Why failing the bar exam is the best thing I ever did.

why failing the bar exam is the best thing I ever did by crafty gemini

Today marks the beginning of my Scottie Pippen year. The big 3-3. So far my life has been filled with many accomplishments and failures. But today, as I celebrate my 33rd birthday, I stand back and look at my life and can honestly say I am exactly what I have always wanted to be- happy.

A little over a year ago I wrote a blog post on the day I retired my husband from his 9-to-5 job. I’m writing this post for you today to hopefully encourage those of you that are still on what seems to be a never-ended path to making a living doing what you love.

No matter how many times you have failed.

No matter how many people told you you would fail.

No matter how far away your goal feels.

You can do it.

I graduated from law school with over $60,000 in student loan debt, no job, and then went and failed the bar exam. To you that probably reads like an #epicfail. For me, it was actually the best thing I ever did.

Eight years ago I walked across the stage as a University of Florida- Levin College of Law graduate. {GO GATORS!} I was 24 years old. I had a ton of student loan debt, no legal job lined up, no money, no help. What I did have was common sense, a die-hard work ethic, my resourcefulness and the ambition and vision to know that I wanted more for my life than what a traditional legal career could give me.

As the child of an immigrant single mother, all I heard my entire life was that education was the only way to get out of poverty.

To do better.

To give my children a better life than I had.

So, after I earned my BA in Anthropology I knew I had to enroll in some type of graduate school program. I decided it was either an MBA or a JD. The law degree sounded like it had more pull so I decided to go that route knowing damn well I did not want to be a lawyer. Let’s be real. A BA in Anthropology?! There’s not much I could do with that right out of college. So, law school it was.

If you ask my law school friends they will tell you that every single day I said I was going to quit because I did not want to be a lawyer. All the while I knew deep down inside that I would never really quit.

I’m not a quitter. I always finish what I start.

This is one of my strengths, I suppose. The ability to put myself through anything regardless of how grueling the task or how miserable I may be. I’ve always been okay with dealing with the circumstances as long as I do what needs to be done. Sacrificing my wants for just about anything or anyone else. #thosedaysareover

Everyone around me wondered why I would put myself through the rigors of a legal education if I firmly knew I did not want to practice law. Again, I was conditioned to believe I had to be there. I had to do it. It was the next step in my career path. I had to get that degree and do something with it… or go back to school for another degree. This is what I was taught. This is what I believed.

While in law school I was depressed, broke and in desperate need of a creative outlet. This is when I picked up sewing. I remember choosing seats in the back row of my law classes just so I could sneak out early to make it to a quilting class. My friends would laugh and say, “You’re the only person I know that skips class to go sew with a bunch of grandmas.” That is exactly right. And I loved every minute of it.

While in law school I got a job at my local Jo-Ann Fabrics store making $7.10/ hr. There I was with a BA degree (cum laude) from the flagship university of the state making barely above minimum wage. I made almost twice that from my babysitting gigs. So, I clearly didn’t do it for the money. I did it because it was the only place I felt at peace. Touching the fabric bolts and envisioning what I could make with the prints kept me sane. Helping customers with project ideas, designs and the best fabrics to use was relaxing and fun.  My paycheck was often less than $50 but I didn’t care because I needed those few hours a week to be surrounded by beautiful colors, fabrics and creativity. That is when I knew that this was more than a part-time job. I needed sewing & quilting in my life for the long haul.

After law school graduation, I took a job at the University of Florida and met my husband. We dated for 4 months and got married. Yeah. That didn’t go over very well. He’s Black. I’m Latina. Our parents weren’t exactly thrilled about our new union. It’s all good. #hihaters

By now we were expecting our first child (Juice!) and I had convinced myself that I had to sit for the bar exam. The exam and the bar prep class were paid for. I had a family now and I had to put this legal degree to work and make some actual money. Right? I mean, I spent 2.5 years earning an accelerated law degree. I had to take the bar. I had to.

