This post feels hard and uncomfortable to write but I feel compelled to do it, to honor a beautiful soul and the family she left behind.
Today we are laying to rest a very special member of the Azulina family, Christi Pearson. It's been a sad, confusing and shocking week. I've been quiet about it, not really sure how to process the loss.
Last week Christi suffered a fatal fall while poolside with her friends and family. She was the owner, brains, energy and head cheerleader of A La Carte, our home in Atlanta and the team of sales representatives that covers the southeast. She was a young mom to three.
I spent several days with Christi and the rest of the A La Carte team just two weeks ago in Atlanta. Life was good. Business was good. Everything was great.
As most who know her can confirm, Christi is a whirlwind of energy and so full of life it's contagious. Her laugh is the type of laugh you hear all the way down the hall. I love working with her.
She just can't be gone so quickly. I don't want to use past tense to describe her.
I first met Christi when I wandered into her showroom in Atlanta last January, unannounced, with a bag full of Azulina plates. I was on the hunt for a new sales rep team in the southeast region.
Unlike all the other showrooms I walked into, she and her team happily invited me in and gave me their full attention - they were kind, excited and happy to meet a new face. The next day I got a call and they agreed to rep Azulina Ceramics.
They took a big risk bringing in a brand new ceramics line that no one had ever heard of, started by a girl who had never worked in the industry.
This just goes to show the type of person Christi was - she was the type of person who went out of her way to support other small business owners and entrepreneurs. She did everything in her power to make her friends, colleagues, family and clients succeed. She built a booming business that everyone wants to work for/with.
Christi's sudden passing has been a shock to all of us.
For me personally it really jolted me in a way...that almost makes me feel selfish and guilty. It's made me realize how much time I spend worrying, gossiping, and complaining over....nothing, when instead I could be smiling...or traveling....or loving....or helping...or walking down the street and enjoying the sunshine on my face.
Life is too short and beautiful to worry about the petty stuff.
Thank you, Christi, for the time that we had together. Thank you for believing in my little idea, for being a HUGE part of Azulina's success and for always supporting women business owners. We will all miss you, your southern twang and your big infectious laugh.
I'm sending so many prayers and love to your family right now.
If you who would like to do something for her and her family, a fund has been set up for the children at:
Sun Trust Bank
1170 Buford Highway
Cumming, GA 30041
Attention: Mary Hale
Founder, Azulina Ceramics