In the midst of a turbulent year, we’ve decided to take the time to sit down and take a look at our year, its successes, our misgivings, and everything in-between. Why? Well, it goes without saying that reviewing our achievements, pitfalls, highs and lows is a good thing, especially for a creative business. Additionally, when you’ve endured a year unlike any other, it can be exceptionally encouraging. We won’t say we’ve been perfect - not even close. But we’re learning to celebrate everything: the achievements, the accolades, the mistakes and hardships, and we want to encourage you to do the same. So, fellow creative? Here’s our Year in Review.
" There will never be a time where we don’t have goals and KPI in place. "
What we learned
At the start of this year, we set some crucial key performance indicators (KPI) and goals for ourselves. We’re a goal-oriented, results-driven team, and in our first *official* year of business, we wanted to make sure we got off on the right foot.
We later learned how important those KPI were to our success. Throughout a year of unexpected twists and turns, we had a few guiding lights. On the one hand, we had our goals in mind - the things we wanted (and frankly, needed) to achieve for 2020. On the other, we had the KPI in mind that we needed to achieve week over week and month over month, in order to reach those goals. Had we not set our KPI and goals ahead of time, it would’ve been far too easy to become lost in this year’s madness. Mark our words - there will never be a time where we don’t have goals and KPI in place.
What went well
Since we’re optimists, let’s start with happy thoughts of the things that went well. Calling back to our mention of KPI and goals, we had a few large goals in place for 2020. Our first goal was to have a successful product launch, which we achieved. Secondly, we wanted to extend our reach into the educational realm of the creative community, by creating and launching course(s) unlike any other. Lastly, we wanted to hit 6,000 followers on Instagram by the end of 2020.
We’re so happy to say that not only did our pieces launch successfully, but we exceeded our goal of over 1,000 course sales in 2020. We also managed to achieve that 6k mark on Instagram by mid-December, which felt really, really good. Again, had we not had those definitive numbers in mind (i.e., 6,000 followers on Instagram, 1,000 course sales), we wouldn’t have had anything to work towards, chip away at, or count down to.
Speaking of creative courses - can we take a moment to celebrate the fact that in 2020, we launched two courses with 12 creators, all of which brought an incredible amount of value to the table? We feel so honored to have been able to connect with the artists and creators that we have, especially in a year rife with feelings of disconnection and distance.
We also chose to outsource in 2020, which was something we’d never done before. While the idea of hiring on or allowing someone else to take part in your creative dream can be terrifying, we wouldn’t have achieved the things we did without doing so. Earlier in the year, we brought on a Project Manager, whose main responsibility was (and is) to offload the smaller details from Claire’s shoulders, in an effort to allow Claire the ability to stay within her genius zone - creativity. Claire found herself feeling bogged down by logistics, reports, shipping schedules and factory needs, which had an effect on her ability to really move the needle in the business, and keep dreaming up new and exciting things. Had Claire not hired a Project Manager, she likely wouldn’t have had the time or energy to create not just one, but two creative courses that have served over 1,000 freelancers and business owners this year alone.
So, the long and short of it is: outsource the things that don’t bring you joy, and the things that don’t serve your zone of genius. And please, set some goals and track your KPI!
" We’ll preface things by saying that success does not come without plenty of strife. "
What didn’t go so well
Please excuse us while we lie down on the sofa for this one.
We’ll preface things by saying that success does not come without plenty of strife. When you combine a mixture of launching our unique pieces to the public, outsourcing for the first time and creating two courses in the matter of 6 months, there’s plenty of room for chaos. And we certainly had our fair share.
As a product brand, remote work is not necessarily conducive or easy to operate within. We didn’t immediately have a plan to sell our pieces online only - it just so happened to workout that way, given the fact that our state faced shutdowns in March of 2020. That said, we had to pivot, and pivot quickly. How would we get pieces directly from our factory, to our customers? How would we make sure our customers received those pieces within a normal amount of time? What amount of time is “normal” to ship large, wooden blocks?
We transitioned from standard ordering, to preordering, and back to standard ordering again. We added in bulk ordering options, to help our customers save on shippings. We troubleshot packaging (because apparently, even wood can chip), and ironed out massively backlogged shipping timelines. We set expectations, finally, with our customers, so that everyone was aware of when they’d get their pieces, and why it took a fair amount of time for them to arrive.
As if that wasn’t enough, we then underwent multiple factory changes due to quality control concerns. In case you haven’t noticed - we’re a group of perfectionists. We caught on fairly early in the year that some of our pieces were not up to par with our standards, so we took the time to replace them for our customers, and search out new factories. After a few factory changes (and a huge nod to Claire, who managed it all remotely), we finally found the right factory and ordering process for our audience.
Now, we won’t be foolish enough to think that we’ve gotten it all figured out. As we head into 2021, we’re fairly sure that we’ll have our own share of new obstacles and shipping difficulties to tackle. That said, we’re pretty excited about our new shipping and factory process, and are so glad to see that you are, too.
Where we want to go
A normal person might say, “I’ve achieved so much in 2020, I’m going to ride that success into 2021, “ but as you know, we’re far from normal
In addition to our current pieces, we’re looking forward to launching a few new products in the beginning of the year. We also have a goal of launching a couple of courses in different subjects that will continue to serve our beloved creative community in new and exciting ways.
All in all, our end goal remains the same: we’re working towards that moment where we breathe in a huge sigh of relief and pride, and take a moment to say, “we did it.” Maybe we can schedule a time to do so in 2021 over a zoom coffee date?
Here’s hoping you’re ringing in the new year in your best Mood.
The Moodelier Team
The cover page: Helen Koker
First image: Claire Xue
Second image: Teresa Freitas
Third image: Helen Koker