I’m ready for a new year. There’s a lot from 2012 that I’m gonna be leaving in 2012, and a lot of positivity, good, new friends, and better vibes I’ll be taking with me. Gotta say that at face value this was not my favorite year, but when I think more about the place I’m in now compared to where I was this time last year, I’ll never regret going through it to come out on this side. My biggest accomplishments in 2012 were that I stopped taking myself so seriously, I helped lay the groundwork for a sustainable business that I’m having a lot of fun growing, I fell more in love with my husband and became more in awe of my daughter, and became a lot more confident, cool, and collected. Business was good, but the theme in 2012 was more about personal growth. In 2012 I stopped regarding all other women as competition, I questioned a lot of my judgments and defensiveness, and I think I became a better listener, though I’ll always have room to improve with that.
Learning. Humble. Awareness. Honesty. Joy.
I wrote these words on an index card at the end of 2011 and taped it to my computer monitor to sort of set the intention of my thoughts and goals for this past year. I feel like those words definitely describe the place I ended up. That year is done! Here’s where I’ve been.
Family vacation to Phoenix. It was Alice’s first plane ride and she began talking for the first time mid-air. It was so strange and memorable. The words poured forth. We hosted a monthly craft night at CAMP with Inez Gill where I met a lot of other creative, badass young women in Omaha. I got to meet Robert S. Porter who I’ve talked to online for years as he was passing through Omaha. CAMP hosted Cornstalks, a monthly speaking series from the Chamber of Commerce that features honest talks from a local entrepreneurs. I taught a class about embroidery at the Kent Bellows Institute. I got my hands on a signed first edition of Art Bell’s autobiography.
I got a perm (my first big hair ordeal ever), which only lasted about two weeks until my stick-straight hair feel back into its familiar shape. My good friend Gabe moved to San Francisco to chase his startup dreams, I think. I spoke on a panel about blogging for the American Marketing Association Lincoln chapter. CAMP hosted a Valentine’s Day party for Omahype (Whitney Houston died that day so it turned into a Whitney dance party). I did the morning keynote at Meet the Pros at the Mid-America Center about Collaboration in Design. We did a huge photoshoot for the Lovestruck Event with The Mullers with three lovely and amazing models. I started Hello Holiday with my partner Sarah. Lots of elbow-rubbing and lunch-having this month. This is also the month I realized I needed to close CAMP, and I spent every second until we finally did close trying to delay, avoid, or save it.
In March, Sarah and I did our first Hello Holiday pitch to an investor and failed so f-ing hard. Obviously learned a lot from that experience, that goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. I joined the board of the Friends of the Nebraska AIDS Project. I was featured as a guest blogger for WHITE Magazine in Australia. Sarah and I went to Dallas as guests of Mondo Guerra for the Project Runway All-Stars finale, and I am still starstruck. We also stayed in Denver with Anna Newell Jones of And Then We Saved, one of my favorite blogs eva. I did a talk at the University of Nebraska-Omaha about new media and blogging. I showed my final clothing collection, sewn completely in-house, at Omaha Fashion Week.
I spoke to the Omaha Business Women’s Network about loving your job. Sarah and I signed papers making Hello Holiday LLC an official company. I did a goth/ebm dance DJ set at Loom. I led a networking session at Infotec, a tech conference here in Omaha. Spoke on a panel at the Unviersity of Nebraska-Omaha about marketing. Sarah, Alice, and I went to a horse jumping show.
May began with a trip to New York City with Kat and Gala who are also bloggers and we had a lot to share about our different experiences and goals in this industry. It was exciting and memorable to spend a week with them in NYC talking about our motivations and methods. I also met with my friend Chris Guillebeau there which was serendipitous. Big Omaha, the best conference in the world, kicked off on May 9th, my birthday, and those were three days of tech/creative/entrepreneurship gold. Alice and I shared our birthday, turning two and 26 respectively, and celebrated with a moon-themed party. I spoke on a panel at Loom about being an artist and a mother. I gave Alice her first haircut. Sarah and I had a gigantic joint garage sale to fund our first trip to market, having miserably failed all of our investor pitches thus far, and we raised over twice as much as we needed. A local network of rad women made me stop loathing women and myself. I spoke to the American Sewing Guild about starting a business from a creative hobby. CAMP closed.