I remember a conversation I had with my husband one night:

Him: “Do you actually want to take the bar?”

Me: “Ummm. No, not really.”

Him: “Then why are you taking it?”

Me: “Because it’s paid for and I have to.”

Him: “You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do.”

Me: “So, you’re saying I should just waste all the money I’ve put into it and skip taking it altogether.”

Him: “Yea.”

Me: “Nah. I’m gonna take it.”

Him: “Ok.”

I walked away thinking he was testing me or something. How could it be that he seemed to really be okay with me not taking the bar.  Committing himself to the idea that I would not be a lawyer. (Read: He had just married someone who was broke and would be broke for a while. Oh yeah, and she’s pregnant with his first child.) #goals #not

There I was. First-trimester of pregnancy. Tired as all get out. Barely able to keep my eyes open. Substitute teaching during the day and attending bar prep study sessions in the evenings and on weekends. Forcing myself to study for something I had absolutely zero interest in. I had convinced myself that I had to do it because it was part of the path I had chosen. I mean, who goes to law school and doesn’t take the bar exam? Right?!

So, I did. I walk into the room. We get started. I write a few essays and answer questions as best I can. And then I fall asleep. I was so tired. [Note: I pretty much sleep for the first 6 months when I’m pregnant.] #iheartmysleep

A friend sitting nearby discreetly wakes me up. I thanked her and finished the exam. I was glad it was over. I knew I had not properly prepared for the exam and deep down I secretly wished I had failed it.  If I would have passed the bar exam I know I would have forced myself to become an attorney. As miserable as I would have been I would have done it because it was a sacrifice I had to make for my family. That is what we are supposed to do, right?!

When the results finally arrived and I received my failure letter part of me was disappointed and I even considered re-taking it. HA! Thankfully, my husband intervened and ensured me that I did not have to take the bar again. I had nothing to prove to anyone. He just wanted me to be happy. He asked me to take the time to find my true passion so I could do what I loved to do.

And that I did.

Failing the bar exam was the best thing I ever did because it allowed me to find myself, my passion and my true calling.

Failing the bar exam allowed me to create my YouTube channel and share my life and hobbies with the world.

Failing the bar exam allowed me to take a job as an Adjunct Professor in a paralegal program until my business got off the ground. That’s where my love for teaching was reignited.

Failing the bar exam let me breastfeed my babies on demand until they were 2 years old without having to pump in an office bathroom.

Failing the bar exam let me stay home and raise my children.

Failing the bar exam put me in such a tight spot that I was forced to use my creativity and resourcefulness to create my own career path.

Failing the bar exam made me realize that having a supportive partner makes all the difference.

Failing the bar exam made me realize that we don’t actually have to do the things society/family tells us we do if we don’t want to.

Failing the bar exam made me realize I was fully capable of making my own decisions without the need to consider other people’s opinions on my life choices. #doyou #immadome

I am fully capable of making my own decisions without the need to consider other people’s opinions on my life choices

Failing the bar exam was an eye opener. You don’t always have to push through with something that you don’t genuinely want to do.

Failing the bar exam was my pass to skip the miserable life I would have had if I forced myself to be an attorney. #savedme

Failing the bar exam is going down in my book as one of my greatest accomplishments.

Failing the bar allowed me to find comfort in my authentic self.

I was able to make my business work around my home life and core values instead of the other way around.

We created our own business.

We created the business model, the business plan and every move we make.

We have no user manual, no study guide, no how-to tutorial. We just make it up as we go in a way that is true to what we believe is right. In a way that allows us to sleep at night.

Failing the bar exam has given me the greatest gift of all- the ability to provide for my family doing something I love.

