Like all businesses, big or small, we experience growing pains. The end of 2015 was all about sitting down to some important conversations and doing some seriously deep re-evaluating. How do we want to enter 2016? What things could use changing and what things might stay the same? How do we feel about what we are offering and what could we do to make our future offerings stronger?
One thing we have experienced since we began this adventure is confusion about our name. Our original idea for the business was inspired by an incredible food truck we stumbled across in Decatur, Georgia. The Good Food Truck was everything we love wrapped up in one delicious space - a great product, attention to detail, the mystery and surprise of everything appearing from a small space, like Mary Poppins unpacking her magical suitcase. It was, and still is, a great inspiration and encompasses so much of what we believe in.
Maya used to run a small catering business in San Francisco and I've worked in the food industry for years. We would love to own a little cafe/bookstore/art gallery someday. But as we've grown our audience with our current business, we struggled with explaining ourselves over and over again. Food for the Soul Train. No we don't serve food. No, we're not a catering company. It's food for your soul, not for your stomach. Get it? The name, ultimately, was too clever for its own good. It didn't explain who we are succinctly. It confused far more than it clarified. And it's been something that's been chafing at us for awhile. It was time to do something about it.
So we hired an incredible business coach (The Introvert Entrepreneur) for a few strategy sessions to help us figure out what was most important to us. And it turns out that our caravan is. Maude represents our brand. She's not just an adorable home away from home, but an icon. She delivers us where we need to go. She represents our mobility, our willingness to bring creativity anywhere, and our most whimsical, lively side. Simply put, she is the heart-center of our work.
Today, Food for the Soul Train officially becomes The Creativity Caravan. We've got an updated (MUCH more intuitive an streamlined) website. We've got a fresh logo. And Maude takes her place at the center of the stage.
We've made some other decisions, too. Social media, while a lovely place to connect, is bogging us down. We always want to make it easy to find us and what we're up to, but posting on multiple platforms in a variety of places trying to catch everyone and make our voice louder doesn't seem to work. Instead, we are only managing to drain our most valuable resources - our enthusiasm and our time - and confusing people further. So we're letting go of our Twitter account and our business Facebook page and focusing our latest news here, in this blog, on our website calendar, and on our personal Facebook pages. (WE are The Creativity Caravan, after all.)
Instagram, our favorite platform, will remain and we'll post there more often. We also plan to send more regular newsletters and create more video content. And most importantly, we plan to be present - live and in person - more often. More Tandem Poetry, more visits to schools, more teaching gigs. And, of course, we'll be traveling far and wide in 2016 bringing Maude and the Tiny Book Show across the country.
We feel lighter. We feel refreshed and renewed and ready for this new year. We are hopeful and joyful and at peace with all of our decisions. We are excited about all the places we'll go. And we are, as always, grateful to have you along for the ride.