2023 Round Up
2022 was a tough year for me. Lots of stress. Lots of gains (including 20 pounds of stress induced weight). Lots of losses. Lots of blessings. I ended 2022 preparing to take off of work, starting January 2023, for at least 3 months to allow myself time to recover from my "Mommy Makeover". In theory, it made sense to schedule the surgery in January, which is historically a slower season for retail business. However, I take into consideration that the preparation would be during the holiday season, an added layer of stress.
Let me count the ways:
- Manufacture products for all of the businesses I support with private label manufacturing so they would have enough product for the holiday season
- Replenish Fancy Free Hair and Skin inventory after holiday season
- Prepare at least 3 months of Fancy Free Hair and Skin inventory
- Anticipate the needs of private label clients and prepare inventory for them as well
- Update admin procedures so that staff could function while I was out
- Finish and ship pending product development trials for client testing
And those are just the business things. I essentially gave up on trying to prepare the house. Told my husband that I had done my best and gave the rest to God. LOL!
I underwent a successful Mommy Makeover, which included:
Extended Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)
Rectus Plication (Abdominal Muscle Repair)
Liposuction of Back and Bilateral Flanks
AFTER surgery, it hit me just how dangerous that was with so many women passing away from complications of cosmetic surgery. I don't take it lightly that I live to tell the story. I am also very thankful for the knowledgeable and caring post-op care team that helped make my recovery process stress free. My team held Fancy Free Hair and Skin and The Fancy Factory down while I moved slow and embraced the recovery journey. And baby...it was a journey. Read more about the Mommy Makeover HERE.
The down time during recovery allowed me to be still and think of ways to expand and improve my business. From that, the Six-Figure Kitchen Academy™ was born. I'm most excited about being able to use my expertise and gifts to assist personal care product businesses in a new way. Cuz one thing I'm sure of is that we can all win when we have the right tools. I can't wait to share my 20 years of laboratory science expertise with my fellow makers.
While business was a little slower in 2023 than I anticipated, I am thankful for more quiet time. I was able to secure over $60,000 in grant funding while taking advantage of some amazing business coaching and mentoring. Applying for grants can be taxing but I had time, so I made it happen. LOL! While retail revenues were down, revenues from private label manufacturing and product development increased by 20% overall. I have a clearer vision for the direction we are headed in as a manufacturer.
I recognized some areas that could use improvement in our operations and added the "Equipment Sanitation Technician" position to our organization chart. A big blessing. AND one of our pre-COVID Manufacturing Technicians came back to the team. It made me feel really good that someone wanted to come back to work with us. Like "We must be doing things right as a company" good.
One of the biggest stressors in my personal life in 2022 and the first half of 2023 was my son. He was having behavior issues at school. His teachers were amazing working with us to find ways they could support him, but it was very stressful not knowing when I would get a phone call about his behavior. After many evaluations and therapy sessions, we were able to deduce that the school environment was overstimulating, and it was manifesting in his behavior. With the help of his kindergarten teacher, we found a better fit for him to start 1st grade and he has been thriving at his new school. He is excited about learning and confident in his abilities. No behavior issues. It has been so heartwarming to witness. We are thankful.
Had a crazy idea for family portraits that ended up going viral because the photos turned out soooooo good. Had to sue one of my father's friends. Lost one of my best friends to cancer. Formed some new relationships with some really cool women. Watched my baby girl flourish in her newfound love for performing arts. Got to see Beyonce on tour. Ran into some marital problems. Decided to stay married and work through them. Business money has been funny and so has our personal money but that's life. Sometimes we ball out, sometimes we gotta find ways to cut costs.
The biggest lesson of 2023 is "Slow down". Rest and quiet are the most underutilized productivity hacks. It was during the periods of rest and quiet that I came up with my best ideas and solutions.
Let's take it to the moon in 2024!