Well, I've been so busy getting back in the swing of things post-holidays that I totally missed my 1 year business anniversary on January 9th. This year has flown by. It's been a blur, really. A ton of late nights, super early mornings, hard work, and a lot of love. It feels like just yesterday that I was sitting at my desk in my house, drinking my coffee slowly at 8am, getting stoked to get just one little wedding inquiry, and trying to get in the swing of this new "work for myself" thing. I laugh thinking about how little was on my to-do list in those first 2 months. Man, if I could've seen where I'd be in one year...
I'm not going to lie to you and say owning your own business is amazing and fun and freeing all of the time. I've had highs and lows. I've been on cloud nine and I've shed a lot of tears. I've seen very little of my friends and family (P.S. I miss y'all.) It's been so hard and it's a grind. But it's my grind. It's my baby. And that's what makes all of this hard work count for me. At the end of the day I make the rules, I can set my workload, and I get full creative freedom. Those things make every sleepless night worth it. Also, that look on the bride's face when she sees and loves her bouquet. That helps, too!
When I started this business I had one word in mind that I promised myself I would follow in this first year - ADAPT. If something wasn't working, I would change it. If I didn't like the way something was going, I would turn the other way. If someone hurt my feelings, I wouldn't take it personally. My biggest fear in the beginning was that my skin was too thin. That I wouldn't handle rejection well, wouldn't be able to take criticism, or wouldn't be able to handle unhappy customers. I am so happy to say that it wasn't even an issue for me this year. My skin is thick, y'all. I don't know how that happened. I guess that's what owning a business will do to you. You can't take anything personally. Issues roll off my back like I'd never even believe these days. BRING IT, 2018!
I've been thinking of my word for year 2 and it is pretty obvious for me the changes I need to make to have the life and business that I want. I said yes to absolutely everything in 2017. It led to a lot of exposure and amazing opportunities that I am so thankful to have had, but it also led to zero free time, not taking care of myself, and extreme burnout by the end of the year. For 2018 my word is PRIORITIZE. That means carving out the quality time I so desperately need with the people I love, setting better work-hour boundaries, and quality over quantity in every aspect of my life. That means making sure (most - 'cause a girl has to make money!) every wedding, project, collaboration, and work-related thing that I take on is important or exciting to me. Saying "no" is hard, but I am slowly learning and getting better at it every day.
I feel like I owe a lot of credit to a lot of people for getting me through this year. Let's just go down the list, shall we? (Go ahead and skip this part if you don't want to listen to me gush about people I love)
-My husband, Luke. I mean, duh. How this poor man loves me after all of the work I've asked him to do on top of his day job as a teacher, I will never know. He's supportive, an eternal optimist, and I am so lucky to have him.
-My family. 100% supportive, all of the time, and has believed in me since the beginning. They've been totally understanding of how little I've seen them lately. Sure do love them.
-Michaela - my amazing main employee who keeps the shop running and gives me a day off every once in a awhile - and all of my other shop and wedding help this year. You know who you are! Literally couldn't have done it without y'all. These ladies worked super hard and logged so many hours with me just to help my little business thrive. I am thankful for each and every one of you.
-The Huntsville wedding vendors, all who have been so welcoming and kind to me. I am thankful for all of the business advice, referrals, collaborations, and all of the friendships I've made this year! I feel lucky to be a part of such a supportive and uplifting community.
-And last but not least, my clients and customers, of which this business would not exist without. Thankful to every single person who trusted me to be a part of their wedding and/or bought something from my shop this year. You are supporting my dream with your dollars and I could never thank you enough!
Okay, novel over. I love y'all. I'm getting teary-eyed writing this. I'll update you this time next year when I inevitably learn a bazillion more things about life and business after year 2. I have so so so much more to learn. Onward and upward!