It's official. I quit my full-time job to open a retail store. Rumors have been scattering for months now and I've enjoyed sitting back and listening to everyone share the details. Only a handful of people have taken the time to ask me, but even then, I have kept the details to a minimum. These last few months have been a whirlwind with remodeling the store, ordering inventory, applying for licenses, and trying to get my life in order. Some days I find myself sitting on the floor, my head in my hands, tears running down my cheeks while asking myself, "Why? Why did you think that you could do this? What have you gotten yourself into?". And then a quiet voice says, "You know why you did this."




Why did I do this? Honestly? For myself. I know that's selfish, but it's the truth. I did it mostly for other women and families like mine. To help them and me, but mostly them. In the last six years, I have had five jobs - the longest held being three years. Of those jobs, only one was what I went to school for and I was only truly happy at one. They were not the same job. The job that I was most happy at was not full time, nor did it have the possibility of full time. There were no benefits and I was working every weekend plus working other part-time jobs to make ends meet. I left that job for a full-time job with benefits and no weekends. This next job was doing what I went to school for. It wasn't a bad job, but there was no opportunity for growth, no pay raises, and the technology was so out dated that it wasn't benefiting my design portfolio. After that, my mind-set had shifted in my job hunting. I was getting married that year. My biggest goal for my life was to be a mom, even more, a stay at home mom. So, I was no longer looking for a job in my degree - I was looking for something with good pay and benefits to hold me over until we had a baby. Well, three jobs and close to three years of marriage later - no baby.



I already knew that conceiving would be difficult for us due to my own health situation. We had to wait a year to see an infertility specialist in order to confirm that there was indeed a problem, not impatience. For seven months, I went through treatments. Each  month consisted of progesterone shots, ultrasounds, prescriptions, and blood draws. All of that came with hormone spikes, sadness, anger, hatred, frustration, and a diminishing faith. What did I do to deserve this? Why did I have to struggle while people who didn't even want kids could get pregnant? After those seven months, I quit. I didn't want to do this anymore. I wanted to try something different. Something that didn't require pumping my body with drugs that seemed to do more harm than good. My sweet cousin referred me to a naturopath who had helped her in her own fertility journey. I loved my new doctor. I changed  my diet, started exercising, stopped taking all prescription and over the counter medications, cleared my home of all toxins, and went completely natural. I lost 40 pounds, my cycle started coming on its own on a semi-regular basis, and I was no longer an emotional roller coaster. Then things looked like this: cycle, no cycle, excitement, negative text, disappointment; cycle, no cycle, excitement, negative test, disappointment; no cycle, no cycle, cycle, no cycle, excitement, negative test, DONE. I had to take a break. So for the past few months, we have still been actively trying, but without the help of doctors. Without the monthly appointments and supplements and tests that remind me that I'm not pregnant.

We have been searching for an adoption consultant. Most days I am ready to start the adoption process, but some days I'm not. Some days I am sad and angry and frustrated. But, most days, I am happy. There are triggers everywhere and I never know what or when they will set me off into an emotional catastrophe. And I am finally okay with that. It's okay to hurt and be sad or angry as long as I don't let those emotions control me or take over my life. I also know that I am not alone.

Did you know that 1 in 8 women will struggle with infertility? I am 1 in 8. I know that other women have a struggle much worse than mine. I know that other families have a financial burden due to infertility that is much greater than mine. So, why did I quit my job to open a boutique? To help the 1 in 8. To help the women sitting on their bathroom floor right now, crying because of the negative pregnancy test sitting on the ledge of the bathtub.



The Creative Collective is so much more than a boutique. It's my dream job. It's all of my passions rolled into one. More importantly, it's a boutique with a purpose. With the start of business, 1% of profits from sales will be donated to establish a non-profit to help women and families here in Renville County struggling with the challenges of infertility and adoption. As the business grows, so will the percentage of profit sales donated, as will the area it serves.

What is The Creative Collective? The Creative Collective (TCC) is a boutique carrying gifts, decor, refurbished goods, and clothing. Even better, it's a collection of creatives, a large portion of them from right here in Minnesota. So, not only will you be helping families struggling with infertility and adoption, but you will also be supporting creative men and women doing what they love. TCC will also be hosting monthly workshops and events throughout the year. Follow along with us on Facebook and Instagram as the journey unfolds. This is only the beginning!

Samantha Zeitz