We are VERY excited to announce our very first ML Original by Makena Lane, The Pink Clover! This beauty was designed here in the Pacific North West, just north of Seattle. It's fully lined, lace detail, piping along the seams, cute large bow on back, embroidery, oh my! Right now, it is only being offered here at Makena Lane, girls boutique, but in the future we will offer wholesale options to other boutiques to carry our ML Original line!
I designed this one evening after thinking about my Mom, and all the dresses she designed for us as children. She always loved nature, and beauty in things others may often disregard...she would always say she never understood why some beautiful flowers were called "weeds" like clover flowers :). So I knew I wanted to honor that and her. Makena LOVES the flowers, she says it everytime she sees the dress. Beauty comes in all ways, in all things, if you look for it, you will find it.
My mission with this new line is to bring in unique, timeless, feminine pieces we can't find anywhere else. To bring back the sweet and girly to our girls childhood. Comfort, texture, color combinations, multi-use items is our goal! I love pieces that can go from season to season, and grow with them. It won't all be the vintage Penifore style, I have SO many ideas coming together!
The Pink Clover can fit 6m up to 9/10yrs! Right now we are flexible in our sizing, for this first one will open it up to Pre-Sale starting today with delivery early March, perfect timing for Spring Mini sessions and Easter dresses. Depending on interest and size requests we may shift the sizing offered, but right now we have 9 different sizes! Also, we are exploring having an American Girl sized doll dress made to match!! I know my daughter would go crazy for that! We are offering this beauty on Pre-Sale only $38!! The retail price is $58, so we are offering at wholesale price!! The goal is to grow our ML Original line so much we keep the price down for our customers, we all love quality for a good price ;)! Please place order here on the website, pre-sale ends Jan 16th!
Perfect SPINNING dress :) <3 We would love your feedback!! :)
Photo Credit: Dear Emma Photography
FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/DearEmmaPhotography/?fref=ts
Happy New Year everyone!! Wow, Makena Lane has been in business for over two years already, how does time go by so quickly?!
Finally, after all this time, and making/having/raising my two little girls, and running this sweet little shop we are finally growing in the direction I've been dreaming about...our own Makena Lane original line, designed by me, Shannon, and exclusive to our little boutique!! Introducing ML (Makena&Laila) by Makena Lane, established 2017.
The first finished dress is SO cute, but I'll wait on pics until it's styled and photographed in it's proper setting :)! Here is a little snapshot of the first sketch I made of the dress, eek:
Shades of light pink, pink, darker pink, and white...along with embroidery, lace, ruffles, oh my! The perfect Makena Lane, vintage inspired, girly girl dress, just in time for Spring and Easter!!!
I just adore the feminine vintage styles, my Mom loved them too, she made my sisters and me 50s style dresses and rompers all the time! Pic of my big sis and me early 80's :):
We will be opening up our first sale of the dress (named, but will introduce it and it's meaning in the next post :)) in a couple of weeks! Again, I designed this dress, so you will NOT find it anywhere else but Makena Lane! My goal is to keep the price very reasonable...it is a custom dress, so the price may not be as inexpensive as some of the wholesale items we carry, but it will be worth it :).
We will also continue to carry other designer styles in our expected tulle, tutu, and every day dresses, so do not despair, what you've come to love about Makena Lane, will continue, this exclusive couture ML line is an added bonus
ALSO!! Keep a look out for our dress/outfit of the month club coming
soon too!! We want ML, by Makena Lane to be unique. Therefore, we will have limited quantities of each design available. Becoming a club member will ensure your sizes will be reserved for you with each new design, yay!
We will also look for customer ideas in the future for new designs as well! We already have our first four in que ready to be made in bulk, how many and how often new designs are released will rely on how many sell! We would love to see all little girls in an ML original!!
So excited for the future of our little boutique! Stay tuned....
Tell me please, what sizes are you most interested in? We need to determine the size ranges of our ML originials. I'm thinking on this first dress sizes 3 months-10yrs, but we could go larger. Let me know your thoughts!
