The end of October marked our first official year of being in business! We've been meaning to write a blog post about it, trying to think about what wise words we have to say about what we've learned and where we're headed and we decided that we were over thinking it all and we should just write whatever comes to mind about 2012.
This first year, unsurprisingly, was a huge learning experience - we like to joke about all the job titles we currently hold that we could write on our imaginary resumes. Matt's: Chief IT Executive, Maintenance and Facilities Crew Chief, Executive Printer, Customer Service Liaison. Jennie's: Head of Marketing, Stockist, Typesetter Extraordinaire, Creative Director. We never thought we'd be juggling quite so many different skill sets at once. It's taken some getting used to, but we're on our way to balancing out all of thoe required jobs-within-our-jobs (even if, someday, we'd like to knock a few titles off those lists).
Our first year didn't just bring a whole bunch of new work roles to us, it also brought lots of new products, supplies, and designs. The plans we had when starting out were completely changed in very little time - but we feel lucky, because it didn't take us very long to figure out our niche. Since then, we've been constantly experimenting and expanding our shop's options. When we opened, we had ten fonts - five of which we've since sold on Ebay because they weren't really our style. Now, we have 44 fonts. When we opened, our studio space was about 10 square feet - now it's more like 150. When we opened, we had five sets of stationery. Now, we have 61 with more on the way.
Basically - it's been a whirlwind, crazy year. We really had no idea what to expect, starting out - whether our products would be well-received, whether we'd be able to support ourselves solely through our new business, whether we could do everything out of our small apartment, whether we'd even enjoy working for ourselves. We did start out with a slightly naive sense of optimism, though, which seems like it was a necessary component of doing something like this.
We're still optimistic a year later (though we like to think we're not quite as naive) and we're excited about what's coming next. As we've solidified our focus more, we've seen more opportunities to do more of the things we enjoy. It's kind of like we've moved from making wild motions all over the place to doing a (semi) choreographed dance routine. Like going from primordial ooze to, say...single-celled organisms. It's been a year-long step forward, out of chaos and into something slightly more orderly.
In the end, we'd like to thank everyone who's supported us in this first year - friends, family, and (of course) our customers. We couldn't have done it without all of you!