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What A Year! 2017 recap

2017 was quite a year, full of ups and downs, deaths and births, wins and losses. It always feels strange for me to have things personally going well when the state of the world is so dark and crazy. There is dissonance there but in a way motivates me even more in my work of helping people create their own personal sanctuaries.

In January I was in mourning. My Grandmother had just passed away and it was a shock and a huge loss for me and my family. My spirits were lifted after the Women’s March. We sold prints of my painting, “In Chorus” and with your help we raised $15,000 for women in need.

The highlight of Febuary for me was going to my girlfriend’s baby shower in Philli where me and my besties from the last 20 years hung out in a cozy farm house for the weekend and feasted, gossiped, danced, hiked and drank too much wine. The lowlight was the loss of our Uncle John who is deeply missed.

In March we launched our online shop. We’d been working on the design and development of the shop for eight months — and I’d been dreaming about it for years (but afraid to take the leap). It felt really good to get the shop out in the world and has been a game changer for us to have a steady stream of income from the shop instead of relying on outside partnerships for our income. A huge thank you to all who have supported our little online shop!

In April, I was on the cover of the seriously empowering Disfunkshion Magazine.

In May we finished the long, drawn out and stressful search for a Kindergarten for Ida. We got in into the dual language public school of our dreams and felt a lot of relief and excitement!

In June we launched our jacquard textile line with Valdese Weavers. This was a major dream-come-true for me. The line is now available at Calico Corners and Fabric.com.

We also went on a trip to Tulum!

…and to Napa for our Cousin’s wedding!

In July we finished our bathroom remodel of the 2nd bathroom in our home.

In August we launched our collab with Beyond Yoga. I’ve probably worn this outfit 100 times since then. It’s my new Jungalow uniform! We also began teaching art and marketing to Foster Youth with the RightWay Foundation. 

I went on a trip to Sante Fe with my girlfriends to celebrate 20 years of friendship.

Also, Ida started Kindergarten!

In September we moved to our new studio that we completely gutted and remodeled over the summer.

Also, our capsule collection launched at Living Spaces. They ran a TV commercial for the line too which was very fun and exciting. Folks I went to elementary school with were reaching out on Facebook to say they had seen the ad and the collection. So fun.

In October, our new book, The New Bohemians Handbook, Come Home to Good Vibes came out. It was both exciting a nerve wracking to release this book into the world but it has been SO amazing to hear, already in the few short months that it’s been out, how you all are brining good vibes home with some of the ideas we share here. Honestly it makes me so, so happy.

Also in October, we launched our second round of designs with Selamat to the wholesale market to rave reviews. This photo became our #1 liked photo of all time on IG,  garnering nearly 50,000 likes. The bed will be available for purchase from our site in April of 2018.

In November, our bedding line hit select Target stores and target.com. Many styles sold out right away, which was of course very exciting for us.

In December, I went on a quick trip to Morocco. 

When I got back home, the very next day, we launched our collection for Pottery Barn Kids.

I spent the last two weeks of the year spending quality time with friends and family, doing arts and crafts with Ida (this is her work) and reflecting on the year, and all that lies ahead.

After writing all of this down, it sure sounds like an extraordinary year. Of course, what I didn’t write about were all of the hardships that this year entailed. Besides the personal losses of loved ones, I also faced challenges at work. I had  money issues with my first year of having payroll and a full-time staff. There’s a serious learning curve there. I learned a lot about myself as a boss, my own failings and shortcomings and how my propensity towards avoiding conflict is a dangerous slippery slope when managing a staff. I was traveling a ton and wore myself thin. I dealt with a lot of minor health issues mostly because I wasn’t practicing enough self care, exercising, getting enough sleep, taking my vitamins etc. I also dealt with the omni-present juggle of being a working mom and trying to split myself in two by being present at work and at home. And our hope of getting pregnant with baby #2 did not happen this year either. Alas, as my wise mother says, “You can have it all, just not all at the same time.”