Every day I am thankful for the man I get to share this journey with. Because of his encouragement and support I am the Crafty Gemini, a successful online-based business. I am a sewing and quilt pattern designer. I’m a YouTube channel video host with almost 300,000 subscribers. I have my own thread collection. I’m waiting on the samples of my first fabric collection. I design and manufacture my own quilting rulers. I run an online subscription-based quilt club. I host my own quilting retreats. I lecture and speak on entrepreneurship and my unique business model and I have several other revenue streams. And I’m not done yet. We have big plans for Crafty Gemini.

Do I practice law? No.

Do I use my law degree? Yes.

I use my legal education in several different ways but the one that always comes to mind is the fact that I draft and/or negotiate my own contracts and agreements with the companies I collaborate with. That skill alone comes in very handy.

As you read this and think to yourself, “But I’m not her…” Know that you’re right, you’re not me. But I’m not you either. We all have our own strengths, skills and gifts. If you have a conversation with your authentic self and discover what it is you really want I believe you will be able to take those strengths and gifts and find a way to make it work for you and your family.

You can make a living doing what you love. It’s not easy or fast or clearly carved out for you. But it is achievable. #trustyourself

Today, on my 33rd birthday, I am proud to say I am happy. I have a loving and supportive husband and two curious, empathetic, creative, confident and intelligent children who enjoy life on an organic homestead with both their parents and a bunch of animals. My husband and I created this setup. It’s what we wanted. To be home with our children. Together. Our kids don’t attend school and yet they know so much about life, love and the things that actually matter. If I die tomorrow I would only hope that my kids are able to find their passion as early in life as possible so they can spend most of their years doing what truly makes them happy.

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75 Responses to Why failing the bar exam is the best thing I ever did.

  1. Bunny Hand June 1, 2016 at 6:11 am #

    Ah, yes, I remember it well! So proud of you and the inspiration you are. Loads of love to all

  2. Bridget Ebdrup June 1, 2016 at 6:18 am #

    You and your family are truly inspiring. I look forward to your posts for many years to come.

  3. carolyn cook June 1, 2016 at 6:40 am #

    You are the best

  4. Profile photo of Carolyn R
    Carolyn R June 1, 2016 at 6:53 am #

    Very nice life story. I love your quilting products. Have made some of them for gifts for family members. Yours truly Carolyn R. Goode.

  5. Ellen June 1, 2016 at 7:20 am #

    When life gives you pieces, make a quilt.

    That’s what you have done, Vanessa. Taken all the pieces of your life – your husband, kids, property, creativity and work ethic – and stitched them into a career that is not only deeply satisfying, but also a healthy lifestyle for you and your family. As if that were not enough, you are sharing it with the world and enabling it (us) to benefit from your experience, knowledge and zest for life.

    I thank you for sharing the journey with us online and I salute you for following your passion. You, at the young age of 33, are a role model for many others, paving the way for them to follow the American Dream. It is available to anyone who who is persistent and has a strong work ethic.

  6. yvette June 1, 2016 at 7:22 am #

    Congrats on doing what you truly love, and that is all that matters!!! Making a living doing it is a plus.

  7. Denise Shortway June 1, 2016 at 7:30 am #

    What an awesome life you have created for yourself and family. I applaud you in every way and I am also a huge fan. Keep on doing, creating and just being you! Bravo to your husband for being the wind beneath your wings.

  8. Carla Lissa June 1, 2016 at 7:37 am #

    You are a true “walking” inspiration!

  9. Joycr Jukes June 1, 2016 at 7:55 am #

    Happy Birthday. You inspire me. Your story had me in tears. I am so happy for you and your family. Keep inspiring others by living your dreams. Stay Blessed!!! I wish you all the Best!!!!

  10. Sally Monceaux June 1, 2016 at 7:58 am #

    “Standing ovation”!!!

    There is no failure, there stepping stones in life! How you handle them and where you go next shows your true nature. You my dear, with an amazing husband, have created a life made just for you! And your family! When a person is truly happy with themselves and their life, they shine and succeed in everything they do!

    God bless you and Brandon for the path in life you have chosen and for sharing with the rest of us!

