A New Story
Maybe you’ve heard the story or maybe you’re new to Naptime Diaries, but we’ll try to catch you up real quick. We’ve had such a sweet, long story and we’ve got a new story to tell.
Nick and I started Naptime Diaries print shop in 2011 on an absolute whim. I loved scripture, I needed scripture, I wanted it printed on the walls of my home. I wasn’t a designer and I didn’t really consider myself an artist – but I made a few designs and stuck them on Etsy. I figured maybe there were other people like me who loved scripture and wanted it on their walls in a beautiful way too.
What started very unintentionally turned into something much more – a passion, a mission, our family business. Fast forward to 2015 and we had over 17,000 customers and a great fun office in Charleston and three amazing employees – we felt like we were living the dream we’d never even thought to dream! And at the same time, we knew our time running the business was coming to a close.
In July of 2015, I sat up abruptly one day, looked at Nick and said: I think our season may be over with Naptime Diaries. We’d never so much as uttered a word about closing, stopping, or doing anything but moving forward – so that felt like it came out of nowhere, but as soon as the words came out of my mouth, they felt right. Interestingly, Nick looked back at me and said, “You know, I think that would be a good idea.”
We talked about how it took such a special grace and energy to run such a large, creative online business and how it seemed we were losing that grace. We talked about passing it on and letting another family experience the joy we’d felt. But we’re ministry people, not instinctive business people, and when we started researching and asking questions about passing on a business – it seemed daunting and overwhelming and we didn’t really know how to move forward.
We finished out that year of business and began 2016 with all engines firing, figuring we’d just keep going and keep growing. And then abruptly, the same strong feeling came back: _We are not supposed to run this business anymore._ We don’t have the energy for it. And thus – we announced we’d be closing Naptime Diaries. There were tears as we told our employees, tears as we told our customers and friends, and we didn’t have a lot of answers. We just felt like we needed to be obedient and follow the Lord in closing. What we didn’t expect, at all, is what happened next.
I believe it was the very first day we announced we were closing that I got the text from Kate. She's an amazing local artist we’d planned on working with and she texted saying her sister was interested in running a company like Naptime Diaries. A few hours later I was on the phone with Helen, a few days later we met with our husbands, and a few weeks later they came to visit us in Charleston. What unfolded over those weeks and months was a lot of prayer, a lot of serious business talk, and a lot more prayer on top of a lot of business talk.
And what came out of that was this really beautiful decision, that we now truly believe God was leading us to make: not to 100% sell, close, or shut down Naptime Diaries – but to begin a partnership with Will and Helen Brooks, and together – to continue on the purpose of Naptime Diaries in a new and fresh way.
So this is just the very beginning of the story we’re so excited to tell. This is your introduction to Will and Helen, and their three beautiful girls. They are officially our partners now and we could not be more grateful. They’re going to graciously allow Nick and I to still be a part of this story, to have a hand in the business that we love so much, while they do the majority of the heavy lifting.
There’s lot of new stuff to come – we have new positions to hire, we have a new NAME to share with you all, and on August 24th – we’ll have a brand new line of prints to share with you.
But some things are staying the same: Our mission is still to write scripture creatively on the walls of the hearts and homes of as many people as we possibly can. We still want to bless the socks off of our customers and we still want to listen closely to the Lord!
We are SO GRATEFUL for those of you who have prayed for us and cheered us on in the unfolding of this and we can’t say thank you enough for the amazing part you’ve had in this business.
Stay tuned, this is the fun part, and we believe we’re just getting started.
Love - Jess and Nick (the Connollys) and Helen and Will (the Brooks)