Hey #nicegirls, Adriana here. I don’t know about the rest of you- but this year is really flying by. As a true English major, I have always come to look at the "Ides of March" as a mile marker for each year. Not in the negative, murderous-omen kind of way Julius Caesar may regard the date, but as a fun reminder of the degree I earned in college and of my deep inner-nerd that seems to sprout up every time I blink. I swear, for as long as I can remember, every time I turn around, it is again the 15th of March. That being said, each time I find myself on this date, I take a hard look at the year that has just passed. I often try to remember where I was exactly this day, last year and it’s become a fun gauge for how far I’ve come.
This year, I find myself filled with gratitude as I compare these two dates on these two separate years and I figured it would be fun to let you all in on this journey.
March 15th, 2016
-Little Words was working out of my 2 bedroom apartment that I shared with my now fiancé/ then boyfriend in Jersey City. We had one bedroom in that apartment dedicated to us, but let’s be real- we spilled out significantly into the other rooms in the house and my living room was often littered with orders and beads.
-Little Words only had one employee and the two of us would bead all day everyday just to get orders out on time. There was no outside help by manufacturers and every single bracelet made was touched by one of us.
-Little Words had just finished our first successful winter trade show season. We had only done two different trade shows and had come out with more orders than we’d known what to do with. We could hardly keep up!
-Little Words could be found in 20-30 retailers in the North East. We had just signed on with a major store that was putting us in 16 locations! We couldn’t have been more thrilled but of course that meant filling each order with our own two hands.
-Personally, I was not engaged, and my poor boyfriend, Bill would come home at night after work to find two girls beading bracelets on his living room couch. He could often be comically found sitting curled up in a tiny ball in the middle of all the mess just to watch a tv show. It was also not uncommon for him to walk around barefoot, cursing every 5 seconds at the bead he’d just violently stepped on. Oopsies!
March 15th, 2017
-Little Words now works full time out of our rented office space in Hoboken, NJ. While it may still not be the tidiest workspace, it’s a far cry from where we were.
-Little Words now has four employees and we’re growing by the second! Not only did we add more people to the in-house team, but we also have added a slew of production teams to the bill since last year. We have a manufacturer, a gold-plater, and a castor- all there to help us create each component of our jewelry!
-Little Words has just finished our second successful winter-trade show season! We’ve come back with double the amount of orders (and luckily double the amount of ways for them to be produced).
-Little Words is now in over 400 retailers nationwide. Literally a Little Word can be found from coast-to-coast in excellent boutiques and a few major retailers. We absolutely LOVE working in this industry and welcoming new stores to our family.
-Little Words now has an App that can enable customers to register their bracelets easily and track where they’ve gone. It also doubles as an online community of positivity for girls. What better way to connect with other Nice Girls than directly through an app?
-Personally, Bill and I downsized to a one-bedroom apartment still in Jersey city and my home life is officially separated from my work life. Needless, to say, Bill (and his feet) are much happier with this current arrangement. In fact, some would argue that the new arrangement delighted him so much that he finally decided to ask me to marry him in August of 2016! We are now happily engaged and will be married in October of this year.
Needless to say, plenty has happened to LWP in this past year. Some great and some…not so great. The one thing you never feel prepared for as a business owner is all of the times you’ll screw something up. There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t feel some level of insecurity with this job. Am I a good enough boss? Leader? Customer Service Rep? Sales rep? Production lead? Liaison? Financier? CEO? CFO? CMO? The answer to most of those questions is probably… not quite. But hey, the way I see it? If I am at least better at all of the above than I was last year, this time, then I’m doing something right. Similarly, if you’re feeling down about something- how successful you are, how happy you are, etc.- pick a date each year to reflect on how far you’ve come. Don’t judge yourself against others right now; judge yourself against yourself back then.
So stick with us, girls, something tells me that this time next year? We’ll be better than ever before.