Wow - 2018 was one hell of a year!
After the launch of Storied Marketing Group last year, I decided the follow-up would be Urbane Sky. I'd tried starting it a couple of years ago back in 2016 with a different vision, but the circumstances (while working 12 hours a day for someone else) the manufacturing from scratch process - omg why? and the timing just wasn't right. When I was growing up, I used to hear older people say, "timing is everything" and be so annoyed when I heard that. "What do you mean this isn't going to happen according to my timeline?!" Not okay. LOL!
I pretty much thought the only sacrifice of starting the second venture would be moving from working 12 hours a day to 16 hours in order to accomplish everything, plus the time spent travelling for weeks on end sourcing the items. This was going to be a hell of a commitment. OMG - I can honestly look back and say I had no idea of what it would cost me. Storied Marketing Group was created after I left my last company, so there wasn't anything to compete with my time, and it became a full-time business immediately after I launched it. When I found myself ready to refocus on Urbane and, like really get after it in early 2018, I had Storied Marketing Group to consider. It was my main business and it's very time-consuming. I literally looked around my apartment at my dog Miloh, and was like "HTF are we gonna do this, poodle?" then immediately jumped in!
Deciding to create a company that embraced my passion for travel and my love of shopping for unique pieces was the easy part. I was already traveling a ton and had been back and forth to Europe several times each year over the last 5 years getting the pieces for myself. But I hadn't figured out how to backtrack this concept a business. Once I started planning for it, I wondered how many people would even embrace it. I wasn't sure how many people would appreciate the process and would there be enough sales to call it a business. So, I did what most people do - I started talking to friends and family. I think everyone who's starting something from scratch has some serious doubts about it, and I'm no different. There were some people who questioned every part of my business plan. I was like, really? "Where's your successful business, while you're so busy advising me on mine?" and immediately regretted initiating those conversations. Lol! As for the thing that fueled me, I can say is that I knew I wasn't going to stop traveling anytime soon, nor would the shopping ever stop. Like, hellooo ;) I loved the process so much, I decided to go for it. Sourcing the world over, in teeny-tiny batches on each trip, and bringing home some incredible finds is my favorite part of running Urbane Sky. We're 7 months old at the time of this post, and I'm happy to say that the learning curve on this one was steep, but I came out of this one a grown woman. I'm so proud of the work and what I've created while building this brand. Lots of 16 hour days were served up, and I met each one still excited about the journey. I was able to add a physical location in the last quarter of this year at our local market in Hollywood, Florida, so I'm there every weekend chatting up my customers when I'm not traveling. Speaking of traveling, Sky(lar) is headed to Barcelona for Study Abroad this semester and she will be sourcing new vendors while she's there, adding artisans from Spain definitely means you'll start to see more colorful pieces in our offerings. I'm looking forward to bringing you even more beautiful items in the coming year.
Thank you to everyone that supported me - and other small businesses this year! You have no idea what an impact it has on us, and I'm truly thankful for the kind words, shout-outs and shares on social media, and your purchases - you're helping keep the dream alive!
I'm always excited about the process of creation and feel so inspired at the end of each year about what the year ahead will look like, where I'll be traveling, and what I'll be busy learning. I've got some awesome things I'm working on for Urbane in the coming year. I'll be adding items for home to the site. That'll be rolled out in the first few weeks in January. In addition to the new collections at Urbane, I've also decided now that a new 3rd (ad)venture awaits. I'll be announcing that in the next month or so. I'm so excited about what I've got cooking and what's to come! :)
This year, I got to travel to Costa Rica and see black sand for the first time, Paris, Florence, Rome, and Aruba for my sister's wedding and had some incredible experiences in each place, one of the craziest times being in Costa Rica on the crocodile bridge and the other zip-lining through the rainforest. Amazing!!
Dinner in Paris
One of the most incredible finds in Florence. (Sold)
My sister's wedding in Aruba (was my first time in the Caribbean) with her and my niece. I wrapped up the end of the year in Chicago, celebrating with family and friends.
So there you have it! 2018 is a wrap! For 2019, I'm planning a few sourcing/shopping trips: Barcelona, back to Italy, and hoping to squeeze in Croatia and Switzerland before mid-year and the rest of the year is TBD. Thank you so much for staying tuned in! PS: my resolution this coming year is to ink out more than one blog post a year. Haha! ;)
Wishing everyone an incredible year ahead!