I don’t share this to complain. Quite the opposite, in fact I am DEEPLY grateful for this time. I have an incredible support network that starts with my husband and parents and radiates outwards to my family, extended family, staff, friends, neighbors, and of course you all, my dear readers. I now leap into 2018 with fierce feeling of excitement and abundance for what is to come. I am humbled by the success I was met with in 2017 and hope to continue on this path and pass it forward as much as I can in 2018 and beyond. With a heart full of gratitude,
~JB

Justina Blakeney Justina Blakeney

Designer, artist, stylist & mama. Founder and CCO at The Jungalow. Crazy for color, pattern and plants!

8 responses to “What A Year! 2017 recap”

  1. Robert says:

    The PB Kids are the cutest! Congrats on a great 2017 and many blessings to an even better 2018!

  2. Sami says:

    Justina plain & simple you are a success magnet, creative extraordinaire. I’m waiting for your clothing line now & creative retreats in each state. Much luck and hope the skies shower nothing but goodness on you

  3. Gail says:

    I’m loving that blue pants suit. I’ll need to check out the big pillow in the Target pic.

  4. Lilia says:

    Hi Justina, I just wanted to say, you are a tremendously talented lady creating beautiful content every day! Thank you for providing so many great ideas on making a beautiful home. As a fellow mom of young kids doing my best to balance all of the competing demands in my life, I’m inspired by you. It sounds like you’ve had quite a doozy of a year — wishing you the best of luck for a wonderful 2018.

  5. Bubbie says:

    You made papa cookie cry

  6. David says:

    Congratulations to this great success you had! Wish you all the best. I love to get inspired by your blog

  7. Heidi says:

    Sweet Justina,

    You make a major difference to my life and therefore, to the lives of people ‘in my pond’ via the good vibe ripples created. A friend (yes, a true friend, not a” frenemy”) commented that our house looked a bit like a “thrift shop” and I felt violated; even though I recognized that her home looks like a sterile hotel room and I never felt cozy there, and even though I love HER a lot!
    That’s what spurred me to eventually fond your blog. I’ve since watched you grow and the success you’ve built upon. It’s a joy!
    You’ve given me so much more confidence in my own style, which has become steadfastly our home, that my partner is on board with making bits ‘n’ bob of furniture [i.e. benches for plants and our collection of bonsai, an amazing ‘birdhouse’ to cover an extraordinarily ugly switchbox for our garden bore that dominated our otherwise great front verandah (I finished painting that yesterday and it’s up!)] I have plans for some Moroccan-inspired mirrors this year too!

    See? You ARE inspo!!
    You ARE your own brand. SO few people can even dream to be that.
    The fact that you MAKE products now is crazy-good and they make people feel that way, crazy-good! Sad that we can’t get our paws on them here in Australia, but so happy that they leap off the shelves in the USA.

    Don’t think for a minute, that you’re the odd one out for having teething struggles in being the “Boss Lady”. I actually chose to NOT employ others when I reached that stage with my consultancy, simply because I didn’t want to even think about the details involved in employing other people. It’s harder; much harder, to provide employment to others and be the source of their livelihood. Remember, you LEAD people and MANAGE money!

    On another front, don’t beat yourself up about not (yet) having another child!
    I wrote a couple of years ago now, that you might consider being tested for Endometriosis AND Cystic Ovary Syndrome.
    If you haven’t yet, these are conditions that often impact on becoming pregnant a second time after the first one seemed so ‘easy’.
    Another suggestion is to have your Estrogen levels checked. If they’re out-of-kilter (too high), this can also prevent pregnancy. This is an easy fix and could be an easy, yet too often overlooked, condition.
    I truly hope I haven’t overstepped the line here, by writing these things, but I so would love you to have another child and be a Mama-bear to kidS!

    With love, Heidi :) x

  8. debra says:

    What a year! You are on fire. Keep it going we are all enjoying your success!

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