    Happy Birthday!

  11. Julie June 1, 2016 at 8:19 am #

    I’m going to write in my journal all the reasons why being a failure has allowed me to have success in my life. Thank you for this idea. I needed it today – and I’m an 75 year old failure/success story. Happy day to you and to your precious family.

    • Jane Dionne June 1, 2016 at 7:16 pm #

      Hello Julie,
      I’m 75 as well
      I failed at nursing and excelled at teaching…
      what a happy road I followed
      Jane

  12. Dianne June 1, 2016 at 8:30 am #

    So agree…”when life gives you pieces, make a quilt”!
    After many difficult struggles, I found my way back to crafting.
    It has given me so much joy and satisfaction, especially when
    doing for others. God led me on a different path, to bring
    Peace back into my life.
    Dianne

  13. Helen-Louise June 1, 2016 at 8:35 am #

    You’re grateful, I’m very grateful, we’re all grateful you didn’t pass that bar exam! Because of you I started sewing again and I now have a wonderful sewing studio apart from my main house where I can recharge and be creative. Had I not come across your videos all this would not have happened. Don’t tell me random, chance encounters cannot be life changing! You are truly an inspiring young woman that I am proud to be “associated” with. Reading your life story this morning only confirms my instincts about you. Thank you for your honesty. And I am so happy for you, your good husband, those precious kids, and all the animals on your farm!!!

  14. Grace Patane June 1, 2016 at 8:36 am #

    WOW! That is an amazing story! I would say the second best thing that happened to you was finding, and marrying your husband! Together, you make this whole thing work, and that is terrific. I hope that you continue you on your path to success.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, VANESSA! Many, many more!
    Grace

  15. LadySchep June 1, 2016 at 8:43 am #

    Happy Birthday, Vanessa! I practice law just down the road from you, so I’m sure we’ll get to meet in person one day! I didn’t discover my love for quilting until after I became an ASA, and now my hubby and I are fumbling down that road, trying to figure out how to make this work for our family so I can be home, create, and care for our brand-new baby boy. (Yes, I pump milk in my office–at least it’s not a bathroom!) I discovered you right when I started quilting, and you’ve been an inspiration to me. I wish you continued success–if you can do it, so can I!

    Your fellow Latina lawyer,

    Nicolle

  16. Linda Epstein June 1, 2016 at 8:57 am #

    Happy birthday Vanessa! You are an inspiration, with the right attitude to succeed in whatever you choose to pursue from the heart. Keep up the good work, and know that looking forward is productive, looking back will get you no where. I am so very proud of you and for you. You go girl!!!

  17. Elaine Rickard June 1, 2016 at 8:58 am #

    Happy Birthday Vanessa!!! I also have a June B-day. Your letter is an inspiration for anyone who
    thinks their goals are impossible.
    Thanks for sharing your story.
    Bless you.
    Elaine

  18. Nancy June 1, 2016 at 9:00 am #

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is so well written and encouraging to others. BTW, hope you have a very happy birthday!!

  19. donna thurman June 1, 2016 at 9:02 am #

    HAPPY happy birthday keep following your heart.

  20. Robyn June 1, 2016 at 9:04 am #

    Thanks so much for the encouragement that we can all accomplish what we set our minds to do. You are inspirational in many ways. And Happy Birthday! June is an awesome birthday month. Mine is at the end of the month.

  21. Jill Hagemeier June 1, 2016 at 9:08 am #

    Happy Birthday, Vanessa! What a great blog post and sharing of your life and yourself. You are such an inspiration! I feel honored to know you. Best wishes for your birthday today and continued success to you and your family. I know you will continue to inspire others and fulfill your dreams.

  22. Kathy Andrews June 1, 2016 at 9:08 am #

    An amazing story and a wonderful inspiration to everyone! Happy Birthday, Vanessa!!!!

