2023 Year in Review - Vana's Reflections
As each year comes to an end, we're naturally drawn to reflection. And as I sit here writing this, there's one word that feels like it kept showing up in 2023 and one I want to keep leaning into in 2024: change.
From both a personal and professional perspective, I've learned to embrace change - and I'm not usually one to feel good about change! But this year I really do - and a lot of it is thanks to you all.
...so let's start with welcoming change!
Change is one of the hardest things for me to accept. I am a creature of habit and I like knowing what's next. This year I embraced change. My oldest boy started college, and I learned to navigate what that meant to me personally and to our relationship, too. Change also meant saying goodbye to a few people and things that no longer align with my values. I've learned change can be a good thing after all.
15 Years in Business
In March we celebrated 15 years in business! I have the biggest gratitude for you all - I can't believe what started as a side-gig for me has now turned into a well-loved brand surrounded by a community we are so proud to serve. We've continued to grow and evolve but our mission to help customers see the joy in the most mundane moments and freeze the special memories with their loved ones, continues to be our guiding principle.
I love partnerships! We had a few of them this year., and they never cease to reinvigorate me.
We partnered with a wonderful company, the Shinery - specializing in safe and natural jewelry cleaners that work. We are excited to continue offering our customers the best not only in fine jewelry but also ways to care for it.
Earlier this month, I hosted a workshop at Ulla Johnson at their flagship store on Bleecker street. I couldn't have asked for a better partner and space to host this event. One of the best parts of having my business, has been the connections that I've made with other business owners, my community and with myself through creativity. Being in community with people, having fun and being creative makes me feel so good.
At the beginning of this year we announced that we have discontinued sterling silver on our jewelry line. As we continue to elevate our brand in the high end, fine jewelry space, we remain committed to offering the best in custom jewelry. This year we released some stunning one-of-a-kind heirloom products in our Pavé Diamond Jewelry Collection. We have big plans for 2024 and are excited to share with you some new ways to turn your memories into keepsakes.
Making Time to Play
This year I committed to one day a week of creative play. After reading The Creative Act - A Way of Being, I realized how important it is to keep my creative spirit alive and flourishing. Each week looks a little different and is meant to allow me time to focus my energy on something that inspires me and doesn't necessarily has to be work related.
Examples of my creative play dates: spending 1 hour sketching new product ideas or things that inspire me recently, dreaming up a special collection, reading a few chapters of a good book, listening to a good podcast episode, going on a lunch date with a friend, visiting a local shop, picking up the phone and having a heart to heart chat with a friend.
What I've realized is that these play dates don't have to be elaborate or planned out far in advance. In the contrary, the more spontaneous they are, the more I've come to enjoy them. I look forward to them. They have become a non-negotiable for me.
In Person Connections
I love meeting customers, brand loyalists in person and hear their stories. Some of the best ideas come to me from these connections. We planned more pop ups this year meeting customers (new and existing) in various cities. I look forward to continuing this in 2024.
Growing Smarter not Harder
Last month I made the decision to hire a fractional marketing team (something I've been wanting to do for a while now) and it's already proved to be one of the best decisions. And the best part? When the opportunity presented itself, I just went for it. I knew if I was going to continue to be the visionary of this brand, I needed to start delegating some of the tasks that no longer aligned with that role. I am so happy and look forward to an amazing year ahead.
A New Creative Space
I am thrilled to announce that we will be moving into a new space in Richmond's The Fan District. I envision this to be a space where community comes together through various workshop events and special gatherings. I look forward the making of this space and will be sharing more behind the scenes soon. Stay tuned and follow along on our social.
Thank you for your continued support this year and always.