I thought I would want to write more along the way in our journey, but I have come to realize something about myself, I can't really talk about details while in the midst of them...it's once on the other side, or at least over the first hurdles that I can start to digest and reflect on what I have been through. With that said...We are so excited to announce, Makena is getting a little sister, due Jan 7, 2016 :). It's been a long road this past year, much like it was when we were finally blessed with Makena. Fertility struggles are very real, and very, very emotionally and physically draining.
Our journey for baby #2 started almost a year ago now. I nursed Makena until right after her first birthday (July 27th), I weaned her completely by August 1st because I needed my cycle to return, in order to start trying for #2. (Recap, we had to do IVF in order to conceive Makena, and we had four frozen embryos left from her cycle to use to try for baby #2). Early September 2014, I started going in to be monitored for a frozen IVF cycle, and I was waiting for my cycle to start in order to get started...but my period was a week late, SO not like me. Come to find out, I was pregnant, on my own this time, yay, right?! Well unfortunately not so great...my HCG number was low, so they knew it wouldn't be a viable pregnancy, and it wasn't...two weeks later, my period started. That was a let down...Upside I still had 4 embryos in the freezer at the lab waiting for us :). This chemical pregnancy delayed the first frozen cycle, until November. We decided to only transfer one embryo at a time, since I had already been pregnant, they were worried about twins. Sadly, we lost one embryo as it didn't survive the thaw. The next embryo made it and they transferred around mid November 2014. Right before my birthday and Thanksgiving, we found out it didn't take, not pregnant. So sad, but we still had two embryos left...still had hope. FET #2, right before New Years....negative again, early January. So scared and devastated, only one chance left...
I am 38 years old, and not working full time, so another fresh IVF cycle at 20k a pop, was really not an option...this last embryo was our only chance for a sibling for Makena. Though totally blessed and so so happy to have Makena, and if she was our only child I would still be so happy, because having a child is the biggest blessing in life, she is our miracle...I really want a sibling for her SO bad, this whole process has really been about her. We are older parents, and having lost my Mom at 65, when I was 36 (really more like 57, and I was 28 because she had Alzheimers), the last thing I want is for Makena to be an only child. I could not have gotten through the loss of my Mom so young without my sisters....
After the second failed cycle, I decided to take a couple months off...to get off all of the hormones and the emotional and physical roller coaster, and reset my mind and get refocused. I started back with Accupuncture, exercised a lot, went on a vacation, and got myself mentally prepared for that last embryo, our last chance. By the way, for anyone struggling with fertility and considering IVF, they now offer chromosome testing on the embryos to ensure they use chromosomally normal embryos only..I WISH they had this option with my cycle in 2012, it could have saved me at least 12k in failed cycles and the emotional toll of failed cycles...
In the end, it was our last embryo, our last miracle embryo that took :). I am now going on 15 weeks pregnant. We had the cell free DNA blood draw, and she came back with no markers for chromosome abnormalities, so fingers crossed everything is good and healthy. The first trimester was anything but easy. I had many bouts of bleeding, and fear of miscarriage, it was very very scary. I was on bed rest/pelvic rest a lot between week 5 and 12. I had what they call sub chorionic bleeding, supposedly rarely harms the fetus, but very scary nonetheless. Whenever you see blood while pregnant, it is never a good thing. I am hopeful the bleeding has come to an end, and I can start to be more active again, I miss working out so badly...I lifted weights until the day I went into the hospital to have Makena. I'd love to get back to that with this baby too, makes delivery and after baby arrives so much easier on your body.
What I have learned on this journey is that life is just never easy and simple, but if you persevere even under the most stressful of circumstances, life will work out the way it's meant to work out, and there's definitely a higher chance of it working out in your favor if you never give up :). The journey is a marathon and not a sprint..we have many months ahead still before we meet our second miracle princess, but I pray the marathon left is a smooth road. I am so thankful for Makena Lane and all of you loyal customers of ours. This little shop dream of mine has given me something totally separate and positive to focus on during a turbulent time. I have truly enjoyed getting to know a lot of you, working with you on special outfits, photo shoot ready outfits, weddings and flower girl dresses, and more. Thank you for taking this journey with me and trusting me with your orders and styles for your little princesses! :) Much more to come from Makena Lane this Fall, be on the look out through the next couple of months!
