Whenever people congratulate me on Styleta, my first reaction is usually surprise. In the middle of my hectic day-to-day work (i.e. typing emails at lightning speed, mailing sales or lugging donations, all with an illogical sense of impending doom), it’s sometimes hard to step back and see the big picture. Today – April 12th – celebrates the official one-year anniversary of Styleta’s incorporation. My baby is turning one year old, and the realization of that fact finally shocked me into stepping back and reflecting on how far we’ve come as an organization. And indeed, how far I’ve come from the earliest days.
It’s amazing how different things look when you take a step back! One of my board members told me at the beginning that I can’t let the past day, week or even month dictate my overall evaluation of a startup, but rather to work relentlessly until a set check-in point, when I evaluate the totality of my work. I think this one-year anniversary is just such a check-in point. Styleta is now on 4 campuses solidly and we’ve found 4 out of the 6 targets for launch this fall. We’ve had sold out runway shows, professional quality photoshoots, partnerships with some impressive companies and nonprofits and currently have a strong board and team in place. Not bad for the first year. And as for myself, I’ve gained a world of experience – pitching to CEOs of large retailers, leading meetings with people twice my age, navigating through the 501(c)3 process etc etc. But most importantly, at least to me, I think this year has finally made me feel like I’ve sloughed off my teenage/college student skin and become a real adult, and capable of real impact.
While I’m sure the impending doom feeling is not going away any time soon, and probably shouldn’t go away because it keeps me on my toes, I’m taking a moment to finally take a little pride in where Styleta is today. There’s too much work still to be done to have a big celebration, so here is my small celebration of Styleta.