It’s that time of year again, where we get to reflect on the past year and think about all the things that have worked and the challenges we’ve faced. It has been our first full year in business, and what an amazing year it’s been! I’d be lying if I didn’t say there were setbacks, mistakes made along the way, and moments where I felt completely overwhelmed. However, despite these trying times, I wouldn’t change a thing and feel so grateful for the blessings I’ve had and the impact we’ve made this past year at My Home Apparel.
Although it’s been an incredible year, here are the top 10 highlights:
- Meeting the Prime Minister of Canada!! I reached out to every local MLA and MP when I heard Trudeau was coming to Halifax, and I made it my mission to gift him and his family Canada HOME shirts. With their elected promise to support refugees, I knew our Welcome HOME Canada tees were a perfect fit for our new government.
- Traveling to Ottawa and Toronto for Start-Up Conferences: Traveling to Ontario and chatting with other entrepreneurs across Canada was life changing. It gave me fresh eyes, and filled me with a powerful energy to take on the second half of the year! I met so many great business people and heard amazing success stories from across Canada. I also got to visit the Shopify head office, which is the web provider we use, so I was so excited to attend a private party there!
- Moving beyond t-shirts & hoodies: We expanded past t-shirts in 2016, by adding our super popular floor mats and tartan blanket scarves. It was very exciting to see our line grow so much and to see the growth of the company as a result. We shipped over 2000 parcels in 2016, all around the world and sold over 8000 t-shirts alone!
- Traveling to Bali: We traveled to Bali to check out home decor and to get inspiration for our growing line, including our pillows and wooden signs. Plus, we got to spend 10 days in bliss!
- Opening our MicMac Mall kiosk: It was our 2nd year in MicMac, and it’s always such amazing exposure and a great experience. Janet, joined My HOME Apparel as the manager, and she led an awesome team.
6. Our Truro Flagship Store opening: This was a dream come true!! Our Canadian made gift shop and studio fills me with so much joy, and I love being able to share my dream space with the rest of Truro and people who visit our incredible town.
7. Our partnership with Stanfield’s: Having our clothing not only made in Canada, but right in our HOME town has been a wonderful experience. I have so much pride in the products we are selling, and the ripple effect our clothing line has on our whole community.
8. Attending the CAEH conference: Heading to London for the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness conference was life changing. Being surrounded by 1000 people who believe homelessness is a fixable problem is very powerful. Meeting Tim, the founder of CAEH and hearing Clara Hughes speak were highlights.
9. Our own studio: When we opened our flagship ship, we also opened our own studio, where we can print in house. Ben, joined our team in May 2016, as head of design and also production. He is a visionary with design and an incredible screen printer, and has been printing up a storm since October 2016!
10. Our charitable work: This is true highlight of my year and the purpose for everything we do. In 2016, we donated over $10,000 in cash donations, product donation and collaborative projects. We have felt that we have been able to make a difference, raise awareness, and sell products that have a purpose. This year we joined forces with the Shoebox Project, and helped to fill 200 boxes for women in shelters for our surrounding area at Christmas, and were part of the 2100 boxes filled for Nova Scotia, PEI, and Moncton.
There are so many reasons 2016 has been the best year, and I can’t wait for 2017! We have some BIG things planned, including a summer spot in Ottawa for Canada 150, and we can’t wait to share it all with you!
We have not set any resolutions for 2017, but rather intentions. We will continue to work hard to end homelessness in Canada, and help give all Canadians a HOME. We will work with our community to help make it the best place it can be. We will be the best version of ourselves, from our designs, to our customer service: we will try our very best. These are our intentions for 2017, and with your support, we know we can do it!
Thanks for making this the best year ever. Thanks to my amazing team who makes it all possible. Here is to an even better one ahead!
Happy New Year from my HOME to yours,