I took a few weeks away from blog writing and social media after Christmas to unwind from the busy season. It was a well needed break, but it also gave me a lot of time to reflect on the past year and think about the year ahead. Our big team meetings are this month, and although quiet, we spend this time planning and organizing for the whole year. Reflection is a big part of our future plans, and so this rest time has been crucial in thinking ahead.
2018 was a remarkable year for My Home Apparel; one I will always remember. The business grew, I was able to hire more people, and the brand continues to be more recognizable across the country. From a business perspective, the year was pretty amazing! But, 2018 was more than business growth for me. It was about: reaching goals, dreaming bigger, finding courage, and building integrity. As the business has grown, we have done even more to give back, which is what I love the most about my company. We set big goals and reached them as a hard working team (an awesome team, by the way!). We worked harder to bring even more made in Canada products to market, and most made right in our HOME town.
Yes, it was a pretty incredible year for this little company, and I thought I would share a few of the highlights:
We traveled to wholesale shows from coast to coast spreading the brand
We expanded our clothing line, adding new designs and products.
Our accessory line grew: all proudly made in Nova Scotia
We gave back over $6000.00 to homelessness initiatives across Canada
We collected, filled and donated over 150 purses to women in need
in Truro & Moncton for Mother's Day.
We collected, filled and distributed over 345 shoeboxes to women in need in Truro & Moncton over the Christmas season.
We distributed over 75 pizzas to the homeless in Moncton in partnership with Pizza Delight.
I attended the largest National conference on ending homelessness in Canada
Giving back and making an impact was the true highlight of the year. Every year, we are able to do more, thanks to the support of all of our customers and the whole community.
We had some great recognition this year, which was extra special as well. We were finalists in Export of the Year award for women in business in Nova Scotia. We also received some media attention on our Made in Canada clothing for Canada Day!
NSBI Export Awards
CTV Atlantic, sharing about our Canadian line!
One of the biggest things that happened in 2018, was we rebranded our gifts shops to My Home Mercantile, and I bought my first commercial building in Truro! Our production space and warehouse space tripled, and I am so proud to have a space that I own and can create as my own. Plus, I created a new sister company- that's pretty cool!
For me the greatest thing that happened in 2018, was I began sharing my own story. For years, I began to feel suffocated because I rarely shared my background, my grief, and how I was feeling. That all changed in 2018, and although I am still working through it, it was incredibly transformational for me.
Many people reached out who had read about my brother and wanted to connect and share their own life stories. This was life changing in many ways and very powerful. I found through this process of sharing our stories it was very healing and created connections I would have never found otherwise. Although I always voiced this in my business, for the first time I was living my own truth and sharing my own story.
For 2019, my word is "authenticity." I am going to work hard to continue to share my own stories and provide a space for others to do the same. I am going to work on "coming HOME", and finding comfort in vulnerability, and I hope you will all join me on this journey.
Happy New Year and much love,