2018 Year in Review: Progress Not Perfection
Thank You For An Amazing Year!
This past year was quite possibly one of the most exciting in my business & I cannot thank you enough for being part of this crazy, unexpected, one of a kind ride — whether you’ve been here since the beginning in 2016, or you just found me a week ago.
So what all went down this past year?
The year started off on a great note, which in hindsight, I wished I had paid more attention to because it definitely the start of a theme this year — lots of “oh shit, that really happened” moments for sure!
Even while on my social media hiatus, I got a chance to be featured and share my story of being a mom & entrepreneur with Mother Hustle, an online publication and community for creative mompreneurs, from creative mompreneurs, featuring unpolished personal essays, inspiration-fueling advice and no-nonsense resources to help ease #mymotherhustle.
This is was the beginning of my also leaning into being a working mom — I don’t have to choose between my success & my family, because one feeds the other, and while it hasn’t always been easy, it’s definitely been worth it.
I also finally reached 100 subscribers on my YouTube channel.
This was a huge deal because for the 9 months up to this point I was winging it on YouTube — trying to find my voice & my place — and I sat at about 30 something subscribers for 8 of those months.
To have 100 people actually be interested in what I was sharing was a pretty big deal, especially since now it also meant I could get a custom YouTube domain!
Aside from being my birthday month, this past February was my first real life sponsored brand collaboration in this new life of mine — back in the day, as a freelance publicist I did a lot of collaborations but nothing like these modern day partnerships.
I got a chance to be one a few content creators chosen to team up with Fabletics to showcase their new TechStyle collection.
I was excited because (1) I love cute work out gear and (2) it was a chance for me to test of some lifestyle content ideas I had, like productivity tips and just a little bit more into my life outside of design!
P.S. If you have it on your mind to be a tad bit healthier in 2019, then you're def gonna wanna take advantage of the fact that new VIP Members get 2 leggings for $24. My personal favs are the High-Waisted PowerHold & the Seamless High-Waisted Mesh. You're Welcome!
By March I was realizing that my social media free year was about to come to an end in April, so I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what that was going to look like for me.
Little did I know I had nothing to worry about!
Shortly after ending my social media free year, it’s like the flow gates opened!
I was invited to High Point Market — the largest trade show & conference in the home industry — by The Design Network to speak on their panel on the business of e-design.
This would be my first time attending High Point, and so to be going as a speaker was surreal.
I got to sit alongside designers Kelli Ellis, Veronica Solomon, Sandra Funk, and Shayla Copas, and moderated by Rachel Moriarty & Dixie Willard of the Design+Style podcast, talking all about being an online interior designer!
This would end up being the first of many new opportunities to show up & serve a whole new community of designers.
I participated in my first ever One Room Challenge — a 6-week biannual design event for bloggers — and I gave our balcony a much needed facelift in time for some Spring & Summer hanging out.
While I’d always loves tackling decor challenges in our home, this was the first time I really dedicated time & attention to the outdoor area & it was totally worth it, because aside from finally giving us a chance to really enjoy being out there, I’m almost certain it had a big part in my then passing 300 subscribers on my YouTube channel!
Coming back from High Point, I decided to take the plunge on a crazy new idea I had brewing, and that culminated in my first ever virtual conference for designers — The E-Design Experience Weekend. This 2 day conference featured nearly 2 dozen speakers sharing their expertise on everything from the e-design business model to personal branding & becoming a design influencer.
I was truly humbled by the support & amazing feedback before, after, and during the conference, and it really re-sparked a creative part of me that I’d buried many, many years ago.
On a complete high from the first 6 months of the year, I started to get really REALLY excited for the 2nd half of the year — excited for what other new exciting firsts were in store!
But with this excitement, came a lot of self-reflection, and remembering how burnt out and weary I’d been not even a year ago, I had to be honest with myself — physically & mentally, I need to be kinder to myself.
After months of research, I found an amazing therapist and began my new journey on the road to better mental health with a new talk therapist (who’s been pretty awesome by the way).
She helped me talk through a lot of insecurities I had as a business owner & as a wife & mom, and even helped me discover some new fun adventures I could go on with my family!
During the summer, my husband and I made the choice to take our 2nd bedroom — my home office — and finally give our baby girl her own room!
This wasn’t an easy decision but it was def the right one for our family, especially with her now starting school, and after two months of purging and purchases, I not only finally finished her room, I got to share it with all of you on YouTube & Instagram, and the feedback was amaze balls — who knew you guys would love my toddler bedroom makeover as much as you did!?
By the time September rolled around, I was also in full preparation mode for Fall High Point Market — this time I wanted to go back for more than a day & I had some big BIG ideas!
Back at High Point for the 2nd time, I had a transformative three days — hosted two events, toured some of the most amazing showrooms, and attended some eye-opening seminars.
This was all in the middle of my 2nd One Room Challenge, this time tackling our master bedroom.
What made this One Room Challenge especially dope was that I got to do it in partnership with brands I stan for:
Yes, FOUR brand collaborations!
Feel free to pinch me when you see me because I still can’t believe it.
I was EXHAUSTED but I was counting each & every single one of my blessings.
October month really taught me that I was not giving myself enough credit for how popping I really am!
Here I was with less than 1,000 followers on any of my socials, and before the year was over, I’d secured half a dozen brand collaborations and speaking & hosting engagements at a huge industry event, not to mention the different podcasts that I’d gotten a chance to be a guest on.
So November I decided to start taking HUGE leaps of faith!
I began recording for a new podcast launch in January 2019, The Design Influence, alongside a rebrand for The E-Design Experience.
I finally launched a new baby of mine — an online shop for furniture & decor — as the remix to my subscription box from a year ago.
And I started planning & brainstorming my 2019 world domination — from brand collaborations to client pitches! And man oh man, am I excited for what the new year is shaping up to be.
I looked back on the home I’d created this past year — literally the coziest our home has ever felt as a family of three — and it is the essentially the physically representation of the past year:
lots of moments coming together to tell one amazing story!
My 2018 word of the year was progress, and while I had definitely made a lot of progress, I knew that I could crush even more goals with more confidence in myself & appreciation for what I bring to the table.
Know the saying, “shameless plug”?
After lots and LOTS of deliberating, I chose my 2019 word of the year — SHAMELESS.
Inspired by Maya Washington from years ago, I realized that I was holding myself back because I was literally holding myself back — I was hiding my greatness & then accidentally being great.
I got to work on some of my best designs that I still can’t believe I created because of all the creative liberties I was able to take aka that I was entrusted with!
Not to say I plan on spending 2019 bragging on myself, but as much as I spend the year being less ashamed, less afraid, and less apologetic for being a little different & quirky in my ideas, at home & at work; because whether it was for my family, my followers, or my clients, when I showed up, I killed it!
While I had a lot of things go off the rails personally & professionally, I managed to come out on the other side, time & time again.
This year was filled with highs & lows, but the highs far outweighed the lows — I met some amazing new friends in the industry, some who became friends in real life; I built relationships with brands I used to only admire from a distance; I was able to refine & relaunch my services because clients were really telling me what they wanted most from me; and I came back to social media without getting lost in all the noise again!
I found my voice & a balance in my life that has been a struggle for the past 2 years.
I can’t wait to go through the next year with you, because without you, well, you’ve been a big part of my 2018.
I’ve realized that taking the time out to reflect on the past 12 months have also help me realize where I was at my best, but also where I could be better in my faith, my family, my business, and in life in general, so I am looking forward to taking this new found clarity into the new year; but I also wanna hear from you — what you learned, what your wins were, and what you’re looking forward to in 2019!