As this year comes to a close, it’s hard to imagine life without all of the events and changes that happened. I worked hard, like REALLY hard, but had fun doing it and enjoyed the moments in between.
One of the most exciting things we added to our lives — we became boaters! Well that sure was fun. We had toyed with the idea of buying a boat for several years, so even though we felt ready, we still had no idea what to expect. It was a whole new world — something new to work into our schedules (happily!), a new crowd of people with dock mates, club members, etc. It became such a huge part of our lives this year and we can’t imagine spending summer without it. So many glorious sunsets, beautiful lake views, and peace out on the water. It’s also given me loads of inspiration for the business, and the ability to see and explore Cleveland from a whole new vantage point. We’ve met so many wonderful people through the club and found out little boater tribe, too, which has made things even more fun.
While we waited for boating season to arrive, we tackled a huge project at the house — our bathroom remodel! This was the last, big, much overdue indoor project in our house. It went beyond replacing dated tile and plumbing, it was a full gut job that changed the layout of the entire space. It was narrow and cramped before, and now it’s totally opened up and so much more functional. It was a challenging project to get through, as it’s our only full bathroom in the house, but we never shy away from a challenge ;) We’re thrilled with how it turned out, I’ll put together a blog post about it soon! In the meantime, you can peek at a few photos on our Home Tour with Modern CLE.
Speaking of, this was definitely the year of collabs and connections. Between Girl Gang events, interviews, podcast episodes, photo shoots — I connected with so many amazing people, most of them women, who have energized me with their support and vision for the Cleveland community. Having a real-life space to engage with new people or familiar faces from Instagram has made the difference for making lasting connections, and it’s a great reminder of why it’s so important. Half of the battle is just showing up — so if you’re looking to connect, take that step. I promise it gets easier once you break the ice!
We didn’t take any long trips this year, as we prioritized other things, but we did squeeze in some visits to Chautauqua, Vermont, San Francisco, and Salem — you can read my travel guide on Salem right here. If you’re planning to visit in the fall, I’d suggest booking soon. Seaside vibes and all the Halloween feels — I looooved it there. We’re working on our travel plans for the upcoming year, and just booked a trip to Harbour Island in the Bahamas to escape winter a bit. Already counting the days!
This year was also hugely transformative for my business. I made a promise to myself at the beginning of the year that I’d commit to growth, so I did, and it did. I added more events and pop-ups to my calendar, and became a vendor at the Cleveland Flea. I learned to treat Shore Society as a separate entity from myself, which was a perspective shift that gave me a clearer vision for going forward. It was the year that I examined everything and realized, I have a legitimate business on my hands here, and I need some help. I think knowing my business was a side hustle seemed to create a mental block in my head — it allowed me to make excuses or de-legitimize it because I wasn’t doing it to support myself. This year took me by the shoulders and shook those thoughts away, and I’m super grateful for that wake up call. I have plans to start delegating a bit more this year, so I can focus on creating and making some new products. That seems to be the first thing that goes on the back burner while I’m handling the operational tasks, so having some assistance with those areas will hopefully make a difference!
I can’t acknowledge this year’s growth without thanking all of you — for your orders, for sharing photos, for stopping by my table/tent/booth (and sometimes bringing treats/coffee/cocktails, which is the sweetest), for your comments and messages, for telling your friends and family, for offering help, for your custom orders, for gifting my products on special occasions — I am truly beyond grateful for you. And amazed that you’ve reached the end of this post ;) Thank you, so much, it means the world. Looking forward to another year on the lake and taking you along for the ride.