Adina’s 2019 Resolutions

My hunch is the past few years have been a whirlwind for many of us, but if you’ve been having the best years ever, mazel! Not us. I had the idea for S.W. Basics in 2008 during another terrible time but with a naïve twinkle in my eye (I mean, I was 23…) and no plan. I had no idea where it could go or where I wanted it to go.

Fast forward to 2018, and all of that started catching up with us. So at the end of the year I decided to rethink our path and make a plan. We have a lot to figure out this year and I want you to be a part of it, so here are my 2019 resolutions for S.W. Basics.

Resolution #1: Find ourselves.

Perhaps you noticed we have a fresh, simplified look rolling out now, but from day 1, I have struggled to really define what S.W. Basics is. What are we contributing? What more can we contribute? This year, I’d like to finally define that in a way that feels right. (I want to say that then we’ll stick to it forever but let’s be real, that’s a resolution for another year.)

The past few years have seen an explosion in beauty, skincare, natural products, and wellness. It’s amazing to have so many options and so much access to better products, but I am not interested in making S.W. Basics just another one of the companies that makes taking care of yourself more complicated and difficult. The point is to simplify so that you can STOP thinking about it and live your damn life. So I need to really figure out what that means exactly, what it looks like, and then how to do it. And I’m gonna. 🤞

Resolution #2: Get our groove back.

2018 was…rough. Truthfully, we almost didn’t make it. And I’ve gotten so fed up with the beauty industry. It’s not who I am, I don’t relate, and it feels gross and oppressive in so many ways. That showed up in 2018 as a decision to generally opt out and hide away. I did not write at all in 2018. Not once. Rather than raising the bar I decided that I should stay out of the conversation as much as possible. (With a few notable outbursts–tbd if those are actually productive.)

But now I feel like I’m not doing whatever it is I’m meant to do. So this year I’m going to work on coming back out, re-engaging SW in the conversation but also trying to start a new one. One that helps you all learn and grow and be happier and healthier in every way. One that acknowledges that yes, we all deserve to look and feel beautiful, but so much of our culture is wrapped up in an obsession that is disempowering. There is just too much to get done in this lifetime for that to be what holds you back.

Resolution #3: Launch more damn products (and get them right.)

When I started SW, I really just wanted to make a moisturizer that didn’t make my entire body itchy. That was the beginning and the end of the plan. (If you’re starting a business, I do not recommend this method.)

Every step forward has been incredibly painful because we’ve had to learn it all as we went: how to design a brand, how to build a website, how to work with a retailer, how to work with an even bigger retailer, how to manage inventory, how to manage a business bank account–all of it. It has been all-consuming, and has resulted in almost paralyzing me when it comes to creating new products. I KNOW they won’t be perfect and then people will be disappointed. And disappointing people is horrifying to me. It literally keeps me up at night. For example, I spent all of 2018 working on our new baby line, then the mess you see above launched in Targets nationwide. Oh man.

There is still so much work to do to get our products as perfect as I want them to be, but I know what that work is, I know what stuff you guys want (thank goodness y’all are so patient) and I know I can do it…in five ingredients or less. (<—company dad joke.) But hey PS—our baby line is here!!

Resolution #4: Heal.

One of the strangest things about the wellness industry is how deeply unwell it is, and that goes for myself and S.W. too. We had so many missteps in 2018 (see resolution #3). We were unable to raise investment money, I had to lay off several people from our team, and I don’t remember what it feels like to pay a bill on time.

What’s left of our small team has been tired and stressed, and I have to regularly force them to take a day off or try to relax, which you can probably imagine is fairly counter-productive. It’s not the type of company I set out to build, and I’m realizing that this happened mostly because I spent years pushing myself and SW so so hard to be a very specific version of Insta-successful. (Like instant and on Instagram, get it?)

But pushing never works, and it’s not who we are. Plus how can you help people become well if you yourself are burnt out and struggling? (And on the flipside: when is the pursuit of perfect wellness also part of the problem?) In 2019 I am going to prioritize health and happiness, for me and the team and the company, and trust what may come of that.

Resolution #5: More us + you realness.

Remember when having a blog was crazy? And an e-commerce site? And social media? Yeah, me neither. These days literally all of us are brands. And if you don’t have enough money to break the algorithm, good luck out there. People (including me) don’t want to open newsletters anymore, and no one wants their feed filled with brands and ads for brands.

Not to mention, our addiction to technology is one of the ways we are unhealthy. But technology also helps us reach each other, it’s a powerful way of building community, and it gives people so much power to make change.

So this year, I’m going to give up the idea that it’s all about writing/posting for love, it’s about being real and honest and open in the interest of connecting with people and helping make the world better. So get ready for some awkward TMI in 2019, cause it’s coming (or has already started, in case you haven’t noticed). Thank you for all of the love and support that got us to 2019, and helped us get through 2018. I love you all.

 

–Adina

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