This year was pretty transformative. It pushed me to grow, it challenged me, and I'm pretty sure it gave me TMJ (stress, man!). The challenges I faced were all good ones, and I enjoyed the satisfaction that comes with achieving a goal and making it to the other side. No grit, no pearl, as they say.
I set business goals at the beginning of each year, and intend to do the same in the next few days. I went through some necessary evolution with my blog and brand, and I'm looking forward to blogging more now that I've established a balance that works for me. It's hard to accomplish my goals for SS while working full time, but I've made a focused effort on re-prioritizing to make it work. I cut out the time wasters that didn't serve me, and learned to manage my time more efficiently. I stopped spending time doing aimless shit online, and instead made a conscious effort to grow creatively. I bought an iPad Pro and learned to work digitally in a whole new way. I started making art for fun again, without intention. I read books on the porch swing and forgot about checking my phone. I worked on re-programming my thoughts to break bad habits. I polished up my social media approach, but I also didn't take it — or myself — too seriously. I think all of these things worked together to make me more focused, driven, and honestly — happier. The grass is definitely greener where you water it.
I was thrilled to work with new shops and partners this year — the people I've met through this little endeavor continue to be the special sauce that makes this so enjoyable. I welcomed Cuyahoga Collective and Love, Anji as new wholesalers, and enjoy the excuse to shop when I'm making deliveries ;) I was also excited to start working with the lovely Courtney of Fleeting Fox Photography, whose talents and presence have been a big part of my growth this year. I teamed up with Blair Ritchey and Lovely Paperie and Gifts to create our exclusive map tote bags, which have been a runaway success! It was a blast to do something a little different and a pleasure to work with these two brilliant business owners. Designing Blair's new logo was another custom project I enjoyed — you can check it out here! I launched a few new products and apparel styles and plan to bring you even more options in the spring.
Personally, it was the first year that we didn't have a wedding to plan or a big renovation to complete, which freed up our time and money to do/see/experience other things. Jim and I opted to take our Italy trip that we'd been planning, and that fulfilled us both on a level I can't describe. It's a strange feeling of déjà vu when you find yourself in a scene that you've dreamed about. The places you go really become a part of you. I can't wait to plan our next trip, we just have to choose a destination...so send your suggestions!
We did some light redecorating this year — after five years in the house (!!) there were a few rooms that needed a facelift, and I'll be sharing the details here on the blog in the coming weeks. We're finally going to be renovating our bathroom, so that will be our big project for 2018. I get a lot of questions about our house, so I know many of you are interested in seeing what we're up to — I promise I'll be sharing along the way!
Thank you guys for reading this novel of a post ;) and for your orders, your support, your comments and feedback. As I said before, the people I've met and collaborated with along the way make this journey really special and for that, I'm grateful. I can't wait to bring you fresh products and content in the new year. Cheers to you + yours, and have a safe and happy new year!