2020 Life and Business In A Nutshell

2020 Life in a Nutshell

Hello Everyone! It’s been a long…long…LONG…time since I’ve been here. I apologize for my absence. 2020 has been one hell of a year. As I stand here in 2021, making plans and goals-yes, I’m still making plans even in February. I can’t help but reflect on the teachings and changes of 2020.

2020 was a year everyone was not expecting. It started off great in the month of January. Coming off the holidays, I was ready to grow SeamSoReal. My motivation was flying high. I had inquiries for custom outfits and dance costumes.

After that, the pandemic hit. It was such a disaster. Places were closing down, and people were afraid to go out. Left and right people were losing their jobs.  

It was a tough year, not only for me but for everyone. Changes were happening all around whether we liked it or not. We all had to learn that we needed to be agile in order to adapt and survive.

Family Changes

I always try to keep everything on SeamSoReal fashion or sewing related, but I think 2020 affected everyone more than just their business sides. 

It was a challenging year as a family for us. Throughout the year, we were immersed in changes. We were so busy adjusting that we didn’t get as much time to spend with each other. 2020 was a year for no social gatherings, and if there were any special events, it was through zoom calls.

Even my little family felt the effects of the changes that occurred. Though we were home and quarantined together, it felt like we never saw each other. We were busy keeping up with life and keeping life moving.

Changes in Waves

One of our biggest life adjustments was virtual homeschooling. I have a love/hate relationship with it. My son, on the other hand, didn’t like it as it was different. As an adult, navigating thru changes is already hard. Imagine doing it at six. All I could do was help aid, my little guy.

He wasn’t able to see or play with his friends as he liked. Even classes were different. Getting used to school virtually took time. Not to mention the technical limitations that came with the school’s Chromebooks. Those limitations made it hard to turn in assignments, take tests, view videos sent by the teachers, and etc.

Sookie

Finally, when we were adjusting to the changes in our home routine and virtual schooling; things took a turn. Our first dog (fur baby) Sookie became ill and passed away in October. She spent over 11 beautiful years with us.

It was hard on our family to see her go and it was especially hard on me. Sookie was there for everything. She stayed up late with me when I was in college. Stood beside me as I said my vows. Walked into our first home with us, comforted me through my pregnancy, and welcomed my son with open arms.

She was also my son’s first friend. Sookie watched him pass every milestone and comforted him in his time of need as she did for me. She was perfect in every single way.

Sookie inspired many of my dogs wear clothes. I made her numerous outfits and she sported them well. Being the perfect model, she didn’t complain about wearing clothes. She wore whatever I put her in for the entire day without trying to rip it off.

We also had the privilege to shared in her milestones as she became a mother and grandmother. In fact, my other 3 dogs are her son and grandchildren. Thinking about her today still makes me cry.

It snowballs…

As we mourned for a family member, we were hit with more tragic news. Through the grapevine, we found out that my father-in-law passed away as well.

I didn’t know my father-in-law well, but I knew that he was an honest man. He was upfront about every decision he ever made in his life whether they were good or bad. There were no secrets he hid from us.

My father-in-law didn’t have the greatest relationship with my husband. He was uninvolved in my husband’s life growing up. Therefore, my husband was never really close to his father. However, they did start to slowly bond after my son was born.

When we heard the news of him passing, it was the last straw that broke the camel’s back. My little family and I took time out to mourn over our losses.

We needed closure. We needed time.

Through the month of December and January, we mourned and spent a lot of time reflecting. In mourning, we learned to accept the losses and cherish our time spent creating beautiful memories with them. Moving forward was the challenge. We decided to focus on their beautiful lives, and now trying to do things that we love.

Learning To Change

During 2020, I felt very grateful and fortunate that I had my SeamSoReal business. Even though it came with many uncertainties. It was a scary time. The pandemic caused many layoffs. People were scared because they were losing their livelihoods. 

As a small business owner, it was a scary time. With people losing jobs due to the closure of businesses people focused more on big-box retailers because they can get items cheaper. No one was looking for specialized items or services.

Although times were uncertain, and business was hard. I was happy that I had my own business. It meant that no one could fire me. Due to the economy, I did lose customers. Without customers, I had to find new ways to hustle.

After brainstorming with my husband, I decided to pivot from designing and sewing clothes to face masks. With the face mask shortage, I figured I can make the custom masks and teach people how to DIY them so that people can help protect themselves.

People followed my tutorial and others purchased masks from me.

My Illustrator skills became useful as I got the opportunity to design some logos and flyers for a local dance team. I also created logos and flyers for my little dance team as well.

In remembrance of Sookie, I started to create dog clothing again. I used to create dog clothes for her all the time. However, with many projects, I had stopped. I was glad I was able to make her one last outfit before she left us. I made her a traditional Hmong outfit.

Goals for 2021

  1. Grow SeamSoReal – I have been absent for a while. However, I would like to get back to a schedule and post at least 3 times a month. Increase the income that I can get from my blog and business.
  1. Increase my SEO and grow – I took some time to learn more about online marketing and would like to see if I can grow Seamsoreal’s SEO and online presence. I hope you can come along and help me on this journey.
  1. Be in the present –  While I work on my business, I get excited. This excitement usually absorbs me and then I zone everything out. I also tend to leave my personal life unattended. Therefore, going forward I plan to live more in the present and enjoy the time I have with my family and friends. My son is growing WAY too fast and I don’t want to miss a moment of it. So having more work-life balance is a goal of mines. I want to spend more time with my son before he thinks his parents aren’t cool anymore.
  1. Grow my son’s Youtube Channel – We started to get more serious with my son’s youtube channel. He likes to do mukbangs because he likes to watch SSoyoung and now Jini. If you don’t know what mukbangs are, they’re an audiovisual video in where the host eats an array of foods. Check out my son’s youtube and take a look around. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe to his channel!

Reflections

If I’ve learned anything from 2020, it solidified that change is always happening. Change is scary. However, if you open yourself to change with a positive mind, there are many things you can learn about yourself. Being able to navigate through change is what makes you stronger. 

As I look forward to what 2021 will bring, all I can do is be bold, be beautiful, be me, and accept changes!

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