Happy New Year and welcome to 2020. Today, we’re ushering in a new year, a new decade, and a new era. That’s never been more relevant or profound than it is right now. Changes are happening. Changes that will affect you as well as Neos, myself and my family. I’m going to get right to it without delay. Yes, it’s a long post but necessary as there’s a lot going on and a lot I want to say.
RECOGNITION, REVELATION, & RETAIL
It may not show on the outside but I really don’t have it all together. Truthfully, I haven’t for quite some time. More truthfully, I’ve been a hot mess. I realized after an exhausting holiday season in 2018, I was really struggling to do it all with family, home, school, and business. And have a life and keep my sanity. I needed to do something….anything….to make it all work and reduce the stress. So in 2019, I made a number of technical changes to the website and shop as well as several behind the scenes adjustments to how I did things. I hoped this would make a positive impact and enhance the shopping experience and navigation of the site. However, those attempts were futile and exhausting. I was pretty much bailing water with a spoon in what looked and felt like a sinking ship. My feeble attempts just weren’t enough to stop the overflow and tipping that was happening. They just added to the pressures and stress. I soon found myself filled with dread about every aspect of life and business. And becoming resentful, angry, frustrated, moody. Oh boy! Not good, y’all. I felt like I was drowning in a sea of physical, mental, and emotional chaos, indecision, mental exhaustion, and physical fatigue. Complete overwhelm had taken over. Something had to give somewhere. I knew it. My family knew it. My friends knew it. Many of you probably knew it. Things had to change and change quick or I was going to have to quit just to survive.
TAKING A HIATUS
So a few months ago, I made a few agonizing decisions with the help of my husband. He’s my voice of reason and safe place, carrying wisdom that amazes me sometimes. After deep and hard truth discussion with him, I made the conscious and necessary choice to focus on other things. Namely my home and family, my son’s education (homeschooling family here), and my own personal health and well-being which has taken some big hits over the last half a dozen years. I decided to stop with the “business as usual” and take a much needed physical and mental health break. I desperately needed to recharge and refresh my batteries. I knew I also had to take a good hard look at my life, home, business, and the future of Neos as a whole with the pressures and distractions of running Neos. As much as I didn’t want to, I realized I really needed to assess where to go and what to do from here because “here” was not working. In fact, it was crushing me.
A LONG TIME COMING
For more than a year leading up to this, I had already drastically reduced engagement and participation in most social media groups and forums I was a part of, leaving many. Upon professional business advice, I had started a social community group on Facebook for Neos in July 2019. This allows for a space where fans/customers and I can be more intimate, laid back, and informal while also being able to be more engaged and real without the restrictions of a public page. With that, I reduced my activity on the business page, which was being squashed by Facebook’s “new rules” anyways, and began shifting my social media attention to the Neos Neighborhood community group. In September, I really took a huge step toward stability. To the surprise of many and without warning or explanations, I made an announcement I was getting out of retail product sales. I closed the online boutique, disabled the shopping cart, and set the product listings on catalog-only viewing so people could still browse but not order, and I ceased retail sales completely. I know this shocked and upset some. But it had to be done. For my sake and the future of Neos. Here’s where I need to clear up some confusion. I’m not quitting or closing Neos. Just making changes that will not include regular single unit and individual retail product sales anymore.
THEN, NOW & THE FUTURE
As 2019 has come to a close, I’m turning some of my attention back to Neos and the future. It’s became glaringly clear to me in the last few months since I’ve been in hiatus that I’ve been in full burn-out for a good long while. Several years actually. I’ve quite literally spent the last 11 years and some odd months devoting at least two-thirds of my time and energy to Neos, my customers, and my career. In doing so, I’ve been depriving and sorely neglecting my family, myself, and our home. It’s abundantly clear to me at this point, I must greatly alter everything within and around me. This includes making drastic changes to Neos Skin Care. I’ve resolved myself to the facts and am realizing my mistakes. As hard as it is to let go of things and shift gears, that’s exactly what I must do. I have to make serious changes. To the business structure and platform, the products and services offered, the shopping forma. How I operate and do things, what I do and don’t do and for who. I must ensure everything is on a more even keeled scale if I want to continue. I’ve been contemplating what is needed and am looking at the company, offerings, and operations from every angle. Absolutely everything is on the review board for a makeover, do over, or ditch.
