Nostalgia of Our Summer

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It’s bittersweet for me this year more than ever that summer is over. It happens every year though I love fall and even love winter more. But there is something so playfully amazing about summer, and it’s hard to end it sometimes.

I hope that your summer was fabulous! The bright days sure give us the exuberant joyful spirit and the days are longer for the little ones to play. I cannot believe we are officially in fall season and the holidays are just around the corner. (We have even bought our Nutcracker performance tickets!)

So when a beautiful summer is over, it’s hard for me to let go. I had many fond memories of the sunny days this year more than ever as a mom (and momtrepreneur). The girls are bigger now. Keira and Fiona can now play so much more together, which makes a lot of activities so much more fun. When on the road, they chat, they sing, they giggle and soak up the sisterly love together.  At home, they play Barbie dolls together (though there are times Keira needs to have her own playtime alone, “uninterrupted” from her 2-yo little sister). But the two of them are the sweetest things in my life and they love each other to pieces.

So, here is something that brings up that warm feeling inside…

Summer schedule in our house has not been structured at all. The girls have more “loose” schedules so they can enjoy their childhood and long sunny days even more. Keira finished her Kindergarten this summer  (with flying colors! As colorful as Kindergarten reports can be) and was fully at home with mommy and her baby sister this summer. They made so many messes at home, though we did get out for a couple mini vacations, in Palm Springs then Cannon Beach, Oregon, and had a blast. Keira opted for no camps this summer because she said she wanted to be with mama and her little sister, whom she calls “Little” these days. I have to say I am flattered she likes to spend time with me. I love having them home within arms’ reach. Yes, it was challenging, working as a momtrepreneur while caring for the two little sweethearts. (Painting nails on a daily basis, anyone?)

Aside from our mini trips here and there, we had a couple of amazing times at two of our Trunk Shows. Thank you to Kumquat Baby and Jaxx Boutique for hosting and carrying our lines. We had a blast at both events! It was so fun to meet the customers in person and see what they thought of our clothing designs! Thank you for those who came and all of you who support us!

Regardless what you did with your kids this summer, I really hope you had plenty of soaking up playful, loving time with your little darlings. I want to invite you to take a look at what we have done this summer. May the exuberant feeling of the fun-in-the-sun days last in your heart forever!

Summer makes us think of endless playdates on the warm sand…frolicking with friends and creating more memories. Here are Keira and Fiona’s dear friends playing in the sand early this summer. No matter where life takes them one day, we always remember the abundant love they have for another.

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Summer makes us think of mini vacations and have a lot of fun on the trip!

Here are some pictures from our Palm Springs mini trips this summer. Yes, we did it twice this summer! Nothing hotter here in California than the deserts. We always love going to Palm Springs and staying at the Viceroy Palm Springs. There is something about feeling the California desert heat, being in the pool (family pool, that is) all day, and to me, personally, the charming Old Hollywood glamour mixed with bold chic-modern interior decor style that I always adore, that brings back the Hollywood golden days in Palm Springs. Or in anywhere. (I am a big fan of the American home decorator icon Dorothy Draper and today’s icon Kelly Wearstler) Oh! Be dazzling, dahhling! It was about time. It had been a few years since the last time we stayed there (we started this “tradition” when I was pregnant heavily with Keira (our “babymoon”).

Stole a moment on the road

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Always in love with this Citron restaurant in the resort

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Fiona doing “bunny jumps”, so happy to have arrived in the villa  discount BRIDESMAID DRESSES 2016 and 2017

I had my usual urge to take a picture of both girls. Don’t you just love this wallpaper? This was taken in our dining room in the villa

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How Fiona lounged by the (family) pool :)
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Pools. We just love pools. Especially this family pool.

(Photo courtesy of the Viceroy Palm Springs)
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Fiona acting as a sleeping baby. This girl can act!

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 With love from our “home” in the desert

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 This picture below: top part of the picture was taken about 6 years ago, the below part of the picture was taken this summer. Some things do change!lookingback

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This below picture was taken by Keira :)

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We also loved our short vacation in Cannon Beach, Portland. We rented a cottage right on the beach so we got to see this view everyday.

