Happy New Year from High Tail Hikes!
However this year was you, I hope that you were able to take a little bit of time in the last couple weeks to rest, reflect, and recharge. I spent much of this last week at home with my husband, 20 month old son, and 9 year old dog Charlie. We took lots of walks, went on hikes, looked at holiday lights, and watched our son play, stomp in puddles, and learn new words seemingly by the minute. If nothing else, this year I've learned to slow down and to appreciate what's right in front of me - and to not hold tight to (any) agenda or expectation.
I had no idea at the beginning of 2020 that I'd be starting another business. When California was shut down during the first Shelter in Place Order in March, it took several weeks of doing "nothing" (work wise) to finally give some water and sunlight to the idea of expanding our leash making operation. Now, just over half a year later, we have a fully fledged online store and many happy customers - and are so excited to continue on this path that I honestly couldn't have envisioned one year ago. I hope that for you, too, maybe some doors were opened or new ways of thinking, living or being were revealed.
I have had moments of guilt for experiencing a year of personal and professional growth, and lots of unexpected joy, during a year when so many have experienced loss, pain, and suffering. I've even questioned the importance of what I do - and wondered if I should be doing more or different. I imagine that some of these questions are larger than 2020, but like so many things, 2020 has brought them to the surface.
For now, I’ve decided that joy is okay. Not just okay, but necessary. I find joy in this work. I love working with dogs and helping our clients. I love making gear that makes outdoor adventures easier and helps enrich your relationship with your dog. I love learning new skills, growing as a business owner, being an employer, and working with and supporting other small businesses. I find SO MUCH joy in hearing from you, seeing pictures of your dogs, learning their stories, and being part of this community.
I am also finding joy in planning for High Tail Hikes in 2021. I wanted to share just a few of the things we’ll be working on this year.
-We’ll of course continue to offer our off-leash group trail hikes in the East Bay Hills.
-We have some fun ideas for new products - like personalized, slide on ID tags to go on our collars, a hands-free leash, and maybe even some High Tail Hikes merch!
-We’d like to roll out more perks for both dog professionals and repeat customers, including a stronger referral program and loyalty rewards.
-We’d love to expand our wholesale program and work with more small, independent brick and mortars to get high quality biothane gear into the hands of more dog owners! (If there’s a store in your town that you think might be a good fit for carrying our products, let me know!)
-More writing! I’ve had so much fun with these newsletters and recent blog posts, I’d love to keep it going. If you have ideas for topics that might be of interest, please let me know!
Whew! Lots more ideas, but let’s start there, shall we? And please, if you have any questions, suggestions, ideas, feedback, or all of the above, shoot me an email! I absolutely love hearing from you and find your input so incredibly valuable.
Thanks so much for being here.