December 18, 2016
Happy Everything from Hi Little One

Happy Holidays from Nell & Maggie at Hi Little One

I can't believe it's {insert any season, major holiday, or day of the week} already. 

I feel like I am always saying and hearing this phrase. While it rings true for me as we approach the end of 2016, it also feels extremely, well, believable. We packed a lot of life, a lot of work, a lot of everything into this year. As I wrap up the to-dos before taking some quiet time over the holidays I'm feeling both tired and excited. Spent and energized. Out of ideas and newly inspired.

This year we launched 9 new lines, three of which were really fun artist collaborations. We more than doubled all our social followings, our revenue, and our confidence in this company. We moved the studio—twice! We hired Sofie, our life-saving, super talented production assistant. We added more sizes, sped up production time, and lowered our prices.

So much to be proud of, and It feels really good to run through this montage in my head as I type (think Chariots of Fire). 

But we experienced some pretty major growing pains this year too. As luck would have it, we had our most heated founders fight in the moments before taking this picture. Just imagine my mom yelling at us to smile, Maggie and I barely speaking, with a barking dog and neighborhood construction noise in the background.

Actually, it was a pretty standard Ryan family photo experience. 

It's amazing how accomplishing so much can sometimes feel like so little. And the sneaky stress bombs that blow up a perfectly productive afternoon. Small business is hard stuff. That's the most common sentiment I hear from other business owners, and my most obvious takeaway from every day on the job. But it's also incredibly exciting, rewarding, and empowering. Luckily, much more so than it is draining. 

So in wrapping up this year, I am feeling so excited about what's in store for HLO in 2017. We're planning to expand to new products, moving beyond clothes, as well as adding tons of new styles to our lineup. We're exploring adding colored inventory to our options and learning how we can take our little-printer-that-could even further.

There's much to look forward outside of "the office" too. I'm expecting my first little one in March (!!!), which brings its own set of challenges, anxieties and so, so much joy already. (How am I going to make maternity leave happen? Ask me at the end of February.) Maggie's family is full steam ahead as usual, with junior high life, sports, braces (with headgear!), kids with cell phones, more sports, and a home renovation. I am pretty sure one or two of the Allen children will be due for "The Talk" this year too. Can't wait for the blog post on that!

Navigating the balance will no doubt be tricky moving forward, but I'm sure that together we can do it. Learning to be open to a community of support and asking for help has been one of the best lessons in starting this company. I am confident that will carry us through the big swings that lie ahead just like it's brought us this far. 

We wish you a healthy dose of happiness, perspective, and excitement as you round off your year as well. No doubt with some of the same ups and downs that we've shared here. Thank you as always for supporting our dream! Much love and gratitude to you and yours, and stay warm out there! 

Nell Lindquist