When you’re in the weeds doing the day-to-day work of building and running a business, it’s easy to feel like you’re not making much progress. Especially when you’re a solo-prenuer.
But the small steps forward really do add up - even when there are set backs - so it’s important to look back, add those steps up, and see the progress you’ve made.
New to this series?
Check out my other 2022 reviews for my business:
All About Holidays in Q4
This quarter was full of in-person events, including classes, holiday markets, book signings, and mocktail-making demos at private holiday parties. I love teaching people how easy it is to make your own ingredients and use them in delicious drinks. I have more in-person events scheduled for 2023 and will continue to share any of my events that are open to the public on my Instagram page.
SIP is Open!
In October, SIP Coffee and Cocktails opened its doors in Grand Rapids, Mich. I’ve worked with the SIP team for over a year now developing recipes for their mocktails, cocktails, and syrups. The official Grand Opening was held in December once the State of Michigan issued their liquor license and the SIP team could begin serving the full drink menu. Go visit SIP in the Alger Heights neighborhood to sip delicious cocktails and mocktails made with my recipes!
Holiday Recipe Updates
The final three months of the year are big in terms of traffic to food and drink websites. So besides posting new holiday recipes, many of my older holiday content got big photo upgrades in Q4 plus new videos, and even more tips and tricks. I really do make my recipes all the time, so I’m constantly thinking about what notes I can add to a recipe to make it even easier for you to make.
Client Photography Work
My most favorite part of Q4 was shooting for photography clients including a holiday/winter campaign for Five Farms Irish Cream (rolling out now on their social media pages), and recipe development and photography for the Grand Rapids Magazine’s January/February 2023 issue. Look for it on newsstands in the new year.
Continued Growth in 2022
Looking back at the year as a whole, there’s been some really great growth! Let’s break it down.
Retail Sales of Homemade Happy Hour
267 cocktail books went out the door in 2022, bringing my total books sold since self-publishing in October 2021 to 671! My B.A.G. (big audacious goal) with this book is to sell 1,000 copies, and I’m only 329 books away from making that happen!
I had initially printed 500 copies of Homemade Happy Hour in 2021, so strong sales meant I got to do a second printing of my book in June 2022 which was much earlier than I ever anticipated.
Retail sales were the big story for Homemade Happy Hour this year. I tripled my retailers from 7 at the end of 2021, to 21 at the end of 2022, thanks in part to using Faire.com to connect with out-of-state retailers.
Wholesale purchases by retail stores outpaced online orders this year, and I spent as much time restocking local retailers as I did visiting the Post Office to mail orders.
Know a retail store in your area that you think would be a good fit for Homemade Happy Hour? Email me their info (katy @ mittengirl.com) and I’ll reach out!
If you think websites are a “if you build it they will come” thing, guess again. There's so much work involved in getting people to your website.
2022 was the year of the website for me and MittenGirl.com is where I spent the bulk of my time and energy. There’s always more to learn about SEO (search engine optimization), keyword research, and how best to help Google show people my site when they’re searching for recipes.
There are now over 200 recipes on this site (a milestone!), and by focusing on keywords and SEO, I more than doubled my website traffic with a 254% increase in pageviews on my site and a 350% increase in visitors (users) compared to 1 year ago.
I had some setbacks this year with how my website data was being collected, so I’ll miss hitting my B.A.G. (big audacious goal) of being on an ad network in 2022 by a couple of months. But ads will be coming to this site in 2023.
And while you may roll your eyes at that, here’s the thing to remember. Besides my time and talents (which I deserve to be paid for), it costs several thousand dollars a year to run this website and it needs to sustain itself. Ads will do that.
A Few Other Wins from 2022
- My weekly newsletter subscribers more than doubled in 2022, with a 226% increase.
- I invested in new, long term branding for Mitten Girl LLC, including logos, brand colors, and fonts.
- The most popular recipe of 2022 was my Lavender Lemon Drop Martini.
Completely Free Ways to Support my Business
- Rate and review my recipes. If you enjoyed one of my recipes this year, please take the time to leave a star rating and review. Google search results favor recipes with reviews!
- Share with your friends. We are all influencers, so when you share my recipes with your friends via social media, email or a text, they’re very likely to click through and check it out.
- Sign up for my mailing list (and read the emails). I send out fresh content each week, including new and seasonal recipes.
- Follow me on social media. I post the most content to Instagram, but share recipes on Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube too. I’d love for you to join me on whatever social channel you prefer.
The year-end post is always the longest, so if you’ve made it this far, I owe you a big thank you. You are the reason I get to do what I love and I appreciate your support so much.
Here’s to a new year filled with all the things that bring you joy.
xo - Katy