As we enter 2019, we find ourselves looking back on the past year and breathing a sigh. And we are quite yet unable to tell you whether this is a sigh of contentedness, or maybe just a whoosh of air leaving our lungs; since we are in motion, kind of tired and feel like we’ve been running (in a good way!) ever since we hit the ground last January.
Every step that we have taken this year has felt solid and grounding, yet with every step forward we have felt a tingling sense of excitement as our book (and subsequent business that followed) took off in an unexpected form. Over the year 2018, Prairie Sister Productions organically took a shape that was unexpected; there was a point where we saw what was happening, we looked at each other, we embraced it and we started running. Not away from it, but towards it.
What started out with what we have now dubbed “The Birth of the Book Baby” has shaped and molded us as people and has had a large hand in forming Prairie Sister Productions. Our book, ‘Ramble: A Smidge of Blue’ was a passion project that we planned on slowly promoting and selling over the next couple of years.
As we move on to this next year, we are excited to take a step in a direction that wasn’t originally laid out on the map. Originally, we had thought “Let’s sell this book on the side, make our money back, maybe turn a small profit and call ‘er done”. But a quick recap of 2018 showed us that we’ve already moved so far past that.
- January 2018
- We had the opportunity to showcase the ‘Ramble: A Smidge of Blue’ exhibit at the Lloydminster Cultural & Science Centre. Inlaid in our grandparents’ old windows, our poetry and photography were seen by the public for the first time!
- We released the book ‘Ramble: A Smidge of Blue’. An overwhelming amount of people came to our book release event. We swapped stories with people, ate Timbits, drank Shirley Temples and signed books.
- Attended Farmer’s Markets – as vendors instead of customers!
- We got to sit on the OTHER side of the table at farmers markets this year. There’s something so vulnerable about being on the selling side of the table. You must be confident about your product, know your worth, and sell your ideas to a customer in the fifteen seconds that they glance at your table.
- Sometimes they just want to look and you chance frightening them off just by saying ‘good morning’ and sometimes people want to chat their faces off. It turns out, there’s a trick to reading people in the split second that they walk by your table. Maybe we figured it out by the end of the Christmas season– maybe we didn’t. Beats us! But we sure had fun trying!
- Support from the local news. Featured in a Lakeland Alumni article
- From the exhibit, to our book, to our time at markets, the local news seemed to be around every corner. What did we learn from this? We learned that people recognized our faces, they had a sense that they knew us, and they were less hesitant to come talk to us! There were instances where we would be at a Christmas market and someone would come up to us to talk about seeing us in the news and “weren’t we the girls who had an exhibit?”
- As we are both Lakeland College graduates, we were asked to be interviewed for a Lakeland college article. You can read it HERE.
- Lloydminster Reads
- We were honoured to be able to take part in Lloydminster Reads, alongside local authors. It was an amazing night of sharing the stories of creating, and we met some very talented authors!
- We took the leap and… joined Facebook!
- Maybe this doesn’t seem like a milestone worth mentioning but coming from two gals who previously didn’t use that platform, this was a very big leap! Though we had Instagram from the get-go, the feedback that we received from people was that they would LOVE to follow us on Facebook. So, we got it. So, they can!
- Sold books internationally
- Our books travelled far and wide– as gifts to faraway friends or travelling tourists. We also gained a following in the good ole United States of America and ‘Ramble’ went stateside.
- Connected with people and made new friends all year long
- The most rewarding and impactful thing this year, and what we are most thankful for, are the connections that we have been able to make. Connections that would not have been possible without the support of the people that in our lives and the people we met along the way.
A huge thank you to everyone who has supported us, engaged or partnered with, and encouraged us this year. We hope that through this past year’s venture, we were able to support our community and impact other local businesses, as they have impacted and supported us. We look forward to many more partnerships, adventures, flat land travels and coffee fueled days in the upcoming year and we invite you to join us as we travel on this road, through this turn in our journey.