my jam. Basically, the system was designed for educators to measure the reading levels and monitor actual reading taking place for K-12 students. You had the opportunity to self select books…. And my 3rd grade self used to squeal with excitement. I’d devour these books and then simultaneously take pride in the assessment of reading at the next level. My 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. HB, truly didn’t help this minor obsession of mine and encouraged me every opportunity she had to read and write. I still recall gushing over her words telling my parents what a “creative writer” I was. That was all the encouragement I needed.
I’d sit in my bedroom, under my canopy bed, and begin writing. I’d write short stories about my “brother for sale” and scary stories that had the uneventful ending of just being a dream. But, I’d proudly strut out to the family living room, gather my parents and two brothers, and read aloud my stories. They’d clap in unison and tell me what a great story, providing the dutiful parent encouragement and I’d prance back into my room beaming with accomplishment.
From there, this passion continued to follow me. At any opportunity I had to skim a children's book in a boutique shop, or browse the barnes and noble children's section, I’d excitedly pick up a children's book and begin reading. I’d feel this sense of calm and joy that washed over me, especially if the book focused on a parents love for their child.
At each vacation I’d be on the prowl for childrens stores, secretly saving their coordinates in Google Maps so I could draw inspiration from them. I loved everything about childhood education, practical essentials that parents would actually find useful (instead of filling up more space with stuff we don’t actually need) and I’d take a mental note. A mental note that, if I had my way, I’d become a business owner myself and open up a brick and mortar shop that brought the community together. One that housed events where children's authors would come for book readings and signings. One where there would be a coffee bar (and let’s be real, there’d be an actual bar too), so parents could sit back and take a moment of relaxation. One that felt comfortable and welcoming, not stiff. Not a place where if you “touch you buy”, but more of a “hey, please come play, have fun, enjoy this community”.
This idea formed 8 years ago. If someone would ask what I really wanted to do when I “grew up”, my answer was always the same. I wanted to open up a children’s store and I wanted all of the above. At the time, that felt far fetched, like a dream that probably would never happen. But, I’d speak it anyway and then continue on trugging along in the corporate world. I’d unconsciously find ways to fill the gap of this dream by becoming a researcher at a Child and Development lab in college. I’d have a short stint as a behavior tutor for children diagnosed with Autism. I’d volunteer weekly at a place called “helping hand home”, a non-profit that focused on providing a nurturing and therapeutic home for children and to restore each child to a healthy family setting. I’d be selected to serve on the board of directors for a local independent school district educational excellence foundation. Most importantly, I’d take on the title of godmother, to sweet loving babies in my life.
Without being consciously aware, I’d been preparing for Via Lacuna for the last 8 years. I’d taken on more outside of the corporate world to let my passions run wild. That’s why, when a women’s conference streaming in Taos, New Mexico told me to start the idea for my business, I did. It felt as if every decision came naturally (not easy, but clear). Every focus of the company, every value, it all seamlessly came together because my mind had been preparing for this moment. It had been preparing for my passion to finally enter the stage and take the risk.
My hope is that you will continue on this journey with me and watch the Via Lacuna dream come to life.