Blessed and hopeful,
New Year's is here. Time to shake off 2014, and look forward towards the opportunity for a clean slate, a whole new start..how lucky are we to have that opportunity every year. Life begins and ends with the decisions we make day in and day out. We are a sum of our decisions. With that in mind, I am looking forward to day 1 on Thursday :).
First, to put to bed the good and the bad of 2014. Oh what a year. I can honestly say this has been one of the biggest ebbs and flow years of my life. At the same time, I can say it's been the most rewarding too, in the sense that for the first time I think ever I feel like I am taking life one day at a time. Thanks to Makena, I think I have finally learned that there is only certain things I can control. Being a Mom has really opened my eyes to that. Thank God, seriously, thank God. I have been a control freak for my entire life, filled with anxiety and doubts and fear of failure among many other fears. It can be debilitating, although I for the most part have not let it completely stop me from things. Anxiety can and will take away a lot of joy in life. So, thank you to Makena for making me a Mom, and helping me realize life is one day a time, one decision at a time, and to focus on what I can control.
Oh 2014....From Makena having some troubling eye issues (myelinated nerve fibers in her right eye and extreme nearsightedness), (I will save a later blog post to explain in more detail), that was a scary diagnosis, as well as extremely challenging for Makena and for me. It requires her to wear a contact in her right eye, putting that in each week is not easy to say it lightly. As well as daily eye patching of her strong eye to strengthen the right eye which will really never see very well no matter what we do... it's a test of wills and patience on both our parts.... To some of my own personal ups and downs, with work, and the ever present fertility issues we struggle with to have baby number 2...it's been a trying year. But, with all lows in life there are also many highs! Such as watching Makena grow into a smart, spunky, physically and mentally strong toddler, oh how I could not love this girl more...And of course, starting Makena Lane :) My love child little business that wants to grow and grow.
So in 2015 some goals I have I am going to share in hopes that it keeps them at the forefront of my mind...and they are things like:
-have baby #2 so Makena will have a beloved sibling, I could not imagine my life without my sisters and I don't want her to have to imagine that either
-grow Makena Lane....in sales and in moving towards my own line of clothing..to the point where I will not need to have another job, so I can focus full efforts on this passion of mine :)
-get Makena into gymnastics, she needs the outlet so badly!
-keep Makena happy and healthy and help her to improve her right eye
-keep working towards personal balance, physically, emotionally, and financially.
-give more focus to the relationships that mean so much to me, I feel like I've lost touch with many being a new mom etc...it's a tough balance that no one can really prepare you for until you're in the heart of it.
-continue learning to just "be"
Wishing all of my friends and friends of Makena Lane and my family the healthiest, happiest, safest and most fulfilling year ahead!
Onward and upwards my friends!
Today is my Mom's birthday, she would have been 67 yrs old today. I can't stop thinking about her and imagining the way life would be with her here with me and my daughter Makena. Especially since starting Makena Lane...she was the inspiration after all for the store, and many of the styles. Oh how I miss her. She was the queen of coordination, things just had to match just so. I remember being little and picking out the material for a dress she was going to make me and then as I got older I would come up with a style that I wanted, and she would go as far as making her own pattern for something we couldn't find an exact pattern for. She was amazing.I learned about self expression through my styles and outfits, which lead me to a lot more confidence and grace.
I visited my Moms grave today, and while I was there I had a flash back to visiting my grandparents there with her, and how empty and sad I used to feel. Today, as an adult, I realize how grateful I am for the growth and the things I've been through in life that have gotten me this far...those things such as huge loss that have prepared me to deal with the most stressful of situations, and not fold under the pressure of it all.... As a younger teen or young adult, I don't think you know how to really process heartache and sadness. Though still sad and missing them everyday, I realize too the lessons I learned from them all, my Mom, my grandparents etc...and I'm so so grateful to have realized, and not too late mind you, that life is short, full of possibilities, and to always find the things that make you happy..when you do that, then life is just so much sweeter. My Mom was so talented and had so many dreams, but really never found the self confidence to go after those dreams, really heart breaking...and SUCH a good lesson to learn from her...