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We got to see the annual Cannon Beach Sand Castle Festival during our stay there and I just loved these flags (along with the amazing sand castles, of course)

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One of our new designs also had a mini vacation with us :)


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Another reason to love summer for me is: America’s birthday! (And my birthday :)! So, every year, we celebrate the two events together and I am lucky that the festivities always include a parade and watching fireworks. Look who did not take a nap until really late this Fourth of July, in her all-American romper!

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Here are some pictures from our Trunk Shows this summer!

Kumquat Baby Boutique, Eagle Rock – Los Angeles

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Jaxx Boutique in the Westside Pavilion Mall – West Los Angeles

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Last but never least! We always have to visit to the strawberry field in summer! We went to our favorite Underwood Family Farms, their smaller farm this time, but equally beautiful, in Somis, California. (Their other farm we have visited also is in Moorpark, California). The girls had fun “harvesting” strawberries and blueberries! (Although, the latter was more difficult. Especially when Fiona just kept eating what we picked! Ha ha!)

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And for those who would love the strawberry jam recipe, here it is! We love summer and hope you and your little ones are having a fabulous summer!

Strawberry Jam Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

1 quart = 2 pint = 4 cups of fresh strawberries (about 2 pounds)

3/4 cup sugar (or 1 cup if you like it sweeter)

2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice (3/4 of one whole lemon approximately)

HOW TO MAKE IT:

Wash and hull the strawberries

Put them in the processor to coarsely chop them

Transfer to a large skillet on medium heat

Pour sugar

Pour lemon juice

Stir frequently while bringing it to boil (about 10 minutes)

Put on low heat, stir again, simmer for 3 more minutes

DONE!

Now pour into jars and refrigerate before serving for an hour

BONUS:

Your kitchen and home will smell deliciously! As well as your face:) I got a kiss from Fiona and she said, “You smell like strawberries, Mama!”

I could go on and on with this post but I had to stop as it has too many photos already and I probably made you yawn;)

I am ready for fall and winter now (though it never gets so cold here in California!)

What is your most favorite summer nostalgia this year?

XOXO,

Dian

Calling West LA (and Beyond!) Trunk Sale at Jaxx Boutique!

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Hello, Westsiders and beyond! We are SO thrilled and cannot sit still! We are SO looking forward to showcasing our Spring-Summer 2014 collection in person once again to you! If you missed our first trunk show last month in Eagle Rock, CA, this time we are not going far from our home base Santa Monica: West Los Angeles.  Jaxx Boutique, a darling gorgeous boutique at the Westside Pavilion Mall in West Los Angeles will be generously hosting our next trunk sale!

Come see the colors we admire for your little darlings right before your eyes on Saturday, September 6, 2014! We will have an entertainer for the kids as well as little treats and beverages for you while you shop! There’s plenty of sunshine left, don’t be shy!

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CELEBRITY SWEET 16 DRESSES

A Trunk Full of Colors

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This is what makes us dream in color:) Our colorful collection! Here are photos from our first Trunk Show that will always forever treasured in our hearts. What a successful event and an amazing day. I definitely had a dream-come-true kind of day. We thank Kumquat boutique in Eagle Rock for carrying our line, hosting the trunk show event and supporting us tremendously! We thank all of you, our little daily pow-wow team, sales team, design team, the production team, fans, friends and family for always supporting us wherever you are! Our life wouldn’t be this colorful without you. Thank you. We work hard but when you love what you do and you are passionate about what you do, it doesn’t feel like working at all. We are so grateful for all of you. Until the next event!!!:)
xoxo,
Dian :)
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My sweet (and often timid and shy) Keira :)

 

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Fiona finally chose to model while she was napping :)

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With my sweet mommy!

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We are extremely grateful for these three lovely and amazing Kumquat Ladies!

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We were so thrilled we were visited by this one fabulous and stylish talented little child model Miss Peyton at the trunk show! She walked in wearing her own Sugar & Milk ruffle sunsuit in sky blue and walked out in her newly bought Sunkissed Sally in red gingham (and heard she didn’t want to aje it off at the end of the day) She then posed without hesitation when her (equally fabulous) mama @abbeelani asked her, “Peyton, take a picture, please!”. TOO cute!!

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I wouldn’t survive the ups and downs of challenges while running the business and caring for two little ones without these two best friends of mine :)10525936_535974036504188_5988831149119136989_n

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With all my heart I am thankful for everyone of you!

Runaway Pony Trunk Show 2014!

