Ask me about 2017. A lot happened.

A good friend of mine challenged me to document the things I accomplished with One-OneThousand in 2017. We were having our weekly pep talk/marketing/biz chats and talking through what was to come in the year ahead. Instead of excitement for all that was possible, she heard Burn Out oozing from my soul.

I was tired. Tired from a year of trying, taking risks, sometimes failing, growing, changing and doing. All I could think of was what to do next to keep things on track. Desperation, exhaustion, sadness for what I gave up in the midst of all I was doing to Move Forward – was in my voice.

To her, she could see where all that hard work had paid off. To her, tremendous things were accomplished. To me? All I felt was dread for all the hard work that was to come.

I had forgotten the number one rule of motivation = celebration. Without it, hard work feels like a hamster wheel. You go and go and go and keep going and then go some more. Then what? You just keep going.

Without pausing, reflecting and honoring, you become a machine, rather than a maker.

When I used to manage a department, I knew the value of celebration. I could see how it affected my employees positively. When we finished a really large project, we celebrated. When we accomplished a milestone, we celebrated. When we took a risk, we celebrated. Together. We took time to notice and marvel at what we made possible.

Celebration sometimes took the form of a great reflective conversation. Sometimes it involved a happy hour, sweet treats or special lunch. But more often it was a simple high five, yay us or a sincere thank you for all your hard work note. Regardless of the form, the result was the same – we honored what we accomplished, we were mindful of the hard work it took and we felt motivated to do more.

But when you’re mainly operating alone, it can be hard to remember to celebrate how your hard work pays off. So let’s do it together.

In 2017? I secured headquarters for One-OneThousand. With a few dedicated friends, we built it out. We grand opened in May. Filled all of the spaces by June. We hosted events and grew membership. Then in August, I began developing our new extension brand, Made Kits. By November, we launched on our own website and then later, Amazon.

Seeing that in words? It’s a pretty Big Deal. But when you’re in the midst of it – the gritty, nuanced and overwhelming midst of creating things from scratch – you forget just what it is that you made happen. So here’s a cheer to a new studio space a new product line:

***Yay! Woo-hoo! High fives and big cheers all around***

And I’m just one of many.

In this group, this year, someone:

Launched a new brand
Moved into their very own studio
Participated in their first trade show in New York
Developed and led a new workshop
Had a booth at their very first Good Day Market
Launched their online shop
Brought their product to Amazon
Sold their very first piece of art work
Reached 10k followers on Instagram
Completed the Upstart program
Painted their first store front window
Consulted on an instructional video
Started a successful Facebook group
Was featured in Madison Magazine
Started an apprenticeship
Successfully funded a Kickstarter
Completed their first 100 Days of Art project
Made the decision to turn Pro from Hobbyist
Showed with an art collective in New York
Opened a brand new, bigger shop
Found a new place to bake & storefront
Designed & launched a new product
Made a really hard decision to change their business
Taught their very first workshop
Illustrated a book
Launched a brand new business
Moved to Madison & joined a community of creatives

Pretty amazing, huh? What a beautiful, talented, fantastic, hard-working group of creative folks making things and making things happen. 

Here’s to YOU. Here’s to all you accomplished in this last year. To the hard work that paid off. To the things you tried. The risks you took. And the times you failed.

And here’s to what’s possible with new energy, commitment and motivation in the new year.

All my best x x
Sarah, Founder, One-OneThousand