Whenever I go on a long hike, I like to look at the road behind me during rest breaks. As I catch my breath before the next big push, I can get a sense of how far I’ve come. That brief look backwards gives me encouragement and helps keep me on track for the rest of the journey.
Writing a “Year in Review” post can feel a little bit like one of those rest breaks. As our small business finishes out the rush of holiday orders, we can take a moment to look back and celebrate our accomplishments, before charting our course into the new year.
A New Business Finds Its Way in the World
At the start of 2015, Handcrafted Honey Bee was less than a year old, a relative infant in business terms. Last Christmas, I got a rebuilt knee, courtesy of my third ACL reconstruction. My husband and I used the recovery period to strategize for our first full year of business.
As part of that strategy, we developed brand new packaging so that making skin care could be an even more enjoyable experience for you. We rolled out new formulas, like the luxurious Lip Gloss Kit. And we even began to offer handmade skin care products, letting you get a little something for yourself as you shopped for someone you love.
How You Helped Us to Serve You Better
During those early strategy sessions, I had a crazy idea that led to an intense period of craft shows up and down the West Coast. Everywhere we went, we met so many amazing people and heard their stories, their struggles, and their dreams.
Robert and I also started getting into deeper subject matter on the blog. The comments and emails we received in response to those topics were nothing short of astounding.
If you were one of the people to talk with us or write to us, I want you to know that we were listening to every word you had to say. Your feedback, your support, and your ideas have helped us to solidify what we want to stand for as a company and helped us to focus on the ways we can serve you best.
Encouragement Along the Journey
When I look back on the year, I am filled with so much gratitude. All along the way, we found encouragement and support, most especially from our customers and friends.
But it was also gratifying to see our small business grow so much in such a short time. To date, Handcrafted Honey Bee products have been sold in 45 states and eight countries outside the U.S. We are also carried by retail stores in four states and by four online retailers (including ThinkGeek and UncommonGoods!)
And no gratitude list would be complete without praise and recognition for the Handcrafted Honey Bee team. I am forever indebted to the constant support and tireless dedication of two amazing women: Hailey and Sierra. We could not have accomplished half of our goals this year without them.
What Does 2016 Look Like?
So much has happened in one short year. What could 2016 bring?
I am excited to share with you that some very cool things are developing! I’ll write about it in next week’s post, but I can tell you this: we have been listening and learning from you.
From great discussions at the craft shows to amazing thoughts in your comments to insightful feedback in your emails, you have blessed us with your ideas and your dreams. And that’s going to be at the heart of everything we do as we go forward.
Thank you for an amazing year!