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We are so thrilled that Kumquat Baby, the sweet little gem that carries our line in Eagle Rock,  will be generously hosting our first Trunk Show on Saturday, August 2, 2014!

Please join us for a fun Saturday with your little darlings at Kumquat Baby Boutique in Eagle Rock, CA! Enjoy 30-40% OFF on all classic, playful and sweet nostalgic styles of Runaway Pony Spring-Summer 2014 items including the newest designs! Made in Los Angeles. Made in California. Just add sunshine and sweet little faces.

Hope to see you all there! Thank you for all your support to both Kumquat and you! See details below.

XOXO,

Dian

 

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Oh My Stars! Happy Birthday, America!

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Runaway Pony is a product of an American dream. We believe that anything is possible in this great country. We believe that this land gives anyone the opportunity to bloom to the fullest in the pursuit of happiness. From our family to yours, from California to the New York island, from our dreams to yours, we wish you a wonderful Fourth of July! Never stop believing, America. Here’s to all things dreamed and made into reality in America!

May you all have a safe and fun celebration!

4THOFJULY

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Our Most Sincere Apologies

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Mermaid Bridesmaid DressesOn behalf of our brand, we would like to address our most sincere apologies, once more, for another big delay in our inventory of the new Cotton Candy dresses and the new assortment of colors. We also truly apologize for causing a longer delay in shipping the pre-ordered Cotton Candy dresses to our valued customers. Some circumstances that are beyond our control have forced us to change production strategies and teams in the middle of the project. We would like to assure you that you will really see adorable, amazing and excellent American-made clothing pieces that you have never seen anywhere else for your little ones. We have taken all the necessary actions by working with a new solid production team with a much tighter production management control in all areas. With these changes, our available product inventory date to you had to be adjusted to July 21st, if not earlier! We will offer a special price adjustment for those who have placed a pre-order for the Cotton Candy dress. We would like to thank you for your great amount of understanding and patience. Meanwhile, everything at Kumquat is 20% off this week till the weekend ends! Our giveaway at Bubby and Bean is also still open until 2 days from now. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, and here’s to Happy July!

 

GIVEAWAY!!! At Bubby and Bean

The creative and awesome blog Bubby and Bean is hosting our giveaway this time! It will run for 7 days from yesterday! So, ENTER and win a $75 shop credit to our store here now! Follow Bubby and Bean because it’s full of beautiful and inspiring goodies that talk about fashion, DIY projects, inspiration, home decor, food and treats, wedding and things, giveaways, travels, photography and much more! You will be very inspired for sure and your summer will be so much more energizing! :)
 
Big shout-out of super love to Bubby and Bean from Runaway Pony! Thank you for your love and the generous words about us! 
 
Lots of love to all of you and thank you for all your support, too! :)
 
 

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June Sponsor at Bubby & Bean

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Yay! Our collection has been mentioned today on Twitter as the “CUTEST baby clothes ever”!  by Melissa Baswell Williams, founder of this amazing lifestyle & design blog http://www.bubbyandbean.com/p/about.html and a contributor to Lucky Magazine Online! Thank you so much, Bubby and Bean!

We love to follow, admire and be inspired by so many wonderful and amazing moms out there! Melissa Baswell Williams is an OUTSTANDING one! Bubby and Bean currently has about 8900+ readers and 6,000+ Pinterest followers. Bubby and Bean has been featured on Apartment TherapyLucky Magazine (also here,here and here), Design*SpongeRefinery29Pottery Barn’s Official BlogMinnetonka Moccasin’s Official BlogDIY MagazinePinterest’s Official Blog, Buzzfeed (here and hereEntrepreneur MagazineMashablePoppytalkHow About Orange, Rock N’ Roll BrideCut Out + KeepSkinny MomCollege FashionAustin Wedding BlogKirtsyBabbleCraftZineRoadkill Rescue,Everything Etsy, and several other publications. Bubby and Bean currently has 8,920+ subscribers via readers/Bloglovin/GFC, and 11,000 + email list subscribers! We are honored to be Bubby and Bean’s featured sponsor for June! Hooray!

While you’re at it, check out Bubby & Bean Art and Mountains of the Moon too! Melissa is a sustainable fashion designer, art print/card designer, blogger, traveler, dog lover, and fun seeker! One amazing mama for sure!!!  We love her and her creative mind! So inspiring!

