2022 feels moments away and while it is tempting to leave this year in the past and never look back, I think I owe it to myself to stop and reflect.
The understatement of the year would be that it was hard, right? Welcoming 2022 means accepting the reality that I have operated this business during a pandemic longer than out of one. My idea of normal is completely skewed, my chops as an entrepreneur tested over and over. And with this in mind, over the past few months I have come to realize that working in these "unprecedented times" has given me an edge to think differently about how I do business. To truly redefine my measures of success.
So here are some of the most important lessons learned this year and how I hope to take them with me for years to come.
Global supply chain issues to local factory closures taught me just how out of my control most things are. And while inconvenient, not ideal, and utterly frustrating the unpredictability of the world is right now, there are creative solutions around just around the corner.
It's just clothes.
Ultimately, what we do at Two Days Off is not life or death. But based on the amount I stress sometimes you would think it was! I am specifically thinking about my own self imposed deadlines and stressing out over things out of control (like the supply chain issues I mentioned above). This was the last year I strive for perfection, my best will have to be enough and if it isn't, oh well It's only clothes after all!
Go even slower.
Good things take time, and good things during a pandemic take even more time. And that's okay. You and so many of our supporters like you have already proven you're willing to wait and that is something I can never express enough gratitude for.
Tell more stories.
Launching the Yoko Capsule this year was an ambitious undertaking, it was a major challenge but one of the most beautiful things I've created to date. Working with my friend Emi allowed me to pull back from the executing work and share the stories behind that process. I don't make a single piece of clothing without a story behind it, and intention. And usually I am just so relieved to get the piece out of my head and into the world I don't take the time to tell that story. But that's going to change. The reception of the Yoko Capsule showed me just how important it is to share stories because it's the stories behind things that will help us love them for years to come. Plus it forces me to look back and appreciate the process and result so much more.
The heart is what matters most.
This is a lesson I can never stop learning. My late grandmother, for whom the Mioko Duster is named, embodied this spirit and it is this part of her legacy that I hope to uphold. Two Days Off has always been less about the clothes or even the financial gain. The heart of this business has always been to make sustainable, timeless clothing you can live you best life in. Earlier this month I at the In Todo Market I got to have conversations with many of you in person for the first time in years. Watching you try on the clothes and talking to you about sustainability and durability reconnected me to the core of why I started. I was encouraged by the fact that you inherently get it. You share our values, you see the vision, and we are building the world we want to live in one step at a time.
If you are an entrepreneur (or not) and have some reflections on the past year I would love to hear about them in the comments below. Let's learn from or just empathize with one another. I look forward to what you have to say. And thank you for being here,