I have been wanting to hit the publish button on this post, since pretty much the 1st day of Jan. But every time I tried doing that, the giant beast named "Procrastinate" would surface from somewhere and I would have to line this up for another time. But I am so happy to at last share this with you all!
This is a list of all things I experienced with Barn & Willow in 2014 and all things I am looking forward to in 2015.
When I was done putting together the list of things that I had experienced as an Entrepreneur in 2014, I realized it could literally be put into 3 buckets: The GOOD, THE BAD and THE UGLY.
Image found on fineartstheatreplace.com
Let's start with THE GOOD:
1. Barn & Willow: May 23, 2014. We launched our official site. Months of research, factory visits, fabric selections, beta testing and sleepless nights went LIVE on that date. The best day of 2014 for me personally
2. Tons of learnings: Learnings that I might have never had if I would have continued with my awesomely comfortable product role at the tech company I worked for. Starting from becoming a DIY for a lot of things, learning to work without a salary and accepting the pros and cons of that, to truly putting on several hats and acquiring new tastes and ways of getting things done. It's a re-birth to some extent.
3. Got to know 100 NEW people: I got to interact, know and meet several new people - my customers from across the nation, new mentors, my advisors and my engineers who work with me. Every single connection I made in 2014 was something I wouldn't have received without Barn & Willow
4. Dining table conversations: Given that I have been working at a tech company in silicon valley, it is quite obvious that most of the dining table conversations we would have with friends are around which startup got funded, what's on techcrunch, what did some techie say...and may be some sports, entertainment and other stuff. I guess if you know the silicon valley culture you know what am talking about. But for the past 6 months, that really didn't happen much and all that we talked about 80% of the time is Barn & Willow, how did it happen, what's next..so on.
Silver Lining for me: I got to practice my pitch again and again and got some key insights into people's perception of brands. Hence, this qualifies for my GOOD list. :)
5. Last but not the least: THANKS to a ton of editors and writers who found us out and featured us in their articles.
We LOVED to be featured by them and discovered by their readers/followers.
Here are the ones I personally liked a lot
Remodelista: Belgian Linen Week (by Megan Wilson - https://twitter.com/@ancind): Read the full article
LonnyMag: 2014's Biggest Trends (by Catherine Dash http://instagram.com/catdash) . Read the full article
CMagazine - Material-istic (by Melissa Goldstein and Catherine Elseworth). Read the full article
The BAD and THE UGLY:
1. Underestimating CHALLENGES: Starting a business is tough, I knew that. But what i did not know is that it is the tough-EST. Literally the most trivial things start turning out to be the most challenging thing you could have expected. I remember the first few months we would go from one FedEx kinkos to the other at midnight to try to print out some of our Barn & Willow branded things. Things obviously can be easier if you have unlimited budget. Otherwise, be ready to welcome the unknows.
2. Not getting to talk to family often - Definitely an Ugly part of starting your own business. Sacrifice a few comfort talks you would have every week with your mom-dad.
That's All...no more looking back, especially when I have some awesome, well crafted plans for 2015
My LOOK-AHEAD list for 2015:
Image found on brabbu.com
1. Maison & Objet: I am personally looking forward to a few big home fashion conferences in Europe. I will be meeting tons of manufacturers, designers and artists whom we plan to connect with to explore their fabrics, quality and processes. Lots of interesting stories on Instagram will start showing up on our Instagram page (@barnandwillow) once we are at the show. Stay tuned.
2. 2015 Collection: Fab, exclusive collections are in the pipelines for our 2015 releases. Once again...Keep Calm & Stay Hungry..We're at work :)
3. Meet someone new everyday: Yes I guess Mark Zuckerberg had that resolution in 2013, but I liked it a lot and that's what I am aiming to do this year. Meet someone new every day (you got it right, I probably would land up with 365 new friends at the end of 2015)
That's it for now....