Dessert by Deb Turns 1! 5 Defining Moments From My First Year of Business
Can you believe it?! Dessert by Deb celebrated its first birthday and 1-year anniversary last week on May 16, 2020 and the past few weeks have been an absolute whirlwind. So much so that I'm writing this blog post a wee bit late! I intended on having this post up last week but in the hustle and bustle of doing my IG live (which you can view on IGTV here!) and doing testing and development for Dessert by Deb's upcoming Cake & Celebration anniversary collection, I'm writing this blog post now instead.
There is so much growth and change that happens in a year, especially for a business. All the excitement, anticipation, creativity, and inspiration going right up against the struggles, challenges, doubts, and frustrations, mixed together like a cake batter with lumps. Which is why reflection, to me, is really important. Looking at things in hindsight so you can be better and wiser.
So in my first year of business running Dessert by Deb, in no particular order, here are my 5 defining moments:
It's astonishing to think that the Toronto Tea Festival was nearly 4 months ago before our lives were turned upside down by pandemic life and restrictions. But it was, by far, one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I've attended the tea festival a number of times as a giddy tea aficionado but to be on the other side of the table in front of my home crowd? It made my heart so full.
Yes, my feet were killing me by the end and yes, I barely had a voice left and I was sleep-deprived and all that jazz. But something struck me about this experience and it wasn't until after the festival that I was able to put my finger on it. An old friend of mine in grad school once told me that defending her Masters' thesis made her feel like a million bucks because it was her work and her sweat and tears taking center stage in the spotlight. And while I didn't feel that way about my Masters thesis, I completely and fully understood EXACTLY what she meant after I made my debut at the tea festival.
This business is my heart, my baby. Every creation my own. And I get the privilege to yap about it for an entire weekend to people who love tea more than anything else? I get to show off my work that is mine and only mine? Oh I felt like more than a million bucks. I felt like a sparkly unicorn with rainbow wings.
**New Look, New Me*
For those who have joined me on this incredible first year adventure mid-way through, you may not know that my packaging hasn't always looked the way it does now. When I first launched, I was actually using Lemon Lily's packaging; their pouches and their tins. Because I was partnering with Lemon Lily (whom I work for part-time) to create and produce my teas, I thought at first that it made sense to package my teas in that way. I was feeling my way into this new venture and business of mine and I didn't have all the answers; I still don't and I probably never will because that is simply the nature of being a lifelong learner and entrepreneur.
So it didn't take long for the sassy entrepreneurial spirit in me to start kicking up a fuss; my soul was stirring and I could feel it in my bones. I began to feel very restless and frustrated in my life for a whole host of reasons, one of which had to do with my business and how it felt and looked. Even though it looked alright, it wasn't a true representation of ME and what Dessert by Deb was really about, so in September 2019 I made the decision to completely change my look and branding and it was one of the biggest defining moments in my first year. I love it to pieces and I know you all do too.
**When the Student is Ready, the Teacher Appears**
Enrolling in Marie Forleo's B-School business school and becoming a student again this March has been life-changing and I am so, so happy and thrilled that I took the plunge and did it! Not only did I dismantle many limiting beliefs that have been subconsciously holding me back for years when I chose to enroll (that online school wasn't for me, that I might not be able to afford it, blah blah blah), I feel like taking this step was a huge move for me in steering my vision, business, and life in a direction that feels aligned with who I am and what I want for myself down the road.
It was never about sticking a pin into something in the far off future. I think by now everyone in the entire world knows it's futile to even stake a claim on anything in the future after living through this global pandemic. But by enrolling in business school, I was taking care of both the desires and needs of my business and myself NOW. I wanted to learn, I wanted to grow, I wanted guidance and mentorship and I found the fit that worked for ME. It's one of the best decisions I've made and it has given me more than anyone could ever know.
**The Emergence of Corona**
Really? A global pandemic is one of my top 5 defining moments? Yes. Because it has brought me closer to all of you. It has lit an even bigger fire under my ass to be the best damn creator I can be for you and to continue building a business that lights you up, brings you joy, and uplifts you. It has made me serve you greater, better, and stronger.
**The Wound is the Place Where the Light Enters You**
Okay so I lied a teensy bit. I said earlier that this list was in no particular order but this last one is my number one defining moment: going through my third depression last September in 2019. I know. It sounds confusing. How can something so painful, crippling, and debilitating be defining? How can I crown such a thing this honour?
Because it completely changed the course of my life.
You'll hear and see me talk about my depression as we walk along this journey together and if you don't already know, I've been through depression 3 times in my life: first when I was 17, then again when I was 30, and the third time this past September. And I can say with absolute conviction that this third time gave me one of the greatest gifts of my life: true healing and spirituality.
This depression made me realize that while I had gone through an incredible period of transformation and growth, there were parts of me and my life that hadn't fully healed in 2016. And this shit was brought to the surface in all its ugliness last September. I had no choice but to face it and deal with it. I had a life to live and a business to run and grow and I wasn't going to let my baggage shackle me. I wanted to be free once and for all.
Through my recovery, I was guided to the most life changing books, people, and experiences: books by Jen Sincero and Gabrielle Bernstein, Abraham-Hicks, Marie Forleo, Brendon Burchard, Simon Sinek, Gabby's manifesting challenge, and so much more. And a massive quantum shift in my life happened. I began adopting a spiritual practice and became a spiritual student and slowly but surely I began to break free from the voices, stories, and chains and I felt like I was reborn again. I see and live life differently now and I can't imagine my life without my spiritual practice. It's an anchor for me and if I hadn't detoured into fear and depression for the third time, I never would have awoken the part of my soul that had been yearning and aching to breathe for so long.And that, my dear Sweet Tea Pie tribe, were the 5 most defining moments in my and Dessert by Deb's first year of business. Thank you so much for being here and I hope you're just as hopeful and excited as I am for everything that is to come.