We Made It 5 Years in Biz. And this is my biggest lesson....
When I take a minute to really think about the fact that my business has been around 5 years it makes me proud and gives me anxiety! I know, I know, sounds ridiculous as I should just be basking in the reality that I held on and navigated well enough to still have a company, but it's just that it truly went by so fast and although 5 years seems like a substantial amount of time, there are those thoughts that creep in making you wonder if you should have done this, or should have done that. We are our own worst enemy, right? Well, I truly believe that that self inflicted pressure has also been the fuel that has propelled so much of my success.
In many ways I truly feel like I have only just begun. So much to do, so much to learn and I've barely scratched the surface of where we're going with my own brand and with the fileist. And if I am being honest, these past 5 years there have been moments where I teetered on not being in business. Yep, I don't post that on instagram, haha! That's a story for another time.
Let's take a little step back in time- over 5 years ago instead of buying a home, I invested most of my life savings into the dream of having my own accessories brand. I had retired from being a fashion stylist (for celebs and people at least) and I tired from doing brand deals with other companies as a means to make all my money and I wanted something of my own. I had this idea in the back of my head and I knew it was the moment to take the leap and introduce my little idea into the world. I launched my namesake brand with one product- my first born (LOL) invention, the US Patented TOPTOTE hat clip. Months after launching my brand online we launched in Nordstrom and within days we sold out repeatedly and from there we were in business baby!
Even now, it's pretty wild to think that I was the first one to think of, invent and create this simple little gadget that carries your hat when you travel. It's such a fundamentally simple idea I know, and it's just crazy that I was the person to think of it first. And of course, with brilliant ideas come people who think they can capitalize off of your ideas which just comes with the territory but fortunately I have been successful (albeit expensive) to be able to extinguish many of those infringers (I am being very polite in this blog when I say that, in person I have other words for those people, haha!)
When I close my eyes and I think of the most thrilling things that have happened these past 5 years there are too many moments to count! There were also a lot of challenges- like make your head spin, WTF challenges. Again, that's a story for the book I will write one day.
What I do want to say is that the biggest lesson I have learned, above anything is to be able to find peace in the problems. When you own a small business there is never a moment where there are zero issues, zero challenges or zero things that need to be fixed. Right this very moment I can list a few things that are not going well. Expensive problems and unknowns that we're still figuring out but you know what? It will all get figured out. Accepting and expecting that being in business is solving problems and that solving those problems will take time and having the mental strength to trust the process is the most liberating thing you can do for yourself. Don't get me wrong, I still have stress and some nights I wake up with anxiety but I have come a very very long way in rolling with it and trusting that it will all get resolved or done in one way or the other, at some point.
Ok ok enough about that! Ultimately it's my greatest thrill to invent and create products that make your life easier as well as support other women owned small businesses doing the same thing and I'm excited to see where the next 10, 15, 20 years will take us. Like I said, we've only just begun!