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A 2018 Reflection, Complete with Shout-outs.

According to my social media feeds, 2018 seemed to be a rough year for a lot of people. I get it. I'm pushing 40 and adulthood is HARD. Politically, the world is on fire and the news makes me angry.  And being angry all the time is hard. Healthwise I haven't taken care of myself in 2018 and my body is paying the price. Parts of 2018 have really sucked but one thing has redeemed the year. 

The Oakley Soap Co. 

In 2018 I took my little hobby and turned it into a full blown business. The amount I have learned this is year is overwhelming. I went from never doing a market to being a regular on the scene (though I still can't put up my tent on my own). My soapmaking knowledge exploded, especially after attending the 2018 Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild Annual Conference. I'm actually reading books about buisness and listening to podcasts that I would have rolled my eyes at 2 years ago. 

Most importantly, I proved my inner critic wrong. I spent my entire life saying I could never run my own business. I wasn't smart enough.  I was too lazy. I was too scared. I would suck at networking. I suck at math. I couldn't take failure. But I was wrong.  I can run a successful, profitable business (even if that profit was teeny-tiny). 

While The Oakley Soap Co is my buisness there is NO WAY I could have done this alone. Consider this section a shout out to those who helped me along the way. 

First and most important:  Thank you to my husband Brett. He's been my biggest cheerleader and most important teacher. Without him I wouldn't have a buisness license or a website and I wouldn't have the slightest clue on how to pay my taxes. He's built everything from displays to my entire studio. I also wouldn't get anything done without his willingness to take on a lion's share of the housework and kid rearing, despite having a full time job and his own small buisness. And of course, I would never do a single market because I can't figure out that stupid tent. Thank you Brett.  I love you and I wouldn't be here without you. 

To my kids M and C. Thank you for your help and your "help".  From delivering packages to packing soap you've put in a ton of work.  And you've accepted me hiding out in the studio or being away on a Saturday selling my wares. 

To my extended family, especially my in-laws. My mom is constantly insisting on paying for products she gives out as gifts. My mother-in-law shares ALL of my social media posts and she and my father-in-law have been a huge help in supporting me as I expand my business knowledge. My sister-in-law is a fellow maker who is always open to sharing ideas and commiserating about the tough parts of this gig we've chosen. Thank you and I love you. 

To Stacy for getting all of Ricon, GA obsessed with my products. Thank you and I miss you. 

To Jenny, Kayleigh, Emily and Laura for helping me in a thousand different ways including sharing business ideas, helping at shows, being walking commercials for my products and most importantly, responding to panicked text messages with humor and reassurance. Thank you. 

To all my friends who have shared my posts, purchased my products or sent good vibes.  There are too many of you to name but you know who you are, especially my fellow Momsters. It is to you that I attribute the growth of The Oakley Soap Co. Thank you.  

To my fellow makers who are willing to share their knowledge and be a support. The overall soapmaking community and the general maker/crafter community of Cincinnati is wonderfully warm and supportive. I'm proud to be a part of both communities. 

To my customers: Thank you for taking a chance on The Oakley Soap Co. I know there are many other small businesses where you can shop and I am truly honored you spent your hard earned money on my products. 

I wish you all an amazing 2019. Happy New Year!

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