Wow, and just like that, another year has come and gone. I think we can all agree that 2020 was as unexpected as any year can get. From toilet paper shortages to the explosion of TikTok (we’re new, give us a follow!), from chaotic banana bread baking to countless Zoom socials, we’ve seen it all. Throughout these highs and lows, we choose to see things through a positive lens. Yes, there were huge challenges this past year, but also so much to be grateful for. Here are some of our highlights from 2020!
2020 - Our Year At A Glance
- Expanded our full-time team to a team of 4! It’s hard to believe that we are no longer a team of just two, and we are SO thankful that Lillie and Gaby believe in Three Ships’ vision as much as we do.
- Landed Target (Jan 2021), Whole Foods (Feb 2021 in California), Hudson’s Bay Company, Indigo, and Urban Outfitters (North America in April 2021) as retail partners!
- Launched two new products that quickly rose through the ranks to become top selling products (sold out 3x this year!) – our firming and brightening Dew Drops Mushroom Hyaluronic Acid + Vitamin C Serum and our UV-protecting Radiance Grape Stem Cell + Squalane Day Cream.
- Launched gift kits that were featured in Forbes just a few days after release
- Appeared on Dragons’ Den and left the Den with 4 offers! You can read all about our experience in this detailed blog post here.
- Won the national RBC Women of Influence Award in our category, from +8,600 nominations! We will use this platform to continue to inspire other women to take the leap into entrepreneurship.
As we reflect in gratitude, we wanted to share our biggest learnings from 2020. Read on to discover our three biggest takeaways from this year.
1. Slowing down is hard but much needed (Connie)
I kickstarted the year by flying to various retailers in the US to provide employee training. It wasn’t uncommon for me to fly to Los Angeles, drive for two hours to a key retail partner, train their staff, make the 2 hour drive back, and fly home to do it all over again in a few days. I was burnt out without realizing it (true story, I squeezed moisturizer onto my toothbrush by accident on multiple occasions!).
When the world essentially shut down, I was forced to slow down. I remember my initial thoughts were ones of worry (how would I keep up with all the growth and targets we had set for this year?!), anxiety (what am I going to do with my time? How will I sit with myself?), stress (will our retail partners shut down, and if so, what happens for our relationship?), and many other negative emotions. After I gave myself the time to slow down, however, I realized that so many ‘what if’ scenarios were just stories I made up in my head due to FEAR (future events appearing real).
When I reframed slowing down in a positive light, I learned so many benefits that I never would’ve realized if I had kept running full steam ahead. For example, I took more time for daily physical and mindfulness exercises, strategized on longer-term projects (including retail execution and team expansion), and also fostered my relationships with friends and family. By pausing with intentionality, I ultimately became a much better version of myself, and I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity that was ‘forced’ upon me. Now, I purposefully schedule fewer events in my calendar and allow myself more time to just *be*, a habit that I am carrying into 2021 and beyond.
2. Lean on Your Networks (Laura)
If COVID has taught us anything, it’s definitely the importance of connection and community. This year, we owe so much of our success to everyone who is in our networks. Friends. Family. Mentors. Advisors. Investors. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of these relationships. They have provided us with the motivation to keep going even when times are tough. They have provided us with the inspiration to keep dreaming and find a new path when we feel like we can’t come up with the right solution. And they have provided us with endless amounts of love to remind us about what this journey is really all about.
Remember to ask for help. Don’t struggle in silence. You likely already know someone who has the solution to the very problem that you are facing, if only you put up your hand to signal that you need them. This can be in the form of a post asking for references on LinkedIn. Or a late night call to a friend when you just don’t know where to turn to. Or an e-mail out to your mentors asking to get their take on a tricky situation.
Lean on these people.
3. Practice Self Compassion (Laura)
This year brought with it some of the highest highs and lowest lows. When life feels out of control or unknown sometimes we fall into the bad habit of trying to find a “reason” why all of this is happening. All too often, we place the blame on ourselves - believing that if only we had been smarter, faster or more courageous than we would have been able to avoid the lows. I’ve learned that this unfortunately is a losing battle. This year, I’ve learned the importance of practicing self-compassion.
Practicing is definitely the right word for this. It doesn’t come naturally to many of us, myself included. Ensuring that you are self compassionate takes constant work and is something that you need to put the time into in order to see results and change overtime. For me, I’ve found that the things that have helped me the most are:
- Surrounding myself with friends/family who are positive. They say that you are the average of the 7 people who you spend the most time with. Make sure that these 7 people are people who uplift you, bring light into your life and make you believe that there’s nothing that you can’t do.
- Doing one thing a day for yourself. It can be as simple as taking the extra time in the morning to make yourself your fav breakfast. Or maybe it’s going for a long walk with your dog at the end of a busy day. Or my fave - unwinding with a hot shower and a face mask. Whatever it is, do just one thing a day for yourself.
- Conquer your thinking traps. Midway through this year I was going through a really difficult time and fortunately found an incredible therapist who helped me work through how I was feeling. The biggest game-changer from our sessions was CBT (Cognitive Behavioural, Therapy) and in particular the Thinking Traps.
2020, it’s been a time. We can’t say that we’re going to miss you but are also grateful for the lessons that you taught us and everything that we got to experience this year. Thank you for following along on our journey. We’re very excited for what 2021 has in store and something that we know for sure is that the best is yet to come!
What’s been a lesson that you’ve learned this year? Let us know in the comments below!
Happy New Year!
Laura Burget + Connie Lo
Founders, Three Ships