5 years ago, I had a vision for what Berlin Skin and my life could be. I was living with my husband in our loft in NW Portland, surrounded by so much beauty, culture, and creativity. My heart was full of anticipation, but also discouragement. I had just launched this brand new skin care line, and so many things went wrong in that first month.
I remember filling our first batch of toner at our kitchen counter, and once I was done I kept one of the bottles for myself. I went to spray it in the bathroom, only it didn't spritz out like it was supposed to. Instead, it was full of suds, just like a soap. The batch was bad. I remember going back to my kitchen, sitting on the floor, so distraught about it. I had my very first trade show the next day, and hundreds of customers were waiting on orders to be sent out. In this moment, I felt like I couldn't do it. Doubt crept in like a storm, and the voices: “who do I think I am, trying this?“ and “this isn't going to work“ and “this is too much.“
Have you been there before? Are you there right now? You're not alone.
I'd like to say that this was the only time something went wrong and the only time I felt discouraged with the ever-looming imposter syndrome. Ha, I wish! Things often don't play out as expected, and I still face moments of doubt - but not as much as in those first few years.
The vision I had for Berlin Skin was to bring high quality skin care to people who needed healing for their body and mind. I wanted to create products that were made sustainably and that looked minimal and beautiful sitting on a bathroom shelf. 5 years later, I can say that we've done this and more.
The vision I had for my life was to have balance, rest, and freedom in my schedule and rhythms. I wanted to be able to spend as much time with my family as possible, and to not be working in the hustle and grind of the advertising industry. I'm so blessed to say that I'm doing just that. I don't miss out on precious moments with my 2 year old and husband - and I get to travel and play often.
After 5 years, I don't feel like I've “arrived“ or “made it.“ I've learned a lot, grown a ton, and believe that I've become a healthier, kinder, more patient human being. I'm proud of who I am, the business I've built, and the people who surround and support me. But now more than ever, I know that the process is what makes life and work truly fun. It's not the destination.
As I dream about the next 5 years, I recognize that pretty much anything is possible. I continually remind myself this, and the future feels bright. So, if you find yourself in a place where you feel discouraged, know that this isn't the end for you. Obstacles come, and then they go. Overcoming challenges is how we learn, grow, and hopefully come out stronger on the other side. My friend, whatever it is that's on your heart and mind right now...you can do it. I believe in you. Do you believe in you?
I can't finish this post without acknowledging our incredible customers who continually support us. I wouldn't be living my dream life without you. When you support a small business like mine, you're supporting the dreams of an individual and their family...how amazing is that? So, thank you for buying our products and telling your friends about them. We have customers that have been supporting us since day 1, and that blows my mind. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
Now, time to pop open the champagne with my team! Cheers to the next 5!
Monica Watson, Founder & CEO