Lessons I learned in 2019 and what I’ve taken from them
By Emma Taylor, Founder of Adventure Boy
In January & February 2020, we’re going to feature Guest Blogs written by amazing #amotherbrands on the theme of ‘Lessons I learned in 2019 and what I’ve taken from them.’ In these blogs, super impressive early-stage entrepreneurs who are mamas, blending life and work and learning as they go, will share what lessons they’ve learned in 2019 and how they hope it will inform them in 2020.
This blog features Emma Taylor, Founder of Adventure Boy, children's clothing and accessories brand, inspired by the outdoors and the spirit of adventure.
Launching Adventure Boy in 2019
We launched Adventure Boy at the very end of 2019. We are a children’s clothing and accessories brand, inspired by the outdoors and the spirit of adventure, and passionate about sustainable fashion and being as environmentally conscious as we can. We are a husband and wife team, with two little Adventure Boys of our own in tow. Life is chaotic but goodness me so much fun (on the whole!!…)
Developing Adventure Boy
Adventure Boy has been a developing idea for quite some time; it just took a major bravery pill to get on with it and get it out there. I struggle at times with the sense of not belonging and questioning whether we have something really valuable to offer. I was so worried about making everything absolutely perfect that it took longer to launch than it probably could or should have. I am a bit of an over thinker. So that has been a challenge. I don’t know where that comes from or why I worry so much. Deep down I truly believe that this brand, and our idea, and the ‘why’ behind it is awesome. I believe in it and I love it so I just need to get it out there. Not always easy though, especially in such a tough market and with so many fantastic brands out there. Hard not to compare yourself. We did some networking – linked to a different business I am involved in – and were part of an incredible Mastermind group a little while ago and someone there said something that just really clicked for me. “You just need to decide to go”. You either continue as you are and things never change. Or you just decide to go. Essentially it was the very wise notion that, if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.
Well we have decided to ‘go’. We got our signature designs ready and we launched. It felt so amazing and I can honestly say that seeing customers in our designs is one of the most amazing experiences of my life!
When we started out I was just blogging, and we were working on designs in the background, so I think our expectations for 2019 were just to build an audience and launch.
2020 is a different ball game in the sense that now we have launched and people have given us such positive feedback, we really need to take it to the next level, and that means getting the brand out there. No point remaining a well kept secret! So our biggest learning for 2020 needs to be marketing a small business and getting our brand seen.
Biggest gain of 2019: finding a group of like-minded women
One of the most significant gains of 2019 was linking up with a group of women also running businesses, who are going through the same work, business, family juggle and just ‘get it’. It is incredible to be able to share with others how things are going and get advice (and some sanity!) so that is definitely something I take away from last year and in to this one – the people you surround yourself with are absolutely key. You need people around you who lift you up. Who get you and what you are trying to do. It can be really intimidating to reach out, but I can honestly say this has been a key part of the process for me and has meant a lot, especially at times when it seems almost impossible. So a major piece of advice, and something I have learned very quickly, is to get yourself talking to others in a smilier position to your own. Share ideas, frustrations, ask advice, give advice where you can. All that sharing really means a lot, especially if you are working alone on the business and need a bit of interaction. Working from home is such a joy but it can be quite lonely and isolating. So being in a group like this or doing some networking or getting yourself to meetings, makes all the difference. It is a bit like having some work colleagues to bounce things off.
Biggest learning of 2019: know your 'Why'
I think one of the biggest things I have learned along the way (so far) and know I need to keep at the forefront as we move in to 2020, is to really know your ‘why’, and share you and your story. When you can share some of who you are, why you are doing what you’re doing and what it means to you, the warmth just radiates, it pulls people closer. I know that I buy from brands who I love and trust. People that have a story and a purpose. We have really tried to be open and honest about what Adventure Boy is and why it exists, and hopefully as we really start to share and shout about the brand, this comes through.
Here’s to a 2020 full of growth and learning and being brave enough to share!
With many thanks to Emma for sharing the lessons she learned in her first year of launching Adventure Boy. What an awesome achievement! If you’d like to know more about Adventure Boy please check out www.adventureboy.co.uk or follow Adventure Boy on Instagram here or Facebook here.
Did any of Emma’s lessons resonate with you?
What were the key lessons you learned in 2019?
Let me know in the comments 👇💕