A few weeks ago I completed an interview with Voyage Utah Magazine!
It was so fun to reflect on how far we have come as a small business in the last 9 years. Since 2013, we have grown and learned each year and lucky for us- things have moved in the right direction!
My favorite question in the interview was when I was asked to describe if my journey in entrepenuership has been smooth or if there were obstacles. What an interesting question- what should I say? It has been very smooth in some regards- dogs love antlers, and I love dogs... it is an easy sell and I love my customers! In a lot of ways, the antlers as a dog product fell into my lap- it was our lab puppy that did all the research and development; I was just making sure they were healthy for him! I also love graphic design and while I am not incredibly gifted- the areas of the company that needed the most self-starter energy were areas that I naturally gravitate to.
But oh were there bumps! At the time, they all felt like big bumps- and I still have bumps but that is the nature of the beast; I have learned after this long that there will always be things that pop up and make you feel like you are in over your head and that if it's too much for you- its time to go work for someone else because I guarantee you whomever you are working for is feeling those bumps. The thing that helps me with this the most is finding other small business owners who can completly relate and often times tell you an anecdote where things went just as badly for them and tell you what they did to overcome it.
Some of the biggest bumps when we first got started was that we were on such a shoestring budget that all of our monetary decisions felt like massive make or break moments. Paired with not having a lot of experience, it felt harrowing! One of the things we first worked on when we started was our logo- we didnt have the funds to hire a graphic designer and this was way before Fiverr (I LOVE that site!) so I took to adobe photoshop and messed with every feature until I created our original logo- later I had it 'vectorized' so that we could put it on hats. At the time, it made me feel like an imposter, or that there had to be 'more' to it. But the longer we went on, the more I realized what an asset it is to have built a company from the ground up and I miss our old logo but feel happy that the site has an updated look.
There are two things that I attribute my continued sucess of this company to:
Amazing customers. Without y'all, I would just have a ton of antlers. You guys show up for us in big big ways and I am always so shocked at the amount of support you show. You share and recommend us to your friends, you send us pictures of your cute dogs, you take the time to give us amazing reviews, and mostly- you make the special effort to buy from us when you have lots of options- thank you, thank you, thank you!
We show up- day in and day out. It's been a grind in the best way possible but there is no checking out for extended periods of time. My to-do list is always longer than my to-done list and everyday is an opportunity to make a few strides forward. I wouldn't want it any other way!