HUMBLE BEGINNINGS & VALUABLE COMMODITIES
I’ll admit this is all a rather hard task to undertake — physically, mentally, and emotional. But it’s necessary so I’m pushing through. I’m kicking and screaming a bit but still doing it all the same. As I continue to review the needs for a complete overhaul and restructuring of Neos Skin Care across the board, I’m reminded of why I began in the first place. And why I continue still today after more than 10 years in business. YOU! I value my clients and customers. I value fans who support Neos and me even if they don’t purchase from me. I have diligently sought to build relationships and get to know my customers beyond their order invoices. It’s just part of who I am and my why. Of course, as a business woman, I’m not so naive that I live in a fantasy world. I realize profits are a major factor to consider. A company has to make money to stay in business. And I need an income for the good of my family. But ultimately, it’s always been about so much more than that.
Neos is and always has been a small artisan company – an independently owned and operated mom & pop company. I cannot compete with Amazon, Walmart, Target, or the increasing number of network marketing companies and their representatives. And I won’t try to. Neos’s products, services, prices, policies and standards of practice will reflect that of the small solo operated and independently owned artisan cosmetics and aromatherapy company it is from this point forward….in every way. That may be a deal breaker for some and that’s OK. I get it. But I also hope most will understand and realize quality and personal attention is a prized gift in today’s market and society as a whole. I’ll just be blunt here. Neos products are not DIY and homemade level from “recipes” found wherever they are publicized like many hitting the market now. And never have been. Nor are they mass produced in large quantity to be sold at discount prices or with a high profit margin. Nope. They are high quality, professionally formulated artisan products based on over 30 years of knowledge and experience with intentional purpose. They are currently hand produced in smaller batches with attention to detail, right down to the filling containers and labeling. And as conceited as this may sound, I am a valuable commodity in the equation. My knowledge, experience, time, energy, work, etc. – these are valuable. I am valuable. It’s taken a minute for me to realize this but it will be reflected in the future.
NEOS WISH LIST 2020 – YOU GET A SAY
That said, because no company is viable without their customers and because here at this small independent artisan company, your needs and opinions actually matter, I’m asking for your input. I want to know what YOU think and want from Neos in the future. This is your opportunity to weigh in and toss your wish list over to me for consideration. It’s your time to be heard and to make your hopes and dreams clearly known.
So tell me. What would you like to see coming from Neos & me in 2020? What would your ideal solutions be in the following areas?
- Boutique/Online Shop
- Shopping Options, Opportunities, Etc.
- Learning Opportunities (Classes, Webinars, Podcasts, Live Videos, Writings, Other)
- Memberships & Subscriptions
- Aromatherapy Related Specifics (Products, Consultations, Services, Etc.)
- Other (please be specific)
SEEDS OF CHANGE
Literally everything and anything is up for consideration and open for suggestions! Your wants and needs matter to me. Your ideas matter to me. I’m listening. Sure, I have ideas. Many of them. So many it’s distracting. Some may be great. Some may be “Meh”. Some may be downright horrible. I don’t know. There’s too many in my head for me to weed through right now. I believe ideas are seeds. Seeds of change. Some are fruitful. Some are duds. But one thing is for sure. Unless seeds are planted, they won’t even germinate much less grow. So, as off-the-wall, over-the-top, or as silly and unimportant as they may seem, toss your ideas and wishes out there. They may be golden. You never know what may come of them. You may hold the key to exactly where I need to be to be able help and serve you without taking over my life and depriving my family and myself. Inspire me, y’all! Be heard!
HOW YOU CAN HELP & BE HEARD
You can do this a few different ways. The easiest is to join the Neos Neighborhood group and pour your heart out there in a safe place among friends. I’ve been posting polls, surveys, and questionnaires there you can get in on too. You can find the post of this blog on the Neos Skin Care page and comment. Or if you prefer to keep it between us, private message me through the Facebook page. Tell me you have a “Neos Wish List 2020” submission and share all your Neos wants, hopes, dreams, and ideas. Just for the sake of timeliness and accountability, I’m going to put a deadline on this of January 31, 2020 at midnight eastern time. Make sure you keep this in mind and share your “Neos Wish List 2020” by then so they can be put on the idea board for consideration.
WHEN & WHAT IS UP IN THE AIR
Since I know you’re probably wondering, the answer is NO. I don’t have a timeline for when Neos will be back in full operation right now. Late March or April looks potentially reasonable at the moment. But don’t hold me to that. I’m refusing to rush and stress myself over timelines and deadlines or make promises I have to push beyond my limits to keep.
Alright. I’ve kept you far too long now so I’ll close this out saying Thank You again. For being a supportive fan, a customer, a subscriber to the newsletter, a member of the Neos community and group, whatever role you’ve taken on and are filling. For sticking with me through all this and not bailing on me. For sending me encouraging words, funny stuff to make me laugh, sharing your concerns, and of course, sharing your Neos wish list filled with ideas, hopes, and dreams. I do so appreciate you more than you know and hope our relationship continues long into the future.
Y’all don’t forget to enjoy the Ahh moments!