  23. bobbie denson June 1, 2016 at 9:23 am #

    as I read your post I am thinking “wow! My hero!!” You have done with your life what I always desired to do, but lacked the confidence to do. That is ok,, because I am exactly where God wants me. And now I get to enjoy the gifts and talents that He gave me without having to consider the income aspect. If I was 30 years younger, I would want to do exactly as you have done. But, I am happy where I am and that is what it is all about. I am so glad you are happy and content with your life. And thankful that I found your you tube channel. I have followed you for a while and watched you grow. I am glad you failed the bar! Thanks for being there and showing me how to follow my passion, even if it is into retirement! Happy birthday!

  24. Susan Paradis June 1, 2016 at 9:23 am #

    I am so glad I stumbled upon one of your tutorial videos this year! I immediately saw your gift of teaching–not everyone can give clear instructions on how to do something so that anyone can understand it. I consider myself an ‘advanced novice’ when it comes to sewing, so I really appreciate the step-by-step instructions on your projects.

    Your path to where you are now is an inspiration to those of us who tend to do something because we feel we HAVE to, for whatever reason. Bravo to you for taking the plunge and going against what you thought you SHOULD do and doing what you WANTED to do 🙂

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY and here’s to many more!!

  25. Kari June 1, 2016 at 9:24 am #

    Vanessa, Thank you so much for being you! I believe it takes a certain kind of person to see beyond the 9 to 5 grind and find something that truly makes them happy while making a living. I am in that process myself and you give me so much inspiration. I really appreciate you sharing your story and I admire your hard work and dedication. Even though I’m older than you, I want to be just like you when I grow up. 😉

  26. Rosa June 1, 2016 at 9:24 am #

    You are truly amazing! Happy Birthday!

  27. Carol June 1, 2016 at 9:27 am #

    Happy Birthday Vanessa! Great life story, and I for one appreciate the CG Quilt Club! It inspires me. Thank You!

  28. Sharon June 1, 2016 at 9:36 am #

    Thank you for this, particularly today. Happy birthday to you, and here’s to wonderful, supportive partners! Cheers!

  29. Michelle June 1, 2016 at 9:43 am #

    Blessings to you on your birthday! You and your family are truly blessed as we are for you sharing your creative knowledge with us!

  30. Patricia June 1, 2016 at 9:44 am #

    Happy Birthday and Good Luck for the future.

  31. Love2Kwilt June 1, 2016 at 9:56 am #

    It’s great to hear the story behind the question I asked you at the quilt show in Pasadena (about what you did before)! What a wonderful story – thanks for sharing!

  32. Princess June 1, 2016 at 10:07 am #

    I am so very happy that you failed your bar exam! You have made my life so much richer by getting me back in front of a sewing machine. And your retreat is still the best time of my life; I love all my Crafty Gemini friends. Your Muchigan momma has always been proud of you but never prouder than I am this very minute!

  33. Kathie June 1, 2016 at 10:27 am #

    Happy Birthday!

  34. Sereen Hunter June 1, 2016 at 10:32 am #

    Happy Birthday. Us Geminis rock. Love your CG quilt Club. You are inspiration to all.

  35. Susanne Bell June 1, 2016 at 10:53 am #

    Happy Birthday! Enjoy the day….
    I so much enjoy your posts

  36. shana June 1, 2016 at 11:02 am #

    first off – happy birthday!!!!! 🙂

    second – what a load of tears that just unleashed from my heart. this hit home for me. I’m stuck in a 8-5 job with an 18 month old who i want to be at home with. i hope to find a path that will let me escape this cycle and allow me to be a stay at home mother with the same income (and more) as my regular job. thank you for the open and honest letter. 🙂

  37. Jennifer June 1, 2016 at 11:21 am #

    Happy Birthday Vanessa. I applaud you for doing you. You are an inspiration to a lot of women.

  38. Marie June 1, 2016 at 11:32 am #

    You are such an inspiration and motivator ! Thank you for sharing!!

