Two years ago this month, I made (or should say 'we made'), one of the scariest and most exciting decisions of our lives. I quit my day job to pursue our dream, Tuck & Bonté. I didn't really have 'a plan'. I didn't even have anything figured out. I just knew it was what I had to do. I was fed up with my job. I was tired of being exhausted and drained every single day doing something I was less than crazy about, when I could be doing something I loved. So, after much thinking and much praying, we decided to take the leap of faith. Surely we could live off of one salary until I got things up and running. . . haha! It all sounds so easy now. Let's just say it's easier said than done. It's easier to dream dreams than actually do dreams. But doing them is what's it's all about. We did it, and are still doing it, and I'll never regret it.
Last year was one of the hardest years of my life. No joke. Looking back now, I see all that happened and how necessary it was to get us where we are today. But then, I wasn't seeing anything. Most days I felt crazy. Stuck. Especially when the doubts and questions started rolling in. . .
What are you doing? Why would you quit your job? You're not making any money. You don't even have a plan. Why are you making party decor? You really want to make clothing. You're probably never gonna make clothing. You never even used what you went to school for. You are never going to be successful. It's too hard. It's really just too hard. Just quite now, why don't you.
All of those doubts, those fears, and those thoughts were so real. They were daily battles I had to fight, and still do some days. Starting a business is not for the faint of heart, BUT, it's not impossible. You have to have focus. You have to be passionate every single day about your vision. You have to take action to make that vision a reality. It's a lot of hard work. It's late hours and working on the weekends. There's a lot of plowing and planting that happens in the early stages, but it's so exciting to watch something you care so much about grow. There's nothing more life giving than to see your dream start out as a tiny baby idea, and to watch it grow, and grow, and mature.
That was last year for us. We didn't really make any money, or not very much. We didn't have a ton of sales. We didn't have many exciting opportunities or product features. We just kept creating new products, putting to life our little party ideas. We kept developing new products, planning photo shoots, and putting every bit of ourself into everything we made. As the saying goes, 'we kept on keeping on'.
That brings us to today. After 2 years, Tuck and Bonté is still in the baby stages. Our end goal is not to create party decor for weddings and events, but it's a start, and now it's our story. After so much hard work last year with not a lot of fruit to show for it, this year was a much needed encouragement. This year was different. It's like we finally started to see some fruit from all of our labor. We started to get products in magazines and featured on big blogs, the shop finally began getting consistent sales, and we had the amazing opportunity to start wholesaling with Anthropologie and The Knot. All that sounds like pure craziness when thinking back to last year, but it was just what we needed to keep on going. I know we'll have other hard seasons of change and growth for the business, but hopefully it will be followed by some of these good, fruitful seasons to always keep us moving forward.
One of my favorite things to do is read books about designers and successful business men. I love learning about the triumphs and failures that brought them to the present. Every successful person or idea started somewhere. That should encourage someone. It does me. It means that no one just woke up one day to a booming, successful business. They woke up and worked hard every single day.
It inspires me to know that Ralph Lauren started out making ties. That's it. He made ties, that he eventually got into one store, and then another, and then another, until it grew into the huge business it is today. It's inspiring to know that Howard Schultz of Starbucks had a crazy dream to sell espresso on-the-go. People told him that NO ONE would pay $3 dollars for a cup of coffee. He was turned down so many times, but he never gave up. He never stopped believing in his idea, until eventually, other people started believing in it as well. What would life be like without his idea? What would we all do without our Starbucks? It's a crazy thought for sure. It makes me ask the question. . .What would the world do without your idea? My idea?
Anyways, sorry I got a bit long winded there. I guess I'm just completely overwhelmed by our journey and how blessed we are today. We are so excited about where we're at, but we are even more excited about what the future holds. We hope to start incorporating fashion and furniture accessories into the brand sometime in the near future. We'll definitely keep you all posted. Thank you so much for all the support, encouraging words, and most of all, for believing in us. We wouldn't be here without you.
Cheers to 2!
Tuck and Bonté
"The elevator to success is out of order. You'll have to use the stairs. One step at a time." -Unknown