What an amazing year 2019 has been! So much has happened at KDJ headquarters that I'm thankful for but most of all I want to extend a thank you to you. You’ve been with us every step of the way and I’m so grateful that you are here. I love reading your emails, seeing your dainty jewelry Instagram posts and meeting you all in person at our events. Join me and together let’s recap this year and welcome all the possibilities that 2020 holds!
✨The Top 3 Katie Dean Jewelry Highlights✨
#1 Speaking at Girl Gang Craft 💁♀️
I would say my number one highlight was speaking at a local business summit in Oakland, CA hosted by Girl Gang Craft about Social Media and how it’s helped my business reach beyond regional customers and opened up our customer base to the entire world.
The room was mainly filled with female founders who were all working on their own side-hustle or small business. I shared a lot of inside tips and tricks because I realized that I value community over competition and no one will ever be able to copy me or my brand truly.
Even though I’ve valued and supported other female founders over the years I would sometimes be hesitant to share my successful actions with others. But as I’ve grown and evolved as a business owner and person I can see that it’s impossible to be a brand simply by copying everything they are doing. Everyone has their own creative spin that they put on whatever they do and that’s been really freeing for me!
#2 Flying My Mom to San Fran 🤗
For my second biggest highlight, it would be flying my Mom out to San Francisco to help me at one of my biggest handmade jewelry events of the year. With her help, I had my best show ever and it was not only super special having her with me (and tons of fun!), it opened up my eyes to the power of delegating.
For so long I’ve personally worked all my own events, which I LOVE doing because I get to meet followers and supporters of the brand in person and that is one of the best feelings. But with that said, over the next few years I plan on having kids and I know the only way to continue expanding is that I will need to have more people come on board to help me. Exciting times ahead to say the least!
#3 Knowledge Is Power, Thanks Shopify! 👩🏻💻
Third and lastly, putting an emphasis on continuing education has been a huge business highlight of 2019. Since moving to Oakland with my husband, I’ve been able to go to free seminars at my local Shopify headquarters in downtown San Francisco and meet one-on-one with Shopify Guru’s to learn and enhance my understanding of how my website works and it has been incredible!
Knowledge truly is power and since devoting time and energy into my continued education on the technology side of my business I feel so much more powerful and we have accomplished a huge amount of goals in a short period of time.
If you’re wondering if Shopify sponsored this, no, no they did not haha, but in the spirit of helping other small business owners, I feel a sense of responsibility to share my experience with Shopify and how it has helped my small business grow. I highly recommend checking them out if you’re thinking of starting an e-commerce platform!
✨Top 3 Personal Highlights from 2019✨
#1 Making the Move to Oakland, CA 🚙
Officially making the move to Oakland, CA from Los Angeles! For so long I felt like I could never leave LA because that’s where I started the brand (and where I continue to do the bulk of my production) but after I got married I started to resent the commute between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Since my husband has a career in technology we both felt that the Bay Area was a better place for us to be during this time of our lives. So I officially let go of my office in LA and am now solely based in Oakland!
#2 Making Cookies on the Regular 🍪
Another top highlight for me personally was taking up cooking! I love being married and making meals for my husband and I after he gets home from work. I’m not a pro by any means but I’ve loved the simple pleasures of cooking and eating together. Recently I’ve become completely obsessed with the British reality TV show, The Great British Baking Show which you can watch on Netflix and I’ve started baking homemade cookies on the regular and I even made my very first apple pie!
#3 Life ‘aint Always Peachy, But...🤔
Lastly, hmm… I think just having more balance and really embracing the ups and the downs when it comes to life. I know that life isn’t peachy all the time but I feel like I’m finally learning that it never helps to get stressed or sit and worry about potential problems that could arise. The best thing to do is to enjoy it. Enjoy the ups, enjoy the downs, enjoy the process really and be thankful that I’m living it! One of my favorite movies, About Time shows this way of living in such a beautiful way. The perfect movie to pop on during the holidays too.
My Favorite 2019 Collection & What I’m Most Excited About in 2020 🤩🤩🤩
The KDJ brand has evolved immensely—we’ve refined every aspect of the business this year. From our color scheme to what our mission is to who we are, what we post on social media and what we are focusing on as we move forward both artistically and within our business goals—we’ve really looked at it all in detail this year. I’m more excited than ever to head into a new year!
Looking back on 2019, one of my favorite collections was the Artist Collection—it speaks to my sculpture and ceramics background and it has taken off with our customers as well which is always a nice acknowledgment.
Looking forward, I’m excited to release new pieces that I’ve been working on and continue to roll out more and more video content on our website and social media! Woohoo! Also, I’m looking forward to continuing to roll out our new packaging and promotional materials with our new logo and branding.
On the personal front, I’m excited to travel with my husband (we’re planning some ski trips and a trip to Hawaii for sure!), continue to cook for us and do our daily rituals together (like coffee at our favorite local spots in Oakland, Cro Cafe and Subrosa).
I hope you enjoyed my year-end love letter to 2019. Wishing you all a merry, happy everything this holiday season!