A Year in Review

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Visiting family in Colorado

2013 – A Year of Growth

December 2013:

The end of November started a season of trial for us. Despite great traffic and sales, we faced several discouraging moments. It all began with a few issues with customers receiving broken products, and this continued through mid December. By mid-December, we had to file nearly ten claims with FedEx. We purchased a car in early November, and it randomly stopped working on our drive to Lawrence, KS for Thanksgiving. We had to rent a car to get home two days delayed with several late orders in the queue. Once we returned home, due to the volume of sales, we had to go on a witch hunt for more wood, just in time to avoid the random ice storm that his the south/south-east, and we lost power for an entire day, those delayed orders were delayed again. More claims kept pouring in, pressure from a few customers, and then we realized the new wood was very poor, so again on a hunt for better wood…and here we are, full, well, and blessed.

We continue to meditate on the Lord’s promise: “For I know the plans I have for you you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

We are prospering in our business, but more importantly, we are prospering in our faith and in our patience. These two components, faith and patience, are necessary for any business to survive. He is building us up.

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This month we were able to raise $400.00 for The Legacy Project. We started a campaign called “Light Gives Hope” through our blog. We know that these donations will be used with full purpose and love. Our followers made this possible by purchasing our tea light singlets, and in turn we donated their payment in full, and they received their lights in the mail.

December was a beautiful month, there was struggle, but also peace.

Thank you to all that made this year beautiful and full of adventure. We have learned greatly, and hope, by reading this, you will be inspired to continue making those small steps of faith.

Shalom & Merci,

Hurd&Honey

{We ended December with 123 orders, 143 product sales, and record revenue.}

Read on to see how we got here <3

January 2013:

We wanted Hurd and Honey to be our full time work, but had quiet doubts about the possibilities. We ended 2012 with 200 sales, all of which were mason jar dispensers.

It wasn’t often that we spoke about the doubt, we had enough to pay our bills, and Sam was happily getting his wood shop positioned for full-time production, with our without orders in the queue. I guess in reflection, our actions were proving our faith, our thoughts were often less faithful, but we continued to walk forward. At this point we had sold one wooden product, our inlay caddy, at a craft fair. It was listed in our Etsy shop in December 2012.

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In January, something shifted, and the inlay caddies began to sell. We have learned by now that it typically takes 2-3 months for a new product to generate sales (if  it sells).

Early in January, Sam had decided to make a few small mirrors, similar to the one we gave to my mom for Christmas that year. We listed our first mirror, and within five days, it sold!

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 This is the actual first mirror we sold on January 9th, 2013.

Once this mirror sold we were ecstatic! So thank you to “B” from Virginia for the encouragement. Another point of encouragement came from my little brother who believed we would reach our 2013 sales goal of 600 product sales…we are now at 850!

{We ended January with a record 30 orders, 38 product sales.}

February 2013:

The mirrors were really beginning to take off, and we received a handful of custom requests. Our first larger sized mirror,  36″ x 40″, was ordered and sent to a small town in Texas.

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Our first larger sized mirror!

In February we also decided to display some our our product in my mom’s fitness studio – Rhythms and Fitness. Not all attempts will give results, but all attempts will teach you. We learned from this, and learned more about our local market.

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Sam is displaying mirrors in the studio.

{We ended February with 14 orders, 18 product sales.}

March 2013:

Etsy featured our 18×18 mirror in their Home and Living section for almost two weeks! This generated great shop traffic. Thank you Etsy!

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March was also a month for innovation. We launched a few new products, some were a success, and others you will no longer find listed in our shop.

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Wooden Crate

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(Now discontinued)

A great blessing came to us at the very end of March. Sam and I were feeling discouraged, as sales had been slow for a couple of weeks, inquiries were slow, and March, as you know, can be a dreary, cold month. I was leaving for work (4th grade elementary teacher), and as Sam was seeing me off, we stopped for a moment and proclaimed, “with Him anything is possible”. That very day we received a sale for four large mirrors and another for thirty custom caddies (going to a restaurant in upstate New York)!

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{We ended March with 16 orders, 17 product sales, and record revenue.}

April 2013:

We received a request for a custom mirror that would become one of our best sellers. This mirror is my favorite,

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Thank you “A” from Ohio! :)

The development of our small Chevron tables began in April.

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April is mostly significant as it was the month that we decided I would leave my teaching career at the end of the school year to pursue small business. At the time we were working with a pair of friends to develop a second new business called The Atelier School, an educational non-profit. In a nutshell, we thought that this would take off rather quickly, and Abby and I would be able to bring in enough income to cover the loss of income from leaving our teaching jobs. It didn’t really go as planned, but surely, another learning opportunity.

{We ended April with 26 orders and 29 product sales.}

May 2013:

Our most exciting month thus far!

We were blessed to be featured on two blogs; The Valente and Lookie Boo!

You can read the story here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/HurdandHoney/about/

(The Valente site has changed into an actual ecommerce site, and their vision is beautiful. We will soon be part of their “Slow Fashion Movement” ).

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A clip for “The House That Etsy Built” feature on Lookie Boo.

Our Chevron Tables were completed…

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The biggest highlight of May… Etsy invited us to take part in the West Elm Pop Up event in Dallas!!!

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This invite pushed us to develop a few new products!

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Barn Wood Tray

(We are now out of this wood and have removed this product from our shop, for now.)

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Mirror Collages

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And our Herringbone Table! (This one has permanently become part of our family).

{We ended May with 25 orders and 29 product sales.}

June 2013:

The West Elm Pop Up started off the summer in a sweet way.

