Today, Culture Club is a year old. Wow, already?!?! On May 5, 2014, we took a leap of faith, threw all of our chips in and turned what most would consider a pipe dream into our reality. As I sit here and reflect, I'm filled with a range of emotions stirring inside of me: Bewilderment and a little shock as to where the last year has gone; Joy and elation as I look back on where we began and where we stand today; Utter wonderment, hope, and excitement for the future that is ahead of us. This last year has had its share of high highs, extreme lows, and some mediocrity in the middle, but it's the "bumps in the road" that truly make it an adventure, right?
FANTASY VS. REALITY
Amber and I went into this venture with a wide eyed, fantastical idea of what living out our dream was going to be and then were hit with the shocking reality of what being a small business owner truly is. I still remember the first day we launched our online store. We prayed and cried tears of joy before hitting that publish button. Immediately after, we discussed planning our next buying trip in the month to follow, so super confident that everything would be sold out by the week's end. Reality check #1. The sound of crickets. No one bought anything our first week. We sent out mass texts to all of our loved ones and flooded our Instagram and Facebook with posts luring everyone else to our newly developed website on that very first day and the days to follow, and still, no one came. We were crushed and doubt began to rain on our newfound little parade. It would have been so easy to throw ourselves a pity party and commiserate (I won't lie, we actually did that first weekend), but we picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves off, and brainstormed "out of the box" ways that we could get our business off of the ground. Sales finally came and at that moment, we realized that patience and ingenuity go hand in hand with hard work when you are creating something that you are passionate about. This was the first in many "bleeps on our radar" over the last year. The difference between then and now is our perspective. We look at things through different eyes. We try to not sweat the small stuff (Amber's better at it than I am). We know that #thestruggleisreal, but it's a struggle that is worth fighting for, so we continue to forge ahead. The great payoff.
ONE OF OUR GREATEST REWARDS
Though our passion is for all things fashion and beauty, the one true love of our lives is Jesus Christ. It was important that we live as a reflection of Him, even in our business. We wanted to get involved and give back to the community, and it was here that our partnership with Kapiolani Hospital was born. We've had the honor and privilege to participate in their Canteen program, as well as their Masquerade themed Prom. Nothing is more rewarding then seeing the happiness and joy on the faces of these teens who are living in the face of adversity. It's a true testament of grace and thankfulness. Everything is pale in comparison. This is one of our greatest rewards to date, and we look forward to growing Culture Club in a way that will continue to make a major impact.
Jeremiah 29:11 says "For I know the plans I have for you" declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future". Things haven't always worked out the way that we initially anticipated, and we've had moments where we have questioned whether our passion and perseverance was enough. It all came down to this, our faith in God. I now realize that the struggles, shortcomings, and frustrations we've faced in this last year was God's way of preparing us for His greater plan and purpose. It isn't a coincidence that we started a business centered around our great love for fashion and beauty. Nor is it a coincidence that I'm in business with one of my extremely talented best friends. We've learned a lot about ourselves, each other, our business, and our goals for the future of Culture Club. Doors are opening, opportunities are presenting themselves, and our business is beginning to gain momentum. In retrospect, each obstacle has provided an even greater reward. What's next for Culture Club, you ask? Oh, just a fun little vehicle of our very own. Stay tuned. We're about to take you on a tremendous ride.