Another year has gone. While it’s hard to believe that it’s over, I’m also not sad to see 2023 go. I don’t know about you, but this year was rough. Don’t get me wrong, there is certainly much to be grateful for this year, and I am thankful for so many beautiful memories, but they didn’t come easily.
We grew at a rate that was hard to manage at times. This year was our best ever (by over 50%!), and we helped more of you get dressed for the biggest moments of your lives than we ever have. It was our first full year in our “new” retail location, so there was a lot to learn regarding inventory, what products you needed and wanted from us, and how many new categories we needed to include to meet all those needs. Puzzling and fun, yes, but oh, so challenging.
We grew our team and lost some of our team to life changes, and some of our team changed their roles to fit their lives and needs better. Sometimes that transition was smooth, and sometimes it wasn’t. Through it all, we tried our best to deliver the service that our clients love and deserve, but there were times when it was all a bit much to handle.
Our clients are truly the best, and I’m so thankful for their patience while we navigate(d) these transitions and growth.
At the beginning of every year, I always choose a word that serves as an intention for the year. For 2023, I chose “Consistency.” In choosing that word, I had no idea what a challenge that would be on every level. This year threw so many curveballs. Trying to remain consistent was more than challenging at times. No one tells you how expensive (both in $$$ and in time) growth is. We created systems, implemented systems, changed systems, and sometimes went back to the drawing board to figure out how to navigate the challenges we faced. There were projects that we intended to launch, but they stalled out due to a lack of resources, time, and people. Trying to find the constant amid all of the chaos was a challenge.
I’ve been doing this work a long time, and I’ve had some major ups and some equally major downs. 2023 takes the cake so far for trying to wear me down. It was relentless. Maybe I’m older and don’t have the energy (or interest) to face these challenges, but it was rough at times, especially toward the end of the year. At one point I just had to say out loud, "I'm over this."
A phrase that has come to me quite a bit as we draw to the end of 2023 has been:
Life happens FOR you and not to you.
That’s a powerful reframing device that I’m using to set up 2024 to be different. As I thought about what my word for the year would be for 2024, there were a lot of words that came close. I thought about “health” and “freedom,” and while those are things I want to achieve, they felt like more WORK. I’m not afraid of hard work, but part of my problem is that because I’m willing to do the work, I sometimes choose the hardest path and not the simplest. So many of the successful people I admire work hard, but they are able to simplify their focus so that all of that energy is channeled into something super powerful. That’s what I want and crave. That’s what 2023 taught me was missing.
So drumroll, please for the word for 2024…
My intention for that word is to help me look for ways to not just simplify, but be creative about making everything I do feel effortless. When something FEELS effortless, you have the energy and strength to keep going. I love what I do, but it’s hard to find the energy to keep going when it feels like an uphill battle most of the time. My job requires me to wear a ton of hats. Even just switching between roles takes energy.
Effortless. That’s my intention, mantra, beacon, north star, what have you in 2024. When things get tough, I’m going to try my best to evaluate my decisions and responses through that lense. My goals and dreams have not diminished. It’s just that I’m reevaluating how is the best way to get there. Maybe it’s not how I thought or what the path appeared to be.
You can check in with me later about how that’s working.