One of the hardest parts I’ve found about being a “founder” is the rollercoaster of emotions. Some days there are exhilarating highs, and then the very next day can make me want to crawl into bed with my covers over my head and not come out. Ever.
As a founder, is that you’re always expected to answer, “How is your startup doing?” with, “Fabulous!” You’ll almost never get a straight answer out of a startup founder — it’s always going to be roses and awesomeness, even if that founder woke up that morning worrying about the present and dreading the future.
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I am definitely affected by this smoke and mirrors act. How many negative posts have you seen here on the blog or on our social media accounts? (Hint, I think this is the first.) It’s definitely important to be positive — how many wedding couples or wedding vendors can we work with if things look less than awesome? — but that also means that I feel prevented about talking WeddingLovely realistically.
Don’t get me wrong, things are fabulous. See my last post about what WeddingLovely means to me, and why I’m doing what I do. We’re working on really awesome problems with really, really amazing people, both engaged couples and vendors. We’re growing steadily in our wedding vendor directories (almost 1,600 wedding vendors listed so far!) and WeddingLovely.com, our online wedding planning application, is evolving, getting better every day, and we’re working with awesome brides and grooms to help them plan their wedding.
But there are some things that aren’t as rosy. The biggest thing that I haven’t mentioned is that Marit is no longer working full time with WeddingLovely. This happened, actually, a few months ago. She was the first person to join me full time, our biggest fan, and instrumental to getting WeddingLovely to where it is right now. You might notice that Marit’s pictures with Julia and I are everywhere still, and it’s simply because I can’t bear to take them down. It’s seriously depressing, and there are many many nights that I’ve laid awake feeling horrible about this. Days too.
Marit had to leave simply because WeddingLovely isn’t making enough revenue to support three people full time. Honestly, it’s not making enough revenue to support two people full time. We’re not profitable yet, and Julia and my salaries are far, far below what can support us — we’re both living on ramen and might still have more hard decisions ahead of us. Julia and I both, thankfully, if needed could find a full time job supporting us with no problem, but we’re still working our butts off on WeddingLovely, with very low income, a lot of rollercoaster emotions and worries, because we love what we do, have high hopes and dreams for the future, and we’ll continue working as long as we can.
That’s the honest truth about us and our business.
I’m glad I finally got to say all of this. I’m heading back to work on the WeddingLovely Fall Lookbook (coming out next week, and see the Spring WeddingLovely Lookbook here!), Julia is finishing up the code so the vendors in our network will be imported directly into WeddingLovely.com, and, as always, we’re continuing to work on improving both our vendor directories and our online wedding planning application.
Would love your thoughts on all of this!
Love to you all,