When the pandemic began, the whole world was forced to adjust to all the changes. It felt like it was all on a stand still. People were forced to limit social interactions, wear masks wherever they go, and quarantine. Normalcy slowly returned throughout the year. I was able to see customers again at events, which made me so happy. But going into 2022, we are now facing a new variant that threatens everything again. WTF!
What 2021 has taught me is that it is possible to continue to grow even when it feels like nothing is moving. Even though adapting and adjusting was difficult because I genuinely enjoy interacting with customers face to face, I wanted to try out new ideas to grow my online business and also offer fun online shopping experiences for my loyal customers. Some worked and some didn’t. But it's all good. 2021 was the year to try out NEW ideas and learn from it!
What kind of NEW did I do? i.a.m Jewelry & Creations has taken action on four main areas throughout the year. First NEW was to Release a new collection every month in 2021. It was a way for me to showcase my new designs more frequently. It allowed me to connect with you all through my creations. This is something I couldn't do before COVID, when I was focusing more on events than online. I was able to let my thoughts, energy, and feelings flow more into the designs. Of course, the main focus was to create jewelry to inspire people to discover their unique originality about themselves that has never been seen and to enjoy self-expression by wearing i.a.m Jewelry & Creations . It was always about having fun creating jewelry.
However, around July, I hit a wall that made me rethink about my business. Am I really doing it the right way? Do I really want to build a brand to just sell jewelry? All of the sudden, I felt something was missing. In the meantime, the pandemic hit home for me at the end of August. My Mom contracted Covid. She was hospitalized for weeks. Her condition became serious in mid September. It was the most difficult moment I ever had to face. Thankfully she recovered and is doing better today. After going through a life-or-death situation with my family, I realized I wanted to be more helpful to people in need. This caused me to reflect and realize a new business purpose. Yes, this is it! This is the other NEW at i.a.m Jewelry & Creations.
In addition to our original purpose , the Awareness Ribbon Collection, released in October, showcased a very important mission that I wanted to achieve, namely collaborating with a local nonprofit organization to help cancer patients financially. The new mission is to now use my jewelry to help others. My aim is to encourage and create awareness through my jewelry. The profits from each sale of the Awareness Ribbon Collection will go to the Make Lemonade Project.
As I continue with this ongoing reflection with my business, I discovered that I needed to connect more with my customers. The other NEW in i.a.m was to start my blog series. I was extremely nervous about this because honestly, who is comfortable showing the raw side of you to the public? But yes, I did it! I felt like I had to do this to help people understand who the creator is, how my thoughts and mentality affect the designs on each jewelry piece at i.a.m. Also, my blog posts can help me connect with everyone on a different level and show more of my personal side, who I really am. Sometimes I get some feedback about some blog posts and really enjoy connecting with my customers. They tell me that they love to know about me deeper than just the jewelry. I LOVE IT! That's the whole point of doing a blog. Thank you so much for reading it!
As you can see, i.a.m Jewelry & Creations has experienced a lot of changes and growth. In order to keep up with the expansion, I realized that I needed help both online and on the production end. Here is the last NEW. Choosing the right people for the job is one of the most challenging parts of the business world, but I was so lucky to have found the right people for me. Two new members have joined the i.a.m Jewelry & Creations: Bekah and Gigi. Bekah assists locally with events and production of inventory. Gigi assists virtually from LA (thank god for technology!) with editorials, logistics and calendar planning. Besides my new team, my Mom (aka. my best friend and my best assistant!) has also been a huge help with jewelry production and with caring for my fur babies during my crazy holiday schedule. Oh and I cannot forget about my boyfriend, Pancho! He is always supporting me mentaly 24/7 with my business and personal life. I couldn't get through 2021 without them 100%!!! Thank you Bekah, Gigi, Mom and Pancho Chan!
Aaaaand, that’s a wrap! Overall, I would say it was a good year... no, actually, it was an amazing year. I think I was able to do the best I could do. Even though things didn't work out the way I planned sometimes, I told myself that “It's okay Mai. Let’s just accept it and do the best I can do now”. I was able to try a lot of new things! I actively created new designs, I found a new mission, I opened myself to my customers through my blog, and I welcomed new team members as I worked on expanding my business.
I would like to say THANK YOU SO MUCH for supporting and believing in my brand, admiring my work, being a part of i.a.m journey, and witnessing the process to my dream come true. Without YOU, I couldn't be where I’m at now. Without YOU, I couldn’t find the purpose of my life. We are growing slowly but surely! My team and I are excited to dive into the new year with better ideas in a bigger vision!!!
Thank you 2021, and see you in a bit 2022!
ARE YOU READY?!