plan c

So where were we?

Oh yes, back in the fall of 2012.

Baby off to college 16 hours away.

Sob-fest, breakdown.

Must keep busy.

My plan A…Interior Design degree…fail

My plan B…Pottery Barn career…fail

The funny thing about “plans” is…sometimes your plans aren’t the best plans and a fail isn’t truly a fail.

I need that tattooed on my forehead.

Sometimes a fail is just a roadblock to keep you from going down the wrong path.

I took my cue from the roadblocks, took a breather and let go of the reins.

So very hard for a control freak.

I was at the “breather” stage when my friend Mary (Urban Farmgirl) decided to open a brick and mortar shop.Β Mary has been a regular vendor at Kane County Flea Market and other vintage markets in the area for several years. She has a huge following and a great reputation. If there is anyone on the planet that needs to have their own shop, it’s Mary. She has got an amazing eye for vintage style, a knack for finding incredible pieces and her painted furniture is perfection.

Before the grand opening, I helped her style the shop.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

I’d found my calling.

My density (heehee remember that from Back to the Future?).

Styling Urban Farmgirl is my dream job.

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You know my Pottery Barn “pro’s” list?

Well I tested it again…

>>>I love the Urban Farmgirl merchandise.

>>>If I had to sum up my personal decorating style, “urban farmgirl”, would be in there. πŸ˜‰

>>>I not only get to “play” with all the pillows…I sew them.

Why are you laughing?

That’s right, the chick that used to hot glue her kids’ school uniform pants is now sewing pillows. πŸ™‚

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and buntings, too!


>>>I get to create fun displays throughout the shop that come from inside my brain instead of a diagram from corporate. πŸ™‚


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>>>I get to create tablescapes that make people weep.

Okay, maybe that’s a slight overstatement. But they really are pretty. πŸ˜‰

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The merchandise is never the same, so I never get bored.

With two openings a month, I’m plenty busy but not too busy.

I love the collaborative process of pulling everything together before each opening.

Mary and I work together fabulously. Which makes it so much fun.

This is the perfect outlet for me to spread my creative wings.

And it is leading to decorating jobs…bonus!

So there you have it.

My plan c.

Biscuits and gravy.


I just want to say how much all of your comments and emails me to me.

You all are the best!

Have a fabulous weekend.





40 Responses to plan c

  1. Jennifer May 31, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

    That sounds like so much fun! I am glad that your plan C has worked out so well. Mary is lucky to have such a sweet, funny, talented friend to work and spend time with. Your pillows and other sewing are beautiful and your decorating is better than anything Pottery Barn could ever do. Congratulations on the success of plan C. : )

  2. Lori May 31, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

    Oh how Plan C is working for you! I pour over the pics Urban Farmgirl posts of the shop. LOVE the styling!!!

    Roadtrip to her shop NEEDS to happen. Like soon.

  3. paige May 31, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    wow, plan C for the win!!
    & the shop is gorgeous. congrats to both of you
    AND that table…..


  4. Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage May 31, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

    That is so exciting Susan! Sounds like God found the perfect job for you at the perfect time in your life. Awesome! Glad you gals are having fun!

  5. Courtney Walsh May 31, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

    My goodness, that’s like a huge answer to prayer isn’t it? I LOVE when you throw out your pros list and then realize you’ve fallen right into it. You and Mary are SUCH a great team and you are two seriously talented chicks! i love that store and tell everyone about it (and tell everyone in my classes to go get buntings there! PS. I need more, let’s talk!) πŸ™‚

    It was fun to meet you a couple of weeks ago…I hope it’s not the last time!

  6. Korrie@RedHenHome May 31, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

    I’m so glad you’re happy!! “Life is what happens while you’re making other plans.”

  7. Nicole May 31, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

    What? So you are telling me that a couple of the pillows I have sitting on my couch and loveseat and the fun bunting hanging outside my door were made by you?! AWESOME!
    And yes, I love pillows. Somewhere in the Instagram or Facebook world Mary made fun of my love of pillows. But it’s true! πŸ™‚
    So do you work the sale weekends as well? It is my goal to get out there some time ‘soon’. Sure, I live in Iowa…but I’m struggling to find a weekend that I’m free!
    Keep on doing what you love! πŸ™‚

  8. Karena May 31, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

    Susan I adore your pillows and tablescapes!! What fun!
    This a a great new chapter in your life!

