Monday, January 6, 2014

End of the Year Gratitude + 2013 In Review

Happy 2014, friends! As you can see, this post is a few days late. A mid-week holiday is crazy-making enough, but add to that being out of town from early morning the day after Christmas till an hour before midnight on New Year's Eve, plus the general exhaustion of the last couple of months, and I'm experiencing a kind of unpreparedness and lethargy unmatched in recent memory. I cobbled together my New Year's Resolutions on January 4th, and so enter the year with a rather strong sensation of being "behind" somehow.

However, as I process the past year, I am struck with a strong feeling of gratitude and accomplishment. The year was better than I'd hoped in many ways, and my business met or exceeded almost all of the goals that I set at the beginning of 2013. Some of those numbers felt challenging and/or arbitrary, but somehow they came together at the end of the year. I made "hopeful" goals (like sales totals) and goals that I could control (like how many blog posts I should publish during the year). I worked very hard, and I'm also glad for the bits of luck that helped me along.

2013 was a year of growth, for sure. I expanded my product lines, created new packaging, made a new sign and mushroom display for shows, completed my largest order ever, participated in my first out-of-state show, began offering House of Moss wholesale, opened a shop on Square Market, refined the We Make Portland Awesome Project, quit my day job, celebrated House of Moss's 3rd Etsyversary, was invited to sell on, won a copyright settlement against a large corporation, attempted a more extensive holiday show schedule than ever before, and was featured on the Etsy Wholesale blog.

But the successes I experience are not just a product of my own efforts. Alongside me, I sense a large number of other people whose support has meant the world to me and my business. To these people and many others, I would like to express my deep gratitude:

To Erik: Thank you for your unwavering confidence in me and my business. Thank you for bringing me coffee, for insisting on helping me out at shows even when I say I don't need it, and for making me take breaks.

To Mum and Papa: Thank you for supporting me all along, and for providing for my basic needs while I've grown my business.

To Karl and Nancy at Allegra: Thank you for your flexibility with my schedule while I worked there, and for graciously and supportively letting me go when I decided to take House of Moss full-time.

To Torie & Cathy of Crafty Wonderland: Thank you for creating the kind of local atmosphere where handmade is respected and appreciated, and for putting together the best shows in Portland!

To all the shops and shopkeepers: I love all of you! Your friendly faces make my errands so much more enjoyable.

To my fellow makers: Thank you for the inspiration that your stories bring to me. Thank you for the "shop talk," commiseration, and encouragement!

To all those with whom my work has found a home: Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for supporting the handmade community and, more specifically, for supporting me and my business. I love meeting people who "get" me, who share smiles or kind words, or who bring pieces I've made back to their homes. You all make this possible.

2013 was a good, full year. 2014 is looking to be great too! Thank you to everyone who has followed along with my business. I'll continue to keep you posted. :)

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