My 2022 Year In Review (Reflections & Musings) | Studio Crescent
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My 2022 Year In Review (Reflections & Musings)

HEY THERE!

I am Jess! Ottawa brand strategist and website designer helping passionate service-based businesses grow with confidence through meaningful design. I'm the type of gal that use one too many exclamation mark in my emails and can only have one cup of coffee a day. Weird, I know. If you ever want to chat any thing biz, branding, or well - life, feel free to reach out!

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Every year I sit down to write my “Year In Review”, I am astonished at how fast time flies by. So much was accomplished, learned, and experienced. Reading over my Year In Review blog entry from last year, it’s interesting to see what changed, what stayed somewhat the same, and what will the future hold.

This past year, I chose the word “TRUST” to guide me, knowing the tough conversation I had to make back in January. Throughout the year, I navigated my version of uncertainty and began to listen more to my intuition. It was the first time in my life that I needed to learn to depend *only* on myself and see how far that takes me.

  • Did I make the right decisions? Nope.
  • Did I have all the answers? Hell no.
  • Did I achieve all of my goals? Definitely not.

But what this year taught me is that the beautiful thing about trust is not really about knowing the outcome but more so navigating THROUGH the process.

Cause life would be pretty boring if we have all the answers right in front of us, all the freakin’ time.

Business Wins

Well, let’s start off with probably the biggest “life” decision I made earlier this year: Making the leap from side hustle to full-time entrepreneurship! Which is still very much a “pinch me” moment. These last 10 months have taught me a lot – mostly about myself and what I am capable of if I put my mind to it.

Client Work

This year was one heck of a busy year which I am beyond grateful and humbled by. I worked on approximately 35 projects primarily in the following industries, which if you recall from last year, are the niches I specifically wanted to work in! 👏

  • Weddings
  • Beauty & Lifestyle
  • Health & Fitness
  • Interior Design
  • Coaching

Words can’t express the immense amount of gratitude I have toward these wildly talented and passionate clients of mine. To have played a role in your entrepreneurship journey is a proud moment that I don’t take lightly. Check out the reel recap here!

Not to mention, it is also because of my clients that Studio Crescent has been able to participate in Kurandza’s #IStandForGirls campaign along with celebrating some of their incredible initiatives this past year.

Visibility

Public speaking doesn’t necessarily come naturally to me. When I was invited to record a presentation for the Accelerate Your List Summit, I decided to give it a go! While it wasn’t live, it did give me all the experience that goes into preparing for a presentation. I am proud to check this off my list and hope that one day, I will have the guts (and confidence!) to speak live.

Finances

Last year I matched my 9-5 income which felt pretty crazy to me. This year, I surprised myself even more and surpassed my revenue goal in just over 7 months! While money is just a number and not necessarily the only success indicator, reaching 6-figures (before taxes and expenses) was a big milestone for me worth celebrating.

Partnerships

When one door closes, another one opens! My white-label design partnership with The Branding Boutique was cut short due to a business model pivot, which ended up freeing up my time to say yes to another opportunity. One of my clients from early 2022, Rebel Office, up-leveled their business offerings and brought me on to help with elevating their clients’ brand identity which plays into the overall success of client experience.

Unachieved Goals

Sustainability and balance were something I wanted to incorporate this year. BUT … somewhere along the line this year, I forgot to schedule in fun. I was very focused on getting more clients, more work, and more revenue… therefore, all I ended up doing was work. While it is important to hustle in our first few years in business to build a strong foundation and reputation, it shouldn’t mean working ourselves to the bone.

Top Lessons Learned

Lesson 1: Set a routine. Schedule breaks. Take time off. Even if it’s just a 15-minute break or a 7-day vacation. No emails, no work. Full unplug.

Lesson 2: Most of the time, it costs more money to take shortcuts or choose the “cheaper” option than investing in the *thing* that I want.

Lesson 3: There is a difference between “not for me”, “not the right time”, and “procrastination”. Learning to understand what is what has been an interesting journey, to say the least.

  • The things that don’t light a fire inside me or feel kind of “meh” in my gut, are not the things for me.
  • The things that get me excited but yet I keep making excuses for, are things that might just not be the right time (i.e. building passive income).
  • The things that I KNOW I have to do, keep me up at night but am feeling paralyzed because it either meant I have to spend money on it or that requires me to show up. That’s procrastination.

