Am I the only one who feels like 2016 has absolutely flown by? As the end of 2016 approaches, I thought it would be a good idea to look back and see everything that’s been accomplished this year, and set some goals for the new year. 2016 was the first year of my life where I was 100% self-employed, and every dollar earned came from hustling my tush off. I had two major projects working at the same time, Modern Seamstress, and my work as a contract disability employment counselor.
In 2016, I:
1. Worked with approximately 40 adults with disabilities in 12 counties to help them obtain employment in their community. Ten of the 40 got jobs – not bad for my first year back in the saddle.
2. I taught Sewing 101 twice, Denim Bootcamp twice, a Home Dec class, and started production on my free online sewing classes.
3. I presented twice in Pecha Kucha format, the first for the local chapter of AIGA, and again for the official PKN Knoxville group. Both presentations centered around bringing awareness to the fashion industry, consuming more mindfully, as well as sharing my truth according to Burke about pursuing your creative talents in real ways.
4. I went to Disney for the first time ever, and had several introvert fits over the three days. Don’t ask if I’ll ever go back — the answer is a solid HELL NO. (I also visited Austin, TX & New Orleans…and left my heart in the latter.)
5. I had a myriad of custom sewing jobs with some amazing women.
6. I sang in Knoxville Opera’s production of Tosca! This might be the most ironic photo of me taken all year.
7. I hired an assistant, because even a giant baracuda needs a team.
8. I landed my first paid speaking gig for the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church’s pastoral leadership conference in February 2017. Woo!
9. I made 16 garments for myself. Too little when compared to years past.
10. In May some friends and I pursued the crazy idea of Modern Studio, led a successful crowd-funding campaign, signed a lease on a building in Happy Holler, and plan to open in January. Say what?
11. This fall I applied to expand my counseling services to students ages 14-22 with disabilities, and decided to legitimize my work into a new and innovative social service agency that will also include private vocational rehabilitation services. I recruited 4 additional team members for a total of 6. My agency will be officially launching in January 2017.
12. I recruited a dream team of movers and shakers to help build Modern Studio, and I’m proud to say the project is now bigger than any of us and our original idea.
13. I hemmed a gaggle of concertwear for Maryville College with the help of my mom who is a champ.
14. I participated in The Moving Theatre’s first production as a DESIGNER. And had to get over the fear that I couldn’t live up to that title. I did this, too, with the help of my mom. Seriously, she rocks!
And if all of that isn’t enough, I also managed to keep all of my house plants alive and healthy, get enough sleep, and only get sick twice all year. Stay tuned as I set some kickass goals for 2017!