It's 2017. We're officially a month in. And as Brooke and I have looked back over the year both in work and in our lives, we realize it has been an incredible year. But we also own our mistakes that may have been made, in both work and our personal lives. I want this letter to you our brides to be authentic and real and vulnerable. I have typed and deleted and typed and deleted this post, because well its not easy to admit our short comings. This is an open apology - from me, the owner, Lindsey.
To the brides who make my dream a reality-
I am so sorry- see in the last couple months we have had three reviews come back, expressing that their interactions with me weren't up to par, that it took me too long to get back to them and that communication wasn't what they expected. For this I will never be able to say I am sorry enough.
See we are growing sooo fast as a company. We're four years in and doing sooooo good! In 2016, we booked 61 brides! Twenty more that we had ever done in a year! And while I am super proud of that number I also have some confessions to make. I never knew we would hit 60. I also equally didn't manage that number like I should have. We probably should have only done around 50, but I hate telling brides no, and quite honestly I love working so I kept taking brides.
61 brides. 61 bridal accounts. 61 day of schedules to make. A little less than 61 trial runs to schedule. Add on engagement sessions, boudoir sessions. 61+ consults. Countless emails and details to remember. And I admit I got a little lost in it all! And I say now I AM SORRY. Truly, deeply sorry. I wasn't prepared to grow this fast. I have been told over and over from business owners to control your growth and I thought I was until those reviews came in. Then I was sitting at my desk in tears, realizing that while I thought we were doing so well, we let down the most important people - our brides. And people have told me don't take it personally, its business. But as I have said hundreds of times on this blog. THIS is personal for us.
And while I can't go back and change your experience with us I can own my mistakes say I'm sorry and make moves to prevent it from happening with another bride!
So here are the changes we will be making at Face Forward to insure everyone feels like the communication is being improved and is under control.
New office hours- One of my goals this year is to improve my work/life balance. Too many times I stay late working on emails or projects. Too many times I miss family events, vacations and times with friends for work. But I also love what I do and value it so BALANCE is key. What most brides don't understand is while I am in the office during the week, I am also out in the field doing trials and consults, taking classes to learn more, and networking with other vendors to make what we offer even better for brides.
Mondays- The office will be closed, no emails, calls or appointments. This gives me time to relax and recoup from weddings, weddings take a lot out of you and I need time to get back to normal.
Tuesday-Friday- I will be in the office available for calls, emails and scheduling from 8-12.
*Tuesday evenings will be available for after work consults.
**Thursday and Friday afternoons will be available for trial runs and bridal portraits.
*** If we do not have trials, portraits or consults I will be in the office until 5 on Tues, Wed, & Thurs. and until 2 on Fridays to get ready for weddings.
Saturday & Sunday- Our weekends are reserved for weddings only, and because we work onsite we are not available for calls, emails,or appointments. Brides who are within two weeks of their wedding have my cell phone number and can get a hold of me even on the weekends.
Don't worry we will remind you of these schedules with away messages on our email so that you know when to expect a response!
I also want to be very honest with y'all that I do NOT keep my work email on my phone. I used to but I realized I was on my email 24/7 and that is not healthy. I literally would wake up at 2 AM answer some emails and go back to bed. So I took them off my phone. That way I have to sit down at my desk and be completely focused on you and our conversations! While sometimes that means it takes me a little longer to get back to you it also means better responses and full attention for you, which you deserve!
We are also changing up the way we do our client files- nothing you need to worry about but it will help us to keep up with your day of details a little better!
The biggest thing we are doing this year is lowering the number of weddings we are going to take. This past year I went full time with company, and I was so scared of being broke or not making it that I took every bride that came our way and that is not who we are. We want to work with brides who share our style and whose heart we have a connection with, we want brides who turn into family. We are choosing to believe that if we do our part in trying to balance work and life, that God will also equally bless the business. We want Him to be at the center of the decisions we make regarding the company in 2017. Brooke and I both feel complete peace about the decision to not only focus and make goals for work but to make goals in our personal life and help each other reach them. This is about so much more than a company and dollar signs, its about hearts. Yours, Mine and every bride we work with.
And from my heart to yours. I am sorry. And I will do better.