Friday, January 3, 2014

2013: A Very Good Year, Pt 1

At the beginning of every new year, I clear out all the photos on my iPhone to start fresh. Otherwise I'd just keep filling up my phone forever. This way, it's nice to look back on an entire year's worth of archives and see what things I found to be worthy of remembering.

My resolution for 2013 was to take it a little more easy. Focus on what was important, and learn to say no a little bit when it came to doing things for other people. I wanted to spend more time at home, more time relaxing, more time developing my hobbies and crafts, and to focus most of my energy on White Elephant, and not on my part-time jobs.

I think I was pretty successful with my resolution. I was able to quit my job at the farmers' market in July (and Jane left her part-time job in March) and although I always feel like I could be more creative, could be creating more, I'm pretty happy with all that I accomplished in 2013 both at the shop, and in my personal life. Before these photos sit on an external hard-drive never to be looked at again, I thought I would post some of my favourite moments of last year.

In February, Jane and I were both enamoured with love, and also deeply involved with the Casino debate in downtown Hamilton. Guess what? We're still very much against that idea and will fight it more if it comes to the surface again in 2014. And we're still pretty enamoured with love. We got valentine-bombed by The Beehive Craft Collective on Valentine's Day and it was such an amazing way to start a day of work.

And then I got my very own sandwich named after me at The Brain! It's their turkey sandwich, without turkey, (my usual order) and I highly recommend it.

In March we collaborated with Claire Dam Photography, I Fiori, Aimee Stricker, and Bre Black to produce the prettiest bridal shoot I've ever seen. We ended up selling all of those stunning vintage wedding gowns later in the year between all of our dress sales, and we don't think we could have done it without Claire, Bev, Aimee and Bre's vision.

Having paid off our small business loan in 2012, Jane and I decided to reinvest in the business in early 2013 in order to bring what you now find in the shop - Canadian made clothing. It has been among our best business decisions yet, and I'm so glad that we took that leap again. This is right after we were approved, and is one of my most loved photos of last year.

Both Jane and I turned 30 last year, but Jane was first. I snuck into her house while she was away in Quebec City and left a birthday surprise for when she got home. 30 will be good to both of us, I'm sure of it.

2013 was the year that we figured out if we rented a Uhaul truck to load our vintage in and out of shows like The Vintage Marketplace, we could save ourselves hours of time, which we would then spend eating cheeseburgers.

In early spring we took a roadtrip with our BFF's from Victoire to Detroit, and had a great time, as always. And I learned about the nourishing properties of hard-boiled eggs as a roadtrip snack. Road eggs. Really a life-changing experience.

Because spring is also the time to do all of our clothing buying for the fall/winter season, we spent a lot of time in Toronto at various appointments to see their new lines. Which also meant we spent a lot of time at Nadรจge, and visiting fellow shop-owning buddies. Remember this window from Robber? It's so great.

Of course, we had art crawl every month to keep us busy. We made some of my very favourite window crafts yet in May - those giant tissue paper flowers, and Cameron Elder who now has his very own location at 169 James Street North joined us in the window to showcase his hairdressing skills.

As the days grew warmer, I spent most of my downtime in my garden. My husband built me two raised beds this year, and in return I grew him lots of delicious food. And whatever extra free time Mike and I had outside of the home, we spent getting big into role-playing games. We embraced our true nerdiness and quested regularly with a great group of friends. In fact, we're going to be playing D&D in the window of White Elephant for January's art crawl, so if you've ever been curious about what really goes on during a game of Dungeons and Dragons, now you can check it out without any shame! Costumes may or may not be involved. Please bring snacks.

With that, I'll leave it for now. Next up: an amazing summer, and an even better fall.

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