It's hard to believe that just a little over a year ago we opened the doors to our new local shop! This past week we celebrated Red Velvet's birthday. It was such a crazy year. A year I will never forget! Here are a few of my favorite memories... Our Grand Opening Party What a surreal night. We were overwhelmed with love and support from our family, the community and our online friends.
Our ribbon cutting, which we chose to do privately with our family. It was so special showing them around the shop for the first time.
Our first store tour, photography by Mary of Float Away Studios. You can see the dress shop, the decor, the sweet shoppe, our children's and men's sections and some sister portraits.
Together, Emma and I had adventures in buying vintage, watching a beautiful couple get engaged in our shop, hiring new team members and creating a new website. We made our first lookbook and started working on our first dress collection in the new year.
You can read the full story of our first dress collection, here. It was an incredible experience!
In the first year we enjoyed working in the local shop, building displays and meeting hundreds of blog readers who came to visit!
We were honored to be on the local news five times, as well as lots of other wonderful publications.
We hired Kinsey to work in our local shop after meeting her when she modeled for a vintage shoot. She's been a special part of our year and a very important part of the RV team.
This was one of my favorite photo shoots from the whole year!
On September 1st we released our second collection. You can see all the dresses here and watch the lookbook video here. Our second collection was an even bigger learning experience than the first! It was a lot of fun and really special. We tried some new things, failed at a few and ended up with a collection that was more successful than the first. We are super thankful for this.
During both dress collections we collaborated with Mallory. She interned for us twice in 2011. She did an incredible job, built a solid portfolio, co-wrote an e-course with me and become one of my dearest friends. Recently, she was asked to give a talk at her school about her internship experience because it was so successful! We are incredibly proud of her and had a wonderful time working with her on these first two collections. I hope that the future brings us more opportunities to work with this talented little lady, but any company out there would be lucky to have her.
Two of the other interns we worked with on the Autumn collection are working for Red Velvet now on 2012 designs. So, it's safe to say that 2011 was a wonderful year for building the Red Velvet team!
In September, we travelved to Chicago to sell our handmade goods at the Renegade Craft Fair. It was a lot of fun, surprisingly relaxing and felt like a treat after a year of being crazy busy.
This year was magical. I am so thankful for my partner, Emma, our wonderful family and support system of best friends. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, to every single person who supported Red Velvet this year. We are so thankful and more excited than ever to move forward into the new year!
What we learned this year:
-You can't do everything, it's best to narrow your focus to a few special projects. We tend to focus on one project at a time throughout the year (clothing line, e-courses etc) this keeps things interesting.
-There is nothing more important than building a loyal, passionate team. When our employees have proven to be both passionate and loyal, we reward them.
-Testing things is good, Try things out before making a big commitment! And most importantly... Take advice from people who are wiser and more experienced than you. It pays to be a good listener and a note-taker!
Would like like to learn more? I have written a post about What it's like to own a vintage boutique? and 5 Tips for Small Business Owners as well as an intensive e-course on business called Dream Job. Thanks for being a part of this wonderful adventure. xo. elsie