What I know is I LOVE being a Mom, especially Makenas mommy. I LOVE fashion and clothes and the self expression you can have through them. I LOVE sweet little girls and their dreaminess about life and their love of dress up and make believe. Makena is so sweet and proud when she comes out in a cute and coordinated girly outfit, she lifts her head high and smiles at the oohs and ahhs she receives wherever we go. I LOVE to help people to put together outfits and wardrobes..I love when I find the thing that someone has searched for and I love how happy it makes someone. I LOVE the freedom in creating and designing this little boutique, it brings out so much creativity in me, a part of me that was asleep for a long time. I LOVE business and the endless possibilities it brings..so many cool ideas and things coming ahead ;). I LOVE the connections Makena Lane has already brought into my life with both old friends that I have reconnected with and with new friends that I had no idea I needed in my life but am so happy to have met them :). There's really nothing more important to me in life than connection, connection with friends, with family, with clients, and with strangers soon to be friends. It's my life force, I'm a true extrovert, getting energy off of spending time with others that I love.
I guess with all this rambling, my point is, if I can give anyone any advice it's this: life is so very short....find what you're passionate about...take a first step, no matter what that step is, and follow your heart. Even if it doesn't work out exactly as you expected, you will find so much confidence and love for yourself for taking that step! You just have to take a right or left and get moving...that's the hardest part, the first step. I truly believe we are all destined for certain things in life, but you have to find yourself and believe in yourself enough to explore those things... and go for it!
So tell me friends, what are some things you want to make happen in your life, things that you're passionate about? Maybe we can start an open conversation, once you put something out there to others, it makes you accountable to others, which usually forces me to start doing something or working toward something anyway?! :)
What I know about friendship....
The experience of starting to launch Makena Lane has been so rewarding, much more work than I expected, but a labor of true love..I have so many plans and ideas ahead, so exciting! Most importantly, I have reconnected with some really important people, people who were my family at different phases of life, because of Makena Lane. Friends like Janelle...we have been through some of the toughest life experiences together from illnesses, to lost loves, to finding our passions..most impactful would be our journey through....LAW SCHOOL. Though neither of us chose the path to practice law, we both graduated from Santa Clara University School of Law. What a physically and emotionally draining journey haha. Her parents and siblings were my family while I was so far away from my own..so much comfort in that! Her friends embraced me too, thank you Sandra and Danielle especially..SF would never have been the same without you three! We lost the daily touch we once had due to moving far apart, but in just one phone call this week, it's as if we are back to 2004 all over again. Thank you Makena Lane :).
I'm SO blessed with the friends I have made in my life. I do believe some come into your life for a phase or two for a reason, and others stay for a life time...and then there's those special ones that no matter what the distance or time, you pick right back up where you left off. The good ones always show themselves when you need them the most. When my Mom passed, there were friends that I hardly get the chance to speak to that showed up unexpectedly to her memorial, and calls and emails from people who knew the important connection I had with my sweet Mom. Just know, to all of you, you mean the world to me, even if I don't get the opportunity to connect as often as I'd like to.
The connection of friendship has guided me through every phase of my life, from my earliest memories at like 3 yrs old, til today. In the past 16 months, I seriously could not have been as good of a Mom as I think I've become without both new and old friends of mine. My best friend Monica (besties since the first day of kindergarten), and Amber (friends since 6th grade) have been my rock. Even though their kids are half grown, they have been supportive and understanding and there for me, and love Makena unconditionally. Then I don't even know where to start with my friends I made in my new Mom's group, PEPS...you ladies helped me to realize I was not alone...i.e. being scared to do things like sleep train, and weaning and so much more. I literally would be giving Charissa play by plays while trying to get Makena in her crib to sleep, like my own coach! Just an IM away for the support so badly needed. If you are a new Mom or about to be a Mom again, join a moms group ASAP :).
I guess with all this rambling, what I hope most for Makena, is to teach her the importance of true friends, to put the real effort into those friendships that they deserve...because throughout life, they are your life line, your touchstone, your biggest cheerleaders. Of course picking the "right" friends is key too...I've loved and lost friends along the way, but the ones worth the effort always rise to the top.
