It’s that time of year again that has me reflecting on the highlights that made the last 12 months incredible. Each day, each week and each year as an entrepreneur is an unpredictable one. Although there were challenging events, this blog post highlights only the best of 2018. I’ve learned that I am somebody who is energized by thinking about my strengths, not my weaknesses. Therefore, I try my best to keep a daily gratitude journal, and why I also love to blog about the achievements of my art venture. Below is a review of the best Ave Mariabell Design’s achievements in 2018!
1. Hudson Group Partnership
I was so thrilled when I was approached by Hudson Group for a wholesale partnership at their new store opening at Billy Bishop airport! Hudson Group is a subsidiary travel retailer of Dufry Group, and one of the largest travel retailers in North America. You can soon find my minimalist skyline art including digital prints, coasters and laptop/wall decals at Billy Bishop Airport in Toronto!
2. $1000 Fundraiser on GoFundMe platform.
I am an online retailer, and an advocate for life-changing travel and volunteering abroad. When you purchase a skyline memento from Ave Mariabell Designs, a portion of all proceeds go to our #ProjectCityLove campaign. However, as a small business, often those proceeds are limited and need to be invested into the development of our product and services. So, this year it was my mission to elevate this mission through a fundraising campaign on the GoFundMe platform. It was a 12-month initiative and by March this year, my art venture raised enough to fund the first #ProjectCityLove trip! This Volunteer Abroad experience is next on my list!
3. First #ProjectCityLove Volunteer Trip.
My first #ProjectCityLove volunteer trip was a humbling experience in Costa Rica. Although the primary goal of this initiative is to help communities abroad, as an individual you also learn a lot. It has filled my heart and soul in ways I did not imagine. One of the big benefits of community service is that I was able to understand the Costa Rican culture on a much deeper level than I would as a tourist. I hope my experience in Costa Rica inspires others to contribute to communities in need by volunteering in similar, mutually beneficial travel experiences.
4. Vision Accountability Coaching
I am blessed to be surrounded by other creative entrepreneurs, so when Nat Dunbar, founder of Easy Biz Video recommended business coaching with Angela De Palma at Vision Accountability Coaching, I jumped at the opportunity. Vision Accountability Coaching is an award-winning small business for Outstanding Customer Service in the Micro Category of the Mt Ommaney Business Awards, in Queensland, Australia. Earlier this year, I came to a cross road with my art venture and I felt very overwhelmed. I am a small business with big goals, and Angela has been paramount to the growth I have been experiencing with my art venture in the last two months. I look forward to working with her in 2019!
5. Love Toronto and Friends Community Growth
I connected with the Love Toronto collective in 2017, and since that time we have grown into a community of local makers and entrepreneurs who regularly get together to showcase our work in a series of pop-up markets. It is important to me to support fellow small business, and I do this by organising and participating in these local collectives.
6. West Elm Pop-up Markets
West Elm is a boutique furniture store offering modern furniture and home decor featuring inspiring designs, and my art looks right at home in their North Toronto location. This year I have participated in 2 small pop-up markets in their store, and I am so grateful to be able to connect with their customers who have similar tastes in design and décor.
7. Connecting with #GirlBosses and #Bossbabes.
Throughout the year I have met influential women in the creative social media space. Everything from; bloggers, content creators, event planners, artists and many different business owners. It is so important to connect with those who are on a similar journey as you, and I plan to continue connecting with these amazing individuals.
8. Influencer Social Media Collaborations.
I adore beautifully designed, minimalist spaces with monochromatic colour palettes. This is why I love collaborating with influencers with similar values. See below some of the beautifully photographed content I have collaborated with blogger Roxy (@tiny.grayfox) from Los Angeles and Toronto interior designer Carly (@1SmallSpace).
9. New Skylines – growing list of city skylines!
I continue to create new skylines as frequently as I possibly can. As a one-woman company, I have struggled to keep up with the requests. However, this year I have expanded my list and have completed over 20 skylines; check out my Etsy store to see them all! Don’t see a city you love? Please don’t be shy and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a custom request!
10. I finally received my Permanent Residency!
This is a personal achievement and now as an official “Permanent Resident” of Canada, I can continue to grow my business in Toronto – the city that made this all possible!
It is a dream of mine to have my designs located in boutique stores in every large city in the world – From London to Paris and Shanghai to Moscow, – Ave Mariabell Designs will be a household name for travellers and globetrotters alike seeking to take a piece of a city they love home. I will continue to count my blessings in these blogs that highlight my annual achievements. Big or small – and everything in between, I try to celebrate every step of the way. After all, life is most about the journey – not the destination!