2021 Recap: Wins, Challenges, & Goals

January 6, 2022

As we step into a new year, it’s so helpful to remember what God has done, learn from our mistakes, and dream BIG for what’s to come. Here’s some behind the scenes of the ups and downs of what 2021 looked like at Thuro.

Business Wins

SERVED A WIDER VARIETY OF CLIENTS WITH PROFITABLE PROJECTS

In years past, I barely made enough per hour to break even on a project. I spent countless hours on smaller budgets because I didn’t have the right project structures in place. Sound familiar?

I focused on adding more value and quality to my branding process without increasing the price. When I did, some inquiries with businesses just starting out couldn’t invest in a bells and whistles brand identity and didn’t really need it either.

Instead of a one size fits all, I offered something new – Brand Intensives – branding in a week for Start-Ups looking to elevate their brand without sacrificing quality, time, or budget.

Although most of my projects are Custom Brand Design for established businesses, it felt so exciting to still be able to serve businesses that were just starting off with high quality brand essentials all within one week.

When I went to design school, I learned the techniques of actual design but did NOT learn how to run a business. So, another service I started offering was 1:1 Design Mentorship for designers looking to sharpen their skills + overcome the obstacles of starting your own design studio.

HIRED A COPYWRITER

Design is the visuals, words are the heart & soul of a brand. One of my best investments this year was hiring Diana from Required Reading. She helped me dig deeper to uncover my brand voice, messaging, and how to connect with my target audience more genuinely and succinctly. I’m excited to share more with you on my website redesign coming soon!

Niched to working with Redemptive Businesses

Niching can be scary, I know. But this year, I felt led to fully dive into the redemptive entrepreneur space. It’s the principles and values I founded Thuro on, and the people I love to work with the most – women passionate about helping others to make a positive impact through their brand.

Launched My First Digital Product

This has been on my vision board for years, but I was very excited to launch 2022 Array Seasonal Planner to help business owners plan their year around what matters most. With a passion for life coaching and several whiteboard sessions with friends this year, I wanted to make a resource to help people take practical steps towards their God-sized dreams.

Business Challenges

Here’s the not so shiny, real life parts of business. Failures are never final, but rather necessary learning lessons in the journey. 

Slow Seasons

BUH. Can you feel the anxiety in that subtitle? Something that every business goes through, but when it’s you, your mind thinks of all the what if’s that never actually happen. This year, I had 6 weeks with not a single new inquiry and a month where I made $0 (right after re-launching my new website.) Crickets.

Instead of giving into fear, I really pressed into the truth of God’s Word and trusted Him with the outcome. I still worked every day on internal business projects I had been putting off. And sure enough, inquiries started coming in, invoices got paid, and God provided above and beyond our means this year.

Cancelled Projects

Another challenge this year was cancelled projects. I used to take on everything and anything, but this year, I knew I had to be more selective with the projects I took on to stay sustainable. Since so much of what I do is truly soul work, I want to make sure a client is a great fit before we start working together. 

That being said, I had 12 proposals turned down and 1 project cancellation mostly due to projects not being a good fit. I learned that no can be a good thing to have space to say yes to the best things.

Tough Client Situations

There are not bad clients, but rather broken processes. In my habit of people pleasing, sometimes I tend to let boundaries get blurry regarding payment timelines and client feedback which turns into delayed, overlapping projects.

From my experience, projects work best when there are boundaries and set expectations on both ends. Sure, there’s always exceptions, but structure brings clarity and makes the process enjoyable, efficient, and effective for everyone.

Life Milestones

Marriage

One of the sweetest blessings of my life is getting to be married to Zach. Marriage isn’t the fulfillment of life, but it’s a picture of what’s to come and a process of becoming more like Jesus. Some highlights of this year was getting to go to Costa Rica for a 3 week honeymoon, and getting to live everyday life with my best friend. We love to host and have people over to our apartment, do anything active outside, and of course play basketball.

Loving God + Others

Another big shift this year was Zach taking a part time job to be able to have more time for relational ministry. We intentionally wanted to live in a part of our town that had more people in need. It was definitely a step of faith in our journey together, but also so exciting to see how God is putting the people he wants us to love right in our backyard and across our table. 

2022 Goals

Launching a Course for Designers

A dream that has been on the vision board for a while, and this year feels like the timing is just right. I’ve learned more than I have the past 2.5 years of running a design studio than I ever did in my 4 years of college + agency job. As I’ve made friends with designers that are just starting off, I’ve seen how there’s a huge gap with knowing how to design and knowing how to run a sustainable business doing it.

So, I’m very excited to continue to invest in emerging designers, freely share what has helped me the most, and ask lots of questions to build a course that helps designers align their calling and skillset through their sustainable, meaningful design business. Sign up on the waitlist to be the first to know about the launch!

Brand Refresh + Web Design for Thuro

Updated website copy + photography + revised branding all in one place. With adding on more services and products, my goal is to re-think the structure of my website to make the user experience seamless, beautiful and aligned to a more true Thuro.

Work with more redemptive product based businesses

This year, I would love to take on a branding, packaging, and Shopify web design project. I love the physical, hands-on experience of a brand and I always think through the product first when designing.

Some dream clients would be redemptive brands with heart including a ceramics studio, a global home goods brand, and a skincare line.

Take a Ceramics Course

A big focus this year is resting well, creating boundaries within my work and personal life, and doing things that spark joy. One of those things is making things with my hands – ceramics! My main goal is to have fun. But we’ll see, maybe make a ceramics brand, maybe sell a few? We’ll see!

Launch a Faith Based Business Owners Group

As a believer in the business space, sometimes it can feel lonely and hard to sort through all of the advice that isn’t Christ centered. Jen from Hello June Creative and I want to change that narrative.

The Orchard (coming soon) is a faith based business community to pave the way in our industry for a better way to merge ministry and business. We want to connect + encourage like-minded entrepreneurs in bearing fruit in the business space. 

Whew! Thanks for reading, friend. I hope this insight gives you encouragement and inspiration to document your own journey. Happy reflecting + planning 2022!

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