Before starting to work out my plans for the New Year, I wanted to look back at Last Year. Thinking about what went well, what could I do different, what was there to celebrate…highs, lows, of course it was all there!
My initial feeling when looking back at 2016 is that I didn’t complete what I had in mind for 2016. So to a certain extent feeling a sense of disappointment. For example, I wasn’t able to have all the patterns translated to English, nor did I upgrade all the patterns to the Plus Collection yet. Therefore, we haven’t been able to expand the business overseas, reaching more and more sewists all over the world. Sigh.
Thinking about 2016 I re-read my ‘planning, wishing and prioritizing’- post which I wrote just before the year started (still in Dutch then) . Reading my plans and where I was then, I realized that we actually did make really big steps this past year. Just to name a few:
- Translating the website to English
- Adding the first two Plus Patterns ( Amber+ and Brooke+) to the Collection
- Offering all our patterns in digital format (pdf) as well.
- Businesswise we made some major re-organization changes. A big change for me and our stockists was that we now only sell digital patterns via our website. Giving the exclusive right of selling printed patterns to our Stockists. On top of this our selling price was reduced to €16,-
- As planned we launched two new patterns at the end of 2016! Our first separates, a blouse Elise and a skirt Frida. Offering them as a digital pattern-Set as well!
- And throughout the year we brought a variety of inspiration to our sewists like: sewing a circle skirt from a table cloth, adding a cap sleeve to the Charlie dress, offering a gusset-free Amber sleeve and building the Tips & Tricks page with helpful tutorials and free downloads.
So there are some big – big – changes that were accomplished this past year! Changes that helped Rosie & Me in the direction that we needed to be in. You would think that achieving the above, should be something to celebrate!
Now where is this feeling of unsatisfaction come from? Could it be that I have a tendency to plan too much in a too short of time? Or perhaps I underestimate the time projects require? Or I like to believe that I can work 40+ hours a week, raise two little girls, keeping everyone well fed, a clean house, and that no one ever gets sick while caring for a happy old dog and Oh wait, still have some time left over for my loved one as well?…. (Now, in reality he isn’t always last on the list)
I have to admit, that it really is ALL of the above.
Yes, planning is sometimes difficult and overestimating the hours I have is easy! It all comes from wishing and dreaming big plans for Rosie & Me. Which shouldn’t change! That’s how this small pattern company got to be where it is now.
But this Year’s resolutions are: Dream Big as the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams, but Plan Realistic!
That being said, I should make realistic Plans, right? Ok, here we go!
- The first English patterns (Brooke & Brooke+) were already available as digital patterns. Starting next week, they will also be available in a printed version! In the Netherlands these can be purchased at Naaipatronen.nl and in Belgium at Het Stoffenhuis.
- Three patterns will be added to the Plus Collection: Charlie (including a cap sleeve), Elise and Frida.
- Translation: Following the Brooke, there are 9 more patterns to be translated to English (including the three Plus patterns mentioned above). Realizing we are all short on time, we have parked the translating activity by an agency. We are really grateful for this help! However, translating sewing terms and metric conversions is a specialty on its own and I realize we will need to consider some ‘in house finalizing’ as well.
- After the above is checked off, we will focus on extending our business overseas. Yahoo!
- Marketing! Running a small pattern company, you need to wear many hats. Some fit better than others. I know marketing is important for business success, but it has always seem foreign to me. So far we have done a great job without spending anything on marketing. But to be able to grow, I need to take this a bit more serious.
- Throughout the year we will continue to share fun things like: Sewing inspiration, great giveaways, gift package designs, along with a few product-surprises as well. This and much more will be shared throughout the year via our Newsletters and the FB page.
- Like this isn’t enough to work on, I just can’t help adding an additional new pattern to our collection. Don’t start jumping up and down yet! Remember, planning should be realistic!
Now let’s hope, that when I re-read this post at the beginning of next year, overlooking everything we’ve done, I will experience the luxury of revewing a year which accompanied a good old fashioned down to earth balance of ambition and expectations. Opening an additional year of vintage inspired patterns, I am excited about 2017 and hope you are too!
Wishing everyone a Happy, Creative, Inspiring but above all Healthy 2017.