A Year in Review: What 2021 Taught Me About Growth and Success

A Year in Review

what 2021 taught me about growth and success

What went well:  

I rebranded.

Before the launch of my skincare line, I knew I needed a beautiful, well-thought-out aesthetic. I found an amazing designer who honed in on Made’s values: simplicity, honesty, accessibility, and authenticity and created beautiful branding around that.  

Made’s name changed from “Made the Simple Life” to “Made Simple Living,” and our brand identity and product experience now encapsulates our relaxed personality and free-spirited way of life, while also speaking to our high-quality products and refined taste.

I was also able to use my photography skills and collaborate with photographer friends to create a visually beautiful lifestyle brand.   

I wanted my website to feel a lot more like a magazine rather than a stale, white web page, and my amateur web-design self pieced together a website with wonderful photography and design elements. 

 

I launched my skincare line. 

Ahhh! This was one of my biggest goals of 2021, and we did it. Five hundred lessons were learned along the way (read on to learn more), but we did it. Florence launched in November, and we are just getting started. Florence is now the best-selling product in the store thanks to you, and next year we will officially open wholesale accounts for Made’s skincare line.  

Launch parties are scheduled for Florence Beauty Balm in Birmingham, AL and Florence, AL for early next year (mark your calendars). We already have products lined up for launch in 2022! Get ready!

Not the highlight reel: 

Overall Sales Dropped.  

With me spending way more time than expected behind the scenes, I didn’t get to spend much time on sale-producing activities. I spent A LOT of time on Made’s rebrand and skincare launch.  

For someone who is growth-focused and specifically numbers-focused, seeing sales drop was a hit to my pride. It took me a while to step back and realize that the numbers don’t always tell the full story.  

I have built an amazing brand this year. And for the majority of Made’s time as a company, it has been a one-woman show. I can’t do it all, and I’m realizing I have to bring on a team to get Made to where it needs to be.  

My photography career also boomed this year (yay!), but with that, I had less time to spend on Made. I’m still learning the balance of it all, but with boundaries in place for next year, I feel confident Made will thrive. 

I’m not very good at a work/life balance as an entrepreneur.  

Every entrepreneur knows this struggle. I could honestly spend 24/7 working on my business(es), and not get everything done. When your work (success and failure) relies solely on you, it’s hard to put it down.  

But I have to remind myself that I started this business to bring joy to others and provide for my family by doing something I love. I also started this business for freedom, so I have to remind myself that I still need to make time for life.

“Made is a mindful beauty and lifestyle brand with a passion for cultivating conscious products to support an effortlessly intentional way of life. We understand that building a conscious lifestyle can feel intimidating or complicated — which is why it is our mission to make quality and trusted resources easily accessible. Join us in living a beautiful life made simple.”

Design by @duendedesignco

Lessons learned: 

If I want something done correctly, I have to do it myself. 

Man, oh man. What a lesson to learn. I started with a product manufacturer for my skincare line,  because I knew I did not have the time needed to produce my own products. However, the manufacturer could not produce the desired texture of Florence when producing batches.

Ultimately, I decided to produce it myself. You read that right. Florence will now be handmade by yours truly. You will be receiving a skincare product that has been hand-whipped with love and care. 

 

While I know that I cannot sustain this long term, I also know that I will not compromise on quality. So we will figure it out as we grow, but know that you will always be getting the very best when it comes to skincare products from Made.

I need help. 

On the flip side of that, I’ve also realized that I need help. It’s so hard for me to give up parts of my business because it’s my baby, and because I’ve had so many things go wrong in the hands of others.  

In 2022, my goal is to start a team to create sustainable growth for the company. That being said, if you know of any amazing, hard-working, fun individuals who would like to be part of Made, send them my way!

2021 was a year of growth and learning. When I ran across my “Measures of Success” from 2019 (the year I was burnt out, unhappy, and at a loss as to what I wanted to do), I realized that Made has allowed me to succeed in every area that I consider success.  

I’m thankful for you, for your continued support, and I’m ready to succeed in ways I never imagined or thought possible in 2022. Here’s to 2021 and looking to 2022 with big goals. Cheers! 

Stay beautiful, 
Kate