As I write this, the dresses from our first order are being completed. They have journeyed from Vermont to New York City, and will soon go out to our customers after a few production delays. It turns out that, like everything in the age of COVID-19, producing our first made-to-order collection has been full of unexpected twists and turns.
I am beyond grateful for our customers, cheerleaders and supporters who have stood by Alli + Evie as we navigated the past few months. I created this company for you, and you inspire me every day.
I thought it would be fun to share a little about what I have learned so far in this journey of bringing Alli + Evie from an idea in my head (mommy and me dresses that stand on their own!) to a real-life company and collection. I share because the lessons translate to so many other parts of life, including motherhood! Let me know if any of these resonate with you.
- Focus on what is in your control.
During the launch and production of our first made-to-order collection, I was presented with a new challenge (or challenges) every day. I spent many sleepless nights worrying about things way beyond my control. I have had to force myself to take things one day at a time, and focus on what I can control (my actions, my emotions, my response to challenges) rather than those things that are outside of my control.
- Not everyone is going to like you, and that’s ok.
This is related to the first lesson. I have realized that it is completely impossible to control what others think of my company, my products and me. At the end of the day, what matters most is what I think of myself. Am I proud of what I am putting out there? If the answer is yes, then that’s enough.
The reality is that some people will find Alli + Evie to be exactly what they were looking for. They will rush out to buy our products and rave about them. For other people, we may not be their cup of tea. And that’s totally fine.
That’s why I am laser-focused on creating a community here on our website and on social media for those of you who do love what we are all about: celebrating the special bond between mothers and daughters. I am committed to giving YOU the best possible customer experience and incredible products that make YOU look and feel fantastic!
- Mistakes are inevitable.
When starting a new business, what matters is not whether or not you make mistakes, but how you respond to them. In the making of this company, I can’t tell you how many times I made the wrong call, ignored my gut at my own peril, or flat out screwed up. But you know what? I learned from every single mistake, and most importantly, learned to give myself grace.
It’s kind of like motherhood. You only learn how to be a mom by doing it! No one can truly prepare you. It’s trial by fire, but worth every struggle.
Proud of you, Allison. Follow your heart and your instincts, and you’ll succeed in many ways. Aunt Sallie