Thank you all so much for taking the time to read my blog and visit Makena Lane, ordering, and for just showing interest. I have a long ways to go and a lot of growing to do on this journey, I hope you all continue joining me on the ride! :)
FYI...there will be a handmade section coming soon! My sister Heather and I are joining forces, she is so creative and talented. Some vintage inspired dresses coming soon! Sooo excited.
Tell me about what your friendships have meant to you, or what you've learned, or wished you learned earlier in life?
Two years ago today I found out that I was finally pregnant. Finally going to be a Mommy, something I had wanted for my whole life. It was a long road for us...fertility struggles. I was OVER the moon with joy, and of course fear, just praying and praying it would stick..and it did...we were blessed with the absolute most amazing baby girl, Makena Elaine, the inspiration for Makena Lane of course :).... Let's start there.
After a year and a half of trying to get pregnant, with no success, I finally went to see a fertility doctor, Dr. Hickok at NW Fertility Clinic. I was 35 yrs old at the time, and time was running out. After 4 failed IUI's, we decided to move onto IVF...time was not on my side is how I felt...every month I was ticking towards dwindling fertility. You should see the slope after 35..all down hill from there...
It's a taxing endeavor, both financially (we spent roughly $25k), physically and emotionally. It feels like you're putting it all in on your last shot...there's not much past IVF that you can try in order to conceive your own child...We were blessed and had a successful cycle, they retrieved 21 eggs, 14 were mature, 10 fertilized, and 8 made it to day 5. These are great numbers especially for the age I was at. The first cycle didn't take, I was overstimulated and my body just didn't take it, maybe it was an abnormal embryo, but I feel my body was too swollen from the retrieval, 21 eggs is crazy..a normal woman's cycle you have one mature egg...the marvel of modern medication/hormones I guess...devastated is an understatement.
Down to six I kept thinking...why didn't it take? Are all of the embryos abnormal? OH NO, what if I never get pregnant...what did I do wrong...karma? "It's never going to take" is all that I could think, it was awful. I'm sure the hormones did not help one bit with this override of emotions. All I kept thinking was "I want my Mommy", no one could console me, it was just awful. Of course, my Mommy, at the time though still here physically had mentally been swallowed up by early onset Alzheimer's four years prior. I felt isolated and very alone, no matter how supportive my husband or friends were to me at that point, all I wanted was my Mom..there is no one in the world I could have a breakdown emotionally in front of like my own Mom...
But....two months later, after some therapy, exercise, acupuncture, and time...I was ready to dip my toes back in the pool and try for a FET cycle (frozen egg transfer)...again the marvel of modern medicine...to be honest I kept my hopes pretty low, but I was accepting of the fact that it may take a try or two more, and I was at peace finally. Then on November 11th 2012, I got the call from our fertility office "Your blood test shows positive, you're pregnant". Driving on I5 home from Seattle, the tears started flowing, the joy, and of course the fear, and the "please, God, please let this stick and be a healthy baby." And so it was...
In my world there is no more true unconditional love one can have than for their child. As children, hopefully, all of us have felt that kind of security, I know I did, my Mom understood me at the core more than anyone in the world. I truly knew deep down that I would have a like connection with my own child(ren) if/when I was blessed to become a parent. And BLESSED I am, I was blessed with Makena, my goodness if you can put love on paper I would, it's impossible to express these kind of feelings in words, as Winnie the Pooh says to Piglet, "you don't spell love, you feel it."
My Mom finally was freed of her battle with Alzheimer's and passed on to be with my Grandparents and finally run free again on May 18, 2013, while I was seven months pregnant with Makena. Really, there is no stronger example of the circle of life, that I can think of, than feeling your own child kicking inside of you and at the same time watching your Mom take her last breadth. It's heartbreaking and beautiful all at the same time.
My Mom always had a dream of owning her own children's boutique. She was an amazing seamstress herself, even making her own patterns. So in honor of My Mom and our joint love of fashion, design, and the creativity it brews inside of us, I give you Makena Lane! My goal is to offer amazingly stylish/sweet fashion, outfits, and accessories, while at the same time offer some insight and a place of connection for all Moms about motherhood through this blog. I'm going to be as real, and transparent as I can be, much like this blog post...I hope you join me on this journey friends and soon to be friends!
Thank you for caring enough to read! :)