Sarah and I went to Dallas for our first Hello Holiday buying trip. I played golf for business purposes and won an award for longest putt. I went to the Olympic swim trials. Spent a lot of time with my family.
Meeting Tavi, Anaheed, Petra, Hazel, and the other girls from Rookie Magazine was the coolest thing. They were also impressed and delighted by my toddler which made my f-ing year. That week, I went to the World Domination Summit in Portland thanks to Chris Guillebeau and had the time of my life on a trip by myself. The conference was fantastic and I bonded deeply with a group of hellraising Portland women I stayed with. I taught another Girls, Inc. class. Sarah and I went on vacation to Lake Okoboji. Alice got accepted to Dundee Montessori preschool early and I lost my mind with happiness. I donated my vagina to science and “modeled” for pap smear examinations at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (for the second time, it pays super well). Met a lot of friends for wine and dinner this month.
Sweet Dave turned 35. Alice had her first day of preschool. Sarah and I went to MAGIC in Las Vegas, the hugest apparel trade show in the world. I saw the founder of ModCloth and felt starstruck. We also hosted a VIP runway party at Omaha Fashion Week. I got a housekeeper. I went to the first-annual Silicon Prairie News Awards which is easily one of my new favorite yearly events that I will look forward to forever. I had some encouraging and gracious phone calls from tech and entrepreneurship leaders I’ve looked up to for a long time regarding our goals with Hello Holiday. I was featured in Kari Chapin’s book Grow Your Handmade Business.
I co-produced the fifth annual Barcamp Omaha conference. We did our first big Hello Holiday photoshoot in preparation for the site launch. I bought two dresses and they’re all I’ve worn since. I hosted Chris Guillebeau in Omaha for a book launch party, celebrating The $100 Startup, his second book, featuring me! I spoke to a class at the University of Nebraska-Omaha about blogging and journalism, transparency, etc. Lovestruck Omaha, the unconventional bridal event I helped organize, had its first annual event.
On October 1, Hello-Holiday.com launched. We popped champagne and friends came calling with dozens of donuts. Then the work started. I was a guest on Psychic Suzanna’s radio show. Dave and I were featured this month in Omahype’s cat calendar. Alice was a pirate for Halloween. I spoke to business students at UNO CEO. I moved into our new offices. I applied for Y Combinator and TechStars. I got a massage.
Sarah and I did a bomb-ass interview for the Omaha World Herald. We also spoke at the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City about how Hello Holiday is innovating fashion manufacturing. I met my first book deadline on the 15th and spoke at UNO again about something I don’t even remember. The 15th was a big day–I spoke somewhere, it was Sarah’s birthday, I had my book deadline, and the Y Combinator announcements were made (we didn’t get in). I got followed for a “day in the life” photoshoot for Move LifeStyle. Did an awesome interview with The Big Plate. In one week, I did interviews about Hello Holiday with every tv station in Omaha. Did another presentation about Hello Holiday at the Peter Kiewit Institute at UNO, trolling for a technical employee.
December was Radvent. December is always about Radvent. This year’s December was a blissfully slow month. I went to the Gallup EAS Summit to see the progress of some of the region’s most promising companies after a year in Gallup’s entrepreneurship incubator. I was featured in FOLK Magazine. We hosted Hello Holiday’s first pop-up shop at Omahype’s annual Christmas party. In the last two weeks of December, my entire family drove together in an RV from Omaha to Boca Raton, Florida to spend the holidays with my grandparents. Alice saw the beach for the first time.
Grateful. Thank you. More, please.