This change has been in the works for a few years now, but today marks official closure on an amazing chapter in my life designing, launching and having my ‘where geek meets rock ‘n roll’ line of products. I’ll get to that in a second, but first… a little history.
History of WilloToons
I registered WilloToons.com on March 28, 2000 – exactly 13 years ago this month! – the name playing off my cartoon-style illustration. Mind you, back then we didn’t have vector graphics, and it had only been a few years that I’d had my own website (my first was a Homestead site back in ’98, that I wish I had screenshots of!). In 1999 I had my first job as a Production Artist, and then became a Flash Designer/Animator, and eventually Web/Graphic Designer. (Enjoy those hilarious old portfolios from 2003! 🙂
After going out on my own and doing freelance Design, Illustration and Animation for others, I finally followed my heart and launched my dream of my own line in 2007, featuring my designs & illustrations on tees for men & women and a baby line for all the kiddos of the geeks & rockers.
Celebrating the Awesomeness
In 2009 I went to great lengths to find the best & brightest, silky-soft organic cotton, and the most sustainable and eco-conscious silkscreening, and launched an eco-friendly line of baby tees, onesies, pants & caps. They were a huge hit!
I developed a community of fans around the world – check out this awesome Flickr Pool of photos! – met amazing people while traveling around the country, garnered notable press, had the opportunity of speaking, consulting and inspiring fellow entrepreneurs, and learned SO much in the process.
I’m ridiculously proud of what I created with that business. I followed my heart and made it happen, and the experience was truly life-changing, in more ways than one!
End of a WilloToons Era
When I said this change has been in the works for awhile, it’s because I actually first announced letting go of my line in January, 2011, and shortly after redesigned & relaunched my site with my “Inspiring Creative Sustainability” tagline and video series.
However, I had kept the shop open to sell the last of it. It’s with this announcement though that I can report I have officially closed up the WilloToons shop! This isn’t really that big of news, but for me – after almost 6 years of having it, and 2 years in liquidating limbo – it feels both weird and fabulous all at the same time.
Evolving at the Speed of Life
So here we are, my WilloToons shop has been officially closed, but this is hardly a ‘What next?’ moment, since that’s already been in full swing for a couple years now.
If you’re just tuning in, here’s what’s been happening:
- 2010: Served as Co-Founder/Chief Creative Officer at Storenvy
- 2011: Premiered WilloToons Connect video series
- 2011/2012: Served as Co-Founder/VP Marketing at Stitch Labs
- Aug, 2012: Launched RE:CONNECT
- Dec, 2012: Launched Feel ALIVE!
- Currently: Speaking, Teaching, Coaching/Consulting and Writing
When you get clear on what you want, change happens fast!
WilloLovesYou – The Story of a Heart-Centered Entrepreneur
WilloToons became my brand, but I’ve outgrown it, and it doesn’t fit the work I’m doing now. So, thinking of what I wanted to have my URL be, and my handle on all the zillions of online networks, I actually didn’t want it to just be WilloOBrien… and instead I wanted to have something that communicates the thread of compassion and purpose I have infused in my life & business. And here we are… introducing WilloLovesYou!
Less of a brand, and more simply my new online moniker, it’s a fun name that emanates the love I have for people, life and the message I want to share with the world.
The changeover happened on Twitter & Instagram on March 7th, and on my website on March 8th… so it’s official! It’s been so exciting to see friends celebrating with me. So much LOVE! <3 Thanks to all of you who supported me over the years. I truly couldn’t have done it without you!
*Cheers!* to evolving, growing and changing. Yeeeeehaaww!
I have some very exciting developments rollin’ out over the next few weeks and I’m super excited to share them with you! Please subscribe, if you haven’t already, and you’ll be the first to know.
Thanks & hope this finds you well and following your heart! I can testify, it’s damn well worth it, every step of the way. xo