Behind Our Name

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We get asked regularly about our business name. Sometimes I get asked if my name is “Palah” it’s not, my name is Emily. Sometimes people think it’s weird and strange because of it being different from the usual (First Name) (Middle/Last Name) (Insert Creative Industry) formula. Sometimes people make amusing faces when they hear it vs how it is spelled and some people are just plain curious and ask incredibly thoughtful questions about our business. These questions, and the incredible passion I have for all of you, is why I write this post.

As a teenager I was going through all of the crazy awkward, identity crisis phases of growing up and becoming an adult. Somehow, somewhere in the midst of this time in life God was working in my heart. He was moving and planting seeds of creativity in my mind even then, and I knew it . I knew I’d someday want to start my own business. I knew I’d want to help others with this business, and I knew I wanted to name it Palah.

The name “palah” comes from the Hebrew and means “distinct”, “distinguished”, and “set-apart”. As far as I could understand from my teenage knowledge the word carried with it this incredible wonder, awesomeness, and beautiful magnificence. This word “palah” resonated within my heart at that age. I wanted to be set-apart. I wanted to do something different and wonderful. I wanted to be distinct for God’s use.

As a teenager, I already knew that my hearts desires were vastly different from those of my closest friends and peers. Most of the girls wanted to go into ministry or teaching, I wanted neither. Most didn’t particularly enjoy design, photography, or writing, but I loved them all! Regular core classes meant nothing to me. They were boring and I didn’t feel that I would use them much later on in life. Art classes, computer programming class, and English classes actually left me feeling inspired. I felt like I could use them. They applied to me, personally, not just the ideal private school student. They carried with them endless possibilities that math, history, and religious classes never could.

I write all of this not to get off topic but to tell the girls in high school who feel classes mean nothing to them, that feel they are odd because they don’t exactly excel in school, that feel they aren’t athletic, or smart, or pretty, or popular, don’t worry! It gets better. Those things you thought were important in high school (because they were emphasized heavily by others) don’t actually mean anything. Not popular? Being alone breeds creativity. Not the straight A student? Not always getting the best of grades builds a killer work ethic. Not athletic? Not being athletic makes you appreciate what your body is capable (2 half marathons and a daily walk, run or swim here from Miss non-athletic me). Not being pretty or popular makes you learn that being pretty and being beautiful are two entirely different things and beauty is found from within not from clothes or makeup or the opinions of others.

Teenagers, your smarts and talent don’t mean as much as hard work and hustle. There’s kids that will makes straight A’s and never work for it and then there’s the kids who work late into the night to get B’s and C’s. In the future guess which one is statistically more likely to be working a full time job as a store clerk with no aspirations do anything more? The straight A kid! So dear readers, young and old, whether you’re a genius or a commoner, whether your grades say that you’re above average or below whatever you are, be “palah”. Be “Set-apart”. Be amazing. Be a hard worker. Be wonderful, Be beautiful, and magnificent and most importantly be exactly what God has created you to be.

RV vs Renting

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As two soon to be newlyweds, my fiancé and I spent months searching for our first place to call home. We looked at houses, apartments, townhomes, fixer-uppers, everything! Yet none of them were for us. In the spirit of all things creative we decided to take a slightly unconventional but growingly more popular route and buy an RV! A little out of the box but it’s cozy, cute, comfy, and most of all it’s ours. While the typical route people our age take when getting married is to rent we pretty quickly realized that this option was not for us. Below are three points as to why we went with an RV instead of a rental.

  1. Financially it’s a better choice. We have both been renting rooms for about a year now and we are so done with the rental life. A non-negotiable for us is our puppy which many people charge huge fee’s if you have a dog, even if they are quiet and non-destructive like ours. To pay the fee to park our RV (we only pay for electric separate) and then to pay our monthly on the RV is cheaper that what we have both been previously paying to rent rooms. Which is great but the big difference is, paying the monthly on the RV is money back into our own pockets because at the end of the day we OWN the RV. We have friends who pay $100 more just on base rent for an apartment. Then you add pet frees, electric, water, trash and sewer on top of that!. After doing the math we are looking at roughly a $200 to $300 monthly savings by having an RV vs. renting. Plus, we didn’t have to buy any furniture because everything was already included.
  2. Physically in a better location. Searching for a rental with our budget was a huge struggle. He’s working to save up to go back to school, I currently work a job where sometimes I can’t even afford 3 meals a day so we weren’t by any means wealthy. We are content with what we have but our budget means we couldn’t be picky about where we lived. I did have two requirements though; it must be safe and clean. We worked hard to find a rental within our price range that fit these two things but there was nothing out there that checked off both boxes. So when it came to getting an RV these two were both a no brainer. RV parks and campgrounds in our area are clean and extremely safe. There’s no thru traffic and everyone is super friendly and watches out for each other. Also, should we run into any problems or decide that we prefer a different location we can always just pick up the RV and move. Personally, our location is a little bit country and I love it! So hopefully no need to move arises. We’ll keep you updated.
  3. Personally, it’s more our lifestyle. We are slightly free spirits. We work hard, play hard, and if either one of us comes up with a crazy idea that we can actually make happen, we do it! We aren’t the type to say “wouldn’t it be cool if we can do __________” instead we say “let’s do ______________” within reason. It took us less than a week after first considering to get an RV to decide which one we wanted and then it took about another week to get the financials and paperwork all squared away. Owning an RV makes it easier to continue on with this type of lifestyle because there are fewer regulations on what you can and cannot do in your living space. Our RV is only a 2014 model but we have already decided that we want to do some renovations and updates to make it completely and entirely ours which is something we know we could never possibly do had we been renting.

