It's our birthday and we think birthdays are awesome! There's cake, people give you fun presents, and WAAAAY back in the day, your friends would celebrate with you. Like, in person! Pre-pandemic lockdowns, of course. Remember those days???
They're also a great time to reflect on the past year - the wins, the epic failures, and everything in between. This time last year, we were headed to Berkeley, CA as a finalist in Title Nine's Pitchfest. A little over a month later, we launched in all of their retail stores, right before the holidays. Our products sailed around the world with the next generation of professional women sailors on Maiden, the first all-women crew to sail in the round-the-world Whitbread Race 30 years ago. We have been surrounded by trailblazing women this year (and they're all using our products!)
And then 2020 hit.... Holy shit, what a wild ride it has been!
Just for fun (and who doesn't need some more fun these days?), here are some silly stories about Em & El's earliest days that you might not have heard before:
- We bought the wrong labels at Staples for our very first tins. Square labels for round tins. Seriously. Instead of returning them, Emily cut out each label by hand to fit. It took hours. We still have a box of them lying around somewhere as a reminder of where we started.
- The first time we sold at a weekend-long event, Emily stepped on a tent stake, barefoot, and sliced her foot open. It made for a lot of hobbling and silliness! But our neighbors were kind and we formed lifelong friendships.
- Our first tub of shea butter was 8oz. We thought it would be plenty. Now we wonder if the 40lb block is going to last a couple months or if we need more.
- Our first event displays were made from Ikea kitchen dish stands and wood cut-offs from Emily's boatbuilding days. We lugged heavy boards of chestnut simply because they're beautiful. These days, our stands are made from cypress and cedar boards that weren't suitable for a boat project. Guess much hasn't changed there!
- When we built our first website, Emily didn't know what a widget was. Today, we spend our days working on ESPs, Google analytics, customer acquisition, UX, target markets, email marketing campaigns, automated flows, SEO, purchase orders, inventory management systems, social media algorithms, zoom calls... But widgets no longer are on the list.
At the end of the day, what matters most to us, though, is all of you - our community that has walked this journey with us. Some of you are new. Some of you have been here since Day 1. You are our lifeblood and our inspiration. This pandemic has brought us collectively to our knees. We will be forever grateful for the strong women business owners who have fought by our side in the battle to survive it. They inspire us to dream bigger, encourage us to keep going, and commiserate with us when we just need a good bitch session. When all else fails, they open their liquor cabinets and sit down to drink with us across the zoom call, no matter the hour.
We really do love parties, though. We're great at throwing them. Since we can't gather in person this year, we're letting you choose your party favor. Pick the one you want and enter its corresponding code at checkout.
Take 15% off your order of any size with code PARTYFAVOR~
Get a free lip balm in your order over $50 with code PUCKERUP~
Share the love - we'll donate 20% of your order total to The Maiden Factor to enable girls' access to education around the world with code GIRLSSETSAIL
Every day, we're actively choosing to build with a better, more equitable future in mind - we've decided to see it as a chance at a blank slate. What will you choose to bring into your life and our world as we move through the next year?
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being here with us. It is the honor of a lifetime.