It’s January, and that means you’ve probably got a list of things that you want to be better about in the coming year. It probably also means you have another few weeks before it all comes crashing down, those things you are going to do become things you wanted to do, and resentment comes flying at you while you go back to the same routines and habits that you had at the end of last year. Then, all of a sudden, it’s August, and you’re finally used to saying/writing 2024 instead of 2023, and you’re already having to look ahead to 2025. Is that just us? (Is it just us preemptively freaking out about 2025?)
Anyways, this year is totally going to be different over here at AMY ZHANG! Here’s a short list of things that Amy, Raffy, and I have compiled to make our lives easier and our business better than ever.
JOE AND AMY
Trust our guts (but don’t always feed into them)
Last year was a year of big decisions, and as is usually the case with these things, not all of them worked out. Upon a LOT of reflection (staying up until midnight having reflective conversations about our choices was the norm this past December), Amy and I put together that trusting our gut almost always yielded better results. So, maybe our biggest resolution for 2024 is to trust our instincts about what's best for the business. At the end of the day, we know our product, we know our audience, and we know ourselves better than any “expert” ever could.
Side note: When it came to food, Amy and I were a little too open to listening to our guts last year. 2024 is going to be a year of restraint.*
*Meaning, not eating an entire 10” inch chocolate Santa cake and a tray of gingerbread cookies from the Market Basket bakery section over the course of two nights...
Churn out that content, baybay!
One of my resolutions every year is to write more. And as Amy said on our first date (and has reiterated countless times since), the words are her favorite part of her products.
Well, how do we emphasize the words? By writing a lot of them every week and posting them on here and hoping you come to the site and read them, and that some of you ultimately buy a card or two while you're here. That means we’ve added a whole lot of things to our plates (like blog posts and listicles and recipe development and more blog posts about said recipes) while still being in charge of operating the business on a day-to-day basis. It’s a lot to do, and it flies in the face of everything I wrote about back in December about Business Brain™, but that leads us into our third and final resolution for the year.
Never Miss a Post
Roundups delivered straight to your inbox — plus, insider access to product launches, sneak peeks, and sales!
Work-life balance be damned
If you’re noticing a theme with our blogs so far this year, it’s probably a focus on that word — SHOULD. We should be using TikTok; we should do all the big trade shows; we should run our shop hours like everyone else. We should separate our work life from our home life; we should spend our home time not thinking about the business.
Here’s the thing. Amy genuinely likes giving herself work tasks (like redesigning the entire website in the last two weeks of the year). These tasks are fun for her, because they’re new problems to mull over and plan for and (hopefully) solve. I like writing in my free time, I like reading novels written entirely in one sentence, I like reading dense research papers about literature and philosophy and sociology and psychology. I like doing all those things in my free time because I like exercising my mind by thinking about language.
We like loading our plates up with too much work (and too much food) and tackling it all, because even though it can be taxing, it leaves us feeling more energized because we've accomplished all those things and now we have new footing to help us reach for greater things, both personally and professionally. This shared trait is a big part of why I love Amy — and why I felt confident about joining the business.
If that’s not for you, then don’t do it. This isn’t about what we think you should do. We know how detrimental that line of thinking can be.
Make more friends
Raffy has been a bit on edge since we moved to New Hampshire. He’s always been a very nervous dog, and it seem that all the stressors of 2023 definitely got to him. But now that we’ve (finally) fully settled in, he’s opening back up and being more playful with the pups we see on our morning walks around our building — all three of us hope this is a trend that continues in the new year.
Go on longer walks
This is a me (Joe) problem. Once the colder months rolled in, I just didn't want to be outside in the mornings for extended periods of time. And so, Raffy's daily two mile walks in the summer have since become half-mile strolls.
This is another me problem. But it’s also a “we moved into our new building and no one ever told us where the pet grooming station is, but it’s been too long now that we don’t want to ask because that would be awkward, and we also feel too uncomfortable to go poking around the building to look for it” problem. So, we have to wash our little bean in the kitchen sink, and it becomes a much larger production, because it means we also have to be caught up on washing our dishes). Also, he fights it's so hard, but he's always so much happier once it's done.