2019 was a huge year for us in so many ways, but also revolutionary in discovering the direction that we want to take OTS, which is exciting.
Looking back at some of our accomplishments, here are some of our most proudest moments:
- We relaunched Ode to Self as a direct-to-consumer e-commerce platform in June 2019 which our De Palma oil and Wave Toning Essence.
- My partner and I exhibited at Project Beauty Expo in Los Angeles in September (we'd been planning for it even before we fully officially relaunched).
- We launched more products in our line which included our Dusk Body and Hair oil and our Rebirth After Shower Body Silk.
- Was interviewed for the Beauty Independent on OTS's pivot from retailer to brand.
- Was included in gift bags for our first event in Memphis from a celebrity event planner.
There's so much more that we accomplished and feel really good about, like sending our first shipment to Australia to a customer, which we think is really huge. We've managed to make meaningful connections, which I'm big on, because true relationships and connection can take you farther than money ever can. These relationships range from just new friends in the business to press and writers and editors, which are invaluable to me because of the genuinity behind it.
There's new skills that have been picked up, such as really learning how to create a cost of goods spreadsheet (geesh) and understanding profit margin and why some prices are going to go up in 2020. I've learned how to honestly go about making a business plan and understanding that it provides a roadmap to stay on course and not feel like you're off-track in your business.
*A note for anyone looking to go into business: a business plan isn't something that's concrete and set in stone. After experiencing some of my own struggles and listening to others, it's really just a way to outline what your year to year goals are (because it also will change yearly or even on a quarterly basis), how you plan to reach those goals (your financial plan in order to make a profit and increase), how you plan to monetize your product or service (what your sales plan is and how you plan to market it i.e. shows, farmers markets, retail partnerships, online, etc.), what your absolute bottom-line is such as goals, mission, core values and beliefs, and what your offerings would be as far as services and products go.
This helps because as someone who is as creative as I am and want to make *all* the things happen because I'm truly realizing that anything is possible, it's easy for me to get off track and go on a tangent to create eleven-million things, thus stressing myself out because my own thoughts aren't together. If you're a one man or woman show, you understand that you have to wear multiple hats until you're at a point where you can outsource and delegate tasks to others who are going at doing what you've handed off to them. And you understand that with juggling different roles comes the stress of trying to do too many things at once, and how frustrating that can be when it's just yourself and you're losing track of what your business needs are.
Other things that I have learned and coming into understanding of is that self-care is the pinnacle of enhancing your quality of life. I've stressed myself out to the point that it's troubling for me to gain quality sleep because my mind is racing with never-ending thoughts.
I'm coming to full realization that I haven't been taking care of myself how I needed to and also, not giving 100% to Ode to Self either, which feels like I'm robbing my customers, my community--OUR community--of our full potential and what OTS truly stands for. I don't believe in teaching what you don't practice. Quite frankly, I feel as though I'm living a double life--robbing myself of true connection with this amazing circle we've built and continuously are building. This explains the distance that I've felt on social media when it comes to writing meaningful posts on mental wellness and self-care, simply because I have not been living it, because I've been battling my own depression, anxiety, and struggling to get back to a healthier place mentally and physically. It's no quick fix out of it, but it's something that I'll be working on more proactively in 2020 and beyond, so that I can continue to set the example of caring for your temple and owning your truth.
As 2019 comes to a close, literally tomorrow, 2020 isn't going to immediately feel like a "new" thing, but there are so many great things to come, we feel it and we're preparing for it. We're not only going after what makes us happy, but going after what makes us feel as though we're serving our true purpose for being here on Earth. We feel beyond blessed to even have made the journey this far, but there's so much more. We're giving our energy to what gives us life and no longer falling into the the "getting by" life that past generations before us have lived, because we know that that there's so much more to life than to be alive. I believe that we're meant to truly live, create, give, and serve.
"We're not only going after what makes us happy, but going after what makes us feel as though we're serving our true purpose for being here on Earth."
We ask you to continue the journey with us and dedicate 2020 to be the year that you really dig deeper into your inner self spiritually and mentally. Take care of your inner temple and the outer will change. We're developing our wellness sector of Ode to Self which will be ingestible goods for mental clarity and wellness primarily, getting you to focus more on the inner you. So many other great things will come about from this as well--2020 is going to already be a blast.
So, before I part, promise me you'll live more freely. You'll give your time and energy to things that matter. You'll take care of you by developing small habits over time. But most importantly, you'll own your truth. You'll own who you are. You'll be you. And you'll understand that you're just another beautiful soul on this earth whose life is just interestingly and beautifully complex as the person.
We love you and we thank you. Cheers to 2020 and a Happy New Year.
The Ode to Self Family
Kimberlee, Founder & Maker