  39. Lisa Vicente June 1, 2016 at 11:41 am #

    Vanessa, first and foremost, Happy 33rd Birthday!! I love your success story! Your are far from being a failure. When you get up everyday looking how you can improve the day before, how can you ever think of yourself as a failure? You have shown others that by taking a new path in life that we must never give up on ourselves. I know there are so many more things in life that I want to learn. When I recently told a friend that I wanted to learn something new she asked my ‘Why?’ And as I thought of my answer it was simply ‘Because I liked it and I didn’t know how. Therefor, I wanted to learn how to do it’. I have never and will never claim to be the smartest person in the world. But just because I don’t know how to do something doesn’t make me dumb. But there are several things I do know how to do that others can’t do at all. And that’s okay! I can share my talents and learn from others their talents. As long as we open our eyes each morning wanting to improve on the day before then we have never failed. Thank you very much for sharing your many talents with us. One of my goals was to meet you and this past year I did exactly that! I met your little sister and you at a quilt show in Daytona Beach, Florida. Your lovely personality shines through on your YouTube videos and in person. Keep up the great work and never stop dreaming! Accomplishing our dreams is what makes our failures seem like nothing more than a learning experience.
    With much love from a fellow lover of crafts. Lisa

  40. Lisa Vicente June 1, 2016 at 11:43 am #

    PS: Sorry for such a long post! Sometimes my mind doesn’t know when to stop!

  41. maria June 1, 2016 at 11:48 am #

    a very happy birthday from a gal from Puerto Rico. you rock girl.

  42. Kay June 1, 2016 at 12:10 pm #

    Good for you for discovering your passion!

  43. Stephanie D Ladner June 1, 2016 at 12:23 pm #

    Wow, Happy Birthday Vanessa. What an amazing post, thank you so much for sharing. You are inspirational. I really appreciate you sharing your story!

  44. Marilyn Saldibar June 1, 2016 at 12:37 pm #

    I loved reading your life story. It makes me want to quilt more. I have made a few quilts for my family and there were mistakes. I’m in a 55yr park and would love to get others interested in sewing.
    Happy Birthday. I will be 72 on June 11th and done forget that Jenny Birthday is also on June 11th.

  45. Ebeliz Rodriguez June 1, 2016 at 12:40 pm #

    Good for you! I have been following you for a few years. This post is speaking to me from the heart. Thank you for the much needed inspiration.

  46. Gayle June 1, 2016 at 12:52 pm #

    Good for you!

  47. Dale Fleming June 1, 2016 at 12:59 pm #

    Hi Vanessa,

    Happy birthday!!. I am so happy for you and your family. What a wonderful and supportive
    husband you have and beautiful children. I really, enjoy watching your videos and learning how
    to do different crafts. So, keep up the beautiful talent that you are so wonderfully blessed with and continue to allow God to direct your paths. Much love to you and your family.

    Dale

  48. Claudia June 1, 2016 at 1:04 pm #

    Good for you, Vanessa! I learned how to make a pillowcase, a pouch, and a quilt from watching your videos. I didn’t know a thing about you but I loved (and still do) those videos! I loved your enthusiasm, joy, and happy spirit, and today, after reading your story and getting to know you a little better, I wish you the happiest of birthdays! I remember turning 33. It was a magical year for me and I hope the same for you. Continue following your dreams, because obviously, it works for you!

  49. Miriam June 1, 2016 at 2:17 pm #

    Happy Birthday to you Vanessa and thank you for your inspiring story. May God continue to bless you richly. May wonderful things continue to happen for you and your family. You’ve touched many lives so positively and that can never be considered a failure. You’ve touched my life and have helped me to reflect on many an occasion. You’re a true hero. You’re my hero. Thank you for all the dedication you put into every aspect of this career path you decided to follow. All of your fans, friends and followers are all the better for it. You’ve made a mark in this world and you have all my admiration for that.

