Well, it's the last day of the year and, I don't know about you, but I am ready to send off 2017 with a BANG!
This year has been nothing short of amazing, but it's also had it's challenges, its ups, its downs, its more than fair share of "what-the-fucks?"
To be very blunt, it's been a steeply-inclined learning curve of a year for me. I've had challenges with production, and challenges with finances. I've had challenges with distribution and challenges with marketing. Because I'm a one-woman show, all of these things fall on my shoulders, but I'm a designer. I am not a marketer, nor a manufacturer, and I am definitely not an accountant. I've had to learn new skills, many different skills, and very quickly, to accommodate for the growth of my little business. I've had to wear the hats of a marketer, a manufacturer, an accountant, and at least try to pretend I look good in them. Fake it 'til you make it, right?
I've learnt more this year (honestly, this MONTH, even) about the process of creating garments, of working with factories, of sourcing fabrics, not to mention the minutia of the day-to-day running of a business, than I ever learnt in 4 years at design school. I've had to go back to work full time to support this little hustle, and I've more often than not wondered "what's the point?" I would be lying if I said I didn't frequent the local universities websites scanning for something, anything that might be a suitable career change - something that has a nice, easy-to-follow career path, something that would spit me out the other end with a secure job with a decent salary and benefits to boot. What a dream!
But there has always been something nagging in the back of my mind that never let's me get further than looking. It's a little voice that says "you've come this far, why stop now?" I've put enough blood, sweat, and definitely tears into this business to make backing down a real waste. I also can't shake the feeling that I'm riiight on the cusp of something big. Maybe not, like, New York Fashion Week big, but big enough to make this worth it. To keep me going another year. To keep the motivation UP and keep me pushing forward for a bit more.
I've made many incredible connections this year, I have travelled, I have re-located, I have made the leap into solo-preneurship, I have laid the foundation, I have put in the work. And maybe that hasn't translated into record-breaking sales, but, when I really take a step back and look at all I've accomplished behind the scenes this year, it's definitely rewarding, and I can see now where all this work is leading me!
I have learnt a lot about how I best operate as well. I do things slowly, and I know that's totally fine. This world moves at a crazy pace, and it's OK to unplug from that sometimes. I now know that it doesn't do me, or my business, any good to rush into things, to push things forward when I'm not feeling 100% about them, to go-go-go until there is nothing left. I know that my down-time is best spent out-doors, at the ocean or in the forest, not laid out in front of a television. I know I need to take time for myself first thing in the morning, instead of reflexively checking my phone. Same goes for the evening- no late night emails for this girl. Most importantly, I have learnt that comparing myself, my process and my growth to other designers, makers, or businesses does squat for my confidence and in turn, my business. Comparison is the thief of joy - I've heard this over and over but I'm finally ready to listen.
So, with all this in mind, and with the knowledge and incredible support I have gained over this past year, I'm ready to absolutely KILL IT in 2018. Or at least move along steadily at a pace I feel comfortable with. *hahaha
An especially big Thank You to you for following along on my journey and helping me do what I do. I wish you the most inspiring, beautiful, rewarding of New Years and 2018!!
See you on the Flip Side,