I’m slightly behind doing my “year in review” post this year and it’s because I didn’t know how I wanted to recap the year. My 2018 was definitely a year of change and in my business, Creations By Sasha was a little all over the place. I came back from maternity leave in February after spending about 3 1/2 months of enjoying (aka surviving) the beginning of motherhood. When I came back into my business, I really took a hard look at where I wanted Creations By Sasha to go now that I had this brand new baby to manage and less time. So I decided to do a more “things I learned in 2018” vs “here’s what I worked on in 2018” type of recap this year. Come along on this journey with me.
This year, there were less weddings, more styled shoots, and a brand new product shop. And there were strategic reasons for me deciding to do each of these things. And I definitely learned a lot about myself and my business along the way.
2018 was the year of intentional business planning
When I was pregnant I stopped the event styling piece of my business and I knew with a baby, it’d be too much to take on but I needed/wanted something to replace that piece of my business. I decided early on that I wanted to start selling mugs but really had no clue what I was doing. I’m notorious for having an idea, launching it without a plan, and then doing nothing with it. I wanted this to be different. So, at the beginning of the year, with brand new baby in tow, I signed up for the Rachel Allene Mastermind group – a small mastermind group of women learning how to start, market, and grow their product shops. With the help of Rachel and the ladies in the mastermind (who have become friends), I became very strategic about how I wanted my product shop to run, the types of products I wanted to sell, and how it fit into the larger Creations By Sasha picture. I’ve had 3 launches since the beginning of the year with more planned for this year, and have even ventured into wholesale. I plan on continuing intentional planning in 2019.
Stationery is becoming a harder business to run
I love designing stationery and creating custom stationery for weddings is something that I truly find joy in. But with Etsy and Minted, it’s becoming harder to find couples that WANT to invest in stationery. There are reasons why Minted can offer what they do at discounted prices and it’s mainly because they offer mass produced items. Many people nowadays unfortunately don’t see the value in something they think their guests will throw away so finding couples has become a challenge. While 2017 was my most successful year with stationery, 2018 was really slow for me. Part of that is from what I mentioned above, but some of it came out of my maternity leave. Because I took a small break, my business took a hit. But I wouldn’t change anything about getting time to spend with my son during his first months of life. I’m already planning how to create and market new products and ideas that I think may resonate better with couples.
Motherhood has redefined my goals as a business owner
Any reasonable person knows that becoming a parent will change your outlook on many different things we just can’t foresee in what way. For me, I knew that I never wanted to be defined by motherhood. As crazy as it sounds, I did not have an overwhelming desire to become a mom like I know a lot of women do. If I become a mother, great. If I didn’t, the hubs and I were fine with that also. Becoming a mom did not “complete” my life. It has certainly added a new dimension to it, but it hasn’t changed how I fundamentally see myself as a person. I also knew that when I was pregnant, I wanted to be more than “just a mom”. For some women, the title of mom is great, but for me, it seems that the moment people find out you’re pregnant, you are simply just a mom from that point forward. I was a woman, wife, friend, daughter, business owner, etc. before I was a mom and I remain all of those things when I became one. The one thing that motherhood has done, is better define my goals as a business owner. Prior, I was fine with wherever my business took me. I had no desire to take my business full-time or grow it to a certain dollar amount of client number. Now, I’m seriously considering what it would take to get my business full-time because it would allow me the freedom to spend more time with my son and hubby. With what seems to be a trend in 2018, motherhood has helped me become more intentional.
To sum it up, 2018 was definitely a transformational year, personally and business-wise. I’ve grown as a person in many ways and am becoming a more truer version of myself everyday. I’m excited to see where 2019 takes me and Creations By Sasha and I hope you’ll stick around for the ride!