Happy New Year! It's been a fairly insane couple of months with Christmas 2012 being the busiest Christmas ever for Hooby Groovy. But now I've had a couple of days to breathe and reflect about the year gone past and to ponder about the year to come.
2012 Resolution Review
I would say I've half-fulfilled this resolution. On the one hand, I wanted to blog more and share a little more about my own personal life and I think I've achieved that and I plan on continuing this trend. Besides new products or shop updates, I've shared Daily Sketches (now renamed Random Doodles), business and productivity musings, tiny bits and pieces from my own life outside of Hooby Groovy and of course, I've shared my journeys through creating various bespoke creations through the year.
On the other hand, I had also planned on sharing non-me stuff too. Such as innovative creations, inspiring designs or interesting ideas that I've read about. Things that make me go "Wow" and get my brain cogs moving. While I've kept up with discovering new things and never ceased to be amazed by the genius of the world around me, I haven't shared it at all on my blog. :(
I'm really happy with this one! When I made that resolution, I was on the brink of releasing my Ninja Collection. The Ninja Collection is doing really well and has grown to include pink and red ninjas in addition to the original black ninjas. I've also launched my Zombie Collection, which is also starting to gain momentum and is doing pretty well too! And the Animal Collection has also seen a few new additions to the family such as the Bear and the Raccoon.
I'd say this one is a half-fulfilled one too. On the unfulfilled side, I never did get around to having a day a week set aside to work on non-Hooby Groovy related projects. When I made this resolution, I was thinking of things like making clothes, or stationary, or other accessories.
However, though I never did have any official project days, I did end up picking up a whole lot of new skills this year or expanding on my current skill sets. One very exciting thing for me was learning how to use Adobe Illustrator and creating vector art. I got to do this while working in collaboration with Games for Gummie on several iOS games. And of course, getting back into game development was exciting, especially since I got to go at it from a whole new perspective.
I also spent a whole lot more time this year on doodling and I'm no great illustrator but I can definitely see an improvement in my drawing skills and am starting to see a consistent style.
And of course, all my bespoke creations have really helped me learn new things. Every new thing that I create teaches me something new, no matter how simple or predictable I always think it will be at the start. There's always a challenge involved, whether designed-related or -manufacturing-related, and I always relish these because despite the stress, I've always learnt something new.
Resolution #1: New Designs, New Products
I've had various unpleasant episodes in 2012 where I've had my work plagiarized. It sucks and it hurts but I've come out of this with a very strong belief that the most important thing for me to do is to focus on coming up with new designs and new products. Time is a very precious resource and I know for sure that my time is best spent on learning, innovating and creating, rather than trying to fight a losing battle against piracy and plagiarism.
I'm hoping to expand my collection beyond gadget cases this year. I'd love to foray into the world of stationary and printed products (I'm a stationary addict). It's going to be difficult but I'm looking forward to the journey!
Resolution #2: Grow the Hooby Groovy brand
Somewhat related to Resolution #1, but rather than products and designs, I also want to focus more on what the Hooby Groovy brand is and how to tell its story. Again, related to my unpleasant plagiarism experiences, I've had to deal with a lot of criticism and suggestions on how to run my business. I will blog in more detail about this some other time but what I've come out of it is the realisation of what Hooby Groovy is NOT. And so this year, I really want to establish what my brand is.
Resolution #3: Better time management
I've learnt in these past couple of crazy months that I am able to work under pressure. When push comes to shove, I can handle it pretty well. But I've also learnt that I definitely don't want to always work under pressure. I do have the tendency to procrastinate and then cram and that's definitely a habit I need to break out of. So I need to focus on managing my time better so I can achieve that fine balance of having that sense of urgency that is needed for me to break out of procrastination mode but at the same time, not be under pressure 24/7 because while I strive on it in short bursts, I will most likely have some kind of mental break down after a while.
And of course, I have personal non-Hooby Groovy resolutions too, some of which I'll share:
Read more books
I realised that I did not read one single printed book in 2012. I did read the Song of Ice and Fire ebooks, but I still love the feel of printed books. Also I have a huge stack of books that I've bought over the past few years that have just been sitting there waiting for me to pick them up.
Play more games
I used to play a whole lot more video games a few years ago. Around 3 years ago, I start getting very disenchanted with video games, mainly because of working in the industry and seeing it all from other end. So I hadn't really touched any games since then, besides the odd casual iOS game here and there, mainly farming games or hidden objects games because those satisfy my OCD tendencies. But lately I've been yearning to get back into playing games that will engulf me for months and immerse me into new worlds and stories.
Focus on myself
A little selfish-sounding, but I've realised I've allowed Hooby Groovy to engulf me totally. Which is great because it is my baby! Every morning, the first thing I do when I wake up is check my Hooby Groovy emails, throughout the day I'm constantly thinking about Hooby Groovy related things, what I need to do, what I need to work on, etc. I'm probably the most boring person to hang out with because unless you want to talk about Hooby Groovy stuff, I probably don't really have much to say.
So, a balance is needed and I need to make time to take care of myself. A little bit of that is covered in the 2 resolutions above. And of course, being healthy and losing weight and eating right. On the exercise and fitness side of things, I'd like to focus more on my martial arts training and I'd like to get injured a lot less. I've had a fair few injuries in 2012 and I'm really starting to realise that my body is healing itself a lot slower these days. So time to be careful and stop doing stupid things that will just put me out of action for months.
Wow, this is a long post. In summary, Happy New Year and thanks for sharing my 2012 journey with me! Here's to more Hooby Groovy adventures and an exciting year filled with new things to learn and new discoveries to make! :D