Before you start any journey, in most cases you have a basic idea of what to pack, where you’re headed, and what’s on the agenda. But most who travel also know that what you experience and learn are very rarely aligned with what you’d imagined. No one tells you that for every encounter or view that melts your heart or awakens your senses, there is likely a few skipped heartbeats, near panic, and unsettling feelings of “I’m so lost.”
I’d say that starting a business is no different. You can certainly prepare a basic outline of what you think will happen, but there are, simply put, more thoughts/tasks/realities than you can prepare for. Just like any good trip, there are many moments of skipped heartbeats, near panic (full on panic), and dozens of moments of “I’m so lost.” But also like any good trip, there are clues and maps and people and moments that guide you and remind you how to get back on track and how to savor the experience for what it is. We learn and grow.
I’ve learned a lot about retail - things that many of you have helped me to understand, including the numbers and timelines that I should be paying attention to, as well as products and categories that you care about, and those you don’t. I’ve learned a lot about community, both the importance of it from a personal, emotional sense and from a larger, topic-based sense. I’ve learned so much about myself, working through fear, uncertainty, risk, to find joy and appreciation for every growth moment and success, regardless of the size.
So over the course of 2017 there were a few shifts:
In retail offerings - developing gear that feels more true to lake culture and the people who are as or more obsessed with it than I am.
A revamp of the website to connect us back to each other, to elevate the contributors who share their stories, and to make it easy to find/do what you want when you land on the site, all while highlighting the natural beauty and inspiration of the lake VIEWS we all love.
In the general goal and direction of the brand - coming back home to this: “inspiration, connection, adventure, and enjoying the present moment are available when we slow down and live with intention. The lake teaches us this over and over when we take the time to tune in.”
They say that your dreams aren’t going to happen until you speak them into existence, so here we go friends. In 2018, aka year two of business, we’re going places, quite literally. While the actual execution is still very much in infant stages, trips and retreats are on the roadmap and I’m excited to work with you and for you to create options that feel fun, exciting, and practical. Join the CREW to share your thoughts or comment below with where you want to go, what you want to do/see, or what you need help with when you’re planning lake travel.
In 2018 we’re also:
Growing the team - we’re hiring a few contractors to support our operations and dreams. We’re also building our affiliate program and can’t wait to work with influencers in the lake-space.
Moving out of my apartment-based storeroom. My apartment REALLY thanks me for this one.
Getting product into more retail shops across lake-towns. One thing we hear over and over again is that “you should get your stuff in xyz shop.” People want to touch and try on. We get it. Know a lake town or shop that needs our gear? Comment below or email and let us know. There might just be a little kickback in it for you...
Personally: Making time for MORE lake life. To be straight with you, in all the hustle and bustle and expense of year one, it was hard to also prioritize lake time - whether in my home of Milwaukee, the family cottage in Three Lakes, or with new explorations. I did what I could, but the heart of this space is adventure and lake culture, so it’s crucial for me to bring MORE of that into my own life to make sure I too reap the benefits of time by the water.
So cheers to you, and cheers to 2018 being a year of:
Adventure. Connection. Gear to Celebrate the Lake Life.