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2018 In Review

Written by Annie Dornan-Smith


Posted on January 01 2019

2018  in review - Annie Dornan Smith

Well, that’s another year down then! (They say time flies when you’re having fun?!)


Like the rest of you I’m sure, the start of a new year for me becomes a time to sit down and think about the past year. Usually it’s all about reviewing my goals (which we’ll do) but I also thought it was important this year to document some success, some triumphs.

2018 has been an interesting year for my business - in some ways it’s felt un-monumentous in comparison to previous years, kind of “more of the same”. I’m trying hard to remember that “success” is not always giant leaps - sometimes it is tiny steps repeated over and over again. The repetitive motions that keep the cogs turning and help build the momentum. "More of the same”.

Not only that, but sometimes it’s ok to just focus on surviving - to keeping the wheels turning - rather than being the world’s greatest at any given moment.

But it’s also not completely true. This year has been full of triumphs, and sometimes we get so wrapped up in comparison-itis that we forget that we achieved a lot in the past 365 days. I know personally I beat myself up for not being like other, enormous companies who have employees and social media managers and fulfilment companies. My achievements may be smaller, but not necessarily less important. I have a habit of trying to run, or actually, trying to fly before I can walk. Baby steps, Annie, baby steps.

"success is not always giant leaps - sometimes it is tiny steps" - Annie Dornan Smith lettering quote


Let’s take a look at 2018’s Achievements (big and small)

This year I launched three new collections - By The Beach, Peachy Keen and Christmas. Well done girl, you nailed it.

I brought new and improved notebooks back to the shop after years of not finding quite the right kind. I introduced larger format prints - A3 and A2, and also some other goodies like pencils and tees. All new! All beautiful! Well done me.

I also made some mistakes - I ordered products that printed wrong, that didn’t sell or didn’t think things through, and that’s ok. I am already learning how to do things better this time.

I made a brave and scary decision to (mostly) quit Christmas markets this year, for the sake of my little Christmassy brain (and my upper body strength)

We moved out of our flat to a place that doesn’t make me feel like I’m living in a cardboard fort of stock, tripping over boxes whilst I’m trying to make dinner.

Speaking of which - I got dumped by a Landlord 3 days before our move-in date; picked myself up, cried, and was back out the door viewing other properties within the hour and signing a new lease within 48.

I freelanced the hell out of 2018. You go glen coco.

I learned a lot of new skills - helping me produce product and lifestyle shots that I am the most proud of, ever ever ever. (So proud that I can’t figure out a way to make that last sentence coherent)

I paid my share of the rent for all 12 months of the year! With money I earned! using skills I learned! Go me!

I didn’t give it all up and get a “proper job” for 365 solid days. Nice.

Now that the back-pats are over, let’s take a look at the goals!

You go Girl inspirational quote - Annie Dornan smith lettering

2018’s Goals

Let’s take a look back at 2018’s goals.

  • Make £500 A month

    Money is terrifying isn’t it? I picked this figure as it was exactly my share of the rent - since our move it’s actually higher now (yes I’ll pause while you choke and make a mental note to never move closer to London) but I’m pleased to report that I’m a equally-contributing member of our household now. Snaps for me! I achieved it by supplementing my business earnings with freelance work. Lots of freelance work.

  • Launch a Spring Summer Collection

    Nailed it! x2.

  • Give Blood

    Fell at the easiest hurdle. Do better next year!

  • Take More Time to Enjoy Christmas
    I talked all about how I prepared for Christmas as a small business way back in September, with this exact goal in mind. I didn’t expect to get ill, for the entire freaking week, but I do feel like Christmas was more relaxed and more enjoyable this year, so I’ll give it a check.

  • Reach 10k Followers

    Fail, but pretty close! In a way, 2018 stopped being about Insta followers. I still adore insta for it’s propensity to be inspiring, creative and build connections, but I think The Dreaded Algorithm taught us to not put all our eggs in one insta-basket. 2018 Taught me that many, many businesses thrive without so much as an Insta followers (yes, even creative ones), so whilst I’ll probably use Instagram til it’s dying breath, I’ll be trying not to live-and-die by each follow and unfollow.



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