We know that RV living isn’t for everyone but it is for us! Feel free to follow us on my Facebook page Palah Creative to keep up with our RV living stories. We hope to also make a Youtube channel soon to help you really see what we are talking about as we plan to do some renovations.

Our First Home

Wedding planning, job hunting and home searching all at the same time is definitely not for the faint of heart. With just weeks until our wedding I was getting very nervous about how all of these details would come together before we travel to my hometown in Pennsylvania for the wedding. Thankfully, last weekend Felix and I checked off one of those things, we bought our first home!

As we visited apartments and even some houses for rent, over and over again we would notice things that just didn’t work for us. $400 pet deposits. Dead roaches on the floor. Rentals that smelled like smoke. Neighborhoods that were anything but safe.  All of these things kept us from settling on a rental. Little did we know at the time, it was because God had something completely different planned for us.

We were spending the weekend in Alabama visiting with some of Felix’s family when their neighbors needed some help parking their camper. Felix helped them park it, toured the inside and then came to me excited about yet another one of his crazy ideas. All he had to say was “We should look at some RV’s tomorrow” and it really took off from there. On our drive back from Alabama to Florida we decided that we were going to visit Camping World in Gulf Breeze. On to Camping World we went and once we got there we told the salesman to just let us look around without him and we’d get back to him if we had any questions. Finally, we decided to ask him about a few campers and we were shocked to hear how affordable they were. It was really at that moment we decided that getting a camper was for us.

Over the next few days we looked at camping spots and Felix searched online for an RV to match exactly what we were looking for. Within two weeks we were standing at the site of our new home just waiting for Camping World to drop it off. The neighbors and park manager were extremely helpful in getting it parked perfectly, stabilizing our new home and getting our water, electric and sewer properly hooked up for us first timers.

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Slideout side of RV
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Entrance Side of RV
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Our lot before the RV arrived
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The RV arriving at our lot site
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Us with our new home
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Also us with our new home

I will be writing some posts and sharing photos about RV living tips, lessons we’ve learned, and just general life on this page since fully time RV living in your 20’s is definitely a little more creative than the traditional routes for housing so feel free to follow our story! We hope to create a Youtube channel soon so you can really see what we are talking about in regards to our RV lifestyle.

SNEAK PEAK: The next post will be about why we chose RV living over renting

P.S. We haven’t named our RV yet so feel free to leave suggestions in the comments below!

Our Foundation

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At the start of December 2016 I realized that something in my life needed to change. I was working a day job at a school, spending evenings and weekends working retail, and then taking whatever free time I could find to work on design. Honestly, it was miserable. The demands of working 70+ hours a week left me as only a silhouette of my former self. I had to give up my 2016 goals for running and reading because there was no way I’d be able to accomplish them with the schedule I was keeping. Designing was falling further toward the back of my priorities list because I was overworking to make a better life for myself. I was upset that I had gotten into this situation, for not being smarter, for not choosing the easier path in life. That’s when it happened. God in his infinite wisdom and plan for my life let my body give up on me. (in only a small way)

It was a Sunday when I first realized I wasn’t feeling well. After working a shift in retail I had gotten out of work just in time for church. While sitting there in church I realized something just didn’t feel right. Over the next few days I couldn’t eat, sleep, work, drink water, or breathe without being in pain. It hurt to speak, it hurt to think, it hurt to swallow. I was sick and miserable. Thankfully, my day job boss allowed me to fly to my families home in Pennsylvania and work remotely for the next week so I could receive medical help and recover. While recovering from being sick I realized I needed to take a step back, get my life in order, trust God, and pursue what he has called me to do with this life.

Palah Creative has been a concept in my head since at least 2012. I had imagined someday creating a website, selling different items, and dabble in writing a little bit but I kept telling myself “someday”. I told myself in 2012 that I’d do it “someday when I graduate from college.” Since graduation in May 2016 I told myself “someday when I have my own place to live.” (I currently rent a room) Since then I’ve been making other excuses “someday when I can afford art supplies” “someday when I have a desk” “someday when I don’t work constantly”. While recovering from being sick I realized that I needed to STOP. I needed to stop making excuses and live the life God has called me to. I needed to stop and trust that God was going to take care of me every step of the way. I’ve heard it said,

“If your dreams don’t scare you they’re not big enough.”

Well this dream didn’t just scare me, I was terrified. (I still am) Doubt and fear would creep into my mind and tell me, “You can’t even afford an apartment how can you afford to start a small business” Satan would plant his lies into my head and tell me “There’s no way you can do this. How can you organize a business from a rental room.” But then I realized, how can I not? How can I not follow what God is calling me to do? How can I afford to not do what I believe He wants me to being doing now? And thus, Palah Creative was formed.

Along this journey I know there will be joyous times, mistakes, lessons learned, steps forward and two steps backward. I invite you to please join me as we go through this process. In future posts I’d love to share with you about the company name inspiration, works in progress, and just give you a little more of the backstory and experiences that have brought Palah Creative to where it is today.

Thanks for reading!

xo

Emily Rose