We’ve talked before about how EVERAND’s story is so much more than that of two sisters: And as we moved from Chapter 1 to Chapter 2 (the second year of our business!), a new character joined our story.
In November, we crossed paths with the amazing Jamie Tubbs. She was a fellow vendor at Show of Hands in Chicago: a maker, artist, and all-around super cool woman. We instantly fell in love with her incredible textile pieces and knew we wanted to work together.
We’re passionate about trying to use every scrap of fabric left over from our pillows and have lots of beautiful textile bits on hand just waiting for their second life (or third or fourth!). We gave Jamie all of our scraps to create a series of one-of-a-kind collages made from EVERAND’s fabrics, and all we can say is WOW!
We were simply blown away by how each piece came to life in its own specific way, and we delivered each one to someone who we wanted to thank for being part of our year-one journey, someone who had truly given us a “little scrap of wisdom” that helped us bring EVERAND to life. As our journey moves into year two, we wanted to share with you the “little scraps of wisdom” that we’ve learned:
1. Absorb everything
The connections we’ve made with both new and old friends have been priceless. Fellow Show of Hands vendors, interior designers, influencers, etc. We see each of you as “experts in the business” and have tried to take in all that you have shared as we work to grow. Last summer, we met We Are Medley through Instagram (another amazing thing about running a business these days…insta friends are the best!). They partner with organizations who are passionate about making a positive impact in their communities, and over the course of multiple meetings, Medley provided us with a marketing strategy as a foundation for EVERAND’s growth. We pretty much drooled over every word of the presentation. Much of what you see EVERAND doing today has a foundation in this work and we are so grateful for the connection.
2. Speak up about your business
Last spring we had the opportunity to participate in our West Elm store’s LOCAL program, which supports small business and makers in the local area. We were thrilled. Shortly after arriving and setting up our pillows on one of the sofas, we realized that we were going to have to randomly approach unknowing West Elm customers and tell them about our business (duh!). The pillows weren’t going to just sell themselves (this seems pretty obvious now).
This was where we just failed, ALL day. We did a better job selling the sofa that our pillows were displayed on than we did telling people about EVERAND. We realized that we have a really hard time talking about ourselves and selling ourselves... true introverts at heart. We now know that it’s OK to ask for help, get feedback, or simply not know what to do. Make mistakes, learn, move on.
3. Balance passion with wisdom
We are truly energized by what we do. Our work with RefugeeOne and Judith fuels our passion to continue to do good and have the opportunity to positively impact someone’s life. But that was only half of the equation: Our past experiences working at a small beauty company really gave us the wisdom and confidence we needed to build EVERAND, and our product development background proved useful when we encountered a hiccup.
When picking up a large order of pillow covers we discovered that more than half of the logos were sewn on upside down. We had never noticed that the EVERAND logo looks almost the same right side up as upside down, and it’s an especially difficult catch for our seamstress, whose first language isn’t English. Mistakes are something we're no stranger to from our years in product development, and so we didn’t freak out. Instead, we recognized it was an easy fix and made it!
4. This is a journey
All year long, we told ourselves “as long as we’re moving forward, there is always progress to be celebrated.” We never knew where an opportunity was going to come from or the impact it might have for EVERAND. Our goal was to do a little bit of everything in our first year to see what would be successful. The result was a lot of amazing opportunities that seemed to continuously present themselves...sometimes they seemed like happy accidents!
We set out to be a pillow company, but soon realized that we had lots of fabric ‘scraps’ after the material for the pillows were cut. Out of this we’ve created our Pouches, Coasters, and even Scrunchies, which have been great additions to the shop and allowed us to get more women sewing and working for themselves. We’re here for the journey and want to continue to seize each moment that lies ahead.
5. It’s not just about us
We are all in this together: our family, our friends, our partners, our vendors, our makers. Our support structure is everything and they are a huge part of our success. We continuously want to remember to appreciate them. Because at the end of this, it really is genuinely all about people who we love and work with each day.
Thank YOU for supporting Everand. We're looking forward to sharing what lies ahead in 2020!
Keep at it!! So impressive!