    Please come and enter my giveaway from Segreto Finishes!
    Art by Karena

  9. Heather May 31, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

    I just read Mary’s post first, and then came on over here. I was so excited. Perfect for you! How fun, and also wonderful for Mary that you are able to do that very important job to make her store shine! I love plan C!

  10. lori lucas May 31, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

    I had a sneaking suspicion of this when I found out you made the buntings. Well, I at least thought you hung your buntings and re-arranged other things! ha! I have Google-mapped it, and it would take me 11 hours and 34 minutes to get to the shop from my home in Guthrie, Oklahoma……..Then take into account I drive like a bat outa-he$%, and that would mean probably 10 hours. Hmmmmm. Would I get to meet both you and Mary? I just can’t get the idea our of my mind!! Kuddos to you for Plan C. I need to find one too (I teach high school English!). Have fun. Lori Lucas

    • Carol September 5, 2013 at 5:13 pm #

      Lori, I live in NW Arkansas (just across the line from Tulsa) we could do a road trip and split the driving! Ha
      Susan, loved your explanation for arriving at Plan C. I usually end up liking Plan C rather than A or B, myself. Love the shop and the staging.

  11. Mary Ann May 31, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

    Just found you through Urban Farmgirl, and that shop looks FABULOUS!

  12. Naomi May 31, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

    This sounds like the perfect combo of Plan A and Plan B. You get to do design work, make your own displays, play with the pillows, AND pick your own hours. A win, win, win all around! Have fun.

    PS – I love having you back “On-line”. I missed reading your blog.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

  13. Gina May 31, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

    Oh wow! that does sound like a “dream job!” I know if I ever plan a trip to Chicago I will plan it around a trip to Mary’s sore and the Cubs schedule since I am a huge baseball fan!! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€

  14. Bethany May 31, 2013 at 6:36 pm #

    What a great Plan C! I have had the pleasure of stopping in at Mary’s shop a few times. The two of you do such a great job setting it up to show off all the goodies and inspire the shoppers. I love your pillows and buntings, too-such fun fabrics.

  15. Denise May 31, 2013 at 7:05 pm #

    Toe Touch for you! I have been a reader for a while, live in Alabama and love the spunky down-to-earth-ness that you convey on your blog. As well as all your projects and decorating awesomeness, funny stories…..etc. Have been wanting to comment for a while, was super pumped to hear you were going to blog what makes YOU happy and now am thrilled for your new “position.” Keep up the good work and “Hey to your Mama and
    ‘nem.” (which is how we say goodbye in Alabama as you well know…. πŸ˜‰

  16. Mel May 31, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

    I’m so stinkin’ happy for you!

  17. CIm Allen May 31, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

    Beautiful work !! I wish I was closer to Rockford .. maybe sometime when I”m up in Schaumburg, IL I can map quest it and stop in if it isn’t too far away .. it looks like my kind of shop πŸ™‚ Congrats on plan C

  18. Elizabeth@ Blue Clear Sky May 31, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

    Just had to say I had a good laugh, with you of course, on the last post. Urban Farmgirl sounds like the perfect spot for your creative energy. Loving the photos you shared too.

  19. cindy the cottage chick June 1, 2013 at 1:36 am #

    Sounds like a perfect fit….and I’m totally jealous of your talent! I wish the best for you and Mary in this endeavor, and I hope to get my rear into the shop sometime soon….I travel to the chicago area several times a year πŸ™‚ Congrats!

  20. Christy June 1, 2013 at 2:28 am #

    Wow! How awesome is that?! So happy for you. Wish I lived closer so I could see the beauty in the flesh! πŸ™‚

  21. Jennifer June 1, 2013 at 2:35 am #

    Congrats! Can you post the address and hours for the store. Would love to visit it sometime

  22. Regena Fickes June 1, 2013 at 2:42 am #

    Bless your heart! God kept closing door after door until you found the right window. I am so happy for you. This is definately for you. Those photos are glorious!

