I am a thinker, I always have been. So many thoughts go through my head every minute and the thought for the last several months is why my business failed. In any failure it is our human nature to wonder why, to reflect on how we got here, in hopes to learn and to understand. The kicker for me has been that I have always trusted my gut and my intuition. If I didn't know which direction to go I would meditate and pray on the question. I would seek out my advisers to talk though it and ultimately I would always get an answer. Once I got my answer I would make the necessary changes and move forward. I have never been afraid of change or of making hard decisions. This is something I have felt is a strong quality that I possess and have always felt very confident in this ability. However, after my decision to close my business I started questioning how this could happen because I did listen...so how did I get here and why?
For over 11 years I have owned a clothing company called modbod. We had accounts with Costco, WalMart, Nordstroms, hundreds of boutiques nationwide sold on Amazon, our own websites and manufactured in the USA. We even brought 100% of our manufacturing in-house which was something I was very proud of. I have always felt called to empower women so the last few years my focus was on empowering women through clothing and building a stronger uplifting community. This I have felt so driven to do and something that fulfilled so much of my passion. I spun off a new label, Amanda Joy & Co, where we had more consciousness in each piece we made adding affirmations inside, providing an energetic crystal gift with intention for the customer and had sizes XXS to 4X. This last part of my business cost a lot of money. The clothing industry is not an easy business to be in and ultimately our money only went so far.
So here is my challenge, and the question that goes through my head often, if I continued to provide basic clothing at low prices I would more than likely still be in business but struggling as margins in clothing are very slim - especially when manufacturing in the USA. Doing this I would feel empty and not fulfilled as there was no passion behind it, just a business. I am not wired this way - I need to know that what I am doing matters to people and helps better their lives in some way.
In the last several months as I have questioned where I am at now I believe the answer to my question as to why this failed is in the above few paragraphs I wrote exactly a year ago. My clothing business was not where I was supposed to be anymore and it was time for it to die so that something new could come in. Anyone who owns and runs a business knows how much energy, weight, time and effort goes into running it. For me, stepping out more than a year ago and letting go of control (which is hard) allowed me more space to actually see more clearly. The old saying, you can't see the forest for the trees, has gone through my head many times over the years because with a business you can get so wrapped in the trees it's hard to really see. My stepping out allowed me to see my forest and it was a forest that wasn't mine any longer. I still feel a passion to empower women, to teach, to speak and to write. Who knows if it will ever go anywhere or if what I have learned will help others but I hope someday it will.
As we cleaned out the last bit of our warehouse this past week, I had moments of overwhelming sadness. I have been preparing for this moment since we knew we needed to close last November. Months of trying to scale down, preparing for what was inevitable in completely shutting our doors, didn't quite prepare me for this exact moment. Overwhelming sadness in the ending of a dream I fought so hard for that will never come about. Sadness coupled with so many beautiful memories flooding in of working with my team to create something that we felt was bigger than ourselves. Sadness in remembering so many people that I have had the privilege of working with and of meeting over the years... While this is no longer a reality, I will also deeply cherish those memories and will always be grateful for them and for all the people that have been apart of this journey with me.
To any of you reading this who are feeling the need to criticize me I would ask you to stop and take a breath and ask why you would? What good does that benefit anyone? I am a woman, a human, doing my best in this life and juggling things that you have no idea about. I have had some mean comments, some really hurtful things emailed to our company, that are truly heartbreaking. I don't understand why we, as a society, want to tear someone down instead of building them up. I have also gotten some very very sweet comments and emails. To all of you that have been so kind and have taken the time to write, thank you! I fully recognize that I am nowhere close to perfect and am making mistakes along the way. Those mistakes have taught me so many beautiful lessons, and for that I am deeply grateful.
Onto the next...