Looking back at 2020

I mean, 2020 right! 

I am not even going to touch on the big C word... we've all heard enough, we've all had enough too.

But I am going to take a wander through the year that has been for Let Them Play and our family because BOY has it been a big one.  PLUS let's look at what I have got cooking up for 2021...

Let's be honest, this business began in early 2019 and if you had shown me where I am sitting right now ( in my new office within our new mezzanine, overlooking our awesome workshop with a studio below me) I would have laughed so hard my coffee would have come out my nose. 

But here we are, and I am so dang proud but equally exhausted.

Starting a business when you are 6 months pregnant with your 4th baby is a odd move and not one I would recommend - juggling my business baby with the demands that come with being a mum has been something I will look back on and think "how in the world did you survive that Jules?"

At the beginning of 2020 and I had big plans for LTP but I underestimated what was about to go down.  The way I do most things in life is to go in with everything I have got, with little preparation or planning and hope for the best. 

My little brain is ridiculously impulsive and creative, with an added fun bonus of being really impatient. Lucky Steve is the calm, problem solving planner in our duo to help make all these plans I cook up work! 

We started 2020 working from our little studio which was originally Steve's Man Cave. I had also taken over Steve's carport and all his tools too ( lucky he's the patient one) so I knew eventually we would need to move this gig to a bigger space and out of our home.  SO I took the leap and started looking for a commercial space in May, and even though I wanted to sign the lease on every warehouse we saw... I listened to Steve, calmed my excitement down and eventually we found a awesome space in June. Even though we thought it would be WAY too much space for us, we figured we might grow into it.

Ha, we had no idea. 

Thanks to all of you, we started to outgrow our warehouse by Sept and the plans were cooked up to go up and build a BIG mezzanine. 

Moving into our new warehouse also meant we could take the next big leap in 2020 and purchase our own Laser Machine, who I have named "Laser Susan".

This has made the biggest change for our business and opened up so many opportunities for me to get creative at the drop of a hat. 

In 2020 we also welcomed six amazing team members into our crew. Its crazy to think that at the start of 2020 it was just Steve and I, with mum swooping in regularly to save the day and my sanity.  Then we grew by 1 - and holy cow batman, let me tell you... I had now idea how to be a "boss" or run a team.  I have a hard enough time running my own life!  But I jumped in with no clue and eventually after learning from many mistakes I started to get the hang of this team thing.

Now, I am lucky enough to say I have Steve, Mum, Nicole, Genna, Matty, Nicole, Jeanette and Pedra by my side and let me tell you... I wouldn't be where I am today without them.  I still second guess myself daily if I am doing a good job managing this team, but I appreciate the fact each of my team understand how my wild little brain works!

Each day I get the warm and fuzzies when I see the photos you tag us in - sharing your play and the adventures your children get up to with our creations. 

To see our Tree People travelling the world still blows my mind. These guys have travelled further then me and to be honest, I am a mixture of proud and jealous! To share in your cultures, traditions and to learn more about each of you fills my cup every time I see a picture you share. That's the beauty within social media, its how connected we can all be!

I've had the chance to connect with so many beautiful people this year, including each of my stockists and their lovely businesses. To be able to say our creations are stocked in 39 stores, across 9 countries gives me goosebumps. Its really cool and still a pinch me moment.

SO, 2021... 

Boy am I excited!

Firstly I feel like I am going into next year a bit more prepared but still as equally full of wild ideas ( look out Steve)!

I am working on a BUNCH of new designs to bring out in February or March including a new Australian Collection and some beautiful seasonal products.  

Easter is going to be big.  BIG! New stampers, new Story Scene and a few other ideas I have cooking up.

It's our 2nd Birthday in March so we will be doing LOADS of celebrating... and cake - always cake.

 Aside from all of that, personally we are working towards buying our dream semi rural block of land to build on... and spending more time doing the things that are really important.  My aim for 2021 is a few more holidays and down time, and less crazy wild 12+ hr days. 

Thank you again for all of your support in 2020 - and joining us on this super fun journey!

Jules x