I wanted to start this email by thanking you for your support this year. When the pandemic began I knew a lot would have to change to keep my little business alive. And a lot did change. I moved into a studio space with the intent of having both a studio and a retail space, but the world had different plans for me.
Over the Summer when things were at their worst, I took out a big loan to allow me to keep paying the bills. I closed my retail store a the end of October, and you came out in droves to support me. I was so fearful that the holidays would be terrible considering all we have been through. But again you supported my business and kept me working hard all November and December. I have spent hours packaging orders, writing notes, and tracking each package as it headed to your home.
Every year I give myself a little break after the holiday rush, and this year I will be doing the same. My break is going to be a little bit longer than normal this year, because I will be spending some time reevaluating what this business will look like next year.
I turn 30 this year, 30! I can't believe it. The weird thing about becoming an entrepreneur and business owner at such a young age is that time seems to both fly by and stand still all at once. I feel like the same 22 year old girl starting this business out of my parents basement, but alas, I am not. My hopes and dreams have shifted. The biggest shift being my need for financial security.
It is tough to talk about money, but as an entrepreneur, I wish someone would have told me how long and hard this road would be. I also wish someone would have talked about the difference between a business that is service based, and one that is product based. They are two very different monsters. Service based businesses can often become profitable quickly, where product based businesses take significantly longer because you have to built trust with your customers. I have, for the past 6 years, never paid myself more than $18,000 a year, and most years it is less than that. That takes a toll both emotionally and mentally, and this year, with a pandemic looming, my financial insecurity really hit me hard.
With all of that in mind, I will be taking the break to try to figure out a better way to keep Tesoro going. I will be considering manufacturing overseas in Italy, with family owned companies. I will be considering making Tesoro seasonal, something I only do around the holidays, when I am most busy, and I will be considering starting a new business that is more centered around photography/branding, as that is something I have become more and more passionate about through the years.
I have no idea how I will feel, or how I will even make these decisions honestly. It is been something I have been dreading addressing, but it's time that I sit down and see if this is really a feasible career path for me.
If you have read all of this, thank you. Thank you for your interest in my business, for your passion in supporting female run, or small businesses. And thank you for sticking by me when times have been so incredibly tough.
My business only exists because of you, and that is something I will never, ever forget.