The kids are back in school, the workspace is completely reorganized, satisfying all my OCD dreams, and I’m back at it with the beads in the workshop. 2020 is HERE and it’s moving right along just like 2017, 2018, and 2019 did, even though seeing the new numbers on the calendar totally stop me in my tracks sometimes. Shep, my January baby, is six years old, Delaney Bee is two and a half, and January Moon, the middle child, turned three. As I get ready to look forward to the year ahead, it’s impossible not to look back first.
Our debut was Porter Flea Holiday Market 2016. Mike and I stayed up until 3:00 am the night before building out the booth, chugging decaf coffee, popping antacids (secretly three months pregnant), and putting the finishing touches on my very first collection. God, was I nervous. I had no idea what I would say to people when they walked up to me and I remember putting out a very strong “deer in headlights” vibe when anyone approached the booth. I believed in my product and I wanted other people to believe in it too but learning how to tell my story took time. I was clumsy and sweaty, I fumbled my way through markets and my very first trade show but because I truly did believe, I kept trying. Eventually, that trying paid off.
In 2017, one of my heroes became one of my champions. Venerable goddess of color and creativity Joy Cho of Oh Joy! began to feature January Moon products on her feed and soon after, we collaborated on an exclusive design for her online boutique. After months of standing on my January Moon soapbox, it not only felt like people were listening but finally, they were talking about us too. That year, all of my press dreams came true. We were featured in Pregnancy & Newborn, Designmilk Everyday, and British Vogue and soon, our list of stockists and sweet customers began to grow.
That year, the orders weren’t the only thing to grow. Delaney Bee Luckett came barreling into the world right after our Memorial Day cookout and with her, came LOADS of inspiration. I was deep in baby mode and even though I’d had plenty of experience with Shep, I felt like a first-time mom all over again. I navigated teething, toddling, and trying to balance it all the best that I could and even though I was overwhelmed, I got an up-close look at how our teething jewelry really worked. Thankfully, Delaney approved and quickly asserted herself as Head of Product Development and Quality Control. She showed me what was working and what wasn’t, and she gave me plenty of new ideas. Most notably, our paci clips, which have become a bestseller (she’ll never let me forget it).
Speaking of sales, in 2018, we landed some of our biggest accounts. Our January Moon x Maisonette collaboration landed on shelves at Nordstrom. You better believe I hightailed it to the Grove when I was in LA, just to see it for myself. We began dealing with larger retailers like Uncommon Goods and The Tot, trying to find our way as a small business in a big industry, which was both incredibly validating and wildly intimidating. As a small business owner, the fight for that kind of visibility is very real and getting on shelves matters. That fall, I found myself wanting to find a way to showcase some of Nashville’s other amazing local makers. In the thick of our busiest year yet with an active toddler and kid in pre-K, I got together with my friends Jennifer of Scout Baby and Tana of Hoop House and planned a brick and mortar store. I know, I don’t know what I was thinking either. The Getalong opened February 2019 and it’s one of my favorite places on earth.
It hasn’t been seamless, I hope it doesn’t seem that way. I stretched myself too thin, I made mistakes and felt like I wasn’t showing up for the people I cared the most about. I wanted to do everything myself, but I couldn’t. By spring 2019, I was so caught up in production, I hardly had time to think about where I wanted January Moon to go next. I was suffering and so was the brand. It was time for my work family to grow too. I brought on artisans and the dazzling girls of Virtual Collective to help me manage my whole universe. It was very humbling and very hard for me to relinquish even the smallest bit of control but having these amazing women alongside me makes me love January Moon even more. With the extra help (and loads of encouragement) I was able to get back to my true love, design. We launched January Moon Sensory that summer.
Thinking my way back through all that has changed is mind-blowing but I’m even more struck by how much has stayed the same. I still want to create beautiful products that simplify life for families. I’m still deeply committed to quality and design. I still want parents to know that above all else, they can depend on us for support. A brand-new year can look big and scary on paper but I’m so excited to keep moving forward and always, to take the time to look back on this crazy, wonderful, rewarding January Moon journey. We’ve got new design announcements coming soon and a very special teething product ready to bloom just in time for Spring! 2020, let’s do this!
Founder | Designer | Wine Expert | Problem Solver at January Moon | Wife to Mike | Mom to Shep and Delaney at Home