“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” – Maria Robinson
I literally can’t believe this year is over. It was just the beginning of the year, then I blinked. lol So much happened in what seems to be such a short time, like getting engaged, starting a new job, and moving to a new home. Within all these major life changes, I’ve managed to squeeze in some accomplishments, and epic fails, for personal goals I set this year. So, I wanted to take this time to reflect on what they were and how to move forward into 2017. Feel free to follow along and give yourself a review to prep for the new year as well!
I’m breaking this down into 3 sections, here are the 3 questions that I’m going to answer in my Annual Review:
- What was accomplished this year?
- What didn’t go so well this year?
- What am I working towards or new goals for 2017?
So, without further due…
– What was accomplished this year?
Pumps and Pouts, LLC. When I decided to rebrand my blog, for the 2nd time lol, I really wanted to build a brand. Yes, I still wanted my blog to personal and share things that I love and my life experiences, but I also needed to start thinking about what I am representing as a brand, and remaining true to that brand. I also had other goals that I wanted to set myself up for when I was ready to create product lines for my brand, and later expanding it into other entrepreneurial avenues. But since the relaunch in April, things have been sailing smoothly and my views are building back up.
eCommerce. I did it! I finally opened a little online store. It’s not a lot on it, but its the items I would want sell. I started off with 3 small shops combined into one, but I have scaled down since its grand opening, which I will explain later.
Instagram. I somehow managed to rack up 10,000 followers and can’t believe it. I can’t believe ppl actually like my content that much! (Excuse me discrediting myself, bad habit of mine) I managed to even sneak in a couple of brand repost. My most memorable and fave social media moment is when I briefly went viral from a Tarte Cosmetics Brand repost. Like, I couldn’t believe that a brand that size even saw the photo!
New Job. I started a new job in September! Along with all of my blogging brand changes, I’ve had a couple of industry changes as well. As some of you may know, I went to school for fashion design at Savannah College of Art and Design. I later went to intern and work for a favorite #GIRLBOSS of mine, Sarah Blakely, at SPANX. Once my contract ended there, I went to work at an awesome financial planning firm, oXYgen Financial, as a financial advisor assistant. Now I work at one of the largest distributor companies in the southeast, called Southeast Paper Group. So far, it has been a very rewarding experience. I’ve learned a lot and am looking forward to growing with the company.
Youtube. I started creating tutorials last year and I’ve gotten a lot better than when I first started. It’s definitely something I want to continue and do more of. Will get into more of the details in a few.
– What didn’t go so well this year?
eCommerce. So circling back on the online store…EPIC FAIL! And I’m ok with that, and here’s why. First, I started off with 3 small shops in 1: The P+P Shoppe, Atunlo, and Currently Crafted. I think I bit off more than I could chew. I should have started small and then worked my way up to the other branches. I would love to bring the other 2 concepts back at another time, but for now, I am going to focus on the The P+P Shoppe and perfecting it. Secondly, I barely did any marketing for it! I think I ran one Facebook ad from year to date. How did I expect to make a sale without putting the leg work! Stores don’t just upon and start selling immediately, you know.
Self-Photography. As a self-taught photographer, which I don’t think I can honestly call myself a photographer, I kind of suck! lol Ok, I’m not that horrible. But for me to be running a one-man show, I’m not doing to bad! It is something I definitely want to work on because I want to create the best visual content that I can.
Youtube. Sometimes I really let my nerves get the best of me or I judge myself way too hard. I’ve recorded a good amount of tutorials this year, but didn’t post them all. I didn’t like them, I didn’t feel comfortable posting them, or I had camera issues to the point the footage couldn’t go up. I have a Sony A-5100, it’s a mirrorless lens camera. I love working with it, but it also has one annoying flaw. If it overheats, it will cut off. And it doesn’t really give you a good notice that it is cutting off midway through you filming. So, a lot of footage didn’t get filmed due to that little issue. However, I’m learning how to work with this and just film multiple shots rather than having to buy a whole new camera, which can get pricey.
– What am I working towards or new goals for 2017?
As a content creator. Creating better content, and more useful content at that! I don’t want own a useless blog, there are probably thousands of those. I want my viewers to feel informed or inspired! Though blogging is fun for me, I also want to feel like it is helpful and interesting in some shape or form. So next year I really want to tackle all my avenues, social media, blogging, youtube, etc. I want to take a photography class so I can really know what I’m doing and proper photo editing. I also think that it is time for me to stop being superwoman and invest in a photographer from time to time. As far as tapping into the social media influencer market, I am looking forward to working with more amazing brands that I’m passionate about. Also, expect to see some new faces this year from guest bloggers!
As a person. I always joke that I am a never-ending work in progress. lol I am a perfectionist, a control freak (I can’t believe I just admitted it), I have terrible anxiety, and have the worst time management skills ever. I know these aren’t all an easy fix, but I’d like turn my flaws into something I can work with instead of trying to work against. I am really hard on myself about everything, and really need to learn how to constructively critique myself so I can assess it and make the changes. I also want to start getting feedback from my viewers. You are ultimately reading the content, so I want to know what you love the most and what I should stop posting on.
Time management. I PROMISE TO ACTUALLY MAKE A BLOG SCHEDULE THIS YEAR. Bottom line! I can’t keep stressing myself out because I don’t have a post prepared or content ready. Also, being consistent. As far as my anxiety goes, it’s not going anywhere so I just have to keep it under control and not let it get to me or scare me into not accomplishing the things that I want due to fear. Lastly, actually taking care of my body. I eat horribly and I don’t work out, to be honest I don’t like to work out. I really want to give yoga a try, relax my mind and keep in shape. I want to start cooking more and eating out less as well.
