I love New Year's Day. I love to make plans, evaluate the past year and map out the year to come. It's a reflective and really creative time. This year has been so full (and crazy) I decided that it was like one long ski trip.
The first quarter was like planning the trip. I signed up for a new kind of trade show, thought about new products, partnered with our graphic designer for retail packaging of the sets of glass stones, and explored the possibility of working with new manufacturing partner. Most important of all, we decided to switch from pad printing to digital printing. It was exciting! It was expensive! The possibilities were endless!
Second quarter- like getting to the ski resort and finding out you don't actually know how to ski. We must have had 10 service calls in the first three weeks of using our new printer. It uses Adobe Illustrator, which no one here knew how to use. The trade show was exciting and fabulous, everybody loved our stuff, but it's really hard to follow up with these very busy people. The retail packaging was developed for this show, and I didn't have any orders in writing. I felt like I'd tumbled head over skis all the way down the bunny slope.
It's not the third quarter yet as I write, but our printer is humming along nicely. The packaging is beautiful and will appeal to a whole new kind of market. Sales have been up over last year for most of the months of the year so far. I'm catching up with the designing, Wes has zoomed way ahead of the rest of us learning Illustrator and we have developed some really beautiful items, particularly the inspirational glass plaques. We have learned how to ski, and it's fun.
The fourth quarter will be like relaxing at the ski lodge, talking and laughing about our early attempts at skiing. Ha! Maybe on December 31st! It's the holiday season and we'll be slammed, but at least we know what we're doing.