Check out what we are doing now: friend me on snapchat for a real behind the scenes @brookthere or follow this blog by email – click that follow button in the lower right corner!

While I’ve never been one much for wrap-ups, and I always think, Oh, maybe I should have sent New Year cards around the 31st, this has felt like a year of many changes.

Maybe it’s good to do a wrap-up every now and then.

Work
At the beginning of last year, Daniel officially started working on Brook There, building systems, improving flow, and handling marketing. Through his help, we’ve grown the business significantly this year.

Most recently, we took the important step of moving pick and pack/ distribution to an amazing facility in Massachusetts. I have been putting off this sort of move for a long time, because most warehousing services require that garments be individually plastic bagged. This seemed so antithetical to the values of an organic cotton brand that I couldn’t bear to do it. That means, of course, that during busy times online, I would spend entire days or weeks just doing shipping.

Even better: While I still design behind a sewing machine, we weren’t able to keep up with demand on our own. Now most of  the cut and sew production and shipping is in single location. Yay!

On the design side, we produced two collections and did awesome photo shoots with Christina Jorro. We’re very excited for spring to launch, where we produced a custom organic cotton stripe jersey, milled in the USA, and used lots of beautiful washy blues and neutrals.

2016 Goals: It’s all about marketing and sales now that I’m not dealing with stitches and thread and tissue paper.
inventory

Mind
The biggest mind project I’ve been working on for a couple years now is this one about learning Arabic. Last year saw serious commitment to this goal, and also resulted in the fun little website Kifah and I launched in October: www.arabiclanguage.me

We have had a few conversation group get-togethers, and will be setting that up as an independently functioning group in 2016.

Coming soon, we will be releasing a dual-language book of Kifah’s poetry- written in Arabic originally, which I have translated to English. More on that next month.

And: I finally got a new laptop (goodbye osX 10.68 6 lb. laptop circa 2008 onto which I couldn’t even load new programs, hello El Cap! *apropos for the climber in all of us…) -moreover, I got it with the Arabic keyboard & operating system so I no longer need to use the hunt-and-guess method for finding keys and I’ll learn all the techy vocab. God I love rosegold.

2016 goals? Keep going.
computer

grip strength

Body
The best thing Daniel and I have found this year is, of course, climbing. Sometime back in 2014 we were both like, Ok, we’re 35. We need to start exercising. And so, we bought some yoga mats, and tried to institute a home yoga daily program (floor-based isometric low-impact exercises….as we called it.)

This went nowhere fast, because it was boring.

Climbing, of course, is wildly thrilling, frightening at times, intensely stimulating, and an incredible workout, which slims the belly and hips and only builds muscle around the shoulders and arms. Really, for the typical female body concerns, it’s the best workout I’ve ever found….and it’s addictive. So, one twisted ankle, a dozen pairs of shoes, two crash pads, and plenty of chalk later, we are officially hooked.

Right before Christmas, we emptied out the (only) clothing closet in the house and turned it into a “pain cave.” (um, not that sort.)

As you can see, even I can now do dozens of pull-ups. (with some rests…;) Daniel can almost do a one-arm.

2016 goals? Leading 5.12 outside.

Soul
I was sitting around a table with a group of people in their thirties last night, comparing notes on how we all feel about the manner in which people in their teens and twenties interact with social media. I’m very thankful that I mostly grew up before the internet, and was firmly attached before Tinder was invented.

We all know that social media is an intensely important part of brand marketing, but it’s really, really hard to use if you grew up after it happened. Or at least that’s how I feel. I don’t mean technically hard to use- I mean emotionally, intellectually. Mostly, it’s boring. I feel like whatever sort of stimulation or endorphin shots younger people are getting from it- just doesn’t occur if you grew up before it. As much as I try, I can’t seem to find it interesting. Which is why we’re probably going to have to hire someone to manage our social media business accounts for the brand unless we can figure out a way to make it take less than 5 minutes a day and still be effective. Which is the level of time commitment I can realistically maintain. Less than flossing.

On the other hand, I love long form content. (I.e. writing, blogging, essays.)

2016 goals? Write more. Make time to write.

MAX

Home
Our amazing cat Max has made it to her twentieth year and going strong, though her palate gets more refined by the year. We finally found her some food that seems to be doing well by her little digestive system.

My new year goal? To build my anti-library, the library of books I have not yet read, an Umberto Eco reference that I encountered in The Black Swan by N.N.Taleb.

Check out what we are doing now: friend me on snapchat for a real behind the scenes @brookthere or follow this blog by email – click that follow button in the lower right corner!

Posted by:brook delorme

2 replies on “New Year Thoughts

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