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Runaway Pony Featured in TFBM Magazine Issue 3

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We had a festive Friday as we were generously featured in such a gorgeous magazine TFBM Issue 3. We have been following Katie Nguyen, the amazing and talented editor, the very inspiring designer and entrepreneur of TFBM – The Fashion Business Mentor and her own very cute clothing line Kangacoo Designs for her insightful articles and amazing magazines.

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Thank you, TFBM, for featuring us. And for featuring us so generously. This is our very first press after our Press Release last month following our launch. If you are a parent who loves all things fabulous for your children, an independent designer, a photographer, an artist, a stylemaker, or an entrepreneur of any kind, we strongly suggest you follow The Fashion Business Mentor as it will give you the pleasure, the inspiration, and the answers that you probably have been searching for in many areas.

Here we are in TFBM Issue 3 that covers the article of “Choosing Photos for your Line Launch”! Pages 66 thru 71! So fun!

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Issue 3 March 2014 TFBM Magazine

Issue 3 March 2014 TFBM Magazine

We are so blessed to have many talented friends around. These amazing photos and most of our product photos were captured by the sweet and talented Nicole Benitez from Nicole Benitez Photography. Nicole is also featured in this stunning Issue 3 of TFBM and one of her images made the photo cover. You can view the cool magazine online here .  Check it out for “some serious eye candy”, as Nicole put it!

Our little Keira and Fiona are represented by a very nurturing and extraordinary modeling agency Paloma Model and Talent (PMT). We got introduced to with “Miss Nicole”, as how our girls call her, through another sweet mom in PMT. Nicole then shared Katie’s blog with us and we immediately fell in love with Katie’s articles. We started to follow her blog immediately and Katie has been so helpful in mentoring us through our decision making and research. And then when chose Nicole, we did a casting call, we received beautiful submissions from PMT’s little models. We wished we could have had them all to represent us! Thank you, little models for representing Runaway Pony! Huge thanks to all of our friends that have helped us launch the line. We are also so grateful for Paloma Model and Talent for connecting us with such talented friends all around!

We love celebrating children everyday and we are so happy when we can share that passion to the world through the media who loves us also for the story that stands behind our collection.

Thank you fans and friends for being there for us. You always have a special place in our heart.

For those precious moments of celebrated childhood, XOXO,

Dian

The New Baby on the Block.

 

After about nine months of preparation that included designing, fabric hunting, endless visits to the pattern maker and our production house, then fun photoshoots with Nicole Benitez Photography , I am beyond excited (and relieved!) that our inaugural collection is now ready for the world to see.

Here are some of the beautiful pictures taken by Nicole:

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Some pictures taken by me:

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It sure does feel like I just had a newborn baby! With the overflowing joy and excitement, pride, and heart-melting moments that came with the arrival of my new “baby”, I feel that everyday is a new experience to treasure! We feel overwhelmed with love as {another} precious dream-come-true baby adds warmth to our home. It also came with sleepless nights and a very hungry baby that needs to be “fed” every two hours, at least :)

It is an amazing and rewarding feeling being a mother. You watch your child bloom right before your eyes, grow with your child together to bring out the best in each other through every milestone, and to embrace childhood and motherhood together. Runaway Pony sure keeps me busi-ER! :)

If you have not taken a close look to our “new baby photo” aka our logo, here is a closer look.

Our logo portrays the air of nostalgia by picturing the old-fashioned rocking pony. The scalloped frame in an oval shape depicts our classic yet versatile style. We picked Pantone Blue Curacao as our turquoise color that represents freshness, yet with retro feel. The orangey-red color that I always love, and is in our logo for the precious pony, is Pantone 485-C. It represents the faster heartbeats that babies have. It shouts for the excitement that roars boldly everyday when our little children bask in their happy childhood. The light green bow (Pantone Dark Citron) on the pony speaks softly for our delicate love of the to-die-for embellishments on our products. And the name Runaway Pony was inspired by the classic book Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown of which I adore because it talks about the relationship between a mother and her bunny. The story is in line with what I want the world to always remember: the endless love that we moms have for our children.

At Runaway Pony, we love to celebrate children just being children. We love seeing their contentment when they play outside and throw giggles in the air, or paint artwork outdoors, catch a butterfly, swing endlessly, say hello to the ducks, or read a book out loud. Our hearts melt when we see those twinkling eyes and big innocent smiles when they smear themselves with cupcake frosting, chocolate, or marinara sauce while they’re basking in childhood (we like to say this again and again because it’s so, so true). We embrace the innocence, happiness, and sweetness in children through playful, comfortable yet sophisticated clothing that is reminiscent of simpler times. They’re only small once and we want to always celebrate that in the most beautiful way possible.

