About Us

I started this business as an inspiration for myself. My husband is an entrepreneur and I have always helped him in whatever business he was building, at the time. Since I was good at bookwork, that was usually my job, the details. Over the years, I dabbled in things that interested me, like photography. But, the family business took so much of my time that anything else came in a distant second. So, I ended up staying in the same role, in life and work, for years. And we built a successful business and a beautiful life and that was great.

Then came a a year that changed everything. A season in my life that changed my family, my life, and my entire way of thinking. That year was 2012. I had some health problems, our family lost very special loved ones, and my 8-month-old niece was diagnosed with ATRT; a cancer that forms in the brain of a child. Our entire family went into survival mode. Through that experience and encountering so many sick children, hospitalized with the worst of diseases, all I could think about was how short life truly is.

Though I am not young myself, I realized that in my life, I had always looked to older people for inspiration. But, I have to tell you, those kids were more inspiring in a few hours than most older people are in a lifetime. Then there were the caregivers, and the volunteers, and the friends, and the families. Our family was flooded with so many people who showed us the unconditional love and compassion of friendship.

But, no one was more inspiring than my little niece, Malaya. Every time you went into her room, she greeted you with a big smile. Not once, not every once in a while, but every time. There she was with that smile. She was such a joy and everyone that was around her couldn’t help but fall in love with her.

Whenever I was visiting her in the hospital, I would spend a lot of time in the waiting area. And though my mind had trouble staying on anything other than Malaya’s recovery, I started thinking about my life. About how I would never think the same again and this brave little girl, who could smile through all her pain. Sure, she had some unhappy times, but considering what her life challenges were, there were very few. This baby, this beautiful little fighter, became my inspiration. Malaya inspired me to be happier in every situation. She inspired me to be the best I can be. And she inspired the belief that I too should be inspiring others every day of my life.

Throughout my life, I have always been a pretty creative person. Photography, scrapbooking, cooking, decorating, all had been a hobby at one time or another. At some point, I had even purchased a monogram machine and though I did put Malaya’s name on a few things, I didn’t use it very much. But during the summer of 2013, all of these ideas started forming in my mind. I wanted to throw small parties, I wanted to have some devotions, and I wanted to sell things that women would enjoy. I also wanted to somehow put my latest hobby, my monogram machine, to good use. Mostly, I wanted to be an inspiration to others like Malaya had been to me. Eventually, I told my husband of my desire to start a little business of my own and he was so happy to help me get going and headed in that direction. I decided to name it Inspirations for Women.

Then, in November 2013, we lost Malaya. She was 22 months old. She will always be a part of us. She changed our family forever. I will never be the same. I can see her, now, on the knee of Jesus. She was our little princess when she was here on earth and now she is our angel in heaven. She got her wings and was relieved from her suffering and I know she is making others happy in heaven. I can see that smile now.

From the time I decided to start this little business, I have been blessed continually. There have been so many awesome girls who have helped me. I have learned so much from all of them and they continue to inspire me in so many ways. Each time I needed someone, I prayed and the Lord sent very special people my way.

My family has been such an encouragement, that it has been overwhelming at times. They have always been wonderful to jump in and help me and I love being able to create things for my grands and see them running around in our merchandise too.

We don’t do as many shows as we did in the beginning and though I really miss that part of our business, I have found that I don’t have the energy that I once had. My mind says yes, but my body says no and I have finally learned to listen. We still try to do some small local events; special town festivals, homecomings, and bazaars. But, most of our sales now come from our brick and mortar store which still resides inside our family business, M & W Sales, here in Belmont.

I would like to thank all of you, our customers, who allow me to be happy doing what I enjoy. I have been so blessed to become such great friends with so many of you, learned so much about some of you, listened to the ups and downs in your lives, and found out what inspires many of you. I want to thank all of you for patronizing us and I encourage all of you to try to inspire the people God puts in your path each day. I fall so short, sometimes, in living for Jesus. But, when I do, I just think of that little smile that inspired me and it makes me want to live closer to Him and long for the day I will see them both.

I’m so excited about beginning this new adventure of a website with all of you. Let’s see where this road leads, shall we.

Tammy Wood McDowell

Inspirations for Women