Aaahhhh 2020 - what a year it has been!
I'd like to start our "year in review" on a very personal level. Let's just say it; 2020 has been H-A-R-D! I can think of so many adjectives to describe it; most of which are not pleasant. I do feel it would be remiss to not take a moment to reflect on the loss of 2020. I know there are so many folks who are hurting so much. I pray daily for peace and comfort for those who lost a loved one, lost a job, lost part of themselves or are struggling just hold on and find a way forward. If any of this describes you, please know I am praying for you. It's so easy and somewhat flipant to say "this too shall pass" so I will not, but rather I will say, keep the faith - we are closer to the end of this pandemic than we are the beginning and better, "normal" days are just ahead.
A huge shout out to all the healthcare workers who are still working tirelessly. A big hats off to all our first responders, our teachers, those of you who are homeschooling your kiddos and every one of us who gets up every morning to try our best in what has undoubtedly been one of the the most difficult years we have faced thus far in our lives. All of the hardship is not over as we approach 2021, but we ARE more prepared and have learned so much this year that will prepare us to be even more successful in the year ahead.
Early on in the pandemic, I used an analogy of "we are all in the same storm but in different boats" and I think that still rings true. Be kind to your fellow humans, show grace and understanding, we do not know what storm someones boat is going thru, your kindness may ease their troubled waters. <3
Our Year in Review
Until this past week I hadn't looked at my 2020 business plan/my planner since April. Yep, great way to run a business right?!?!? We had an AMAZING 2020 business plan (if I do say so myself...LOL) In all transparency I pretty much went into "crisis management mode" about mid-April and that's pretty much where I stayed thru the Christmas season. I'm not proud of it, but it is what it is. For the most part, I let the year control me instead of controlling the year. A lot of things controlled this year; fear, anxiety, anger, regret and sadness just to name a few. I felt inadequate and unprepared most every single day. So many ideas that were abandoned, so much of me that was so stuck in the muck that I couldn't sort out my messy, creative mind, and sheer overwhelm on every level that was absolutely paralyzing. I would be lying to you if I said there was not a serious conversation (or two) in my home about "just letting it go" as many a tear was cried.
Now that I have had time to reflect on 2020, over the Christmas holiday, and move past the grief of all the things that were lost, wallow briefly in the losses, get my mind out of crisis mode and back into creative thinking, there is so much goodness, so so much goodness. Ever hear that forest for the trees analogy? Yup, that applies here.
YOU made 2021 possible! - Earlier this week we sat down to create a "Top 10 Customers" of 2020. We combined both revenue and number of orders into one list to create a collective list of customers who trusted us not only with their hard earned money but also with their loyalty. Once the list was complete, I just could not get settled on it, something just felt "off". And then it became crystal clear. Every. single. person. who supported us in 2020 is our Customer of the Year! Without the collective whole we would not have financially made it to the new year. I can not thank each of you enough for your support. Whether you purchased the most from us in 2020 or you just sent a kind note of encouragement - YOU!!!! are our customer of the year. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
We migrated to a new website and POS (Point of Sale not that other POS acronym hahaha) system. - This was a biggie! Though painful it set us up mid year for a platform that would allow us to be more competitive in the massive explosion of online purchasing. It also allows our gift cards to work both in store and online which was always a problem. YAY!
We launched our very own PAINT LINE! - We are so excited to offer our customers the same professional grade and high quality paint we use ourselves in creating all our products. We have spent years finding the perfect colors and a paint that will endure the elements. Check out our entire paint line HERE.
We went LIVE! so much MORE! - I first began going live more frequently back in mid-March when the country was in lockdown. It was an incredible way to stay connected to all of you. We then began doing our Friday Lives which grew into LIVE Crafting. It was so fun to create LIVE with everyone in the last quarter. Those times really lifted my spirits during some of the hardest days and I look forward to continuing to connect with you in this way in 2021. Before I ever owned a business, I was just a girl who crafted in her basement some nights and weekends, I'm still that girl (er uh...lady??!? What is the appropriate generic reference for a female human in their early 50's anywho?!?!?) LOL!
We began our Shape Standardization project - We began working thru all gazillion of our shapes standardizing them into 6" Inch, 12" Inch, 24" Inch and 36" Inch. This allowed us to offer additional price points as well as create immense flexibility. There are so many fun things to do with the smaller shapes! The 6" shapes can be added as accent pieces to your Porch Candy®, even more flexibility for the "O" in the Porch Candy® Welcome design, add the 12" shapes to a bookshelf in your home to add some seasonal or holiday fun. The door hanger size, the 24" increased in size by about 2 inches while keeping the same price points. <---awesomeness and the new big'ns, the 36" shapes make an incredibly bold statement on your door. So. much FUN!
Released a brand new product(s) - We launched a game changing product with our new shape Stands. They are steel, magnetic, and REUSABLE!!! They come in 2 different sizes to hold up the 12" shapes and the 24" shapes. They really are AWESOME! It has been so fun to see folks begin to use them as they bring our shapes indoors.
Released a brand new Porch Candy® design set - Jingle All The Way was a huge hit for Christmas 2020. It is so fun and will forever be one of my favorite design sets.
These are just the highlights. They were hard fought and as I look back I am so so proud of where we are. When we started 2020 we had a business that was about 65% service based via our DIY Workshops. When that revenue pretty much had to be sacrificed (understandably of course) we had to learn how to produce much more product, which as you can imagine is so much more labor intensive, and we then had to learn to ship it much more effectively. I could write an entire book on shipping, in and of itself. I won't, but I could. hahahaha!
We learned to can adapt and overcome in difficult circumstances - This may be the best achievement from 2020. We learned SO SO much. As a dear friend of mine opined recently, education is not cheap and all that was learned in 2020 will make for an amazing 2021.
I know this has been long, so if you are still reading, bless you. :) I think it is important to take a look back at where you have been in order to see where you are going and to take account of all the things you DID accomplish in a year that perhaps felt "less than". I hope you will take some time this New Year's weekend to reflect on your 2020 as you think about and plan your 2021. It feels pretty good to solidify all the goodness that truly was 2020.
Thank you for an AMAZING 2020! Thank YOU for being our customer of the year!! You are amazing! I am so looking forward saying HELLO to 2021 with you!