From My Eyes: One Year at H&L

Words by Jess Downey, Social Media Manager

One whole year at Holl & Lane. And, honestly, I kind of can't believe it. It's totally flown by, but at the same time it feels like it's been so much longer (in a really good way). It's totally like your first love.

I can still remember the day I first heard about the magazine. I didn't know Sarah that well, but was a part of the bloggers group she started. I eagerly jumped at the chance to contribute. Little did I know that a little later I'd be working with H&L, running most of it's social media, and being a part of this beautiful thing.

Words cannot describe how special I think H&L and all of the people involved are. I've seriously tried to write this post so many times, but I'm not sure if I can truly convey my thoughts and feelings. But I'm going to try.

Working at Holl & Lane honestly hasn't felt like a job. I know that sounds totally corny, but it truly hasn’t. And, I mean, what do you expect with a one year reflection type post, right?

Coming from a gal who's freelanced for quite some time, I can tell you that it's rough. People often look at freelancers as grunt labor. We can be easily replaced. We don't matter. We're made to feel like we're just a body to put in a position, but not something of real value.

But never, ever, have I felt like that with Holl & Lane. I feel like an important piece to the puzzle. I feel like I have value, a voice, and like I'm a part of something.

And I'm not just saying that because of my adoration for the lovely EIC, Sarah. I'm saying it because I've truly felt like I'm a part of something. Something big. Something important. And it came at a time when I truly needed it. I needed a place where I could give something and feel good about it.

I quit my job last year to focus on starting my own creative biz (and, also, for a whole list of other reasons). And it's been a huge struggle. But working at Holl & Lane has given me something. A little ray of sunshine in the tough days. I can't describe it, but being a part of this whole thing has really made me feel like a success. Like I'm doing something right.

And even more than that, Holl & Lane has brought so many things to my personal life. I stumbled into a fabulous little community of women who are living life in a real and authentic way. I love watching everyone interact. I love reading the stories and I love knowing that I'm part of the reason that these women get to share their stories. I am incredibly grateful for that and so amazed at all of the people who want to share intimate parts of their lives.

And the gals I work with. Can we just talk about them for a minute? Seriously, some of the best people I've ever met (can you say that when you've yet to meet them in real life?). The #HandLTribe has been some of my biggest supporters. Giving me encouragement and a little boost of "hell yeah, you can do it girl" when I've needed it most. They've made me laugh, given me warm fuzzies, and given me a place where I could vent all of the frustrations about anything and everything. They've become my friends.

And never in my life have I met anyone as obsessed with donuts as I am. So that's pretty amazing too. I've found a fabulous little online family with Holl & Lane and because of Holl & Lane.

I'm super excited to see where this whole thing goes. I've loved watching the magazine grow, evolve, and take shape over the past year. And I can't wait to see where it will be in year two, three, and beyond.

Happy one year Holl & Lane! Thank you for giving me so much. Thank you for touching so many lives.