Believe it or not, when I started G&G in 2020, the entire business would fit in this gift box!
We’re one week out from celebrating 3 years in business and it's funny how running this small business looks so different now than it did when I began. I am rarely in front of the camera now, whereas it started out with DIY everything - I was the maker, the model, the stylist, & the camera settings person while Darrell snapped the photos. I’ve been a little teary eyed lately just thinking about how it's all happening.
November 2020 - started out with $300 and I spent weeks teaching myself how to make the bows after months of interviewing and zero job offers. We lived in South Carolina, and I was nervous about how many orders might come in over Thanksgiving weekend while we were away, so we boxed up everything and brought it back to KY for the holiday weekend. I remember shipping out a “big” (haha now) round of orders on Small Business Saturday from the E-town post office - I think it was like 7 orders?
January 2021 - to my shock, the orders didn’t stop at Christmastime (I truly thought this would be a holiday side hustle I would do for a year or two). But the bows started gaining traction with influencers completely organically and I set out to figure out a spring/summer option instead of velvet… but the velvet kept selling, even in the heat of summer, even through a move and a pregnancy and starting a new job. The fall proved to be even better and would turn into something allowing me to leave my job upon the arrival of our first baby in early 2022.
Fall of 2022 - our first taste of going semi-viral… a podcaster posted a tiny glimpse of a bow she’d bought from my Etsy shop in her IG story and boom things went crazy. A couple weeks later, a major influencer shares a bow she bought, it happens again… Both completely organic - we hadn’t reached out to them or even knew of them at the time! At the same time, we had just begun wholesale and our very own website. Orders were now coming in from multiple directions and steadily picking up pace.
Early 2023 - we rent a studio downtown for the business that outgrew our guest room and then spring comes and surprise baby #2 is on the way. The sales actually started to tank and my capacity to keep up with even slim sales became difficult to manage among a trying 1st trimester and chasing a toddler. Even the most thorough projections hadn’t predicted all of this and I knew with another on the way, I was needed in our home, and the business would have to come back under our roof. Then July comes and we’re seeing crazy sales out of seemingly nowhere… still during what’s typically part of our slow season each year.
Fall 2023 - A girl I’ve never heard of posts a TikTok featuring a pair of earrings from our website and things get INSANE. Meanwhile, our Pinterest account had been steadily growing and hits 2 million monthly views, a multitude of other TikTokers start sharing earrings and bows from our site and we can’t get below 200 open orders currently. And low key in the background, wholesale is breaking records left and right… I think we’re sold in close to 100 retailers across the globe now??
Through it all we’ve experienced so many trials and discouragements personally and God continues to use this business to carry us through. I don’t know the future and I can’t figure out how this will look with a newborn + toddler, but I’m so deeply moved by God’s provision for us. It has been a TOUGH year for us and there are so many unknowns. The big growth spurts are full of excitement and a lot of stress. I share all of this not to brag or share a highlight reel: I could write a book about the challenges we’ve faced in our few years of marriage but I wanted to share what He’s doing in the midst of the unknown because God deserves all the glory. He has made it happen. It is definitely not by my strength.
It’s been beyond my wildest dreams. It has pushed me to grow as a mom, a person, a professional, everything. You never know what a little idea could turn into. The photos Rachel recently snapped of me have me reflecting on this journey and thinking about the girl who started it all, who lacked so much confidence after a turbulent year in my career, a canceled wedding, and a couple of cross country moves. I’m still me, just aged lol and a mama who has a much bigger purpose than what started as a holiday side hustle.