If you look at social media, we had an amazing 2019. Red Velvet Events is doing fantastic work, and it’s been thrilling and fun to continue our metamorphosis into a creative and design-oriented boutique.

However, the truth about my past year is a little different…and more real than some want to probably hear.

The Behind-the-Scenes Challenges

I’m going to be very honest here and confess that 2019 was a tumultuous year for me personally and professionally. It’s been a roller coaster ride with my fair shares of highs and lows. Overall, the good outweighed the bad, and I’m very grateful to have our Red Velvet family, my own family, and my health. Plus, I know that every small business has its share of struggles. But it has definitely been a challenging year.

While we’ve been pivoting towards being more creative, design-focused and strategic for the past few years, 2019 brought some of the most dramatic changes we’ve seen yet. Unfortunately, the company saw a fair amount of turnover, which I can understand as a team member. We hired many of our team before I personally had a clear direction of where I want the organization’s direction to be; and despite my vow not to let this new direction impact everyone’s roles too much, it ultimately impacted some team members more than others.

Now, I understood this turnover from a team member perspective; but as the company CEO, it really made me take a step back and think. I contemplated how to keep moving the business forward in a way that would be sustainable while ensuring that all our team members felt valued and took the time they needed to rest and recharge.

These challenges alone had a huge impact on 2019 for me. But they were just part of the behind-the-scenes difficulties I had to wrestle with. Without going too much into detail for my kids’ sake, this year brought some of the biggest personal challenges I’ve ever faced as a mom and as a person. My family saw tough times, but we are getting through them, and I know we’re stronger as a result of everything we’ve experienced together.

The Most Important Thing I Learned

My biggest takeaway from this challenging year is that you learn from everything. I’ve grown up a lot as a CEO as well as a mom. If hard times can be an education in real life, I’ve earned a Ph.D. this year.

At the end of the day, I am who I am, and I have accepted this. That doesn’t mean I’m not working to fix my flaws and blind spots — far from it! But it does mean beating myself up less for my shortcomings, and instead focusing that energy toward fixing what I can and letting go of what I can’t.

Even after all the difficulties of 2019, I’m proud to say I’m still an optimist. I know my glass is more than half full, and I’m so grateful for that. While I hate how change scares people, I do genuinely miss the team members who chose to leave, and at the same time, I’m very proud of our current team. We are very well-positioned for a great 2020, and I could not be more excited for the future.

Looking Forward to the Future

As the world stands on the brink of a new decade, I know there’s a lot of unknown for all of us. I truly want to make Red Velvet Events not just the best company in the creative events and design world, but also the best company you can work for if you want to be in the live events industry. Even after 17 years in the business, I know our future will require its share of hard work and emotional toll. But I also know it’ll all be worth it.

With that, I want to thank EVERYONE who’s stood by me during this year of professional and personal growth – you know who you are. I’m extremely grateful for our team’s dedication and patience, for our event partners’ incredible talent and creativity, and for my family’s continued love and support. Thanks to all of you, I’m happy to wake up every day and tackle what’s before me with energy and positivity.

Here’s wishing you and yours the very best in the coming year and beyond!