Four years ago, I opened BOOTLEG LLC. Two years ago, I founded BOOTLEG MARKET, Inc. This journey has been remarkable. And we are at a major crossroads.
Our Airstream was shut down for 13 months as we helped the city write a proper ordinance. That passed June 28. We will be in the NY Times this month as one of the trailblazing mobile retail spaces in the country. The Airstream is closed still as we wait through the hot last summer months before starting over this fall. We have new home options, everything is open-ended, and frankly, we are riddled with anxiety.
We raised a lot of beautiful funding for BOOTLEG Market, which helped us get the version one built. It was never completed properly by our partners, so we couldn't get the traction we needed to finish out the fundraise. So all of our original growth plans and projections have been shot to hell. Like the morning after a party, we are staring at what we are left with, and most days, we just aren't sure what the next big move should be. 70% of first time CEO's "pivot" from their original plan. I'd say we are certainly pivoting. It feels like its in slow motion.
What happens when the beautiful boat you are driving, runs out of gas, and is set adrift? We are forced to find other means of growth. We are forced to bootstrap. We are forced to regroup entirely.
What happens is, the most important part of the story, remains, and all the other bullshit that has filled my head, goes away, and we get back to what's real, and authentic. And that's the reasons we started these companies - to share. To share in our love of boots and shoes. To share what's on our feet and in our closets. To share our passions, our truths, our dreams. And to celebrate these things.
No matter what the next chapter of this story is, the brands remain, the site will build, the Airstream will find a new home. The most important step now is, reflecting upon gratitude, gifts, and a joyful heart. It's knowing that when these crossroads come, the faith that what's after them, cannot go away. That God's design is having a steady spirit, with full eyes to what comes next, instead of holding onto plans. It's the same for all of you - we all cling to what is real about our lives, the paths we carve that are supposed to stay there. But that's the thing about growth...it cannot be avoided, and generally it messes a bunch of things up. Like ants with a destroyed mound, we simply get back to work.