A Review of 2017

10 unforgettable things that made 2017 Amazing

2017 was the first year I worked completely full time doing this business with no other jobs- completely self employed.  I made more dresses than I imagined people would want to buy from me, and got featured by publications that I wouldn't have expected to have me on their radar so early on in my business.  I'm looking forward to more surprises in 2018, but I have such big plans too!  Some day when I have my designs carried in stores all around the world, I want to look back at this start and see how far I've come, but I also want to take this moment to appreciate what a great official first year it was.  I have an amazing support system of family, friends, inspiring colleagues, and wonderful clients, and those relationships are the most important things, along with the freedom to design and create all day every day, from the items I sell, to my business and my life.  It was a magical, wonderful, and very very hard year, with many joyous moments, and so many discouraging moments as well, but here are some of the highlights:

#1 - Making dresses for so many lovely ladies.  I had such a great time working with such great clients, and learned sooo much.

#2 - Moving my work out of my house, to a new studio, and then growing into yet another, bigger new studio.

#3 - Being featured on Green Wedding Shoes' "Our Favorite Wedding Dresses from 2017"

#4&4.5 - Being featured by Brides on lists for both "Celestial Inspired Gowns" and "Wedding Dresses with major Flower Power"

#5 - Hiring my first employee.  She's super part time, but when you do everything yourself, even someone to sew buttons on seems like an angel.

#6 - Featured in a few print magazines

#7 - Featured by Young Professionals - Salt Lake City as a "local legend" for my part in starting Utah Fashion Week.

#8 - My 12 piece collection for Utah Fashion Week in the Spring.  I love being able to look back at past collections, at the designs I made and knowing I can do so much better now.  

#9 - Going to India.  This had nothing to do with work actually, but I've always wanted to travel the world, and having grown my business to a point where this was possible for me was a big deal!

#10 - Reached 15k Instagram followers.  If it was an option to turn off seeing how many followers and likes you get on Instagram, I absolutely would, so that I wouldn't care, but the way it is, I really appreciate that so many people I don't know care about my work!

Now I don't want to forget about the hard things either, because the point of this is to track my progress, and overcoming challenges is how you grow.

#1 - Set boundaries. For the sake of a personal life and mental health.

#2 - Work smarter, not harder.  I tend to overcomplicate things.  This new year I'm setting up systems that can automate a lot of the things that take up so much of my time.

#3 - Listen to educational audio books and podcasts while I work.  It keeps me inspired.

#4 - Don't be intimidated.  I can do hard things, and I often assume things will be harder than they are, and that makes them harder than they need to be.

#5 - I love a good team.  I have a great one for Utah Fashion Week, now it's time I have one for this business too.

#6 - Take breaks.  Working weekends and not taking vacations doesn't make people more productive, it just burns people out.

#7 - Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.  Planning ahead makes a huge difference, but also giving yourself too much time to prepare allows for procrastination.  Find the planning and preparation timeframe that works for your own maximum level of productivity and go with that.

#8 - You don't have to be good at everything.  If you can just focus on your strengths and let someone with different strengths take care of the other things, you'll get a lot further than spreading yourself thin trying to take care of everything.

#9 - Instagram followers are great, but your own feelings about yourself and what you do are much more important than numbers on your phone, so do what you love, post what you love, and if you truly love it, how many "likes" it gets doesn't matter.

I think I'll write my ideal 2018 review with my desired top 5 memorable moments now and see how it matches up in a year.


Natalie Workman