When I was in 5th grade, my #2 claim to fame was being the anchor runner of our elementary school relay team.
(In case you’re curious, my #1 claim to fame was flushing a plastic necklace down the toilet in the girl’s restroom… BUT before you start judging, the boy who gave it to me on the playground was a total creep.)
The week before our biggest race of the year, my aunt + grandpa came over to give me some coaching while I ran laps around the grapefruit trees in the front yard of our house. I’d stop to re-tie my adult-sized tennies on awkwardly large feet, and Bompa would clap me on the back and say, “You’re gunna win this one, Jessie. Don’t forget: there’s no reason to look back when you’re running as fast as you can.”
Great advice from someone who knew how tempting it would be to turn and take a peek, but especially because I was an accident-prone 10-year-old with size 9.5 feet.
A few more laps around our makeshift tree-lined track and then it was my aunt’s turn to share some advice. She reminded me that the anchor of a great team runs last because they’re meant to close the gap that the other runners might have given up. My leg of the race would be the chance to either make up for lost time OR surge ahead and win by long shot. Either way, a lot of pressure for a lanky pre-teen who lived to make her family proud.
Her words were simple…
“Keep your head down, no matter what — But more importantly, we love you, no matter what.”
I looked up incredulously, hoping for something a little more helpful from someone who allegedly once held the title of The Fastest Girl in Arizona.
I knew she wasn’t finished, so I waited and she continued…
“Regardless of whether you’re in first or last place — once you can actually see the finish line, THAT’S when you’ll know it’s time to gun it. We sprint through the finish line instead of TO the finish line. You’ll shave off extra seconds, and that very last push is always something to be proud of.”
Pretty sure my Bompa then started in on a mini-physics lesson about the aerodynamics of a person’s face and why it meant I should also tuck my chin and lead with my forehead and pump my arms like a piston and all that jazz, BUT here are a few things from that day that have stuck with me most:
Always keep your eyes forward.
Head stays down when you’re working hard.
The color of ribbon that you win does not dictate your worth.
And finally… That very last push is what might matter most.
I’ve reminded myself of all these things COUNTLESS times over the last month, but the latter was most top-of-mind as I watched the Kickstarter total start to zoom toward our goal this morning.
You may have already seen the news, but I’m SO happy to tell you that Season was fully funded today at approximately 8:23am!
In an effort to stay true to my Tiny-Jessie form, we’ve hit a dead-out sprint with the finish line in sight.
I have a hunch you’ll be cool if I pull back the curtain, so please allow me to share some extra details about what we call our “stretch goals.”
Clearly, $18,000 is a lot of money. We chose that amount because it was the lowest we could go without dipping into our own pockets or going into debt. You can probably guess that it takes a ton of cash to start a dress line from scratch, and even with my conservative (re: scrappy / DIY) tendencies, it’s still been more expensive than I originally projected.
When it started to look like we’d make our funding goal this week, I was mixed with emotions of both fear and relief.
SO excited to finally work on getting dresses to our backers but racked when I remember that we’re barely breaking even, EVEN after making it to $18K. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: this whole project has been a major exercise in cost analysis and patience and huge piles of humility.
Before letting myself get overwhelmed by all the next steps, I can see that it’s time to put my head down as we hover around 36 hours left.
Likely not resting until Wednesday, and as I said on instagram yesterday — we’ve got some seriously fun things up our silky someday-sleeves. 😉
Make sure you’re signed up for The Spice List to get all the deets first, and THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for being the kind of crew that whoops extra loud when we’re cheering each other on!
XOXO – Jessie
Ps. – Did you catch the special style vault that we created last week? Check out all of the looks from the 30-Day Style Challenge, and you’ll see a TON of different ways to style the Pepper Dress: ideas for date night, running errands, and spending a day in the sun… I even show you how to wear it before and after a workout!
PPs. – We also had a live hangout on Saurday, and I answered the most frequently asked question entitled: What the heck am I supposed to wear underneath?! Check out the new videos if you’re interested, and don’t forget that the kickstarter campaign closes on WEDNESDAY MORNING, in case you’d still like to nab a dress! 😉