Year-in-Review: A 2021 Reflection
Wow, what a year! Who would have thought that 2021 would come in and kick 2020's twists and turns completely out of the door. 2020 may have been the greatest test of my resilience as a founder, 2021 was the test of all tests so far! (So testing in fact, that a review of 2021 is arriving in April of 2022.)
By late spring as we prepared to launch two brand new major retailer partnerships, we had to make the very tough decision to close our retail store in Brooklyn, New York.
After completing the virtual class components of the deferred class of 2020 of the Macy's Workshop, we went live with some of our core classics on Macys.com for the month!
Then one day in June, we woke up to a flood of leather Kenya Tote bag orders , only to find out that a customer from the previous year happened to also be a natural hair YouTuber with over 1.2 million subscribers - and posted this video of her review of our now bestselling Kenya Tote!
By July, we finally found a new 'home' for our business and moved into our very first office and warehouse location. We were finally ready to grow our team again.
August and September
In August it was time to manage our biggest ever production run - quite a challenge for handmade handbags - especially when each stitching, zipper, strap and clasp needs to look as close as possible to mass-produced, machine-made pieces.
That alone is worth an entire blog post, so more on that experience later. Intense on all levels, further complicated by a global supply chain crisis - but we emerged victorious!
After a hectic few months of preparation - in the first week of October, our long-anticipated launch with Stitch Fix was finally live! See this really cool video we shot for the collection launch back in July.
Unfortunately, we've been in a dark haze since then, as a completely unexpected personal (and brand) tragedy hit. My hilarious, awkward, animal-sheltering and self-appointed diehard Sarep + Rose brand ambassador and country manager - my Father, was found deceased. Just a few hours after his custom habit of forwarding our email newsletter with his all of his networks.
2022 seems to have rolled around over my head to be honest, but I'm picking up the pieces, learning to stand tall again and working hard to bring you handbags, baskets and much more that you too, can rely on through all seasons of life.
In the words of the late James Sirleaf, "Cheers, Folks!"
- Robin xxx