When I decided to start this blog series, 'Women Who Inspire' I knew I had to kick it off with Cate Mezyk of The Wild Ruffle. But before we get started with her interview I'm going to take you back to 2012 aka - 'the hardest season of my life'. We had just added Sweet E (baby #3) to our family - so I was working from home with a 3-year-old, 2-year-old and newborn... we just moved into our 3rd house within a year... and were on the hunt to find the right home to buy and settle in to. I kid you not I bet we looked at 100 homes over the course of a year - why our realtor is still friends with us I do not know - we were crazy.
During this season all I longed for was community (it was my never ceasing prayer), and I thought it was impossible living in the city. At this point in time I felt 'forgettable' like I could easily fade into the background wherever I went... I could go to church - scoot in and out - no one would remember my face, even the woman I talked to the week before.
Does anyone else ever feel that way? Maybe it's a maturity thing... maybe it's just a weird Allison thing I don't really know. But growing up in rural Iowa everyone knew everyone, if you needed help, ten people lined up to lend a hand. It truly is a special place, and I was sad to think I wouldn't be able to give that to my kiddos. It was so hard for me to wrap my head around how I could ever feel that sense of community without being in a small town.
In 2013 God stepped in - I'll never forget the day my husband called to tell me about this house in Prior Lake he found - he wanted me to call the realtor and set up a showing. My response: 'Absolutely not.'
We had looked at 100 houses on the west side of the Cities, and we were temporarily living there because that is where we wanted to be (as HGTV would call it, our ‘preferred neighborhood’). I was not about to start a new search 30 miles in the opposite direction in a city I had never heard of. Curt had lost his mind, and he was making me lose mine. But reluctantly I went along to look at this house, and as we pulled in the drive I knew this was where God wanted us to be. It wasn't my 'dream Pinterest' house. It was this little, wooded, 3-acre property secluded from the chaos of the city…and it felt like home. So we took a leap of faith and moved.
Shortly after relocating, I quickly learned about these 'Wild Ruffle Pop-Up Events' in town (hosted by Cate), and on a whim, I applied to be a vendor. Here I learned that this town I knew nothing about was filled with Jesus-loving women entrepreneurs like myself - thank you Lord for bringing me my community - these are my people. The days of Cate's pop-ups are gone as she now has a retail store with another amazing woman, Tammy. I'll never forget the day I received an email from them asking if I'd be interested in selling my signs in the shop they were opening: The Wild Ruffle. They were the first store to carry our signs, and it was such an empowering feeling to have these two women believe in me and my art.
And so, I am honored to introduce you to Cate Mezyk, our inaugural “Woman who Inspires.” She is a beautiful writer, with an amazing fashion sense, and heart for women and her community.
Women Who Inspire: April 2018
Cate Mezyk, Wild Ruffle
Words to describe myself:
1) Loved. If I was a girl who believed in luck, I'd describe myself as the luckiest in the area of love. I have an amazing husband and three kiddos who are so good to me, family that feel like friends, and friends who are close as family could ever be. They all love me so well. And even better - I have the love of my Father in heaven, whose love is the best thing to have ever happened to me.
2) Creative. I'm always happiest when I have a project underway (and honestly, sometimes I take too many of them on because I get so excited about them!). Whether I'm making up a dinner recipe on the fly, making jewelry, or decorating my home, I love straying from the norm and thinking of something unique.
3) Includer. An extrovert for sure, I prefer being with others than being on my own. It's why my business was better once Tammy (my partner) came on board. Being a part of a team makes me better at whatever I do. The more time I can get in with friends, the happier I am.
Favorite Bible Verse:
At the beginning of the year, I prayed that the Lord would give me a word for the year. A couple of weeks later, he gave me an answer: Brave. And along with that word, he gave me the verse 1 Corinthians 16:13-14: 'Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith, be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.' I'm both excited and nervous to see where this word and verse take me this year. I've already had a couple of health scares, and the reminder from God to be brave has kept me calmer than I ever could've been on my own. Come what may, I know that I can look to Him for courage.
The story behind where I am:
The story of where my business is today is one of surprises. Whenever I'm asked if I have a business plan, I have to laugh. I could certainly sit down and make one (and trust me, I do have goals set), but the plan would constantly be in flux. The Lord has dropped so many beautiful gifts on our laps (regular appearances on Fox 9 is just one of the many amazing things that have come our way in the past few years). Instead of having a plan set in stone, we are letting him lead us, and His plan has been way more than anything I could've imagined on my own.
Who do I serve and why?
I really have a heart to serve women. It's so fun to see women grow into themselves, whether through a Bible study where their faith can flourish, or an event where their small business can turn into something big. There can be a lot of competition between women, but when we come together and lift one another up, great things happen.
Who is an inspiring woman and why?
I don't know that I could narrow this answer down to simply one woman. I look at my daughters and am inspired by the way they're growing into themselves and learning how to navigate the world. My oldest is one of the most empathetic people I know - she feels other's pain and seeks to do something about it. She's bright and witty, and I admire how she holds firm to her beliefs even when it's the not the easiest to do so. My youngest is inspiring in that she happily plays with anyone and everyone. Want to be her friend? She's happy to include you in her plans.
My mom is a strong woman of faith who helped to shape who I am. My friends each have their strengths, and I'm drawn to each of them for different reasons. There are women in business who are killing it and making it look easy (Allison included!), and I admire each one. I'm grateful to be surrounded by so many females who rock.
One thing I'd tell thousands:
Be kind to yourself. Give yourself grace. Oh, how hard we are on ourselves! It's tough for me to be anything less than perfect. To forgive myself for the many mistakes I make. And yet those missteps were often the greatest teachers - I learned more from what went wrong in the long run. And God is so good at forgiving me when I repent. Who am I to hold onto something when He has already let it go?
We hope you enjoyed learning a little more about Cate from Wild Ruffle. Check back in a few weeks when we continue our “Women who Inspire” series with our May feature.