Today Sugarsky turns 5 years old and as I sit on the couch drinking my coffee this morning, I am lost on how time has passed so quickly.
Back on January 21st, 2015, age 25, with flawless skin, my mom’s hand-me-down sewing machine, $200 from my savings account, a supportive boyfriend, and a dream of making a business out of cool patterned headbands, I launched SugarSky. In that launch, there were 5 different patterns, 9 headbands in each — 45 headbands total. It took me a good while to sell through those, but it happened.
I sit here today, on January 21st, 2020, age 30, with a bit more weathered look, a team of amazing seamstresses, a still-supportive husband, and the reality that we (the ‘we’ is mighty important) have made a business out of cool patterned headbands and more. We stock thousands of units in headbands, bandanas, scrunchies, tubes, towels, and more and can sell through 45 units in a day.
It’s honestly kinda weird. Here I am to tell you guys that WE MADE IT THROUGH THE FIRST 5 YEARS. If you know me and you know this brand, I’m def not one to glamorize things, however. It has been hard. It has been fun. It has been the biggest challenge I’ve ever committed to. It’s been the most enjoyable job I’ve ever had. Owning your own small biz will do this to you -- take you on an emotional, physical, spiritual roller coaster… but I wouldn’t rather be on any other ride. Also, yes we’ve made it through the first 5 years… but it in no way means “we’ve made it’. How is that qualified or quantified anyways? I think when you think you have, that’s when you need to reassess yourself because you’ve lost too much of your identity in what it is that you’re doing.
I remember talking with my Brian (that once supportive boyfriend and now still supportive husband), saying, “It will be 2020 before SugarSky is 5 years old. I’ll be 30 then!?!”. Followed by “at least maybe then we will be able to put Est. 2015 close to the SugarSky logo at that point without it looking weird?!” — because to me, people seeing that we’ve made it though the most challenging years would prove that we’re here to stay.
It’s funny how your perspective changes though. 5 years in, I don’t care if people look at us as “here to stay” or not. I just hope they look at this business and see the heart behind it… that I’m not focused on us making a bajillion dollars, but instead that I am focused on encouraging and empowering all of you out there to be the best versions of yourself. Our colorful, fun, vibrant headwear and accessories are a small part of who you are, but it is my dream they make you think, “I KNOW I’m a freaking badass and can rock this”.
Remember how I said I thought it would be cool to put some product out there that said SugarSky, Eat 2015? Well, we’re doing it! SugarSky is coming out with the FIRST EVER SugarSky swag — think, bomb hats, sweatshirts, and tees… all branded with our logo or something similar (swipe right on the above pic to see some prototypes!). TBD on the date. Still doing mad research to make sure all products align with our ethical / environmental standards.
If you’ve made it this far, you’re a freaking rockstar.
I’ll leave you with this — I went to drop my bestie off at the airport this morning and on the way home, all that continued to repeat in my head was this verse from Chris Tomlin’s song — “you’re a good good Father, it’s who you are, it’s who you are”. He is good. He is faithful. His mercies never come to an end and they are new every. single. morning. Be gentle with yourself and rest in this. I know if I hadn’t, SugarSky wouldn’t be 5 years old today.
-Skyler & the SugarSky Crew :)
And now a little trip down memory lane:
Myself or my husband took a screenshot every time SugarSky reached yeah "hundred" milestone. Also when our insta handle and website was 'sugarskySHOP'. I didn't have the money to buy just 'sugarsky'.
I had no idea how to take pictures of headbands that had the white background and had to figure that out. This isn't at all how we do it now.
I would go to work with my husband on Saturdays and spend time cutting fabric. I was grateful to do it, but I definitely knocked off a good like 5 years of my life. Squaring up and cutting super stretchy fabric takes the patience of Job.
This was a picture of the very first ever SugarSky wholesale order. It was for 25 headbands and I about had a cow thinking that I needed to cut and sew 25 headbands all at once :)
We went from tying on tags to putting headbands around an 8.5x11 sheet of paper that I would buy at Hobby Lobby and print on my computer and Brian would help me fold them all. No one really ever ordered over 2, so it wasn't a big deal.
When I thought 6 orders was a MILESTONE enough to take a picture of it:
9 months in (taken September 2015) and still sewing everything on my Mom's sewing machine. Soon after, I would employ the sweetest lady from my church. The main thing this help with was she didn't have to work as many hours cleaning houses on her hands and knees and this extra cash would allow her to run her AC in the summer. Now we help to employ many seamstresses right here in the US that continue to share their gifts and talents of sewing so they can help provide for their families.
The very first version of the SugarSky website -- it had 3 navigation items >> Home, About, and Shop. OHHH if things were still that simple, ha! Also, this was www.sugarskyshop.com because it was $9.99. It wouldn't be until beginning of Year 4 that we would have enough extra cash on hand to buy sugarsky.com.
When I would solicit the help of my husband to take product photography. Always my weakness, but didn't have the money to pay a photographer, so this is the D-level photography we had on our Insta for a goooood while. Now we are able to work with INCREDIBLE photographers all over the US to bring our brand and products to life :)
Ok! I could go on forever, but wanted to walk down memory lane a little :) Feel free to shoot me an email here to give feedback or simply say hey. I would love to hear from you, wonderful person reading this!!