2017 Reflections and Looking Ahead

Now, as much as I will be the first to say I am not a fan of the "New Year, New Me" mentality, I do love a good sit down to reflect on everything that took place during the course of the previous year and look ahead with focus and clear intentions for the new year ahead of us.  Plus, the clean slate of a new calendar has always made the "type a" part of me really happy.


A LOT went down in 2017.  Some amazing of it was amazing, some of it ... not so much.  But I learned a lot, I grew a lot, and I'm able to look back on it with gratitude and a clear head seeing where it has all led me.  One of the biggest, and most notable events of this past year was when Famous Footwear and Nike reached out to me to share my story as part of their "Step Forward" campaign.  This was, and still is the biggest collaborative project that I have ever done and it was an incredible opportunity to take part in.  You can watch the video that we made and see more of the project here.  For the shy, and reserved person that I am, this was a huge push to step out of my shell and be ON CAMERA for the first time.  The outpouring of love and positivity that came from sharing some of the not-so-great bits of my past was overwhelming and I am still floored and so so grateful for this opportunity.

Then came the summer which was contained some of the best, worst, and absolute busiest times of my entire life.  In the beginning of the summer I received some really unsettling news from the doctor.  I had been having some breathing issues for a few months, which we learned was from a mold issue in our rental home.  After quite a few doctors visits we found out that things were quite a bit more severe than I had anticipated.  Without dwelling too much on it again (please know I am feeling so much better and I will be okay!) this brought on us a huge push to move from our former home, and fast.  So, about two weeks before all our friends and family came into town for us to renew our vows and with a LOT of help from all of you... we moved.  It was insane, it was crazy, and I'm still not sure how we pulled it all off in such a short amount of time.  As absolutely upsetting as all of this was, it was also one of the most humbling and encouraging moments of my life.  This truly opened my eyes to what an incredible community has been built around Honey and the Hive, and in turn, my family.  I am still so overwhelmed by the amount of love that was shown to us. 

So, now that we've talked about the bad, let's talk about the good!  One of the greatest experiences of this past year, and this lifetime was renewing our wedding vows in the presence of so many of our loved ones.  I PROMISE this will be the next thing that I blog about, so I'm going to keep this short, but it was such a beautiful and perfect day filled with so much contribution from our incredibly talented friends and family.  I wish that I could live it over and over again.



And finally, in September, I was able to say "see ya" to my part-time job (that I held on to for way too long) and Honey and the Hive became my full-time job.  That is something that I thought would only be a dream.  It was a pinch me moment, and still is on almost a daily basis.  There were also the small victories, this year I got to work on more logo and collaborative projects than I ever have.  I re-opened my books for custom orders and have had the chance to work with so many amazing individuals creating special, or just flat out silly artwork for them.  Honey and the Hive as a business had it's biggest year, and the year ended on a perfect note taking a few weeks off to celebrate the holidays and the new year with my tiny family.



So, with such a great year and so many incredible memories in the books for 2017, what is ahead for this little business of mine for the year ahead?

My biggest long-term goal, that really seemed unobtainable was to have Honey and the Hive be my full-time job.  Now that it is, I have had put a lot of thought into where I want to go with it from here.  I'm not really motivated by dollar signs, so I have no interest in turning my little business into some huge corporation.  I love where it is now, I love all that it stands for, and I am truly happy.  So my big focus this year is in growing the community around Honey and the Hive through collaboration projects with other brands and other small business folks like me.  I have loved dipping my toes into product design and want to continue to learn and grow in that area - whether that is creating products for other
brands like my collaboration with The Fit Law, PV Donuts, or The Hook Nook this past year, or in branching into new offerings for the Honey and the Hive webstore.  I also want to do more in-person events.  I've really stepped out of my shell this past year and loved meeting so many of you at craft fairs - this year I want to continue to participate in more of these events and grow upon it by teaching classes, and things of this nature.  And maybe most importantly, I want to learn to step back, be gentle with myself and really enjoy the moment.  I have been known to be a bit of a workaholic in the past, so I have been learning to set a clear schedule and make realistic goals for myself.  The work/life balance can be so hard when working from home (you know .. who says you can't stay up until 2am working on projects when your studio is only paces away from  your bedroom?)

I've got a lot of big ideas and new things planned and I can't wait to share them all with you.  So, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support and loving what I do, and I hope that you're so excited to see what will come next.  And hey, if you want to work together, or if you have an awesome idea that you think I should make for Honey and the Hive let me know!  I love to hear your input, and I'd LOVE to hear some of your goals for the new year too!


All photography by Alycia Choroszucha and Brittany Viklund.

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