2020 Mid-Year Recap

This. Year. Is. Insane.
What a freakin' whirlwind 2020 has been. I don't know about you, but I'm completely exhausted despite the fact that I've been cooped up at home for the better part of the last 4 months.
I've been trying really hard to put this downtime to good use and focus a lot of my energy on my business. This year has been filled with huge changes for me personally and professionally, and it's been really exciting! Here's a little recap of how this year has gone for me and for Lost In Lettering so far:
I ended 2019 with BIG expectations for 2020. At the end of the year I sat down and made a long list of everything I wanted to accomplish, especially with Lost In Lettering. I called it my "2020 Vision". At that time I was working a full-time job in an HR role that was not fulfilling for me at all. I spent my entire day daydreaming about card designs and making to-do lists in my head while going through the motions at work. The second my workday was done I would rush home to work on my Etsy shop. The commute should have only been 25 minutes but it was closer to 45 each way with traffic, and by the time I got home, made dinner and ate with my boyfriend, packaged and shipped orders, and showered, it was usually 9 pm or later. I was exhausted and knew that my real passion was expanding my card business.
Though I didn't enter 2020 with plans to leave my full-time job and pursue Lost In Lettering full-time, it had always been a dream of mine in the back of mind. In late January, I really started to reflect on the changes that needed to be made in my life in order to be as happy as I could be, and pursuing my business full-time was at the top of that list. More money doesn't equal more happiness, and I'm glad I learned that at 26 versus later on in life. I put in my two weeks notice and on February 7th I officially became self-employed!
I was SO excited... and then Covid-19 hit FULL force.
I'm from Connecticut, and being in the tri-state area meant we were at the forefront of the outbreak and were put into quarantine more early on than other areas of the country. I was fine being home, especially since I had nothing but time to put into work, but the second the outbreak started the sales came to a crashing halt.
It was almost as if someone flipped a switch and turned my shop off. I'd never experienced anything like it in my years of selling on Etsy, and I was petrified. I spent my days trying to keep busy when in actuality I wanted to burst into tears. Almost to the exact day I left my full-time job, the sales were nearly nonexistent.
Thankfully I'm a planner, and I always have an emergency fund ready. Being quarantined at home really cut down on our spending (my boyfriend and I are BIG restaurant people), so that helped a bit too.
Though the slow down in business seemed in my mind to drag on forever, things started to pick back up mid-March as people started to shop for Mother's Day, which is always one of my busiest times of the year.
Then, something incredible happened. As we started to get into April, the Mother's Day sales started coming faster than ever before. I was making enough money to make up for the lack of business in February and March and then some. The entire downstairs level of my apartment essentially transformed into my workspace (my boyfriend is an actual saint) and I worked tirelessly 14 hours a day to get all the orders out. Thank god for my mama, who works in a school and was practicing distance learning at that time. She came over multiple times a week and would package orders for hours on end. It was a team effort, and I loved every second of it! I was so busy that I only snapped one picture of the chaos that was my living room, and it wasn't even on one of the really bad days, but I've attached it below so we can all appreciate how organized I am....
I'm not sure that I've ever been more tired than I was during that crazy period of time, but I am more thankful than ever for experiencing that burst of business and it gave me the motivation I needed to keep moving forward.
One thing that I did realize in the midst of the living room madness, is how much I wished I had a workspace that I could really call my own. As nice as it is to be able to wake up, walk downstairs and start working, I started to crave getting myself ready in the morning and physically going to work. I have enough of a hard time turning work "off" already. Add in the fact that my living space also doubled as my workspace, and I felt like I was never able to relax. 
With that, I decided to take a chance on myself and started looking for a small office for myself. After a few weeks of searching, I found the perfect cozy space for me, and in June I officially signed the lease. This was probably one of the biggest highlights of 2020 for me, and though I have some really big dreams, I'm definitely proud of how far I've come. 
I think my little office space deserves a post of it's own, so I'll definitely work on that in the upcoming weeks. In the meantime, I have a ton of new avenues to look into now that I have the time to explore them. 
Though 2020 has certainly NOT been what I had anticipated, I'm taking in all the positives and looking forward to what the rest of the year has in store. 
Thank you for being here! 
XO Nicole
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