When 2020 began, I was not sure of what was ahead – the year had started with natural disasters and the rumblings of unease. We’d celebrated turning thirteen and the year stretched ahead with hope and promise, despite this unease in January – surely the year would unfold as it always does.
And then, the pandemic which shall not be named took over the world and within a few days, entire businesses closed as their busiest weeks cancelled within moments of one another. We started feeling fearful about leaving the house, we tuned into press conferences and watched as numbers rose.
There was a lot to how 2020 unfolded that was painful for the wedding industry, and I include us in that because we’re supported by wedding businesses. As a team, we worked through a lot of options on how we could most support vendors, while also surviving as a business ourselves. And when other social issues came to the fore, we chatted a lot about where we as a company stood and committed to establishing our own set of guidelines that truly align with our values to be an inclusive company.
Which is a really long way of saying, that while 2020 was painful, while it was heartbreaking and devastating, it was also wonderful, because it allowed us, like many others, to get laser focussed on what we, as a company value. What we want to stand for. What we want to pay attention to. And that, in turn, had us challenge how can we make sure that is reflective in everything we do,
For us, it is no longer enough to just talk about our values and work on them quietly. We know now that we have to be loud about what we stand for and what we won’t. That we have to seek out the content that we crave to share, that needs to be shared. That we have to stand up, get rid of excuses and be the change we want to see.
We asked for your feedback and slowly, we began to action it. We changed our name, from Polka Dot Bride to Polka Dot Wedding, an enormous undertaking with an enormous amount of work behind the scenes.
The biggest change thought is yet to come. And it is just around the corner.
I always write my letter, on our birthday, speaking of how I never imagined I would be here, from a tiny blogger blog I started in my lounge room when blogs about weddings, in Australia, were non-existent. Yet today, I understand, I was always going to be here. Because I now understand how actually passionate, how committed I am to ensuring that you have a place to come to find inspiration for a wedding that is truly yours. That you, as a vendor or reader feel welcome here, feel like you are represented, feel included, and feel happy. And that commitment is steadfast.
The patterned people have been amazing throughout 2020, and they deserve all my thanks and praise. I really think each and every one of them is someone truly amazing. They have endured all that COVID-19 threw at them. Most of our team experienced Melbourne’s extreme lockdown and throughout it all, with tiny tots and furry friends by their feet, they continued to work. These are women that inspire me each and every day through the way that they pour their heart and soul into their work and do it all with such grace. They are amazing people.
Our vendors and readers, every year I think of you and every year I will continue to. I will never ever take you for granted. You continue to be our lifeblood, our drive, and what inspires us to be better and do better.
Here to a wonderful year ahead. We can’t celebrate our birthday together quite yet, but when we do, you can be sure we’re going to tuck into this birthday cake, as beautiful as ever, commissioned to Miss Ladybird Cakes, and we’re going to drink bubbles. Because a business like ours is nothing without a soul, without passion, without love, and I know now, more than ever, how much all of the above is so integral to every single day at Polka Dot Wedding.