As we hit 2015's halfway point, it's always interesting to reflect on how the year has been so far...what you've accomplished over the past six months, what you haven't done yet that you hope you'll do this year, what you can do to improve your life, what you can do to relax and enjoy life more, and how you can maximize the rest of the year overall (whatever that may mean for you as an individual).
We at Water Gallery have a lot to reflect on after the first six months of this year. Starting in January, we (meaning my husband Kenny and I) bought out our partner, who had been a major part of the three years that went into developing Water Gallery. And so we went from a partnership to a sole proprietorship, which was a big deal.
Everything you see from Water Gallery-- the designs, the social media posts, each blog entry-- come directly from either Kenny or myself. We are in charge of everything financial, social, production-related, PR-related, and so forth...it's all us. And for those of you who have ever started a business or been a part of the growth of a small business, this is no small feat! It's both incredibly rewarding and immensely nerve-wracking.
All the good stuff-- the compliments, the sales, the excitement of building a customer base, the joy in developing our products-- is on us. But all the frustrating and overwhelming stuff-- the design failures, the financial decisions and burdens, the production delays, the occasional criticism, the bumps in the road like bottles that break during shipment due to weather-- are on us, too.
Having a business of your own is almost like having a new baby-- you cradle it in your arms gently as it grows, your breath catches in your throat when something goes wrong, you lose sleep at night thinking about it, you treasure it like a brilliant gem, it consumes your thoughts. It is a multitude of emotions and feelings at once-- it exhausts you and thrills you and inspires you and stresses you out and galvanizes you to want to do better every single day.
The bottom line: it's hard. But it's yours, and yours alone. There's a power and a strength in that. And we wouldn't have it any other way. We are slowly learning with every passing week from both our triumphs and mistakes and fine-tuning our mission and goals.
We have big plans for Water Gallery in the coming months and years-- new Wyland images; new artists for upcoming bottle editions; additional glass products such as artistic shot glasses, tumblers, pint glasses, and half-liter bottles; interesting accessories for bottles such as repurposed mountain climbing rope bottle carriers, light bases, and made-in-America scrub brushes that fit our bottles perfectly. And of course, we want to continue to further of vision of being a major player in the anti-plastic movement and in our vision to give back, focusing on philanthropic goals in the environmental realm.
Most of all, we are so inspired by our growing customer base and the people who care about our products. We want to listen to you-- those thoughtful and inventive voices that we "hear" over social media, over the phone, through product reviews, and via email. Your opinions and viewpoints mean the world to us and we can't grow without you. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts and we welcome you to join us on this wild ride.