Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Life lately: I started a small business

Wow, has it really been two years since my last blog post? I had big plans for this blog but then I did something totally crazy that completely pivoted my entire “gap year + travel” plan originally when I quit my job at LinkedIn. To say the least, life has been pretty crazy for the past two years…

In 2020, I was helping a friend design the website for their store and had a sudden realization of how easy it was to start an online business! I was naive enough to believe that I could design a couple of t-shirts and sell them to a bunch of internet strangers and boom, I’ll become a millionaire in no time. To make it short and simple, that idea flopped so hard. I had my store up for a few days and nobody was even visiting the website, let alone making a purchase. 

Despite failing, it was a great jump start to my whole dream of owning a successful online business. I continued doing product research and decided that selling blankets might be fun since I've always loved designing on larger formats (i.e posters). After launching a few designs on Etsy, somebody finally purchased it and THAT was the validation I needed at the time. If a random internet stranger liked it enough to spend their hard earned money on, that means I have a winning product that is scalable (gosh I hate it when I still use tech jargon). 

Fast forward to the next few weeks, orders started coming in and I was selling 5-8 blankets per day at the peak of the holiday season in 2020. I was excited and stressed out at the same time because I had NO IDEA how to run an online business, how to talk to customers and how to not take everything personally. Week after week, I went through a rollercoaster of emotions and had a couple of breakdowns that almost made me want to give up.

In 2021, I decided to make things official, and for the sake of my own sanity, recruited my best friend, Annie, who is also my roommate to ‘officially’ start the business together. In January 2021, Relatable Basic LLC was born out of a tiny apartment (that we still live in today) in Sunnyvale. We were like two babies who were learning how to walk without the guidance of any adults! There were countless mistakes made, and we had to Google pretty much everything, from what the fuck does SEO do to how to not go to jail if we didn't do our taxes correctly. After countless high-fives and tears, toward the end of 2021, we managed to make 6 figures in total revenue during our first full year of operation even though we still had no idea what we’re doing! 

We’re nowhere near where we want to be and we’re still far from our end goal but I would just like to say that if I didn’t quit my job in 2019, I wouldn’t have known that there’s so much possibilities out there to live a more fulfilling life than to just go with the ‘norm’. I only got one shot at life. Do I really want to get stuck at a job that I hate for the rest of my life just so I can eat at fancy restaurants or drive expensive cars?

So what is Relatable Basic? 

We sell personalized blankets and other home goods with the mission to inspire people to celebrate how far they've come in life.  We believe memories should be celebrated every day in the best possible way. We have a few design that are perfect for couples who are celebrating their anniversaries or special dates such as this zodiac blanket that we just launched:

Or this mixtape blanket that allows you to customize it with your special song + lyric. 

We are currently working on plenty more new designs and I can’t wait to bring Relatable Basic to the next level! 

If you’ve been a reader of my blog, thank you for your support all this time and I’m sorry to have deprioritized this blog since my last blog post which was two years ago. I’m not sure when the next blog post will be.. maybe it’s next week or maybe I’ll come back in another two years but regardless, I’m still thankful that this space exists and I get to share a teeny tiny bit of my personal journey with 3 random strangers on the internet. Thank you for reading and I hope you have a great rest of your day/week/life!

Follow me on Instagram: @nameisirene | @relatablebasic

Check out Relatable Basic at relatablebasic.com

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