Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 Year in Review

As the final hours of 2017 wind down, I thought I'd take a few minutes to catch my breath and to look back at this year.  Clearly, I haven't posted much at all... I went from 163 posts in 2017 to only 43 in 2017.  That's in direct correlation to the amount of free time I've had this year.  (In fact, I type this as I forgo watching my beloved New England Patriots in order to have time to type this up.)

2017 can best be described as a rollercoaster.  Eliot and I got on it in February and we haven't gotten off of it since.  Happily Ever Hatter has had a breakout year.  It's always kept me busy... but this year, we took it to new levels.  It's hard to describe, but I'll try to put it in perspective.  We've had well over 300 sales.  Our revenue this past year was 10 times the amount I've ever had in a single year.  The week before Christmas we mailed out 37 packages... totaling more than 50 ears.  We've still got a few open orders, and we haven't seen this number of outstanding orders since we hit it big in February.  It's been very overwhelming, but at the same time very humbling.

Since I haven't been able to post, I thought I'd try to at least get on here to do a quick recap of our 2017.  It's definitely been a busy year, but it's also been a great one.

2017 Year In Review:

January- Looking back, January was the calm before the storm we didn't even know was coming.  We spent New Years in New Hampshire with my brother Jeremy, Mom, Dad and Nana.  We worked on a few new ear designs.  I desperately tried to train for the Princess Half Marathon weekend.  We worked on the house some more.

February- My New England Patriots won the Super Bowl!  We went to see the San Jose Sharks play the Boston Bruins.  Eliot and I worked hard to make a large batch of 3D printed ear samples for our trip to Walt Disney World.  We went to WDW for the Princess Half Marathon weekend.  We returned to about 20 Etsy orders, and little did we know it at the time, but our lives had changed.

March- We took a break from ears to watch my alma mater, MDI High School, win the boys basketball State Championship!  We went to see the live action Beauty and the Beast as soon as it came out!  And then we went to see it again.

April- I met up with my Key to the World Travel girlfriends from Maine and we had lunch one afternoon.  Jeremy came up to visit Easter weekend.  Eliot and I tried to work on the house in between orders and making new designs.  We closed our Etsy shop for a few weeks to get caught up on orders.

May- We worked really hard to make a few new designs to debut in Disneyland.  Mid-month, we went to California for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend.  We got tons of compliments on our ears from other guests and cast members.  We re-opened the shop and had our biggest sales month of the entire year.  Our Disneyland ears sold out immediately after release and were a huge hit!

June- We went to Painting with a Twist to celebrate the release of Beauty and the Beast on DVD.  Other than that, we pretty much spent the month working on ears.

July- I went home to visit my family for July 4th weekend.  Meanwhile, Eliot flew out to California to go skiing with his family.  (Yes, snow skiing in July.)  Although, it was a quick weekend, it was a much needed break!  We returned to pump out tons of orders and new designs.  In the middle of the month, we went to California for the D23 Expo and to visit Disneyland.  We had such a good time!

August- In August, we closed our shop for a few weeks to catch up on orders.  We realized that we hadn't done many "summery" things.  Therefore, we went on a weekend adventure to visit Six Flags New England and the giant Yankee Candle store.

September- I started taking a sewing class through the adult education program.  I was so excited to finally learn!  At the end of the month, my parents went on their Disney Cruise to Bar Harbor.  I took care of Nana and then we met up with them the day they came into port into Bar Harbor.  It was the Disney Cruise Line's maiden voyage to Bar Harbor and it was a truly magical experience.

October- Eliot and I said goodbye to our local bowling alley when it closed.  We went up to visit my parents and spent the weekend exploring Acadia National Park.  October 18th, Eliot sliced his finger open while printing ears.  We made a midnight run to the hospital for stitches and a tetanus shot.  We slowed down with the ears, but still cranked out quite a few.  I won the Chiropractic Assistant of the Year award at my annual conference.  On the 26th, we went to Boston with Elissa to watch the San Jose Sharks and Boston Bruins game.  Eliot and Elissa's Dad Rick surprised us by flying out for it.  At the end of the month, we had a horrible wind storm and my work didn't have power and was closed the 30th and 31st.

November- I wore my Halloween outfit to work on November 1st in protest of Mother Nature and her storm.  I finished my sewing class and made a Beauty and the Beast pillowcase for myself as my final project.  Eliot went to Disneyland for less than 48 hours for the Avengers Half Marathon weekend.  We had our first snowfall.  We worked really hard on ear before we had to leave for my birthday trip.  We went to Walt Disney World for Dapper Day, Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party and to celebrate my 33rd birthday.  It was an amazing trip!  We returned Thanksgiving day and I spent that with my family.  We worked overtime on ears because I was only home for 8 days... 

December- December 1st, I flew out to California with Jeremy to visit Disneyland and for my KeyCon 2017 travel agent conference.  I had so much fun reconnecting with my travel agent friends.  Jeremy had a blast on his first trip to Disneyland.  I returned home the 11th.  Eliot and I made the final push to finish ears for the holidays.  We finished and mailed out more ears than either of us thought possible.  We went to my parents' house for Christmas.  And this week we've been finishing up those final orders and trying to enjoy the rest of our holiday break before we re-open mid-January.  Tonight, Jeremy is visiting and we're going out to dinner and to finally see the new Star Wars movie!  Then, we'll ring in the new year while watching the New York City ball and Walt Disney World fireworks at home.

Which brings us to 2018... 

What's next for us in 2018?  Well, most importantly, we've been working to re-structure a few things with 
Happily Ever Hatter.  We really enjoy making new designs and we haven't been able to focus on that the past few months.  Now that we're almost caught up, we're hoping we can stay ahead of things... but I guess we'll see how that turns out!  We've got a lot of new things planned for 2018!  I'm excited to see what's in store!

We're hoping to have a little more personal time for ourselves.  This past year, I've felt guilty every time we've taken a break.  But, I've also realized that it's necessary in order to live happy and fulfilling lives.  I still don't think that I'll have much time to blog, but I'll do it when I can.  I'm hopeful that someday I'll be working at home full time, and that this will become a bigger part of my life once again.

We're hoping to launch two businesses next year.  One of them, I've been trying to take the time to launch for a while now.  In 2018, I'm jumping in.  It's another passion of mine, and I don't see the point in waiting.  The other business is something Eliot and I have talked about in the past, but we decided this year that we wanted to commit.  So stay tuned for more information on both of those in the coming year!

Finally, we've got a lot of goals for 2018.  Obviously, we're hoping to get back to Walt Disney World, Disneyland and on a Disney Cruise!  I've also got a list of goals that I'm hoping to accomplish.  I usually post them on here, but since I've barely scratched the surface of my 2017 goals, I'm going to forgo posting the same things all over again.

I'm very hopeful for 2018.  I'm sure it'll be another adventure!

Cheers to another wonderful year.  Goodbye 2017!  Hello 2018!!!  °o°

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