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fall feelings

fall feelings

I’ll be honest, the summer is my favorite season. The days are long, bright and warm. Also, during the summer I still have fall to look forward to—which I also love, but a little less.

For me, fall feels like a Sunday night when I was in high school, trying to enjoy the last few hours of the weekend before the alarm goes off the next morning and remember the test I haven’t prepared for.

Dramatic? Totally. True? Absolutely.  

The dark days of winter always seem to take the joy out of those rare, white, snowy, beautiful days.

I am working on being in the present moment which means not focusing on what is ahead (winter) or worse, behind (glorious summer). I have a friend who says, “be where your butt is,” and I am trying.

Yesterday, Emily and I were talking about all of this when the conversation evolved into things we are grateful for. We started off serious, mentioning things like a dear friend recovering from cancer and our kids being in good and healthy places. Of course, there were things like getting a close enough parking spaces in our mill complex where we don’t have to pack a snack for the walk in. Or, remembering we hid two Lily’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups in the way back of the fridge (a total win).

So, in the month of gratitude and thanks, we offer you 10 things we are grateful for right now (in no particular order):

1. Our Peeps.

Sounds super corny (which we are, obviously), but all our wholesale and retail customers who have turned into our friends. The 2021 Co. gang is pretty damn cool.

2. Our pets.

Emily has her kitties to snuggle up with (when they are in the mood, of course... cats) and although we lost our beloved lab Timothy in the summer, we have a new puppy joining us very soon. I really believe that pets can save us.

3. Our therapists.

Yes, I said therapists. Both Emily and I see one (they are equally amazing, and we confer after each of our sessions in an effort to share any bits of advice we gleaned from our individual sessions. Everyone should have a good therapist. It should be mandatory!

4. Emily’s parents.

Doug and Linda are both retired but they have taken on 2021 Co. as their own baby in the best possible ways. Linda sews on all our tags ( think tees, bags, pouches… all of them ) and is the fastest card-sleever you ever did see. Doug is an excel mastermind  and has built us spreadsheets that are so detailed they predict when cards will need to be reordered, packaged, and even discontinued well before it would ever hit our radar. Even Em’s grandma has gotten in on the action, sleeving hundreds of cards each week. We would not be here today without the help, there are no words to describe how lucky we are.

5. Music.

We blast it here in the office. If it's quiet, alexa has obviously died, or something is very very wrong. From Ed Sheeran to Fleetwood Mac, Jackson Brown and lately Jake Wesley Rogers (obsessed!)  We put music in the same category with pets. Music can save someone.

6. Caffeine in the morning. Caffeine in the afternoon.

No further explanation needed.


7. A made bed.
Getting into an already made bed with clean, tight sheets. Is there anything better? All it takes is 2 minutes before leaving for work...  Bonus points for this time of year when it’s too early for the heat, but cold enough to shut the windows. Cold on the outside, toasty on the inside. ( post script... Emily dreams of getting into this magical bed at night, sadly it is not her reality )

8. Each other.

Having a best friend as your business partner is pretty darn amazing. We both are there to raise each other up and carry each other through our endless hurdles, both in the business, and in our personal lives. We have had so many moments of saying, “why are we doing this” ... “can we do this?” And miraculously, we ARE doing it. Something I know we couldn’t have done alone.

9. Punching things.

Yes, you read that right. This is Emily jumping in! I'm part of an amazing community Krav Maga community. For a few hours each week I get to leave the world behind and focus on nothing other than self-defense, exercise and my krav family. For anyone who’s curious, hitting pads after a stressful day does wonders for one’s mental and physical health. Shout out to my crew at America’s Best Defense, Franklin.

10. Cheese.

From the humble Cheez-it, to the more refined goat cheese with fig jam (not so much on the jam for Nicole). Some things just make life better, and cheese is one of them.


When you start looking for moments of gratitude and thanks, they are literally everywhere. We could probably make a list 2 miles long with our thoughts. But we are pretty happy with these 10. Wishing you a moment or two to consider yours.


xo, Nicole & Emily





Comments on this post (1)

  • Nov 06, 2021

    I love everything about this post — the honesty and vulnerability, the humor, and the story of two powerhouses and their amazing supporters who are inspirations to us all. Emily and Nicole, I am grateful for you and the beautiful art you bring to the world.

    — Trish

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