every day starts out the same for me -
the alarm goes off at 5am, the dogs lick my face to tell me my alarm is going off at 5am, and its time to start the madness all over again. i have my coffee, i hop on my treadmill, i get in the shower, get ready, feed the dogs, let them out - jump in my truck, get my starbucks and rush to work with the hopes of being there by 8 at the latest.
this has been my life for the last year. (well, longer than that really but this last year was exceptionally exhausting) today i woke up - looked out the window and saw the snow finally coming down .... and thought you know what? today - im going to make my coffee, and finally get the blog post out that has been on my heart for months to write.
i have so many thanks to give. its hard to write a blog of thanks without the fear of forgetting one. its hard to write a blog of thanks with confidence that it will be conveyed as i feel them.
bodygoodies is celebrating our 10 years in business - when i realized this, i immediately began planning all of the soaps and things i knew we'd be launching for our season. but i didnt realize how overwhelmed id be by the memories and thoughts of how much i have been through and how much i appreciate everyone, and everything that has been part of the last ten years.
- as my memories of being in my kitchen at my old house where it all began started washing over me...... 10 years ago i was 33, i had no idea bodygoodies would turn into the amazing place it is today. i didnt expect to ever have a retail shop, i didnt expect to ever have employees, i had no idea about taxes or record keeping. i just made soap. i made soap because i loved making soap.
as things grew, the struggling began. losing things became part of life. electric, gas, a place to live, time - cancelling appointments, making it to family events, but what also became part of life, was pushing forward. taking the next leap and hoping the net would be there after the jump. .... and if it wasnt, figuring out how to make-shift wings. .... because there is no quitting, there is no going back. a few years in and i had too many responsibilities. things were rolling and growing and i had to grow with it. i had to learn how to do it. all of it.
soooo many people had faith in me. they didnt have ten years of business to look at, they didnt have records to see, they didnt have a reputation to hear about - they just had faith in ME. most importantly, when i did not. i never had a plan for bg, i didnt have any history in business and i was struggling. i owe so much to all of those people.. and...the articles in the news paper, the craft shows, the tv stations - the friends and customers who never missed an opportunity to tell me to keep going - that everything is going to be ok. the generosity and support from the community. the love and support of my friends and family and co-workers. my daughter for often going without, for understanding every single thing we ever went through. both good and bad. ... and my mom. who i lost half way through this journey. she, was my biggest fan. my rock. and my soft place to fall when it was all getting too hard. man she was so proud of me.
as the 2018 holiday season started rolling in .... daily i would just be thinking wow - look at all of these people!! all of the new faces, and some, who have been with us all ten years! HOW AMAZING is THAT! humbled daily - i am. truly. humbled. daily. im looking at the racks and racks and racks of soap as we were prepping for the season - remembering 10 years ago - having a little tiny plastic shelving unit with a couple hundred soaps on it. i have SO MUCH to be grateful for. and i am. when you guys come in and thank me - you have no idea how much i mean it when i respond to your thank you- with a " thank you ", instead of a "youre welcome".
you know, this milestone has really set deep in my heart. i dont even want to post this blog because im not doing justice. i have trouble focusing. i have too may thoughts that enter too quickly and i can only grab one at a time to write. my thank yous extend so far i know i cant get them all - but from the very smallest things- to the very biggest things - for the friends that helped me build my work benches, to hanging lights, to figuring out what to do next, to the gas man 10 years ago who let me not get shut off and have an extra day to try to get the money to pay the bill, to the customers who have kept us here through thick and thin, to the local reporters who gave bg the exposure we needed so badly in just the right time to keep us going, to the customers far away, to my local first responders for always keeping an eye on the shop and us, to all of the people who were part of the team who placed the stepping stones to get to this ten year mile, to the employees from day one - to now - to the people who started as customers and became people i am lucky to call friends, to anthony, who was often at work before even me - getting soaps ready to make, getting everything read to make, and keeping me on a focused path, sometimes staying on it by himself and allowing me to go off the beaten one when i needed to create :) all of it, all of you. whether it was a moment or years, everyone who has been part of bg, part of my life, - all of you. thank you.
every year - bodygoodies launches our holiday release on small business saturday - and every year - small business saturday BLOWS OUR MINDS at how many of you come out to continue to support us!!! this past small business saturday was incredible. it was so far beyond what the girl in her kitchen 10 years ago could have ever imagined. really. you guys are just AWESOME. its just the most amazing feeling to know how much support we have in this community, and not just our local community - but our far away friends who support us with online orders as well. so.so.cool!!!
we made it through the holiday season this year without running out of product ;) and having enough product made meant i was able to spend the entire month of december on the retail side of the shop - it was so amazing to talk to you, meet new faces, or reconnect and catch up with ones i havent seen in far too long and i loved every second of it.
nothing about business is easy. not for me anyhow. but everything about it is worth it.... when i hear from all of you what a difference it has made to you, or how happy it makes you, or who youve passed it on to, what you love about it, which things are your favorites.. there are so many reasons people choose to use bodygoodies... i laugh so hard when people get the chance to tell me (or threaten me ;) that im not allowed to quit ----- because youre right, im not, even if i ever wanted to, your continued support doesnt let me!! :D .... and i thank you for that. because i dont want to. i love what i do so much!
ive been through a lot over these years, some big, many small, and it all matters. over the years ive been presented with options and opportunity, changes, ideas and different forks in the road. looking back - im so glad i took the steps i took, in the ways which they were taken - to have been here for every day - to let bodygoodies grow organically, as it should. perhaps it isnt the easiest set of stairs, or maybe my shoe laces are tied together? lol .... but its all necessary. regardless. and i wouldnt have it any other way. as i was reflecting - i realized ive learned so much in ten years. to adapt, to evolve, to resist, to forgive. to trust my gut. to master the clean up of disasters and accept failures, and push forward and grow because of them. ive learned how sometimes the little things end up the biggest things, ive learned to throw my hands up - that some things are just out of my control - but that everything will work out as it should in the end. ...... i still have so much to learn ... and im looking forward to it.
i hope your holidays were warm and wonderful. i wish you all an amazing 2019! i am SO looking forward to the coming year - my resolution personally is to not have so many condiments in my refrigerator, and be better about call back and text responses - my resolution in business is to spend more time with you, and streamline product/packaging. :) hope you are all as excited am i am for this year to come!