As an entrepreneur. I want to be successful in what ever I decide to dabble in. So, I will continue to work had and never give up! I won’t be afraid to fail a few times. Do my research, and learn from my mistakes and others. As a blogger, I would love to start a segment on blogging tips for those who’d want to give it a try. As a retailer, I want to continue with my small eCommerce shop and hopefully start generating some sales! All of my smaller goals will hopefully one day lead me to my long-term goal of being a fashion designer and owning my own cosmetics line. Only time will tell, and a lot of hard work of course!
Well, I’m sorry for that rather lengthy review, but it was very insightful. And quite therapeutic if you ask me. I am looking forward to 2017! I want to make it a successful year! How was 2016 for you? What are your goals for next year? Let me know in the comments below!
Brown Eyed Toast says
Girl, forget other girlbosses. YOU are one of the most inspiration girlbosses I’ve come across yet! So much kudos to you for all that you accomplished in 2016. Managing a blog alone is tough work, but ecommerce, photography, Youtube videos?? You’re a Jill of all trades!! And I really appreciate your honesty about you points of improvement, but even those don’t sound bad at all. Simply points I know you will improve upon and dominate in 2017! This is YOUR year, and I can’t wait to see all the amazing things you will accomplish!!
xo Soo | http://www.BrownEyedToast.com
Thanks so much! You are definitely a girlboss for sure! I’m excited for what next and hope to get a lot accomplished this year. Hope your 2017 is off to an amazing start too!
wow! Congratulations girl, that is a huge achievement and I wish you a good 2017. I believe 2016 is just the start of new beginnings for you! wishing you all the best this year girl. love your blog!
Katya Bychkova says
This is such honest and inspiring post! I also went through a lot of ups and downs in 2016 and I can relate to a pet list a few points from your list! By the way I have Sony a6000 camera and it has the exact same problem! I was thinking of starting a YouTube channel in 2017 but the battery thing seems to be a problem… do you have any suggestions for a good video camera? Thank you!
You should definitely do so! I love your makeup tutorials already, I’ve haven’t done them with just photos, but you do such an amazing job. So, I know your youtube channel will be just as great! I recently just traded in for the canon rebel t6i, I have heard a ton of great review, so we’ll see how it goes. 🙂
Virna Gambini says
Wow Kayla, thanks for sharing such an honest review! It’s very refreshing to read it, ’cause we had some of the same struggles (especially with rebranding the blog and upping the Instagram game) and not mant people seem to be talking openly about them! Thank you very much… and, of course, happy new year!
Thank you! It’s awesome to know that others have went through the same struggles in order to achieve the vision they have for their blogs. It may look easy, but it’s been such a learning experience on how much really goes into it!
EVA LAKO says
Such an amazing good work:Love your e-shop especially the covers, the poster and the CELFIE tees. Congrats for inspiration and support.
wish you a great new year!!!
Eva from Italy
What a great assessment! Looks like 2016 was pretty good – congrats on your viral repost! I’m still waiting for one of those LOL. Wishing you luck in 2017!
Congrats on hitting some of those milestones! It sounds like you had an AMAZING 2016! I rebranded this year too and it was such a transition but well worth the energy put into it! Love everything about your site! Have a beautiful 2017!
Manda | http://EvocativelyChoesn.com
That is seriously so amazing! I just rebranded my blog too back in October and it was the best thing I have ever done! Love that you started your own online store too! Congrats on hitting 10K. So amazing reading about your journey. Happy 2017.
Thomas Falkenstedt says
I truly admire how much you’ve achieved during this year, but also the fact that you won’t some small (well not really) setbacks make you take a step back, instead you’ve learned from it! Running all the things you do is truly an achievement in itself and soon your e-commerce will be blooming as well 🙂
Helen Chik says
I love how honest you are in this post lovely and we all start somewhere (I’m a self taught photographer too) and you are doing an amazing job girl! Here’s to a bigger and better 2017!
Hope you had a fabulous New Years darling!
Thanks Helen! Photography is pretty hard lol. I didn’t find a couple of free classes, so hopefully I’ll get the hang of it. Your photos are amazing, you look like you’re a pro! 🙂
Jennifer Lee Quattrucci says
You are so unbelievably amazing! Congratulations to you on all your accomplishments! I have been a loyal follower do so long now and I’m not surprised at all that you have 10,000 followers and that you are so successful! Thank you so much for the inspiration!
Elizabeth Lee says
You know what babe? You did so much this year and it sounds liked you learned a lot too. I think you will look back on 2016 as a year of growth. You are amazing and looking incredible in that photo.
Thank you so much! I definitely want to use last year as lesson to grow from. Hop you are having a great 2017 so far!
Heather Stennis says
Excited to see what 2017 has in store for your blog! Happy New Year!
Thanks so much Heather! Hope your year has been off to a great start! Will have to get together with you guys soon!
You look fab in that shimmering dress Kayla! And wow e-commerce sounds real challenging! 2016 was challenging for me as I started a new blog about beauty and managing 2 blogs is burning me out. My goals for the next year is hope my blogging ‘business’ picks up so I can quit my full-time job for good *fingers crossed
Wish you a Happy New Year in advance and look fwd to reading more of your posts in 2017!
http://www.AldoraMuses.com | http://BeautyBedazzled.blogspot.com