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OTHERWORLD has always valued reflection just as much as celebration. So on the eve of OTHERWORLD's first birthday, I took some time to look back at this past year's accomplishments and challenges. While this journey has never been easy, it has been fuIl of joy, creativity and expansive thinking. I am so grateful to the people who first believed in me when OTHERWORLD was simply an idea on paper, and I'm even more thrilled to have a Tribe of amazing supporters who will join me as OTHERWORLD expands into something dazzling.
In an effort to fully embrace this day that marks a year of hard work, smiles, tears, and ambition, I wanted to share our 10 break-through moments:
1. We launched on July 29, 2014 with two retailers on board, and now we have over 50 retailers, ranging from department stores, to resorts and specialty boutiques. We'll even be carried at Neiman Marcus starting in November!
2. We have a global presence - in some of the most upscale cities in the world including Dubai, St. Tropez, Maui, and Tokyo.
3. We've been featured in national publications like Lucky Magazine and Yoga Journal, recorded our first dedicated podcast episode, and been interviewed for countless articles on entrepreneurship.
4. Some of the most influential fashion bloggers like Rocky Barnes, Marissa from Style Cusp and Jess from Prosecco and Plaid have been spotted wearing OTHERWORLD.
5. We've launched two full collections and are about to release our third Fall/Winter 15 collection: East Side Opulence, inspired by the colors and landscapes of Japan and China. It's swoon-worthy.
6. We're expanding into a full apparel line, offering silk dresses, pants, tops and skirts to adorn you on your many adventures.
7. We've worked with some of the most amazing photographers (Adam Rindy!), and models (Kelsey Warman, Natalia Bonifacci and Casey Richards) to bring OTHERWORLD to life.
8. We have over 7,000 beautiful Tribe members across our social media and email channels. We started with zero. WOWZA.
9. We've travelled to some amazing locations this year - climbing mountains, surfing waves, smelling the flowers and photographing it for our custom, photographic prints. Next Up: The Balearic Islands in Spain!
10. Our vision has grown from a fashion company selling scarves and kimonos to a lifestyle brand that values travel, style, wellness and celebration. We've got big plans. Music Break: Nothing's gonna stop us now.
While these moments are hugely rewarding for a solopreneur like myself, there have been many challenging moments and times when I wasn't sure what the future would bring. Here's my three pieces of wisdom for any solopreneurs out there, or folks who are building something they're passionate about:
1. There are no overnight successes. Be prepared to work really hard for a long time without anyone noticing. Remember that it's truly about the Tribe of people you're bringing together, and keep working hard to provide them with something meaningful, useful and hopeful. If you keep at it, someone, someday, will notice.
2. Make sure you're spending a majority of your time 'outside the box'. Think of your business or project as a box: all the internal operations, emails, strategies and product development are within the box, and everything related to sales, customer engagement, partnerships, press, social media and external outreach lies outside the box. Spend the majority of your time 'outside the box'. You can have a great idea, but if you're not putting it out into the world on a daily basis, it can fall flat. (My bro-in-law first told me this and it stuck!)
3. Don't let the success of your business or passion project come at the expense of your self care. Get rest, exercise, carve out time to be creative and take mini-vacations. Time away from work can be just as useful as time spent doing the work.
So what's on tap for year two? Well, my passion for OTHERWORLD and what it stands for - beyond beautiful scarves & kimonos - is still strong and is the thing that makes me want to keep building. Travel, wellness, celebration and self-expression have always been the key pillars supporting the OTHERWORLD brand. And after a year of expanding the line, perfecting the product and getting customer feedback, I can say that these values still hold strong and will continue to be part of every offering. We're releasing a full apparel line for SS16, partnering with some big retailers and hope to meet more of you in person as we wander this globe with purpose.
This adventure is glorious with all of you on board. We hope you'll join us for another grand tour around the sun.
Happy First Birthday, OTHERWORLD.
Let's CELEBRATE! Jam to the birthday playlist here.