Jan 01, 2020
It’s time to make it official. 2019 is, as they say, in the books. And so is the entirety of the two thousand and tens.
It has felt almost impossible in the past few weeks to avoid all the “Best of” and “Worst of” lists and the 10-year challenge pics that mark the past ten years by feature films, songs, and products that changed (or, at least, tried to change) our lives, as well as the fashion and hairstyles of a decade past. It’s funny that we use these touchstones of pop culture and selfies to help us count the passage of time, but at the same time, is there really any better way to compare them than with cell phones or jeans? After all, the Blackberry and skinny jeans are to 2010 what mom jeans and the iPhone X are to 2020.
But all the trips down memory lane (and fond recollections of denim with slimmer silhouettes) aside, the past week I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on how I started this decade - and how I’ll go into the next.
2010 was a year of incredible change for me - it was the year I started this company. But, ten years later, the story of how Farmgirl began has, more or less, turned into a sound byte. If hindsight is 20/20 I think it also has a way of turning mountains into molehills. It’s easy to say that I quit my job at Stanford and started this company in the dining room of my Russian Hill apartment here in San Francisco. But those words - that single sentence - sum up the scariest thing I’d done in my entire life up until that point. I’d given up a steady paycheck and dumped my entire savings - $49,000 - into my dream of starting a company. And I’d given myself that savings or two years to make Farmgirl become a real business. While I knew what success looked like (and had a naively elementary financial model on my computer to prove it), what I didn’t know was the hundreds of variables and obstacles that would ultimately get in the way of me proving out each cell on that sheet.
And today? If I use that same mountain-to-mole hill approach - the rest is, as they say, history. While I didn’t necessarily do it the way I thought I would do it, I built Farmgirl into a viable business - one spreadsheet cell, one order, one more zero and comma in the revenue line at a time. And, perhaps most importantly, at a certain point, it wasn’t just an “I” anymore. It became, as it remains, very much a “we.” While I may be the face of Farmgirl, there is an amazing team that makes this company what it is today. A team of over 160 sets of hands that receive our flowers, process and design them, box them, order them, help you to order them, take photos and videos of them, send emails about them, create strategies about how to make them better and figure out how to get them from point A to point B faster and for less money. There’s so much more to what we do than I ever even knew when dreaming it up in that tiny living room in 2010. And I’m most grateful for the “we.”
But for as much that has changed, there is so much about 2020 that feels like 2010. We’re getting ready for the biggest year yet here at Farmgirl. One with more change, and even more unknown, than I or my team have ever encountered. And, for the record, it’s all good change. Incredible change hopefully. But it also means I’m gearing up for a year that will undoubtedly test my limits as an entrepreneur and a leader.
So, not to start 2020 out on anything but a high note or anything, but as I prepare for the new year (and the new decade) I’m trying to ready myself for my hardest year yet. And while I know that come January 1st a lot of people only want to hear positive affirmations as they embark upon a new year and a set of new resolutions, I also know some of you are probably in the same spot as I am. Our grinds may look a little different - you may be getting ready to start a new job, have a new baby, make a big life change or embark on some other sort of adventure - but we’re all using this time to reflect not on where we’ll be at the end of the year, but how we’ll get there. Every spreadsheet, every mile, every sleepless hour between us, and where we want to be. If it feels like the bottom of the hill, well, that’s because it kind of is. But if I’ve learned one thing at Farmgirl it’s that every step on the way is just as important as (and teaches you more than) the destination itself. I’m looking forward to sharing what that looks like for us with all of you along the way, in the same way, we always do - with honesty, transparency, and far more words than we probably should. Anything less just wouldn’t be the Farmgirl way.
So I’m starting this year off with some gratitude, some time with friends and family, and some time to myself so that I’m ready for every step, every part of the how that will bring me, my team, and Farmgirl to the great what that’s in store for all of us in 2020. And wherever you’re starting, I’m wishing you all a bit of the same - some gratitude, some time spent with the people and in the places that matter the most to you, and, most importantly, some (very) good things to come.
Happy New Year, and thank you so much for coming on this journey with us!