My Word of 2016: CHANGE. And My Word of the Year 2017 Is…

As I reflect back on 2016, I can say, without hesitation, that the word of the year was change. So many things changed for me, both personally and professionally.
newborn baby feet
Most importantly, we welcomed Tova Hannah to our family. She is beyond anything that my wildest dreams could have imagined, and she has made me a better, more caring, more conscientious person as we’ve followed her journey through sickness and health this year. She’s also taught me about attitude, and smiling bigger than your face will allow in spite of not feeling well. We all have things we can complain about and challenges to face, but a smile can change not only your day, but someone else’s. She’s taught us a lot about that this year.
cute toddler dress
cuteheads also grew by leaps and bounds. Thanks a lot in part to my involvement in The Collective of Us, and business coach Cyndie Spiegel’s direction, I was able to develop a real strategy in terms of branding, marketing and merchandising. Nothing is perfect, and undoubtedly, I have a long way to go, but my sales, profit and revenue all grew significantly this year, and I feel fortunate about the options that are being presented to me now as I move forward with this business.
Enjoy all of it with Life Cereal
One of other big areas of change I saw in 2016 was with the cuteheads blog, The Cuteness. As it grew, I was lucky enough to work with some incredible brands like Life Cereal and Terez, and make real money through it. It was an insane amount of work and so rewarding, and if I’m being honest, a bit unsustainable at that level if I’m going to grow my passion project, my true business, my kids fashion line in 2017.

My Word of the Year 2017

Which brings me to what I think my word of the year for 2017 will be (though don’t hold me to it): REAL. Why real? Because in 2017, I’m going to be more honest, share more behind the scenes, and hopefully show you what a beautiful, messy life it can be. But most importantly, NOT A PERFECT LIFE. I do not have it all together. I am not perfect. My kids are not perfect. I posted a lot of pictures in 2016 depicting what might lead you to believe I have it all together. But I don’t live my life being followed around by a photographer. My children are not always smiling and well-dressed in the perfect #shopsmall outfits. I don’t typically lay out smoothies and cookies surrounded by flowers and snap pics of them. And in 2017, my business and my feed will reflect that, because in spite of the fact that it was a lot of fun to participate in paid campaigns that tested my creativity and my photo-taking abilities, ultimately I’ve decided it just needs to take a back seat to the growing clothing line. And maybe I’ll come back to it one day! I’m in no way ruling it out, because the work is fun and creative and interesting and exciting. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. And this doesn’t mean no more collabs! It just means more thoughtful, more selective collabs.

At the end of the day, something’s gotta give, and the demanding deadlines of doing a lot of sponsored campaigns just doesn’t fit into the schedule anymore.  I am facing some health issues of my own in 2017 (more on that later, I’m not ready to share right now), and I might need to take even more time for myself and my family, so I need to be prepared for that.
toddler pinafore dress
From here on out, this blog will be primarily focused on talking about things and products we really love (whether they’re sponsored or not), showcasing #shopsmall brands we love, sharing small business tips and tricks and focusing on balancing motherhood and small biz life. You’ll see more posts like this and this and this and this. I am not abandoning this blog, not by a long shot. I love it, and I love not only this platform, but the community it has introduced me to. I look forward to the new adventures it will bring me in 2017, and the new directions it will take me.

Do you have a Word of the Year? I’d love to know what it is!

14 thoughts on “My Word of 2016: CHANGE. And My Word of the Year 2017 Is…

  1. Love this post Esther! Although I’m sad you’re scaling back on your blog, I am so happy it’s because your shop is growing to new heights. I hope everything is ok with you and as always – you know I am always here if you need anything at all! Big hugs mama!

  2. Congrats on welcoming a little one to the family! I actually have three words this year that I blogged about; passion, patience, and fearless. Cheers to 2017!

  3. Good for you for being more REAL. That’s not always easy, but I think it is something that blog readers really appreciate!

  4. Esther, it takes a lot of courage to be ‘real’ – especially in a world in which we are bombarded by the ‘picture perfect’.

    My word this year is to ‘commit’. ‘Commit’ to myself, and to all things that are important to me – including family, friends, and health.

    Love you and wishing you and your adorable family the best in 2017 and looking forward to creating some ‘real’ memories with y’all! xx

  5. I love your spirit! I wish I was focused enough to even come up with one word for this year… maybe the word should be “focus” haha. Anyways, I love the word that you chose. In the blogging community, things can start to get away from being reality. We need to see more authentic things nowadays. It’s always so much better.

  6. I love your spirit! I wish I was focused enough to even come up with one word for this year… maybe the word should be “focus” haha. Anyways, I love the word that you chose. In the blogging community, things can start to get away from being reality. We need to see more authentic things nowadays. It’s always so much better!

  7. Happy New Year!!! You have a great idea what you want your 2017 to look like–I know you can achieve any goal you put your mind to! xo

  8. Service is mine and my husband word for the year. We are concerned about helping and giving more of ourselves to helping other people this year.

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About Esther

The Cuteness: sharing daily inspiration, kids fashion, work/life balance + small business how to's from mom & business owner Esther Freedman