Two and Ten Years: On Risks and Unexpected Gifts

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This June marks two years since we sat under a patio umbrella and hashed out the details of a little dream-turned-reality called Fairswell. We filled a white board with product ideas and invited friends over to brainstorm company names over cocktails. And just like any baby’s birth, we were all aflutter with hopes and dreams.

This month also marks a full decade since we moved in together in a row house in Columbia Heights. We cooked ambitious meals for friends and lingered late into the night on a rickety balcony. We become adults together.

These milestones caught us a bit off guard — jarring us out of our daily rhythms of work, kids, sleep, and staying out past bedtime with friends. Moving from acquaintances to roommates and later from BFFs to business partners were risks. Things could have turned sour in a million ways. But they didn’t. Instead, we’re surveying where we are and where we’ve come from with a recurring refrain: so many unexpected gifts.

No doubt, starting Fairswell has been a lot of work. But at the same time it’s felt like something beautiful unfolding before us. Work has come at times faster than we could keep up with and other times a little slow for our taste — but together, we’re able to embrace the ups and downs.

We have brand designs we’re proud to share and a few that we’ll happily leave buried in our Google Drive. We’ve settled into a rhythm of investigating, experimenting, and iterating. We’ve tried lots of new things, and some have gone better than others. We’re (still slowly) discovering our superpowers.

All the while, Lauren’s family found a home that provided space to grow and a studio for Fairswell. And we’ve been awestruck by two of the best gifts ever: little boys who came along as a surprise when the doctors said they never would and sooner than the adoption agency said was possible. They’ve added layers of complexity and forced us to press hard into what we do best, leaving the rest by the wayside.

Many seasons do not feel like abundance, and there plenty of days that still don’t. But when a client’s eyes light up with delight and they tell us they love what we’ve done, we know we’ve hit that sweet spot: the right work for the right clients. It makes us want to keep working hard to find our clients and creating just for them.

So here’s to two and ten years and to the unexpected gifts to come. Happiest of birthdays, Fairswell.