  23. Rachel June 1, 2013 at 2:47 am #

    Mary is the best! What fun you must be having! Would love a shop like that in West Virginia!

  24. Kate D. June 1, 2013 at 3:07 am #

    Letting go of the reins – wow, that’s the tough part. I also seem to be on a “fail” streak lately. Maybe the trick is to let go & see the fails as roadblocks & watch for the right road to open up, instead of trying to drive against the traffic down the wrong road.

    I’m so happy to hear you have found your bliss. I live in upstate New York, so I’m not sure if I will ever see the shop in person (hey, never say never!) but I so enjoy reading your blog – it’s been nice to see you back online.

  25. Jan Fusco June 1, 2013 at 3:19 am #

    That is terrific! LOVE-IT!

  26. Kris June 1, 2013 at 4:35 am #

    Your plan C is a perfect fit. The shop always looks adorable. Mary is so thrilled to have you and your eye for design is always so much fun to see. Keep up the good work. Glad to see you back in blog world. The first year your first one goes off to College is rough. So glad to see you are finding your way on a new journey.

  27. Anne June 1, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

    Susan I just read this on Mary’s blog! Congratulations what a wonderful opportunity for you! God always has a plan doesn’t he and this one is perfection for you! I bet this opportunity is going to lead to more and more creative ventures! And I love your pillows too!

  28. Rachel June 1, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

    Congratulations on finding your calling. Sounds (and looks) like the perfect fit for you. I’m going to check out Urban Farmgirl’s blog now.

  29. Krista June 1, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    That’s fabulous! Congratulations! The Lord works in mysterious ways. Sometimes what seems like a roadblock is actually a door opening.

  30. Traci June 1, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

    such wonderful news. you and mary do make a great team!! the shop always looks lovely.

    You’re words – Sometimes a fail is just a roadblock to keep you from going down the wrong path – are so so true.

    Enjoy Plan C!!

  31. Erin June 1, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

    Sooo…you are pretty much doing what we all knew/know you are phenomenal at? This is the perfect “job”(is it a job if you love it so completely?) and I am not surprised at all that this is what you are doing. I am so very happy for you to have found the place you are supposed to be, doing what you are supposed to be doing sharing your talent and even branching out with the pillows(tellin’ ya girl, I WANT a Susan tote!!!!)! LOVE that you have shared your journey to this point, you inspire while keeping it real and there needs to be more women like you in this world. Much love to you Susan!

  32. Kristie June 2, 2013 at 4:08 am #

    What a blessed woman you are! Doing what you love…how fantastic for you. So wish I lived where I could come and see everything in person. Oh well please keep the posts and photos coming. I so enjoy them all.

    I too love the roadblock analogy. So true isn’t it? Why can’t we see and know that at the time?


  33. Karen June 3, 2013 at 2:02 am #

    Absolutely love your work decor at Urban Farmgirl!! You two seem great together, so glad you found each other. Plan C sounds terrific! hit Kane Co Flea Market again, its actually been a few yrs. Hope to see you girls there!!!!!!!!!!!!

  34. Lisa June 3, 2013 at 9:52 pm #

    Sounds like you have the job of a lifetime. How fun it must be. I adore your decorating. Love love love that store window.

  35. sherry hart June 4, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

    Bingo…perfect job!

  36. Debbie refresh resytle June 5, 2013 at 12:27 am #

    How exciting and beautiful and so you!

  37. Marianne in Mo. June 6, 2013 at 10:58 pm #


  38. Holly- Cutie Pie Cottage June 12, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    Dream job indeed! Even though I’ve just “met” you, I’m glad for you!
    My nest will be empty soon and everyone asks what I’m going to do.
    I say I have some ideas but I think I’ll just wait and see what happens.
    Just something I’ve learned along the way!

  39. Deb June 22, 2013 at 1:37 am #

    Oh now I MUST make a drive to Rockford and check it out! But not on the freeway right now, ha. Back roads all the way. Which really is the most enjoyable way to go. I’m glad it sounds like fun for you and these scenes are really beautiful!

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