You've probably noticed the crickets given that it’s been quiet around here this year. Allow me to share my story...
Christmas Eve 2015. As I swung the muck bucket into better position I felt the lower left side of my back twinge. I ignored the warning and kept cleaning stalls. Two days later, my back was out and I was sidelined for two months.
Just as my back recovered, I engaged in a wrestling match (don't ask) with a large countertop cooler full of fruit-infused water. The cooler won and the chronic calcifying tendonitis in my right shoulder became irritated and inflamed.
As a lifelong equestrian, I am used to 'grinning and bearing it' and blocking out pain. This time, however, my shoulder would not be silenced. I knew it was serious and I knew I had to do something.
The first "specialist" I saw told me it was the worst case he had ever seen and recommended a complete tendon replacement using pig or cadaver parts. Umm, no thank you!
I did my homework and found the most highly regarded shoulder orthopedist in town. I had to wait a couple months to have my first appointment with him. He laughed at the previous diagnoses and assured me that that only a simple orthopedic surgery was required to remove most of the calcium in my tendon, not a full tendon replacement!
Six months after my original Christmas injury, my shoulder surgery date finally arrived—and not a moment too soon! I’d spent so many days physically unable to lift my right arm from my side. Given that I’m right handed, and a self-employed business entrepreneur, it goes without saying that the horses enjoyed a quiet summer off in the pasture, and so did Cheval Amour!
I am deeply grateful to say that I had a successful shoulder surgery, but then I had to allow even more time for healing. Over the year I found myself deeply frustrated as I was held back from my 'normal' activities (even as basic as typing an email). This year’s game changer came when I finally accepted that I needed to honor my body with time and space to heal. Doing this gave me the opportunity to observe the deeper growth being presented to me!
I spent a lot of time thinking and reflecting, and watched incredible support systems grow in various areas of my life.
I spent a lot of time thinking about Cheval Amour!
As most of you are aware, Cheval Amour is not a typical apparel company. Stepping outside the bounds of a conventional clothing brand business model has come with many challenges. Primarily, we’ve had to figure out the best way to make this a self-sustaining business. When we first launched, my ideals were completely wrapped up in the way we did business: combining exemplary service with consciously-made, high quality clothing, and always being considerate of people and the planet.
We’ve tried many different approaches and sales channels, but have yet to hit upon the right mix.
Cheval Amour’s apparel is made from high-quality fabrics sewn in Canada. This means our base cost is higher than most of our competition. That said, we continue to provide our customers with extremely high satisfaction and long-wearing garments. After much thought, I decided to make a big change to our business model:
We are going back to selling DIRECTLY to our customers.
Selling directly to our customers will allow us to price our clothes in line with where we feel they should be, and allows us to continue to offer higher quality products at competitive prices. Click here to see our new reduced prices!
And here we are in November already! I’m still rehabbing my shoulder, and my slow recovery continues to allow me time to cherish and solidify the support systems we’ve created this year. I know that my journey this year will allow me to be of greater service to my customers, my community, and my friends and family.
Oh! And I have discovered that I am pretty darn good at playing putt-putt golf with only my left arm. :-)
I would love to hear your thoughts! Please consider leaving a comment or send email me through our contact us page!