Founder of Lady Brigade Shares Honest Update March 24 2016 12 Comments
You may have noticed things don’t seem to be as fresh around here as they once were and boy is that true! Lady Brigade Founder Nadine Noky wants to be open and honest with you about what’s been been happening, whats coming up, and what she's learned along the way!
Lady Brigade is a One Woman Operation (for now).
First, let me start by giving you some background. When I launched Lady Brigade I had quit my “Day Job” to design, build, and create Lady Brigade from scratch. I focused on everything from designing shirts, building a website, and all the legal (no fun) stuff on my own. I used some of my savings to assist in purchasing merchandise and to sustain me for the 6 full months it took to build the business. And it all worked out.
After the launch I had a site, I had designs, and I had inventory. But Lady Brigade wasn’t known by many, and it was like that old question “If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it really make a sound?” I had built this brand, I had did what I had set out to do, here were designs that I knew many woman like myself wanted to wear. However no one could see or hear Lady Brigade’s message, it was like Lady Brigade didn’t even exist!
I knew at that point, that it would take time to build awareness and I made the decision to go back to work while I focused on growing that awareness. I figured it would take around a year to really build some traction, but I was wrong. I had no idea and no way of knowing then, that Lady Brigade would be featured on Buzzfeed thus catapulting Lady Brigade to a whole new level, just 2 months after accepting a new job. By that time, I was knee deep in a heavy UX design project and couldn’t quit what I was doing (and I loved what I was doing too). I had to tough it out. So that began 10 months of little to no sleep at night, as days were spent at work, evenings with my son, and nights filling orders with Lady Brigade, with weekends printing shirts and running out of space to hold everything! Thankfully a handful of friends and family members were able to assist during the busiest times!
Stress triggers and emphasizes physical pain.
So what happens when you burn both ends of the candle? You burn out. I burned out, both physically and mentally.
Old back/neck issues from my military service flared up so badly, I couldn't walk, stand, or even drive a car for days at a time (the photo above was taken a couple of days after laying in bed). I spent countless hours in bed and countless dollars with the doctors, chiropractors, and acupuncturists - desperate for a solution to fix this problem so I could get back to work! But the pain lasted longer than I was willing to accept and for a period of time, it felt HOPELESS. Will this pain ever stop? How will I catch up with all the work I’m missing? What will people think if I don’t perform? How did this happen? The truth is, I have always had goals, crystal clear goals, like starting Lady Brigade. However with the limited time I had within the last year. I hadn’t focused on a vision for the future or set any goals to achieve that vision, like when would I quit my day job and fully commit to Lady Brigade once again? I was taking on more work and more projects, working too much and not taking care of myself. Had I had a clearly defined vision for my health, for my family, and for Lady Brigade, I would have been able to avoid many mistakes and much of the stress that eventually contributed to my physical pain.
We need a vision of the future and goals to get us there.
Although the physical pain was (and slightly still is) bad, it was a much needed blessing in disguise. It finally forced me refocus on what I wanted for the future and what my goals should be. I had to decide what my vision for Lady Brigade was once again. And what Lady Brigade meant to me and even what it meant to you - those who support Lady Brigade. Lady Brigade is my passion, I love being able to serve you all with what I do. I love thinking of new designs, I enjoy reading the awesome emails I receive (thank you!!). Even more, Lady Brigade has served as a catalyst to help mentor and speak with other women and I love being able to give back to charitable causes through Lady Brigade. These are the things I enjoy, and part of the vision I want to maintain for Lady Brigade going forward. I knew If I didn’t remove the things that weren’t as important to me that I would continue to over extend myself and eventually lose my health and Lady Brigade- and that was not an option.
So with my vision crystallized, new goals have been set and decisions have been made!
I have decided to focus on Lady Brigade full time! No more “day job!” I am fully committed to making Lady Brigade succeed without a day job. My energy is where it needs to be with what and who I care about most. The next few weeks will be crazy, but worth it, as you will see with more awesome designs and products coming out (FINALLY), all as I continue my efforts to find a official operating space for Lady Brigade.
I know this was a long winded post just to share why things haven’t updated or to let you know that I quit my day job, but I thought this was important. I wanted to be honest with you, I wanted to share the true story of a small business, and to possibly motivate you to make decisions with something you've been struggling with in your personal or professional life that could be weighing you down too.
Do you think envisioning your future and setting goals has or could help you move forward with a situation you’re dealing with? Feel free to share your comments below!