Hi y'all, come on up, grab some sweet tea over there and let's swing awhile...
Happy 1st birthday to CaliRae's! It is hard to capture all that has happened during this 1st year of business- but we have been blessed by the journey. A year ago, we launched this store with a few products, a lot of thankful, grateful and blessed attitude and a desire for success no matter what.
God allowed us to kick some fear in the teeth, climb some personal mountains, discover incredible resources, obtain a powerful business coach and mentor, make wonderful new friends, go to a life-changing conference for business, share this business with thousands daily through social media channels, learn new processes, figure out some strategic puzzles, master new tools, be a part of an amazing accountability group, teach and encourage others on a similar journey and mostly He allowed time with our Mom.
We started this business when we did to allow her to be a part of something different and to focus her mind on something other than her health. We were pretty sure her journey would not be long and we were correct- Mom passed in January of this year but she was here for the formation, the excitement of creating CaliRae's, the joining of the coaching group, making the first product, shipping the first product, countless deliveries for supplies and the anticipation of what we were going to make next, lots and lots of brainstorming sessions, so much laughter and silly stories as well as some tears of joy when we heard the first "cha-ching" that meant we had received an order. She participated in one of our first craft shows at our church and was so proud of what we had accomplished in a short amount of time. She cheered for us every day and prayed continuously for God to bless our efforts. She knew when she was having sleepless nights, I was either by her side or listening for her on the monitor while I was cranking things out during what we called "power hours". She often wanted to just be in the work areas with me just to watch. If she felt like it, I could always find something important for her to do, like sort Scrabble tiles or count out beads or she loved to measure things. While her dexterity had begun to wane, her wit was sharp and her mind was fun and filled with so many ideas of what we could do next.
We got through the holidays with lots of business talk and chatter, some sales, but we sort of paused things a little during this time. Mom was tired, we were tired and we really wanted to be in the moment with her. We had a great Christmas with all of the family in town and in her house at the same time and she enjoyed every minute of it and every member of the family. We kept things on pause a little, but were still processing orders here and there through January. We had her birthday on January 3 and had a little family party for her and over the next week or so, she and I talked about the conference coming up in March, new products, how to grow, new focus, new year, etc.- I was ready, I had my pouch full of lots of new things to conquer. Her work was complete- we had done it- all the groundwork was laid and in place. God took her home on the 26th of January and while I miss her terribly, I have not stopped implementing her ideas and thoughts as if she were still here. The conference in March was amazing and life-changing in many ways and I came home with my heart full and my brain overflowing. I quickly got to work on all of the things we learned and continued to dive deep into the online group and the journey is just opening more and more each day. God had a plan then and continues to guide and direct now.
So, while we are almost on the eve of the 1st birthday, we have paused to soak it all in- business is coming along nicely, we are finding our new without mom, we are grieving and missing her, but find comfort that she is not suffering and we know for certain she is celebrating her new life in heaven. Building this business with her was indeed a blessing and while filled with challenges and obstacles- the navigation and journey was priceless.
We are truly thankful and blessed to have each of you as customers and friends and most importantly part of the CaliRae's family. We are working on some new product ideas and still love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Small business is tricky, hand-made and hand-crafted is tricky and we are continuing to find our various audiences on the different products. Nonetheless, we are up for the challenges and we are ready for the rest of 2019. We are ready to actively participate in the 4th quarter this year in the magical land of e-commerce and pray that God richly blesses these next few months.
Happy Birthday CaliRae's! Here's to more successes and more adventure...
Thanks for swinging with us, come back when you can stay longer...
Cali and the Crew