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Reflections on the Year 2018

I am struggling with the notion that 2018 is nearly done and dusted. What just happened? No, seriously, what. just. happened?

It’s Boxing Day and I’ve just finished bottle feeding four accidental not quite two-week-old kittens, and I’ve managed to make myself a coffee. The coffee is divine. I haven’t had a morning coffee in days and days and I’d forgotten how comforting it is! I’ve given myself permission to do a bit of work in bed until noon, and then I’m going to hang out a thousand baskets of laundry and tackle some final goals from 2018! I have 5.5 more days left in which to smash some of my neglected goals. Talk about cramming for a final. I totally need to put the Sticks & Stones Education room back together… It’s currently a minor disaster post the last market event of the year. I have a new recycling bin so that’s going to get a work out this boxing day. And there WILL be boxes. 

Reflecting back over 2018, I had some big milestones, and they were mostly business related. I started this modest business in 2013 with a business partner, and in mid-2018 I took it solo. I’d spent a wee bit of time beforehand trialling things out and thinking things through before committing to the decision of continuing the business. While I know the business it was still a bit scary. I have to do all the business-adulting on my own. But I have found that I have loved it, and I still get to talk my old business’wife’s ear off about business. It was part of the business-divorce agreement. 

In late 2017, Sandi from Phoenix Support for Educators and I came up with a cunning plan. We sat down over Thai and chatted about our ideas. This fateful night in Newtown ended up becoming the journals, diaries and calendars that took my 2018 by storm. I knew what we had created was good, but I really didn’t expect the explosion that we had! 

I am so proud of these publications and the community that we have nurtured. We put so much research and thought into their design and implementation. And we continue to do so to this day. We really wanted to set our products apart from the other resources available and we decided that a graphic designer with a background in publishing was needed. We wanted educators to have beautiful publications that they could make their own, and I think we have certainly achieved this. 

I spoke about my goals earlier, and I used my Personal Reflections of an Educator journal to plan my personal goals and business goals rather than my educator ones. That’s how I have been able to track my successes and my stumbles across the year. I know what I need to do over the next few days to finish things off, and I have some idea of what I might like to do in the coming year. I actually have a workshop booked on Friday to do some vision board creating. I can’t wait for this! 

Another big shift for the business for me this year has been the addition of markets and pop-ups. Previously, I had a partner to help out, but this year it was all me! Well, I did have the ex-business-wife help me at the Educator’s Emporium. That was a big event that definitely needs the assistance of one or two helpers! We had over a thousand people through the door - with 1600 registrations. It was crazy, but amazing. And don’t worry, I’ll be doing it again next year. 

Over 2018, my goal was to do more events and connect with more people. I managed to make that happen. I have also learned how to pack a room full of toys and resources into the back of an Xtrail with some skill. I’ve also loved the creative outlet of setting up the shop display. I will continue to refine my skills over the coming year until I’m a pop-up-markets-ninja-merchant. I am actually chatting with Loretta from Needle + Felt about markets we could do over the year so watch this space! 

So it has been a wild and busy year and I’d like to take this opportunity to simply say thank you. You have been awesome. I am truly grateful for the amazing year I have had, and I couldn't have done it without the fabulous customers and supporters I have met along the way. It has been an absolute pleasure working with you all. I am truly humbled and I thank you. 

Gaby 

The Sticks & Stones Education Chick 


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