Adios, 2020. You are a year most of us will never forget for many reasons.
I want this reflection to focus on the experiences I had in 2020 that centered around The Dessert Pantry and it’s shift away from what I have always done, and the new path forged halfway through 2020. The year was full of business risks, especially since I had purposely stepped away (disappeared really) for almost two years to focus on my family. I entered back into the social media world as a long lost friend – some memories remained but so many had moved on that it felt as if I had been forgotten. New cookie techniques were developed. New cake designs had taken hold. And suddenly I found myself struggling to find my place in a world that I thought I had a good foundation in.
The first part of 2020 was me trying to jump right back in and expecting things to pick up exactly as I left them. Well, social media (Instagram in particular) has become very rigid these last few years, and it is not the same platform it was when I first jumped in back in 2015. But rather than rant about my frustrations with social media, I will simply leave it as this – I was suddenly invisible, and with no clue how to make myself visible again.
Aside from trying to navigate through this new social media storm I found myself in, I did find success early in 2020 with corporate orders. My primary focus in the beginning of 2020 was to really dedicate my efforts to growing my business in supplying corporate dessert orders. And I was becoming good at it. In March I was lucky enough to land another fun gig with fashion brand Alice + Olivia, and had also just scored an exciting opportunity with Pinterest. It was exactly what I hoped for, and could not wait to jump in head first on these wonderful projects.
And then the world stopped as COVID-19 infested and ravaged our world.
I suddenly found myself back at square one with no clue what to do next. Pushing forward to try and still supply custom dessert orders seemed irresponsible to me at the time. I did not want to jeopardize anyone’s health, or put my own health or that of my family at risk. So I made the decision to not take custom orders for the foreseeable future. But instead of this decision sidelining me, it actually brought up some other projects I had been working on slowly but did not prioritize previously.
Enter The Dessert Pantry Shop.
Back in 2019 I had the grand idea to begin designing cookie cutters to manufacturer and sell. I purchased an iPad Pro (my FAVORITE tool!), and began to piece together what I could potentially offer. Purchased a website, although I didn’t do much with it at the time. And the shop idea stayed in the background for months. But in the Spring of 2020, I figured this might be a great time to move that up on the priority list and just see what can be done with it.
The shop was a huge learning curve. I probably had more mishaps than successes, but those mishaps taught me quite a bit in a short period of time. Overall I was able to understand what I could offer that was unique and competitive in the market, but also where I lacked any competitive edge. It is not easy to step back and admit what you are essentially not good at, but also imperative to do just that so you can learn and grow from it. I was lucky in that I had friends in the same industry that helped enlighten me on their own trial and errors. Not for me to learn from their mistakes, but for me to understand that I would make my own mistakes. And in order to be successful I had to identify and understand those mistakes, learn from them, and ultimately move past them.
In retrospect I am grateful for the trial and errors 2020 brought to me from the business side of things. I am also very grateful for all those who have encouraged and supported me through this entire endeavor. My husband especially because he has only been a positive force the last 8 months even though the shop is slowly but surely invading his personal man space (the garage). I truly could not have done this without him.
I am nervous but very excited for the new projects I am currently dreaming up for 2021. It does include expanding the shop, but not as you have yet seen it. I will have a new blog post on just what those 2021 dreams consist of (stay tuned!).
Thank you all for reading this far, but most of all, for following me on my journey. Whether you have been with me since day one in 2015, or just recently begun to follow along, your support truly means so much to me. Thank you all so very much, and I wish you a wonderful new year.