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My Love Letter to 2019

My Love Letter to 2019

Holy smokes!! It is no joke that the older you get the quicker time goes by. I swear just the other day it was January 1st and here we are almost in 2020. This time of year I become the biggest sap (more so than my usual). I become reflective on the time that has gone by and ponder what is to come. Last year I wrote a similar blog post and I loved all that embodied (progress and memories). So here I am writing to you another love letter but this time to 2019. This year has presented many challenges, excitement and adventure. All of which have made for a crazy ride, one that I lucky enough to be on.
Without it being planned this way our year usually starts out in Thunder Bay (foreshadowing much). For the past three years myself and Rob have been spending New Years Eve in Thunder Bay. I am not one for the hype of NYE and usually by then with being in retail I am exhausted (hello bedtime before the countdown). I wanted to stick to my intentions this year ( I usually do not. No new year new me bullshit, until now) and I think I did just that. I said I wanted to find balance and nourishment, whatever that meant. I wanted to improve, connect with our customers, learn more about the industry and make time for self improvement. And here I am at Decembers end and I think I conquered just that. Start that highlight reel...
 
Highlights in no particular order:
I made more time for travel this year as it is what fuels me and why I will always work longer and harder days. We visited the Dominican Republic, Nashville, Kelowna and Vegas twice ( once for work and once for fun). All I can say is, "where to next?"
 
 
Dominican Republic in January

Nashville in March
Kelowna in May
Meeting Nicky Hilton in Vegas in August
Back in Vegas in December to see George Strait
I made time for professional development attending a Flat Lay Workshop with Well Curated as well as a photography workshop hosted by Monique Pantel. I loved the girls from Well Curated so much that we arranged for them to come to the shop in Kenora to take photos for me. I love the network that this business has brought me and getting to meet so many incredible humans.
Chasing that good lighting at a Photography workshop hosted by Monique Pantel attended with Daniela from DT Social Solutions.
This year for my personal nourishment I got to be a part of an amazing group of women called The Soul Collective and we put on our inaugural Soul Collective Retreat. A one day curated event that was a safe space for all women. It was an event to connect with ourselves as we all work towards our goals and dreams. The event focused on mindfulness, wellness and self care. I cannot tell you how much this day meant to me. From the laughter, the tears, the food and the women. Looking forward to see what this next year entails.
The Soul Collective Retreat photo by The Letter Elle Photography
We celebrated the websites first birthday in April and the brick and mortars 2nd birthday June 23rd. What a year! 365 days of highs and lows, life lessons and laughter. Two years zoomed by in a heartbeat and yet it feels like a lifetime of magic and adventure. Cheers to little shops and big dreams.
Photo taken by Noella from Well Curated
All the treats from Jenna Rae Cakes and Sweet LOTW
This year was a big year for growth. We were featured in three of the Condé Nast Traveller magazines, partnered with Jenna Rae Cakes, were featured on a few different blogs, asked by Bachelor Canada's Season Two winner to be a part of their holiday giveaway, were on CBC radio with Lisa Laco, our Instagram community reached 10,000 likes and asked by Intercity Mall to host a two month Pop Up Shop over the holiday season. I'm not quite sure how Poplar + Birch is going to top this in 2020.
A morning read and treat with partners Jenna Rae Cakes and a little blurb about P+B in Condé Nast Traveller.
A very early morning with CBC Radio's Lisa Laco discussing all things Poplar + Birch.
All things pretty at our Pop Up in Intercity Mall.
Amanda Bay from Bay Awesome Blog gave us a shout out for her Top 20 Holiday Gift List. To read another blog we were featured in this year click here.
And even though this little shop of mine stole the show this year there was one thing in my personal life that made this year the best one and that was our ENGAGEMENT. If you know me then you know I had been waiting a while for Rob to pop the question. If you also know us then you know it was the most romantic proposal and perfectly us (que the sarcasm). The day it happened was the same day we said yes to the Pop Up and was also Rob's birthday. That same weekend Rob caught the biggest bass of his life so when people said congrats he thought it was about his bass. Typical! What a day to remember.
Finally!!
Where was this bass during Bassin' For Bucks Tournament?
And after the highlight reel comes to an end here are the moments of realness and honesty. This year tested my patience in many ways and made me question a lot of things. There were moments I wanted to throw in the towel as I was crying to Rob or anyone who would listen. We don't highlight those moments because, well I'm not too sure why. I was feeling a little stagnant this year in my career (even though this is my passion there are days for sure) and didn't know what to do, along came the Pop Up. However,  we had to put a kitchen renovation on hold to make it work. Life isn't always sunshine and rainbows and you know what? It's okay! The tears, frustration and bad days really make you appreciate all the good ones.
In this next year I hope I can savour all the little moments and stop worrying about what's next, to learn from the hard moments, appreciate the good ones, grow this business of mine without sacrificing my mental health, keep striving for balance, maybe get married (lol) and continue to connect with our customers. I cannot wait in years to come to look back on 2019 fondly (I mean I already do). It's so easy to get down on yourself when you are in the thick of it all but when you come out on the other side, it's a pretty amazing sight to see. So from now until 2020 we will spend time with the ones we love most, avoid the emails, drink lots of bubbles, soak up that holiday magic and dance our way into the new year.
With love and gratitude,
Ashley
 

 

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