It’s the beginning of the New Year which means time for a clean slate and a fresh start. I don't have resolutions this year, but I do have some dreams.
I recently read an article about this lovely, eccentric geriatric fashionista who said "goals kills dreams." I thought that was poetic and kind of badass sounding, and refreshing after seeing so many #girlboss #goalkillah posts in my Instagram feed lately. Her point wasn't that goals are bad per se, it was that if you believe in a dream, you'll do it. And sometimes, when you over-plot a goal, it kills the enthusiasm before you get a chance to begin.
That's what 2016 was all about for Happy Camper Cocktail Company- jumping into the dream and just making it happen. And it was a lot of fun. I am a builder by passion so I really enjoyed building up a business.
I started Happy Camper Cocktail Company (HCCC) over one year ago and am proud to say that I did. We brought a new service to the market, a retro cocktail hour for receptions, indoor and outdoor weddings, business parties, and anything your heart might desire. We launched, we received rave reviews from our first 15 clients, and we even got to serve some celebs backstage at a local music festival, Bumbershoot.
2017 is a little different. Certain realities like business taxes and accounting have set in. I'm tasked with sharing our completed vision with the world, and we have a dream of filling our entire summer of Saturdays with outdoor weddings and cocktail hours.
We're focused on promoting our dessert bar and snack bar catering services and lawn game rentals to clients in addition to our awesome drinks so that we're truly a one-stop shop for cocktail receptions. Finally, we're hoping to connect with local vendors and venue owners as much as we can. We show our passion for our home through our support for local farms, but we'd also love to support and partner with our neighbors in the South Sound in other ways.
As I'm hustling along, I stay inspired by hearing from other small business owners and watching their dreams take shape. And I am ALL ABOUT encouraging one another through our growth. (I will like ALL of your Instagram pictures. Seriously, all of them.) So I would like to note that there are some pretty awesome women I know doing some pretty awesome things in 2017.
I’d like to start by noting my dear friend Courtney who left her job almost a year ago to do something that she was passionate about: digital marketing for nonprofits. Court’s company, Intellitonic, also focuses on for-profits, but this year, they are focusing on the organizations who make our community stronger, more inclusive, healthier and happier. Their 2017 mission is to get the word out about Google Ad Grants - qualifying nonprofits can receive $10,000 a month for AdWords ads. Cool, huh?
Meanwhile my sister Venise (remember her from our this page? She is a local farmer who grows a lot of the herbs and flowers we use for our cocktails) has started a new biz to connect farmers with meat consumers. The meat industry is a convoluted mess in the USA, and buying from local farmers is far more complicated than it should be. If you're tired of not knowing where your meat comes from, her e-commerce website is designed to help you and will be launching soon. This is something she is super passionate about and I am proud of her for taking this leap!
So, what are your plans for 2017? What is the one thing holding you back?
Chances are, you are not alone. I could not have started HCCC without the support from my husband, the help of my sister at Simple Goodness Farms, my girlfriends who have stepped in to help at expos and tend the bar cart, my dad and uncles at Millwork Outlet for the remodel help with the camper bar, and our early clients for believing in us as much as we do.
And Courtney did not launch Intellitonic on her own, she has the help of her two business partners, the support of her family, and clients who are willing to take a chance on their new business.
In fact, Courtney and I have helped each other out, too - when HCCC needed to upgrade our website from Wix to Squarespace, her company was there to not only help us make the transition, but do it right with basic SEO tactics and web content. In turn, we gave Intellitonic some shout outs via social media and collabed on this blog post here.
My point is here is really threefold:
(1) Do that thing that you’ve always wanted to do
(2) People truly like to help
(3) Leverage your connections
As cheesy as it is, we encourage you to follow your dreams, to start making choices that make you a happy camper, too.
Cheers to grabbing 2017 by the New Year’s Ball.