Happy 2017 everyone! I love the start of a new year as it is a time to reflect on the previous year - what went right, unexpected, or completely sideways - and make changes based on those outcomes. It is important to set goals - professional and family as well as community and planet to improve ourselves and the impact we have on those around us.
2016 was a big year for me professionally as I launched MODLUX INTERIORS INC both the interior design as well as the retail component of the company. We opened a physical location downtown for both the store and studio. It was important for me to have a location separate from my house not only to eliminate some distractions ;) but to have a larger space to warehouse samples, meet clients, but to stay organized and focused. After A LOT of hard work and A LOT of help, we opened our store on the 1st of April. It was a whirlwind right down to getting the business license 30 minutes before opening our doors!
The retail has been a huge learning curve for me as I have never worked or been a part of any retail business before so mistakes were made and learned from and now as we bound into 2017 I have a clearer vision on the store and it's direction and better goals for the coming year.
1. STUDY MORE
Interior Designers are always studying, learning, growing, and changing as our projects and clients change, products change, codes and requirements change. There is endless material to choose from for what to learn next. My goal is to learn more about eco-friendly design. I want to incorporate more "green" into my projects as well as my lifestyle as I think 2017 is going to be a year of learning how to reduce our carbon footprint. I am also looking at taking my NCIDQ registration which is a gruelling exam which you are only qualified to take after a formal education and a number of years working in the field. It will be good to review all the material I learned in the Interior Design course that I graduated from in 2007 as well as new material that has become available since. A lot of work ahead but I am focused and motivated!
2. REDUCE WASTE
Starting with a re-usable coffee cup, I am very conscious of the waste that we produce each year not only at home but at the store as well. I love getting new orders in to the store - LOVE seeing the new product but I am always bothered by the packaging waste that comes along with it. We always recycle what we can but it seems a lot still ends up in the trash. I am going to look at new ways to use the extra packaging that comes with shipping product to see if we can be putting less into the bins.
3. SHOP LOCAL
Since owning a small business, we have been conscious about shopping local and supporting the community. For Christmas this past year, we bought most of the gifts from other small businesses in Campbell River - books, sporting gear, even toys. We have been blown away by the community shopping and supporting our small business that we want to return the favour. We are going to make a bigger effort to do our shopping at local businesses when we can.
4. TIME EFFICIENCY
One of the biggest challenges in my life is time efficiency.
Finding that happy balance between work, clients, family, and friends has been something I have struggled with this past year more than ever. The demands of starting a business - well two really - with both the retail and design components were more than I was expecting. This year I am going to put serious effort in becoming more focused at each task at hand. Scheduling my time into blocks of design work, retail work, family, friends, and fitness and being completely engaged in each of those things during those time blocks.
5. MANAGE STRESS
As a lot of people can relate, along with owning a business comes a high level of stress - especially in the first couple years becoming established. There are the usual stresses in the design trade such as client expectations, balancing trade relationships with client relationships, scheduling, etc but there are added stresses with operating a business such as financial responsibilities, legal responsibilities, and making every day decisions that will impact your company. To manage stress, I exercise 3-5 days a week, eat healthy, try to get 8 hours of sleep a night ;) (not always possible), keep a strict schedule, and laugh - A LOT. More smiling and more laughter on the books!
6. TAKE TIME OFF
Once my time is better managed, I am hoping that will result in taking scheduled days off. Nearing the end of 2016 I found myself working 7 days a week and only taking blocks of time off when my kids had functions or when we had plans - other than that, I was working. I was getting so tired that my time was no longer efficient during everyday tasks. Especially as I am coming to my "busy season" in design work, it will be critical to take time off to re-charge and re-focus.
7. GET OUTSIDE
I love being outdoors. I love my kids to be outdoors. Some schools can now apply to have "wild play" status which means a certain amount of school time is spent in learning outdoors. Shouldn't this be the norm for everyone? Getting outside and getting exercise is so important to our health - why aren't we doing this on a daily basis, not just running from the house to the car to work and back.
Especially as the weather improves, I resolve to be outside more. My happy place is digging in my garden with my kids teaching them to grow their own organic food and harvest it. I will be doing a lot more of that this year.
8. QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
I have noticed the importance of this more and more through every day home life as well as through my career. Whether it be with clothes, home furnishings, kid gear, or just general "stuff", quality is so important. While it is usually a bigger investment initially, these items seems to withstand the test of time (and usually durability where kids are concerned) which means we consume less in the long run. Less is more!
Last but not least, blog more. Almost every day I think of something that would be good to share with everyone whether it be a design tip, a brand that I love, things I have learned in business, or otherwise. I really enjoy writing and connecting with people - for me - blogging is a great way to do both. More blog posts coming at you in 2017!
What are some of your 2017 resolutions? Please share with me in the comments section below.