Back in 2019, I was a mom to a 3-year-old toddler who was going to enter playschool for the first time. It was a first for both of us!
But what I could see in my future was - total and utter CHAOS.
A full-time job with a kid in school seemed like a recipe for disaster -- work deadlines, meetings, school holidays, pick up time, show and tell day... how would I keep track of everything? And this was on top of usual life stuff like yoga classes for me, music lessons for our child, birthday parties, get togethers with family, achieving my life's goals, my depression treatment, etc.
Life was about to get really FULL, and I needed a way to stay on top of it.
Enter - BULLET JOURNALLING!
I stumbled into the world of BuJo while searching for systems to keep track of it all. Could this be the answer to all my working mom troubles?
The Bullet Journal method blew my mind. It got my life organized, and productive with a healthy dose of mindfulness! It even started to make my depression feel more manageable.
BUT, there was one BIG issue. I had to scramble to get all the supplies I needed -
Correction tape from one website
Dot grid journal from abroad (with a killer 6,000 rupees customs charge!)
Pens from a local stationery shop
More pens from a specialized local stationery shop
Sad looking, low-quality washi tapes from another website
Awful sticker designs from random sellers on Amazon that I didn't even trust!
The situation was not great for an Indian who wanted to get into Bullet Journalling.
I decided to take matters into my own hands.
With ZERO experience of running an e-commerce business, a little capital from my savings, and a lot of help from my husband (who is also an entrepreneur), I began to put together a small business.
On 5th August, 2019 - Bigger Dreams Co. was born. India's first dedicated bullet journal supplies store!
The First Year
Spent my days looking for fellow bullet journalists based in India, spent nights looking for stock. Kept trying bullet journal notebooks, pens, tapes ... nothing went on the website unless I had personally tried and tested it out.
I still remember the first order.
I still remember that first customer's name. And she still orders from us every year :)
Figuring out packaging, inventory management, making invoices, logistics - this was a whole new world for me.
Tried my (amateur!) hands at photo shoots for new products...
And slowly started putting together all the best Bullet Journal products I had always wished to get my hands on.
We also got our very first Book Club started! We began reading The Bullet Journal Method book together.
The Second Year
Just before we hit our second birthday, COVID hit the world. Shipping was shut down across the country, and I sat shocked - would I have to close the business before we barely even began?!
After 1-2 months of ZERO orders, online businesses started to open up again. We began shipping orders as soon as we were allowed to. With a global pandemic, the need for mental health tools was even greater. And my determination got even stronger - easy access to journalling supplies for all Indians was my mission and I wasn't going to give up!
That year, BDC hit the biggest number of orders we've ever done, but I was also killing myself keeping it running. With schools going online, I had to sit with our now 4-year-old and help her navigate the world of learning from a screen. Ask any parent of a young one who went through the pandemic with a job/business AND online school - it was CRAZY! MADDENING! EXHAUSTING!
Funnily, this was the push I needed to finally get some much needed outside help. I had someone help me pack orders, and run my social media. We had a TEAM!
We ended our second year of operations with a COVID diagnosis for the entire family, but also - an Amazon shop, new launches of world-famous Stationery brands, and 100s of washi tape designs (a personal dream of mine!)
The book club we had begun in January 2020 was a life-saver. Thanks to it, I stayed connected with our BuJo community throughout the lockdown!
The Third Year
We complete 3 years of BDC today.
It's cause for celebration! But also - reflection.
The last one year has been the hardest one for me. As a business grows, things get more complicated, confusing. More moving parts, bigger decisions to be made. It's been scary, seeing the world opening up (without knowing when it will shut down again), placing our biggest stock orders but also seeing our lowest order months. My energies have been split in so many different directions - both professionally and personally.
I fell down many, many more times this year than I got back up.
But I've also gotten better. I learned to take care of my health - both physical and mental. I learned the wrong ways to scale a business. I learned how to use my bullet journal better, experimented a lot more! Learned which chances I should've taken and which ones I wish I hadn't. What helps and what hampers my journey of healing from depression.
Mainly, it's been a year of many revelations. Some days, it feels like I can hear the world screaming at me - HELP! We're drowning in mental health problems, trying to achieve big goals without knowing how to get there.
My biggest takeaway from the year has been - we should continue dreaming big. Rest when you need to, recuperate - yes. But keep going. It truly is consistency that will get you anywhere.
And I will be sitting here, packing orders, writing blog posts, getting more journalling supplies - to hopefully change the world, one bullet journal at a time.
Oh, and don't forget to shop our 3rd Birthday Sale :) We continue the tradition of holding our sale till 8th August (Bullet Journal Day!)
I'd love to hear what you have to say about Bigger Dreams Co today. Leave me a note in the comments!