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Thank you to our dear friends from Degno di Nota for helping us get everything setup <3

The event helped us to build brand recognition and meet some great new artists!

The rest of the month was smooth…

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Wholesale orders for “Made on Mass”

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Added chalkboards to our shop…

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And another mirror collage

In June we were also invited to sell our product in a local store, Southern Vintage Glam.

{We ended June with 29 orders and 35 product sales.}

July 2013:

Our first table orders on Etsy resulted in some new product designs. This was an encouraging shift!

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Plant Table for “M” in Pennsylvania…thank you!

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Taller Chevron Tables for “D” in Massachusetts – thank you!

We also tried out a few small mirror designs…

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Modern Geometric Copper Mirrors (discontinued)

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Modern Box Mirrors (discontinued)

And due to a few requests, we began selling the “Ball” Heritage Blue Jars

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July was a great month for photography development, branding development, and social networking/marketing. As these aspects of an online business are crucial they are also challenging and take time to learn and grow. The long summer days allowed for lots of research/trial/error as Sam was busily working away in the shop.

{We ended July with a record 37 orders and 41 Product Sales.}

August 2013:

We were expecting a quick spike in August and then a sudden dip, as we experienced in 2012, but 2012 was a different year as we only were selling jars. August was amazing!

Sam designed floating shelves, that took off rather quickly! I love these shelves. One day we’ll have time to make some for our own home.

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We sold out completely of our up-cycled menu boards. We only had nine total, and all were purchased rather quickly. (Now that we have a bandsaw we may be able to make more!)

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Sam designed these beautiful tea light trays.

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We were also so excited that our wooden crate would  be featured in Sweet Paul’s Fall Issue!

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And we improved our branding by purchasing more modern business cards through Moo.com.

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{We ended August with 37 orders, 40 product sales, and record revenue.}

This was the final month in which we received a check from the school district. We would now enter a period of great faith, as we would be solely committed to the earnings made with Hurd&Honey.

September 2013:

The Sweet Paul Fall Issue was released. This magazine is just beautiful, I would definitely recommend it if you are a foodie or a crafter.

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There we are, in the bottom left!

This was a month of exciting custom orders!

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Custom shelving

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Custom cabinets

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Large Custom Mirrors

And we were able to purchase a bandsaw!

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This bandsaw hasn’t done much for us yet, but we have high hopes for 2014!

The month ended with really needing a new vehicle, because we could no longer keep doing this. It would be a while before we could make that step, but in the meantime we made the Sable worked hard.

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{We ended September with 64 orders, 81 product sales, and record revenue.}

October 2013:

This month flew by!

Custom table orders:

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A refined chalkboard design.

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Custom shelves in all sizes :)

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Improvements to packaging (before we officially changed our shop name to Hurd and Honey).

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And a bid for a hotel project in Boston. This was the initial design. We sent a revised design in December and will wait to hear the news next month!.

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{We ended October with 56 orders and 65 product sales.}

November 2013:

By this point our shop was setup for Christmas, we had updated all of our listings to reflect holiday themed photography. I really enjoyed doing this :).

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We participated in the Happy Hollydays Bazaar again! We had fun :)

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Our friends from Degno di Nota joined us.

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We launched a few new products…

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Tea light centerpiece

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Mirrored Barn Wood Tray

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Tea Light Singlets

We partnered with Missy from Beach Blues!

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And Sam worked busily into the nights as the Christmas rush began in mid-November and didn’t stop until we hit the second week of December.

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{We ended November with 101 orders,  115 product sales, and record revenue.”

Oh, and a special feature in the Pinch of Yum blog! We love this blog, Lindsay is a hilarious writer and has delicious recipes!

Our shop name was officially change to “Hurd and Honey”.

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December 2013:

The end of November started a season of trial for us. Despite great traffic and sales, we faced several moments that at times were intensely discouraging. It all began with a few issues with customers receiving broken products, and it continued through mid December. By this point we have had to file nearly ten claims with FedEx. We purchased a car in early November, and it randomly stopped working on our drive to Lawrence, KS for Thanksgiving. We had to rent a car to get home two days delayed with several late orders in the queue. Once we returned home, due the volume of sales, we had to go on a witch hunt for more wood, just in time to avoid the random ice storm that his the south/south-east, and we lost power for an entire day, those delayed orders were delayed again. More claims kept pouring in, pressure from a few customers, and then we realized the new wood was very poor, so again on a hunt for better wood…and here we are, full, well, and blessed.

We continue to meditate on the Lord’s promise: “For I know the plans I have for you you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

We are prospering in our business, but more importantly, we are prospering in our faith and in our patience. These to components, faith and patience, are necessary for any business to survive. He is building us up.

IMG_7396

This month we were able to raise $400.00 for The Legacy Project. We started a campaign called “Light Gives Hope” through our blog. We know that these donations will be used with full purpose and love. Our followers made this possible by purchasing our tea light singlets, and in turn we donated their payment in full, and they received their lights in the mail.

December was a beautiful month, there was struggle, but also peace.

Thank you to all that made this year beautiful and full of adventure.We have learned greatly, and hope, by reading this, you will be inspired to continue making those small steps of faith.

{We ended December with 123 orders, 143 product sales, and record revenue.}

Shalom & Merci,

Hurd&Honey

2 comments

  1. Beautifully written Kristin! It was been wonderful, inspirational & educational to watch you both & your business grow – a beautiful testimony! Thank you for sharing all of this!!

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