  50. LaTasha June 1, 2016 at 2:24 pm #

    Happy Birthday Vanessa!!! I’m so happy you failed the bar exam. If you hadn’t, we (your fans) wouldn’t have you. Many blessings to you and your beautiful family. May God continue to bless you.

  51. Marietta Gartner June 1, 2016 at 2:32 pm #

    Congratulations Vanessa! I’ve followed you for over 6 years (when I retired from Education!) You have all done very well. You have encouraged me and many others to enjoy our sewing, even when we didn’t feel we were ‘experts’, we have enjoyed your many adventures! A very happy birthday to you……what did you do today?? Marietta, Brisbane Australia

  52. Cleta June 1, 2016 at 3:09 pm #

    Happy Birthday Vanessa,I am 62 years old and learned something from you today. I will stop pushing my grown daughter into a path that doesn’t seem to fit her or make her happy. I’m a creative soul but have never allowed myself to tap into my creativity,regretfully . I’m retiring and can be me now and will encourage my daughter to do whatever makes her happy. Blessings to you Baby Girl. Enjoy your day

  53. Kathy Potts June 1, 2016 at 3:45 pm #

    Thank you for sharing your story and giving us an insight into your self-made life! You are an inspiration to forget the ‘must do’s’ and go with your heart. One’s ‘must-do’ is another’s stumbling block. You kicked those blocks away and never looked back! I love your tutorials……maybe on a future trip to MSQC we might run into each other. It’s less than 3 hours away for me. Congratulations on your life and hope you have a very happy birthday!

  54. Jane Dionne June 1, 2016 at 7:30 pm #

    Your story makes me think of Brandon Stanton of HONY Humans of New York
    After being fired from a Wall Street job, he became a Street Photographer, not just for the people of NY City, but into the world!
    The Humans’ stories have changed many lives across our planet. People across this world have raised money to help the homeless, refugees, the sick, hurricane victims, school children,… his latest effort focus are the children inflicted with cancer — raised over $3 million dollars in 14 days for research that us going on at Sloan Kettering (sp?) in Manhattan.
    He rescued a senior dog; his girlfriend Erin started Susie’s Senior Dogs —- helping to rescue many, many seniors across America!
    His path changed; he is an Angel walking the earth.
    I believe “when God closes a door, He always opens a window.”
    Thank you for what you do for your family and all of us.

  55. Ivonne Walters June 1, 2016 at 9:27 pm #

    Happy Birthday Vanessa!!!
    Thanks for the Quilt Club and all your hard work.

  56. Maria June 1, 2016 at 9:27 pm #

    Happy Birthday Vanessa and Congratulations on all your successes. You bring me joy and encouragement every time I see your videos and children’s sewing. Do it girl and continue on! Adelante!!!! hugs for you and your beautiful family!

  57. Bobbie June 2, 2016 at 1:58 am #

    Happy Birthday Vanessa! Thank you for this post. It is inspiring, encouraging and it give me something to think about. I wish you many more birthdays and continued success for you and your family.

  58. Valorie Davis June 2, 2016 at 6:01 am #

    It’s 2:45 in the morning. I’m working night shift. It’s one of those night shifts when everything is so mellow that I’m having a hard time staying awake. I have to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed your sewing, craft, quilt videos. I made a casserole carrier for my sister’s birthday. She loved it. I made head bands for my 2 granddaughter’s basketball teams. Love your videos. Keep up the good work. I wanted to tell you what I did about the mass produced head bands. I ironed the stabilizer to the fabric, then cut them out. Blessings to you and your family.

  59. Frances Reyes June 2, 2016 at 6:09 am #

    Love, love, love this! I followed you from the first day I saw you on Youtube (Juice was just a baby on your lap), not only as a sister sewer but as a latina as well, working in a law firm as I do makes it all the more familiar. You are a true inspiration! I applaud you! Good for you! Watching you grow gives me hope, that it can be done, that someone like me can make a living doing what I love most. Thank you for sharing this story.

