Some time in 2011 I had a conversation on twitter with Stacey Bewkes who writes the fabulous Quintessence Blog about what 2012 was going to hold for Virgos. I'm technically a Virgo but I'm also a Leo. Or it could have been a numerology thing. It was something Wooowhooooy anyway. Anyhow, the point she made to me was that as of June 2011 straight through until the end of 2012 it was going to be a BIG year with momentus things happening. Now we'll never know if this would have still be the case had she not told me this and thus planted the idea in my head but I would say, reflecting back over 2012 that her words came true in every way imaginable.
Last year, I read a blog by Tobi Fairley that summarized her 2011 month by month in terms of accomplishments. I can hear my business coach now saying to me that I should do something similar and of course, I'm being all Canadian and thinking that that is a bit much even though I think that it is a great way to quantify it to one's self. I will say that I more than achieved my goal of getting the work I do published. 2012 was for certain the year of MHD #GettingPublished. I think when I totalled it up, we were published 8 out of 12 months in 2012 though if you take into account the magazine column I write, blogging for HGTV.ca and being featured in Apartment Therapy I think I could probably up that to 11 3/4 out of 12. Thank you to Style at Home, Canadian House & Home, House Beautiful, Elle Decor, Canadian Family, Chloe Magazine, Nuance, HGTV, Fine Life Saskatchewan, Canadian Home Trends, Steven & Chris.
The most interesting thing to reflect back on about getting published for me is to see what resonated with people the most and the demographics that are associated with each project that was shared. It's actually something that we've spent a lot of time reviewing and studying and it is going to shape how we approach new projects in the future and of course the magazines themselves. We've spent the last three years really honing our awareness in terms of our audience and how that in turn translates into new work for us.
Sashay won Best New Design Blog at the Design Bloggers Conference in LA. I'm still blown away by this. I am indebted to each and every reader, every person who comments or shares this blog with others. You are my favourite form of therapy by far and I've tried a few.
I was nominated by four different bloggers for New Trad Home - Designers to Watch. I didn't get picked but you should watch me anyway. ::wink::
These accolades are truly appreciated and I am most grateful for the opportunity to share my passion with the world. Lord knows I've learned a lot of things the hard way - it's taken 20 years to become an overnight success. HA!
Some things that I have learned specifically in 2012 though...
1) Do not apologize for running a business with the goal being to make money. Men do it and don't have to apologize for it - why should I as a creative woman feel ashamed or guilty for doing the same.
2) Pattern is my thing. I excel at working with patterns and colour. Now despite living in the land of beige, taupe & grey people seek me out for my eye. I need to celebrate and embrace this in 2013 and show those afraid of a little colour how to incorporate it into their life.
3) Know Thy Ideal Client. We've spent years refining this but I think in 2012 we've finally found our stride. We know who our ideal client is and in 2013 our voice will be targeting this individual more and more.
4) Custom & Bespoke are key to great design & a luxury service (I will add that they don't always mean that they have to be beaucoup de dollars either). In 2013 we will do more, seek out new craftspeople to collaborate with. More unique work for our wonderful ideal clients.
5) Working on projects in the USA is just as easy and considerably more economical for Canadian designers. If I showed you the numbers for our project in Boston in terms of what the client was quoted there vs what our cost was here in Canada you would not believe me. Heck, I didn't believe the numbers half the time. There were seriously times when we considered what the cost would be to send down our painters at one point. As it was, almost all of the custom furniture was made here in Canada and shipped down to the US for considerably less money than buying it in the US or from a US based company. I don't often find reason to cheer on NAFTA but can I get an AMEN?? We'd love to work in the US more in 2013. I find Americans far more receptive to colour and decoration on the whole. They love to share what they have but not necesasarily in a "Show Off" kinda way but more in appreciation for working hard. I would love to see more Canadians embrace this in the coming year. Be proud, celebrate your sanctuary, ahem... hire me to design it.
Last year at this time, the world of design lost Ray Staples - an incredibly talented creative force here in Canada. Margot Austin editor extraordinare shared with a many people on her blog what has now become a mantra of sorts from Ray...
"Where's the F*CKING Magic?"
I now ask myself that very question each and every time we embark upon a new project along with "What haven't we done before that people won't be expecting...."