They say time flies when you're having fun. That must be true because I cannot believe it's Pretty Little Shoes's second birthday! Happy Birthday to us!!!
Last year on our one year anniversary, I penned a letter of gratitude for your support with my business. And while I am forever grateful for the continued support, this year I thought I would share the top 11 things I have learned over this past year of business.
1| There never is enough hours in a day. There is always another email to respond to, social media post to put up, and more shoes to buy. But knowing myself, I get burned out trying to keep up so knowing my limits has been an asset to running my business.
2| It's ok to be who you are. I struggled with not wanting to overshare about my life on social media and on my website but I learned that people want to know who is behind the business. Sharing more has helped me become more personable and helped me grow my relationships with my customers and business connections.
3| There are going to be days when you want to quit. I have these days...often. I have learned though that I need to trust where God has me and be obedient to Him. Sometimes it takes a few days of being patient and still. But for every reason I want to quit, there are 10 reasons why I shouldn't.
4| Don't underestimate the power of friends who are business owners. These women are your tribe - they understand the ebbs and flows of business and life as a business owner. They are likely the first to support your small business because they understand the value in supporting small and are always there to offer advice and a listening ear when needed.
5| A little competition never hurt anyone. Of course it would be great to have the entire ladies home shoe party market to myself but that is not realistic. Different companies offer different products and each company is run differently. Competition allows me to stay innovative and authentic which is important in business.
6| Imitation is the highest form of flattery. Although competition is healthy, imitation is not. I've had companies copy and paste things from my website, take my hostess program, bring in identical products, and mimic my social media posts. This is not cool and is just downright hurtful. But when another company imitates, it doesn't make me look bad, it makes the other business owner look bad.
7| You don't have to say yes to every opportunity. Every opportunity may lead to more sales and more bookings but sometimes those opportunities are not what's best for you or your business. I have a strong intuition and go with my gut. If something just doesn't feel right, I know to decline the opportunity or even cancel.
8| There is nothing shameful in asking for help. As a relatively independent lady, asking for help is a struggle. However, having an extra set of hands is sometimes needed. I'm so thankful for the helpful hands of my parents, brother, sister, cousin, friends, and boyfriend. All have helped me SO much throughout the year in various ways and have helped me learn that it's ok not to do everything myself.
9| Cancelling an event is not the end of the world. This year I had to cancel one party because my vehicle broke down on the highway while driving to the party. Another party, my hostess orchestrated her own party because I had to go to the emergency room. Neither were ideal scenarios but life happens.
10| Taking time for yourself is essential. This was a mistake I made my first year of business - working up to nine events a week just because I couldn't say no. But by the end of the year I was so burned out I didn't even want to look at another pair of shoes. I never took time for myself; I never saw my friends and I was miserable. At the beginning of the year I decided that I would commit to only doing 4-5 events per week so I could take the time to do things I enjoyed and pay more attention to my relationships. This made a huge difference in my overall happiness.
11| At the end of the day, it's just shoes. Yes, it can be frustrating as a customer when there is a hiccup, but in reality no one is going to die if they have to wait an extra week to receive their order, if there is a quality issue, or if there is an inventory error on our site. I am only human - I make mistakes. No one is perfect and it is unfair for people to assume that we are. We all have lots going on in our lives and sometimes things slip through the cracks. Yes, we feel horrible when they do, but it’s not the end of the world. We just ask for forgiveness, learn from our mistakes and hope we can do better next time.
Friends, thank-you very much for making year two of Pretty Little Shoes a success. Whether you hosted a party, shopped with us, or follow us on social media, I am forever grateful for the impact you have had on my business. I wouldn't be where I am without you.
And of course, thank-you to my family. Man alive - the support I get from them is out of this world.
Enjoy these never-before-seen photos from the last year! Cheers to another fabulous year. <3