Investments I Made

Last year was a big year of investment – building Studio Crescent from the ground up after rebranding through copywriting, design, systems, and coaching. This year was more about implementing those changes and putting those lessons learned and mindset shifts into action.

Client & Project Management:

  • Those who follow me know that I am a huge fan of organization and automation. One of the tools that I absolutely cannot live without is Dubsado, the central hub that houses all of my proposals, contracts, invoices, meetings, and project-related documents. I love it so much that I decided to invest in their Dubsado Forever plan, meaning I am stuck with them forever! If you are wanting to save time in your business and streamline your business operations, try it out for yourself!
  • To better help manage client experience after working with me, I am also in the process of moving my project management tool over to Notion to better help serve my clients, specifically in creating the “Brand Playbook Hub” with all of your brand assets – in one place.

Accounting:

  • Something that has been sitting on my 2022 list was to take control of my finances. When I accidentally stumbled onto my projected revenue this year, I was stunned. However, it was quickly replaced by shame because I had no idea what was my net profit, expenses, or owed in taxes. I knew it was time to stop playing small and to outsource the things I am not good at… so I hired Erica from The Number Works! She helped clean up my books and got me set up in Quickbooks Online, which will allow me to make more informed decisions in 2023.

Brand Photography:

  • While this was a mini refresh and small investment, it reminded me of the importance of having updated, on-brand imagery that communicates the heart of a small business: ourselves! I am grateful to have worked with the talented Sonia V Photography to capture visually what I am hoping Studio Crescent to grow into.

On a Personal Note…

Legally, my partner, Shaun, and I got (legally) married this May! I’ll have you know it was one eventful and memorable day – not particularly because it was THE day… but because there was a tornado touchdown in our city 😅. It was a short and sweet ceremony with just our parents as witnesses.

Since it’s more fun to do everything backward, shortly after, we had our “engagement” photoshoot the month, followed by wedding dress shopping where I said “YES” to the dress for our celebration next year! We decided to strip off all typical wedding traditions and instead, plan a micro-wedding dinner in Greece next September. We booked our venue on Ios Island overlooking the Aegean Sea. No awkward speeches, dances, or traditional timeline – but just good food, drinks, and company. I can’t wait to show you more next year!

Onward to 2023

2021 was a catalyst year; creating a vision and intentionally planting seeds to see what will sprout.
2022 was a year of growth; laying down a strong foundation to
What will 2023 bring?

Business Coaching

  • I just made the biggest investment in myself for 2023 which I am equally excited and nervous about. I will be working with Tracey Jazmin, a business and mindset coach based in Edmonton to dream up the next phase of Studio Crescent and scale sustainably. While I am absolutely proud of everything that I have accomplished up to this point, I realize that there are some mindset blocks and self-limiting beliefs I have yet to tackle.

New Partnerships & Services

  • I am thrilled to announce that Studio Crescent will be adding website copywriting as a new service in collaboration with Steph Laffy Copywriting and Copywriting By Kat! Design and Copy often go hand in hand so rather than have these services work in silos, it’s time to bring them under the same roof for a more seamless, cohesive experience! Learn more by booking a complimentary discovery call here!

Showit Website Templates

  • Depending on the stage of business they are in, not everyone needs a custom-designed website BUT everyone should have a well-designed digital home. Studio Crescent will be launching its first-ever website template shop this Spring, designed with versatility, strategy, and style in mind. And yes, before you ask, they’ll be code-free and stress-free so that your website will be easy to maintain!

Something I also want to bring into 2023 is to treat others the way you want to be treated. It’s easier to project or blame others than to look inwards.

For example, rather than believing:

  • “Why is no one engaging on my posts?”
  • “Why haven’t I heard from them lately?”

Shift it to:

  • “How can I support them? Is there anything I can do to help
  • “Do I make enough of an effort to reach out to them?”

The only actions that I can be responsible for are my own. And I want to wholeheartedly build better, healthier, and quality relationships with those around me.

Adieu 2022

Business aside, 2022 will always remain the year of courage for me.

Wherever you are reading this, I hope you end your year doing something FOR yourself. Whether it’s buying yourself some fresh flowers, ordering your favourite takeout, or spending a quiet moment reflecting — enjoy what today brings. You deserve it.

What are you most excited about in 2023? I’d love to support and cheer you on in any way that I canWhether that be accountability or design, I am always just a message away.

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