I say it every year: I love reflecting back at New Years. It amazes me how much can happen/change in 12 months. I've been looking through photos this morning, gathering them for this blog post and it made me realise how sometimes we don't see how significant a moment in time is until it has gone.
There have been a number of moments like that this year and it's only now looking back that I see the full weight of them. As a self-confessed workaholic I thrive off the adrenaline rush powered by my passion. I genuinely love what I do and caught up in the day-to-day business those moments can pass me. Looking back today I'm so grateful and beyond happy for all the support we receive from our community locally and online. Sewing a label, running an online shop AND a bricks & mortar store and travelling with our market stall is all-consuming and challenging, yet so rewarding. However I'm not afraid to say that I'm proud of myself and how bloody hard I've worked to get Frankie & Dandelion where it is. I can tell you that this doesn't all happen without a strong work ethic.
This year has been challenging in some aspects. From the outside in it might look like owning a business is the perfect way to balance work with motherhood, flexible hours, fun, etc. It is fun. It is handy to move my hours when I'm needed as "Mum". However there is another side that people don't see. There is late nights, there is weekend work, there are no paid holidays and to this day I have never paid myself a steady wage from Frankie & Dandelion. Instead choosing to reinvest everything back into growing it the best we can. Michael and I used all our savings to start this and for the last few years have lived only off his apprenticeship wage. It hasn't been easy. But I wouldn't change it. It's this sacrifice that fuels my passion and makes me determined. It's this which keeps me honest and choosing to run my business with integrity and originality. Both of these things have been challenged and threatened at times this year by others on the outside. I am proud of myself for the way I have run Frankie & Dandelion and I'm not shy to admit that.
Special mention must go to my Mum and sister. These two women help me weekly in store, with Flynn, you name it and they are there. There aren't enough words to do justice to my appreciation for them both.
We began 2017 with 7,000 followers on Facebook and we are finishing with over 12,000 of you guys! We celebrated our 3rd year of F&D and 1st year in our bricks & mortar shopfront. We were shared around the online community by both Mamamia and Sophie Cachia. We visited Sydney and sourced some new brands for our stores. I was a guest speaker at the Riverland Young Professionals Mixer, to the Probus Ladies in Loxton, spoke on Magic 93.1 for International Women's Day and was interviewed by ABC Riverland radio. We made the top 15 finalists in the South Australian Regional Showcase. In a year where I said I would temporarily pull back on our market stalls (to allow myself time to settle into the shopfront) I actually ended up travelling 3 times with our biggest Travelling Market Store yet. Those rural areas are honestly some of my favourite places to visit! Listing all this might sound like a brag (and I don't want to come across as a wanker) but it's not until listing all these here that I fully am hit by the gravity of what I've achieved.
At the same time as all of this, having a young son and being a wife can be hard to juggle. Flynn has changed before my eyes. At times I am crippled with guilt over not being available more often to him. His battle with eczema can be challenging at times however he has come leaps and bounds. Flourished into a young boy ready to take on kindy in the new year. To see him comfortable, healthy and happy is all I could ever want as a Mum.
Being not only husband & wife but business partners too can bring its own set of challenges. I'd be lying if I said it was easy and things were lovely all the time. We get tired, frustrated and stressed. Sometimes those things can equate to snappy little comments at each other. However at the end of the day there is no one else I'd rather do this with. Michael supports me like no other and to know that he has my back 200% brings a sense of security that anchors me in all my in insecurities and worries. He is incredibly hard working (even more so than me). There is no hiding in our relationship, we see the beautiful and ugly sides to each other. However through it all I finish this year loving him more than ever and being the most proud of who he is.
And so just like that we come to another new year. I could say "stay tuned, bigger and more exciting things are coming!". However in all honesty I have everything I could possibly want right now. All I hope for 2018 is that Frankie & Dandelion can keep bringing you all the consistent services I am forever working so hard for.
Thank you is never adequate enough in this moment but I truly am so grateful.