• Andi Settlemoir Barney

And so it goes... again




This blog endeavor was actually born in 2014, and it was going pretty strong. You can read the About section to get the full story of why I started this in the first place. But long story short, there was a lot of shame surrounding my history. This was before I owned a quilt shop, serviced machines for a living and had a number of other business endeavors in the works. I was just starting to have a public persona, and for the first time in my life, someone came close to threatening to disclose my past to the world. It seemed like a big deal then.


That forced me to recognize that while my history was not a secret, I was neither healing from it or using it to help others. The thing about getting tangled up in the justice system is that you never get out of it. And it is a very shameful experience, regardless of the circumstances. And I figured, you know, if it's affecting me this way, I'm probably not the only one. When I was going through my struggles, having someone to relate to probably would've been a tremendous help.


The only reason I had to take down the previous site is because it was on the Wordpress platform, and the site was attacked by hackers. It was an extremely expensive hassle to get the site back up and running, so I gave up with the intentions of starting over. But then shortly after, the quilt shop and all the businesses happened, and it was put on the back burner.


Two separate things have lead to the overwhelming need to resurrect this project. One is that a few months ago, I was asked to give a lecture to a local guild. This is not uncommon, I do this a couple times a month pretty regularly. But this one had a theme, and it involved me being vulnerable enough to stand in front of the guild and talk about the fact that I had gone to prison.


Not to mention that my business partner and dear friend, Brie, and I also co-own a pre-fused, laser cut applique business. Our "why" is to use our platform to help others, or to be a beacon of light. Much of my life and our businesses came from Brie's debilitating illness, and our company is slowly becoming her voice to help others. We've always known what direction I would go, but the how has always been a question mark.


I have no idea at this point how I can best help people. I do know that standing in front of that guild that day, I discovered more people are dealing with crisis in the justice system (typically a family member) and feel very lost and alone. That was my wake up call to get moving. I can't help others if I don't put myself out there.


Second, Brie has had her fair share of vulnerability to deal with, and this week she conquered her own fears and put her blog out for the world to see. I had already been marinating in the idea of making this a side project again, and her bravery was exactly the motivation and encouragement I needed.


I really have no idea what direction this blog will take. It will take time to sort itself out and find its place. But just having a way to connect to others and figuring out how I can best contribute feels like a really good place to start.


Thank you for reading with an open mind. I am very open about my experience, and while I have to limit details on other people that were involved in my case or in my life, I am not opposed to speaking openly about any of it, so questions are always welcome.



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