Thank you for an amazing year! I wanted to take a few moments to share some of the highlight reel - both the highs and the lows.
This was a wild year for not just AOA, but also me personally. For as many successes that we had, we had quite a few challenges as well. Let's start with the good things:
Y'all really showed up and in a BIG way. So many orders and sweet emails. Creatively, 2021 was a big year for me. I tried A LOT of different things - some worked and some did not. But even with the things that were flops, y'all sent me the nicest constructive feedback that really helped me grow as an artist and business owner. And then there were things that I tried that I had really low expectations on and y'all LOVED them - Hello Color Palettes & Herringbone Fabric + Patterns! I love this community.
We also started our wholesale line of the business. This was a labor of love that I had been thinking about for a while. I knew that I wanted to start slowly but surely and we did just that by adding 6 new carefully selected retailers that now carry AOA embroidery kits!
And while we did not have much financial growth compared to 2020 and 2019, I feel proud that we were able to stay the course in an incredibly volatile year.
So that leads me right into the next part - the Challenges...
Supply chain issues and outgoing shipping delays definitely kept us on our toes and dipped into our margins (just like so many of our fellow biz owners). I never want to "in transit, arriving late" shipment status ever again! But a rogue Texas ice storm and then some health issues that required surgery (along with a hefty recovery) also had us pivoting more than any of us expected. And to top it off, we had to deal with more copyright infringement/counterfeiters than we ever had before. I am not telling you this to gain sympathy; but more because I am so proud of how scrappy we were in navigating all of it. We learned some hard lessons and there were many days when I was unsure of things, but we persevered through all of it.
And there is absolutely no way that we could have done any it without YOU! Thank you for being here. Your support, encouragement, orders, likes and comments mean the world to me and I just cannot thank you enough. I have mentioned this before - but it is this group that really kept me going through those hard days.
I'm so excited about this new year... we have so many fun and amazing things happening behind the scenes over here and I am counting down the days until I can share all of it with you. It's gonna be SO GOOD!
And as always, if there is any product ideas or anything else you want to see here in this space next year, I'm all ears! Thank you for being here. Thank you supporting us through thick and thin.
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