Yes, it’s now the end of March in 2015 and yes I haven’t had much to say here recently.  But I feel like I’m finally caught up on life, and one thing I like to do is round things up and summarize before moving on. So here is 2014 in review.

One configuration of our 2014 booth.

One configuration of our 2014 booth.

It was a year of conquering some fears, learning about setting boundaries for myself, and most importantly it was A LOT about learning. 2014 marked my first full calendar year of vending with The Pink Woobie. This would not have been possible with out the wonderful assistance of my husband Ryan. He did the lifting, the carrying, the price tagging, the customer service, and most importantly the encouragement.  Throughout the summer most of my on site Instagram posts featured him in the background carefully placing the finishing touches on our 10×10 tented booth.

This basically is what 2014 was about for me. Developing The Pink Woobie brand, learning about business, and getting out of the apartment. At the beginning of the summer I had registered and paid for one event, a monthly showcase of my neighborhood. The fact that this became one of my least lucrative opportunities can’t be forgotten, but it also opened me up mentally for other opportunities that came my way.

When I walked into Yarn It and Haberdashery some time at the beginning of the summer, the establishments wonderful and talented owner Esther asked if I was vending this summer. I said I had signed up for a few things, but that my calendar was pretty open. That’s when she said “I’m e-mail you a list of events you should do.” I really can’t express my gratitude for Esther in this aspect. I had not been terribly motivated even though I knew I really wanted to get started selling my Woobie wares offline.

Utilizing grid walls to display my goods.

Utilizing grid walls to display my goods.

I grabbed life by the horns and signed up for the events that fits into my schedule. As many of you know I’ve spent much of the past 7 years dealing with the symptoms of Fibromyalgia. One of the biggest issues for me with this chronic invisible illness is the fatigue. I can handle the pain. I remember when I first got diagnosed a doctor told me I’d get use to. I was pissed, beyond pissed. But you know what? I did get use to it, and I realized the side effects of taking pain meds out weighed just handling the pain itself. This isn’t a complete tangent, as my biggest challenge to attending these events in the summer of 2014 was learning to pace myself and still present as a put together and happy business owner.

Besides being prepared on the business side of things this also meant choosing my clothes before the morning of, packing lunches at events I knew there would be now gluten and soy safe foods, and getting plenty of rest the week before. In all I succeeded at doing this. It was a successful craft fair/festival season. However I found myself dealing with some things I hope to correct in 2015.

Another adventure I took on in 2014 was the first steps in taking my love of photography from a hobby to a paid gig. I photographed 3 events during the summer of 2014. One was out of the kindness of my heart for the academic conference that Ryan’s advisor organized, one was for free drinks, and one I actually got paid (although minimally) for. My basic goal was the build my portfolio and I was successful at doing that.

Tour de Grandview, our friend Isaac in the Jeni's jersey.

Tour de Grandview, our friend Isaac in the Jeni’s jersey.

My biggest issue with 2014 was I kept finding myself saying “after this event I can rest/relax/regroup” but really when you are running a business, no matter how small, there is not really time to do that after the fact. I know now I need to schedule the relaxing and regrouping into my schedule or it’s never going to happen. If it doesn’t happen, then I’m going to be in deep shit and get sick like I did in 2007.

In the fall I had a chance to work with a newly branded farm Folsom & Pine that our friend Conor has involvement in. Their Saturday’s farmer’s market started out slow, but I have confidence that things will be picking up very quickly for them. They are certainly on my list of 2015.

By Christmas I was getting pretty worn down and found myself with a load of custom orders. I ended the year on a good note and have a very positive feeling for the whole year. My whole point behind this post was to give you a background for some future posts I hope to write this year.