Personally and professionally, 2013 will be a hard year to top. We had several amazing magazine features. Ryan left the corporate world behind and joined me. We partnered with Nordstrom, launching both a Wedding Suite and an At Home collection. We shared our story in Etsy’s Quit Your Day Job feature. Milk & Honey products appeared on The Today Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda (I even got to make them both a personalized spoon!). Our products appeared online more than ever before, including The Huffington Post, Refinery 29, Martha Stewart Weddings, Whole Foods, and The Daily Mail Uk.We’ve been busy bees to say the least!
Personally, I’ve striven throughout 2013 to find some semblance of work/life balance. It hasn’t always been easy, but I have found that by making a conscious effort, the scales are starting to even out. When I was asked (a month before the busy retail season) to be”room mom” for Nate’s third grade class, I agreed- something I never would have had time for before. Nothing there has changed- I still don’t have time for it (as the late monthly newsletters to parents can attest). The difference is, I made a conscious decision to make time for it- knowing full well that my even best efforts would not be perfect. I’d love to tell you that I’ve made time for the gym or even a few yoga classes, but I haven’t. In my search for balance the kids come first. So for now it’s work, family, and the occasional 90-second plank on the studio floor. Baby steps.
This year the Holiday rush was twice as busy as last year. In addition to the shop we participated in a Wit & Wonder pop-up at 25 Nordstrom locations. Days started early and stretched late, eventually running together completely. I’ve never asked “What day is it?” on such a regular basis. After things settled down, we decided to close the store for several weeks. When we closed shop and the studio fell silent, life slipped into an easy, slow tempo for the rest of 2013.
In the past, New Year’s Eve meant huge parties or elegant dinners. But this year we elected to invite over some close friends and family, pour some bubbly and put our feet up. The year slipped away peacefully with the ball drop on the television, the children laughing with their noisemakers, and a New Years kiss from Ryan.
When we re-opened the shop this year we were refreshed, rested and ready for everything that 2014 will have in store for us. We’ve already sent some pieces to be photographed for a major magazine spread (shh… can’t say which one yet!). We’ve been working on another collection with Nordstrom (hint- MUCH bigger!). But mostly we’ve worked to retain the bit of balance we found last year. We still work seven days a week, but with a new-found mindfulness. Instead of business as usual come Saturday morning, we have our coffee with the kids as they watch cartoons. We’ll work for a bit while they play, then shut it down in time to spend the rest of the day as a family. As I said in my interview with Etsy, you may never find true balance; but as long as you’re actively seeking it there’s a good chance you are doing okay by everyone.