It's been a wild ride over the last year since I launched this brand. There might be a few surprises in this latest entry to some but there are certainly some things I want to express. Mostly just a few things I've learned and worked through over the last 12 or so months that have contributed to where things are today with this brand.
For starters, this all began and still is being managed entirely on the side of my regular day job. Sure, this is nothing new amidst the booming "gig economy" further spurred on by platforms like TaskRabbit and Uber. Running a business however is something I never really expected to do regardless of how big or small it may be. One of the biggest reasons for me to create this passion project was largely due to how tiring moonlighting as a freelance graphic designer was becoming. I lost the fulfillment that came from that and I wanted to find and create something I truly enjoyed doing. On top of that, I was finding it difficult to stay creatively engaged in my 8 to 5 inside a large corporation where the subjective nature of design reviews has a tendency to well...you get where I'm going. This was a chance to run things on my own and so far it's been a great step in that direction.
I've always considered myself to be social and enjoy the company of others especially, people with similar interests. Maybe that's stating the obvious but since day 1 I've wanted Camp Mug Supply Company to be a brand that connects with people and I want to be involved in those relationship. I've been energized by the way other people think and approach problems, whether that's in a business, a creative challenge, or planning the safest route down the side of a mountain on a slick board with sharp metal edges. Collaborating with other individuals I've met over the last year has honestly been one of the most rewarding things of all. Connecting with other small business, social media influencers, designers, illustrators, and artists continuously keeps me stoked and fuel this brand. So to any of you reading this that fall in that category (and you know who you are) I appreciate every bit of your engagement with with this brand and with the direction of where things are headed!
I've learned a lot over the last year and I think that's a big part of building whatever you can create. Right now, in 2018 everything is in your literally in the palm of your hands. Since college I have always had somewhat of an entrepreneurial mindset but the moment you take an idea into the tangible realm, you've immediately taken a huge step that so many people ignore. For me just a few of those steps now involve running the business, managing the finances, sourcing products, connecting with like-minded people, and above all, creating. It's been an interesting dilemma at times, sorting out how to run a business while also staying true to the creative reasons I started this in the first place. This is definitely an area I have a lot to learn, but genuine experience doesn't happen overnight. For now, growing with the business is an exciting aspect I didn't anticipate enjoying as much as I am. I see it ripple into other areas of my life and it's helped change my creative outlook on numerous situations. Designing and creating a brand from scratch is by no means for the faint of heart, I would encourage anyone with the inkling of an idea to just simply pursue it.
Summarizing a year in a few short paragraphs hardly does it justice, but attention spans aren't what they used to be so I'll leave it at this. For almost 2 years I waited for the right time to "start" and looking back I've realized there never was going to be a clearly defined, opportune moment. If it failed, or fails -- well, so be it. But in the beginning the only way to determine that outcome was to take a risk.