I actually love the end of an old year and the beginning of a new one. Each year, I take time to remember what I thought the year would be like on January 1st and then reflect on what actually happened. The year never turns out like I thought it would - there are happy times, sad times, and many surprises along the way. But each event has its purpose, even if I don't always understand it at the time. But there is always something magical about a new year - it is like having a blank notebook full of pages to be filled with the next chapter.
As part of my reflection for 2012, I read my end of year blog post from last year. It was encouraging and fun to read my feelings at this time last year and to review what has actually happened for Zoe and for me this year. At the time, I think I could only look about 3 months ahead. And I had a full plate and then some!
After the store closed this afternoon, I stayed to catch up on some administrative tasks and do a little clean-up. When I finished, I sat there in the quiet for a while, listening to the excited voices outside from First Night Alexandria attendees and couples and groups heading to dinner. I thought about the year in review and what makes Zoe special to me (and, hopefully, my customers).
One of the things that stands out to me most is the relationships that I and the other ladies at Zoe have the opportunity to build with our customers, our designers, our neighborhood friends, and our business partners. There is nothing that lifts my heart more than seeing someone I know walk through Zoe's door. I want all of our relationships to be genuine - to be more than a potential transaction (and that goes for Zoe's vendors as well as Zoe's customers). I want to always feel that, at the end of the day, I have conducted business in such a way that is honest, fair, and authentic. I can be very hard on myself (constantly evaluating what I could be doing better) but I want to know that I've always given it my best.
I am grateful to every person who was part of my and Zoe's life in 2012. And I can't wait to see what 2013 brings! Happy New Year!