Today, November 25, marks one year of Bundle. And I have feelings about it. Get ready. There may have been a handful of tears shed in the writing of this post and I make no apologies for it.
Technically, I started my Instagram account on October 11, so Bundle has been around on some level for a little more than a year. But a year ago today, I opened up my Etsy shop to the world and became (it still makes me feel weird to put in these terms) a business owner. I remember nervously pulling the trigger sometime that Black Friday morning, and waiting around all day for that delightful "cha-ching" sound to tell me someone had actually bought something from me. I think I made one sale that day, and I'll never forget how happy that first scary, wonderful, validating sale made me feel.
This year has been truly astounding for me. In September, I reached 1,000 sales on Etsy. In October, I passed 10,000 followers on Instagram. And while I do genuinely believe that numbers are just numbers, and that they aren't by any means synonymous with talent or worth, I am nonetheless very, very grateful to the humans behind both of those numbers. It is absolutely surreal that a year has brought Bundle here. I didn't expect it, and honestly I sometimes don't know how to respond to it. But I'm so, so thankful to have had this year with you all.
2017 was full of wonder and stress and growth. I've changed directions, learned new skills, cried over business tax stuff, pushed out of my introvert comfort zone, made things I am proud of, spent countless hours frogging, disappeared into burnout, led conversations, shed tears over discouragement, and laughed over unexpected opportunities. I have met some lovely humans with whom I love to talk shop and life, and who I am hoping to meet at next year's Our Maker Life meet-up in Chicago. I have also lost one of those humans – Kari, who opened up shop right around the time I did and who was my first fiber buddy, passed away in July, and I'll always be grateful for and miss the friendship she showed me. This year, I have worked with yarn companies I adore and have had my words and work published by a handful of organizations I love deeply. I've also encountered competitiveness and ugliness in the community. In short, I've run across challenges and opportunities this year that I genuinely never expected, and I can't stress enough how much that fact makes me feel so, so thankful (and more than a little bewildered – like, how did this happen?).
So... I have feelings about this year. Mostly gratitude, mixed with a little bemusement and wistfulness and sadness and triumph. At some point, I am hoping to synthesize my thoughts about the year into something a little more helpful, because I would like to share some of the things I have learned this year. But for now, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for getting to know me, and for encouraging, supporting, and inspiring me. And thank you for letting me learn from you, be real with you, and share in a little bit of life with you. And if we haven't met yet, say hi! Shoot me a DM on Instagram or leave something in the comments. I genuinely love meeting all the people I can in this community. Because you guys, the people, have been what have made becoming a maker so amazing, exciting, and fulfilling for me. Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for giving me this year. I could not be more grateful.