The beginning of the year is an excellent time for reflection – for looking back on what went well in the year that has just passed, and looking forward onto the year ahead and the intentions you hope to practice; the goals you hope to achieve.
For our first blog of 2019, I would like to share some of my own personal reflections with you. I’d like to share some of my proudest accomplishments from 2018, and also some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned as a business owner and artist. I believe that it is important to celebrate each other, but that is also important to pay it forward. I hope you join me in a big ‘WAHOO!’ for all the ways that 2018 was great, all the ways it was challenging, and all the obstacles I overcame. And I hope the many lessons I learned in this past year are helpful to you.
So let’s start this reflection blog off with the past.
Looking back on 2018, here are my accomplishments, lessons learned, and proudest/ most exciting moments.
1. So Much Travelling!
I started the year off with a personal and rejuvenating trip to New Zealand. Here are some of my favourite experiences from that trip (included in this list, is our trip to Hobbiton!). It was a perfect start to was big year of travelling. I am very grateful.
Although that first trip was for pleasure, most of the travelling I did this year was professional. One of my goals for last year, was to branch out and do more markets outside of BC. I was true to my word, and this year have participated in markets in Winnipeg, Seattle, Saskatoon and Calgary. I’ve had so much fun. Check out this blog post, on why I love doing markets as an artisan.
2. Ella Joined My Family!
Near the beginning of 2018, my partner and I welcomed a brand new addition to our family. Ella is a 8 1/2-year-old mix breed rescue dog that we adopted from the SPCA. She has been loving her new life and daily explorations in nature, which is good because we’ve been taking her out to explore a lot this year. One of my intentions for last year was balance, and Ella has definitely been helping me to respect that intention. She makes sure I step out of work mode and go for a nice rejuvenating walk several times a day, every day (or almost daily, obviously my partner helps too).
She’s also been joining me at some of my outdoor markets, and I’ve enjoyed her company. Perhaps you’ve met her. If not, I set up an Instagram account for her, to share some of her cutest candid (mostly) shots… although of course, I’m biased. Find her on Instagram: @thegreat_elladog.
3. I Designed a New Jewelry Collection
Although my priority last year was business growth, I also found the time (and the inspiration) to design a brand new collection of pieces to add to the Devi Catalogue. Last year, I only shared one piece from this series. I unveiled my new Sterling Silver Flower Power Aquamarine Earrings in March.
The base of each flower stud is made up of a simple hand-textured and domed disk. I’ve then shaped the edges to look like petals with a careful process of cutting and sawing. An ethically cut stone is then placed in the centre (learn more about where I get my materials) before the whole piece is polished until it shines. Find out more about what inspired this piece, in this Inside the Devi Arts feature.
But there’s more you haven’t seen yet!
Those Flower Power earrings do not stand on their own. I also designed two more pairs of earrings and a necklace, which will be officially unveiled at the New York Now Wholesale Market February 3rd-6th.
That market is geared towards wholesalers, but you can join us for the big reveal by following us on Instagram (@DeviCollective). I’m excited to share the collection with you!
4. Calli Or, My Retail Space Launched
This has been a long time in the making, and was definitely one of the highlights of last year. Although my work is accessible online through the Devi Catalogue, at a growing list of retail shops around Canada, and in person at the various Markets I attend, I’d been wanting a more personal space to share my work – a quiet and intimate space where I could share my designs one-on-one with interested customers. Making connections within my community is such a large part of what excites me about being a designer.
Then, the first floor of the studio I share with two other artisans became available and we decided to make a bold move. Together, we rented the whole space and spent a good chunk of last year converting it into what would become Calli Or – our Retail Showroom.
Would you like visit our showroom? I would love to meet you! To stop by, all you need to do is book an appointment by emailing us at email@example.com
5. I Prioritized Self-Care and Family Time
One of my proudest personal victories of 2018, was that I truly prioritized my family and self-care. This was something I really struggled with in the early stages of growing my business (which I think is pretty understandable), but this year I made ‘balance’ my goal and set an intention to practice a work-life balance that felt good.
I took full advantage of the summer months and explored these beautiful spots around BC, I read some fantastic books, and laughed along with the characters of some of my favourite television shows. I plan to carry this same intention intention into the year ahead.
Lessons Learned in 2018
‘Trust’ was a big word for me last year. In 2018, I really learned how to trust in my ability and to respect my gut instinct. This is my business, which means all of the strategy and logistic decisions are up to me and the way to make those decisions has so much variance. Sometimes the right direction is crystal clear, but sometimes you have to rely on your intuition and trust in the universe. Sometimes you just have to make an educated leap, and trust your skillset will support you. This isn’t the first time I learned this lesson, but I think I may finally be starting to internalize the learning. This feels good.
This year I also learned to be a little easier on myself. Of course I want to get everything right the first time, but that’s not always realistic. So much of growing a business is learning as you go, and part of that is making mistakes and being okay with that. In that same vein, I’ve also been learning to take a moment to celebrate my successes as they happen. This is incredibly important. We really don’t celebrate ourselves enough, and we should.
Looking forward on 2019, these are some of my intentions and goals.
The Devi Arts Collective has come a long way since I started it in 2014, and I’m excited for what 2019 will have in store. This year, I hope to get even better at that work/life balance, and further explore my own personal development.
This year, I’m prioritizing creativity. I will be working to grow my skill set as a designer, and hope to create some exciting new pieces. I would also like to start giving back to my community. What that looks like is still in the dreaming process, but updates on those dreams will be shared in the next few months. Stay tuned.
To my community: thank you again for all the ways you made 2018 spectacular. None of this would be possible without you.
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