If you're curious how we started designing Night Sky Star Maps, below is the abbreviated story of how Eric got the idea, and what the stars mean to us.
I remember the night Eric created his first star map design. I was pregnant with our daughter, and we had just traveled with our toddler son from our new home in Port Angeles, Washington to Kentucky for the Christmas holiday. We were gathered around Eric's childhood kitchen table and he was clicking away on his laptop.
By this time it was old hat for Eric to be working at night, on a weekend, someone's birthday, or even Christmas Eve.
Eric was always trying new designs to give people more choices when shopping for a meaningful, custom gift online. When he figured out how to use astronomy charting software, a whole new line of designs was "born."
After a few days, he crafted the look of our original Night Sky Star Map with 1 Sky. I bounced around Etsy Shop names ideas until "Our Love Was Born" seemed like a perfect fit.
And it didn’t stop there.
I would say this range of designs is what put us on the map. After listening to customer feedback, Eric expanded the design into a collection featuring 16 unique designs. Today, you can have 1 to 10 skies in your Star Map - each one representing a special day or person in your life.
You may be curious.
Beyond our designs, what do the stars mean to us?
The stars remind me and Eric that the magic / the happiness / the peace lives inside of ourselves. As much as I've wanted a quick solution to problems, time and time again I've realized that the solution isn't outside of myself - it's within me.
I got to this place after our first night camping at Big Bend National Park in Texas. Big Bend is located in the Greater Big Bend International Dark Sky Reserve, the largest IDA-certified dark sky in the world.
I remember I had just gotten the kids to sleep in our van. I popped my head out to see what Eric was doing and he said, "you gotta come see this." I stepped outside and looked up.
The view was like something out of the movies. I never knew the sky could be so beautiful - and so full of stars.
And then this analogy came to me.
It took me 36 years to witness these stars, even though they've been here my whole life. Even though I couldn't see them didn't mean they weren't always above me, shining beautifully.
We constantly look outward for the solution to our happiness. But, just like the stars, what we're looking for is present inside of us. Always. We just have to practice slowing down, pausing, and listening to the wisdom of our heart.