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Here is the baby’s “birth card”:

Name: Runaway Pony

Gender: Girls and Boys

Weight: tremendous amount of beautiful pounds and gorgeous ounces

City: Designed and made with love in sunny California, USA

‘Hospital’: Production House The Evans Group

 

This sure feels very similar to nurturing a baby. It is an amazing and rewarding feeling being a mother. And it is the same feeling being an mom-entrepreneur. You watch your child bloom right before your eyes, grow with your child together to bring out the best in each other through every milestone, and embrace childhood and motherhood together. I watch the business take one step after another and the familiar feeling is so rewarding.

I learn every beginning step through experience the most. But I learn so much from other independent designers I come across, blogs, friends in the industry, other entrepreneurs, and of course our vendors and production house.  I should tell you a little bit about our  production house in the Arts District, Los Angeles. We love The Evans Group and the always-on-the-ball, always-looking-together project manager Sam! Without them, these precious sunsuits, dresses and overalls would not be here. “Do you know where your clothes were made?” is the sentence that is very important for me. Not only does The Evans Group perform high quality work for our precious pieces, but we get to know every single person who works on our garments! From the founder, project manager, the cutter, the grader, the pattern maker head, and the sewers! I know exactly where Runaway Pony clothes were made.  I know exactly whom I need to talk to, or give my detailed instructions to, or who works specifically on what style. We call, we text, we email, we meet in person. Communication is awesome. They are real live people who are amazing and fascinating. The production house is not a sweat shop. People who work there are good happy employees who are high skilled and experienced. They like what they do (I can tell if someone doesn’t like what they do in the seconds we just met). I felt right at home when I walked in there to meet Sam, my project manager, for the very first time. I was greeted so warmly and I felt so welcomed. When you walk in to the shop, the atmosphere is fascinating…picture this: the warm sound of sewing machines, the smiles on their faces when they see you, and the respect they show each other is shown everywhere in everything they do. It just has a really nice vibe. Seeing the entire technical process of really realizing your dream to come true before your own eyes is priceless. Especially as a new designer and entrepreneur who needs a lot of guidance producing the first collection and launching it, I always feel so welcomed here, never intimidated. I have a practical learning experience by being able to see every step of the making of my production. I love that. Sam gives the best advice on anything you need: from what exactly the meaning of every production term anyone needs to know right on the spot such as: “marking”, “sew-by samples”, “grading”, “digitizing”, “cutting”,…to fabric sourcing, photoshoots, fashion shows, you name it. I am always impressed by Sam’s efficiency, precise-and-clear direction, detailed attention, as well as her (my favorite) million-dollar opinion, sense of humor and organizational skills. So  whenever she gives me a compliment, I feel so honored! Thanks, Sam! I also love sharing just my random brainstorm thoughts with her as she has many years of experience in the industry.

So, when you ask me why I made the clothes in the US instead of overseas, my answer will be this. We take all of the above as a high value that is priceless to us. It’s what I believe something you cannot beat. It just makes sense. My sew-by samples (the samples before we run a production) can be made within days (assuming you have all the materials to make it, especially a clear pattern, marking and detailed sketch for each sample). I love what Sam told me on the first day we met after seeing my most intricate sketches with so many contrasts in one style (for Sugar and Milk), “Dian, we don’t fail. We might make a mistake, but we fix that mistake and we don’t fail.” I was sold and it’s the truth.

If we can help the American workforce and economy to stay happy, healthy and busy, and we get to practice fair trade and receive first-class treatment in doing business, then it is definitely a good choice for us as we only want the best products from a valuable trade for our customers. We want you to be happy with your products and proud of what you purchase for your children: classy, high quality, sophisticated and adorable clothing. We want you to create beautiful nostalgia with your little ones. Don’t forget to take so many photographs of them laughing and giggling together with you.

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Read this amazing article about The Evans Group: High Design with a Heart

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We thank you for being excited for us, and some of you even were counting down with us the night our website store went live. Thank you for the support and tremendous amount of joy you have shown! It will always be treasured in our hearts!

From my tender heart to yours,

Dian