  60. Darlena June 2, 2016 at 8:21 am #

    I absolutely love this post! I love reading your posts about how you got started in business as it reminds me that successful businesses can start in so many unique ways. And they thrive based on hard work and dedication to daily growth. Thank you again, Vanessa!

  61. barbara June 2, 2016 at 3:05 pm #

    wow, I needed to read this today. it’s truly feel lost on this day, the only happy thing is that my oldest daughter turns 33yr. today June 2nd.
    thank you for your words.

  62. barbara June 2, 2016 at 3:07 pm #

    wow, I needed to read this today. it’s truly feel lost on this day, the only happy thing is that my oldest daughter turns 33yr. today June 2nd.
    thank you for your words. hope you have a great bday.

  63. JOYCE June 2, 2016 at 4:26 pm #

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY – AND MANY, MANY MORE
    watch you all the time great ideas and projects
    glad you followed your heart and so glad your doing so great
    wish you and your lovely family the best
    was laid off just resently – I’m 63 yrs young maybe I can do something that I love doing again (did love my job – if they didn’t close I still be there LOL) people do like what I make for them – maybe I should make a more than just for presents lol

  64. Sarita June 2, 2016 at 7:36 pm #

    Happy birthday to you! You are an outstanding woman with an amazing family! I was smiling so hard when I read this post. Thanks for the inspiration. I really mean it … Thank you.

  65. Tanya Ford- McKiver June 2, 2016 at 9:21 pm #

    Happy Birthday to you and many more…
    Sometimes plans change and when they do it works out better than we can imagine…
    Everything happens for a reason and I know we are all glad you choose the paths you have.
    I know it wasn’t easy, but your strength prevailed.
    Thanks Vanessa for your inspiration.

  66. Margrett June 2, 2016 at 10:25 pm #

    Hi Vanessa. I love your story. I have been following you for awhile. I believe Juice was 2-3 when I first

    came across your blog. I made all the quilt blocks (12 I believe) I was so excited. Followed your

    instructions to the letter and they came out really good. You didn’t have your utube channel yet. I could

    ramble on and on, lol, but I won’t. Happy Birthday!!!! Love all that you do for your us.

  67. Ivy June 3, 2016 at 2:45 pm #

    Love your story. You’re such an inspiration! : )

  68. Cindy June 3, 2016 at 9:09 pm #

    Thank you for all you do for us I love you and your work.oh yeah and happy birthday party on like a rock star,may the best years be in front of you

  69. LaVerne Smith June 4, 2016 at 7:03 pm #

    Happy Belated Birthday Vanessa. Your story is so inspiring. Keep up the good work.

  70. Athena Halbert June 21, 2016 at 3:03 pm #

    Happy Birthday🌅 Vanessa!
    We love to watch your tutorials. You are a favorite of ours. You have great skills communicating instructions well and our young children are able to pull Crafty Gemini up on the iPad mini and follow your instructions for a project to the very end. Thanks for your testimony and encouragement. God bless you and your family!

  71. Karen July 23, 2016 at 12:58 am #

    Your enthusiasm is infectious thank you for sharing your story. Inspiring. You go girl!

  72. Profile photo of Brenda
    Brenda July 28, 2016 at 12:23 am #

    Your story is an inspiration indeed! Happy birthday and keep on creating! Thank you for all your designs, tutorials and PASSION!!!
    Brenda

  73. Tammy Duncan August 1, 2016 at 4:39 pm #

    Your story is an inspiration! Thank you for sharing!

  74. Shirley Littleton August 21, 2016 at 11:09 pm #

    I am a 62-year-old black woman and I would like to say I am so proud of you for following your heart and your passion for quilting. I have just started to learn and I enjoy making quillows. Thanks for all you do for the quilting community. May God continue to bless and prosperyou and your beautiful family.

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