It’s 5am and I’m sitting in the living room gathering my thoughts. It’s a bit more difficult today, not because of anything specific other than the fact that this is the first day of 2016. A new beginning, a new door open, a new crystal ball that we wish we could peak into. 2015 is formally in the rearview mirror and that is why gathering my thoughts is taking a bit longer.
On the business end, Familylaser had a wonderful year. Wonderful and made so by the fact that our young company grew only because of a concerted team effort. A father and his three daughters surrounded by husbands and of course, my wife, all promoting and encouraging growth through various means of support. We did a number of buying trade shows that allowed us to first hand meet companies we eventually forged relationships with. Holding in our hands high end serving trays, wood bowls, beautiful wood cutting boards and other home decor items all the while talking face to face with vendors we would work with was valuable beyond measure. Stocking our inventory room with acacia wood products, bamboo cutting boards, pacific cedar serving trays, olive wood cutting boards, maple and walnut cutting boards rounded out by a valuable supply of sublimation products proved, in a good way, to be an exciting perpetual challenge as we filled custom home decor gift orders. A new website upgrade (2nd website in two years), an aggressive Instagram presence, an updated Facebook page and some blogging also paid dividends. While our momentum in growing sales continues to grow and while the Christmas season was a super busy time, the best Christmas gifts we received were the accolades and confirmations of a job well done by those who patronized us. We knew, and it has been confirmed time and time again, that while the orders generate the revenue to keep the lights on, the most cherished component is the relationships from those who gave us the opportunity to provide our services. Using the overused catch phrase, “At the end of the day”, we say that “At the end of the day (December 31, 2015), Familylaser looked in the rearview mirror and liked what we saw. Thanks to all who trusted us with your business and trust us, that in 2016, we will raise the bar a bit higher as we work towards another great year!”
On the personal side of things, 2015 was a banner year and truly unforgettable. As mentioned at the opening of this blog, I’m sitting here by the fireplace waiting for my world to wake up. This day, in our house is Christmas as all of our children are home. The mantle is dangling with Christmas socks representing each family member. Thirteen of them in fact. The last quarter news on 2015 is that we need to add two more socks for our 2016 arrivals! The rearview mirror on the personal side is what truly drives our lives and our business as its all about family and being together. We escaped as a family, to the Bahamas during last winter. As a group, we spent a ton of time together in the outdoors and sipped up every moment we could as our little ones brought new adventures each day. For me, I flipped the calendar and raced towards a new expiration date on my passport as the magical “60” appeared on my birthday cards. As a dad with three daughters, I am blessed to not only enjoy and savor the relationships I have with my three son in laws, but I continually am rewarded with the blessings of my FIVE grandsons! They range in ages from 3 and under so, yes, life is busy. Christmas gifts have been opened no less than three times as they sat under the tree waiting for this day, lamp shades are broken, some keepsakes that made the mistake of being on a lower shelf have been modified, I can’t find some items from my shaving kit, the odor of dirty diapers are sometimes traced to unusual places and I have to work hard to find a chair that isn’t graced with a booster or child seat…but I wouldn’t have it any other way. In fact, that 60th mentioned prior means little as I learn new wrestling moves with most of the boys (Eli gets a bye as he was born on July 15, 2015), or cuddle with a grandson as we read books. I am not a nap guy but will say that I can get used to a nap when I’m curled up in bed with one of my little ones listening to his breathing and watching him in awe. I love being called “grandpa, poppa, umma”, or whatever comes out of their mouth as they tug on my pants leg and make eye contact. I adore the fact that for a couple of the “older” boys we are starting to string sentences together which when mixed with that eye to eye contact, their little hand in mine and a sentence request from them is about as good as it gets. Finally, I can’t think of a better way to start each day than the patter of little feet as I wait to see which one of my boys are going to cuddle with me as we start another new day. For sure, 2015 was a special year. I see no reason why we can’t make 2016 a better one! Happy New Year everyone!