Cheers to you and all you’ve helped us accomplish in 2020. We’re setting our sights on a bright 2021 filled with many moments of love.
Today, in our year-end review, I would like to take time to highlight all the people, places, and things that made this year a memorable first year here at Season. Because without our community, our team, and our customers, we wouldn’t be where we are today. We believe this in our core.
We are so grateful for what we were able to accomplish with you throughout the year. Let’s take a look back at 20 milestone moments in 2020!
The Engagement Journal Arrives!
At the very end of December 2019, we received our shipment of Engagement Journals. Needless to say, this was both an exciting and nerve-wracking moment. We did a handful of pre-order sales but launched our full website in January 2020.
In February, we hosted about 30 friends, family, and wedding professionals at Antiques on High in Columbus, Ohio for our launch party. This remains to be a highlight of my year. I’m very nostalgic (because it seems like forever ago) about being together in a group, mingling with new people, and enjoying one another’s company. I hope we can do this again in the future!
Season Pass Program
From the start, I wanted Season to be a place for wedding professionals to come for beautiful, high-quality gifts for their engaged clients. We introduced Season Pass to offer wedding pros exclusive benefits like a discount on journals, custom branded dust jackets, and monogramming.
Lauren Pennington joined our team in May as Social Media Coordinator. Since then, she’s taken on even more creative responsibility. Not only does she run our Instagram and Pinterest daily, she has a passion for photographing couples, designing graphics, generating creative content, writing our journal prompts, organizing journal challenges and more. Show her some love at @laurenpenningtonphoto (she’s booking clients!).
Tara Zinser joined our team in July as Brand Partnership Coordinator. She didn’t skip a beat and has connected with so many of you to collaborate on a giveaway, guest blog post, Season Pass or wholesale purchase, and more. Tara has a passion for influencer marketing and has done an incredible job with her hand-selected influencer collaborations. She’s a brand evangelist of the best kind! Show her some love at @tara.creative.
Photography is one of the most timeless and beautiful expressions of love. We are hardwired to connect with photos of people — their expressions, their eyes, their body language — it is human nature. We knew we wanted our brand to showcase real couples, captured by photographers all over the country, along with high-end product photography. We couldn’t have done it without the support of Off Path Photography, Folchi Creative, Oh Miss Meghan Photography, Lauren Pennington Photography, Macy Morehart Photo, and all the photographers who allowed use of their photos on our Instagram and blog.
Small Business Collaborations
Tara was busy this year building relationships with some of the wedding industry’s most talented minds. Together with Gilded Social, we published a free guide to choosing your bridesmaids and guest list with intention. We hosted and participated in multiple giveaways with photographers and wedding planners. In November, we launched our Gift Boxes comprised of beautiful products by Earthtone Candle Co., StellaNCWorks, and Lumaca Paper. And we ended the year with a bang, hosting a giveaway of a generous collection of products from Dahlia Press, W Nail Bar, Gratitude Soapery, and Gilded Social.
Our blog is quickly becoming my new favorite resource for our couples and customers. If you haven’t checked it out, I highly recommend perusing the archives. We’ve published every week since March, and we couldn’t have done it without our guest bloggers: incredible wedding vendors who have insight that is so valuable.
Another piece of our blog features stories from real couples — “mini memoirs” — the stories of their history, proposals, engagement seasons, wedding days, relationships, and hopes and dreams for the future. Our goal is to share more and more of your stories through Mini Memoirs, supporting our mission to document stories and memorable moments. We’ve heard from many couples that completing the questions was fun and memorable — and a good activity for a date night!
Ask Yourself This: Digital Download Series
Throughout the year, we created a series of free resources in the form of downloadable PDFs. Each piece provided questions for reflection and journaling around the topics of Graduation, COVID-19, Gratitude, and Holiday Reflections. You can still download these guides for your use at any time!
Tara and Lauren took the lead in creating our first-ever holiday campaign. We carried out the vision as a team, launching our Black Friday Cyber Monday campaign in November and our 12 Days of Giving Campaign in December. On Monday, we launched our latest campaign, #SeasonProposal, that encourages couples to share their proposal story + photos with us!
Company Summer Retreat
In August, the team came together at an Airbnb in Columbus to spend time together, take headshots, share a meal, collaborate on goals, explore the company mission and vision, and refine our brand strategy. It was really nice to spend time together and get to know one another better, since we all work remotely!
The Gift Boxes
Launching the Gift Boxes was our biggest undertaking since the creation of The Engagement Journal! We knew we wanted to release a new product in Q4 but had many brainstorming sessions about what this could be. Ultimately, we landed on a curated Gift Box that included The Engagement Journal and featured beautiful, complimentary items that would make for a one-stop-shop engagement or holiday gift.
This December, in the spirit of documenting through writing, our team wrote holiday cards to the families at the Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio and made a donation to the House.
We also pledged to donate $1 from each sale in December to nonprofit 826 National. They are the largest youth writing network in the country, amplifying youth writing by publishing student work, hosting writing workshops, tutoring and much more.
Many of you purchased The Engagement Journal and The Gift Boxes for gifts for your friends and family members, especially during November and December. We love your generosity, gift-giving intentions, and your kind gift messages to your loved ones —yes, I read them :)
As any new business knows, it is an uphill battle to spread the word about a brand in an online world where everyone is vying for attention. One of our Q4 goals was to be featured on a blog or gift list. We are so grateful for features on Gentri Lee’s Christmas Gift Guide, Downtown Columbus’ Holiday Gift Guide, Columbus on the Cheap’s Gift Guide, the Gilded Social Gilded Insider Club, and Maya’s Healthy Day shop.
This was certainly new territory for us this year, and with the expertise of Amy Landino and her team in Q1, we were set up for success to work with influencers to help spread the Season Journals message and get the journal out into the “wild” for couples to experience for themselves.
The Weekly Email
We’ve diligently released an email *almost* every week since March, in tandem with publishing our blog content. Email marketing was an area that I truthfully never enjoyed in my previous jobs, but I’ve been converted! I now know that, through email, I can talk openly to our audience and provide value with new, thoughtful content each week and promotions that only go to our email subscribers. I want to give those people an extra special thanks for being “engaged” in what we publish. So hop to it and get on our list!
Our journal challenges were a fun way to engage with our community on Instagram. We held challenges in September and November, prompting you to think, reflect, journal and participate in our polls. Let us know if you liked these challenges and we’ll be sure to host more (on many various topics) in the future!
In April, we partnered with WeddingWire to give The Engagement Journal to seven engaged couples during their “30 Days of Joy” campaign. It filled us with so much joy to get The Engagement Journal into the hands of seven deserving couples who had challenges with their weddings due to COVID-19.
Customers + Community
Last but CERTAINLY not least, our customers showed up this year to help us get The Engagement Journal to couples who were planning their weddings, re-planning their weddings, strengthening their relationships, and celebrating love along the way. We are so grateful for your trust in our journal, our mission to document memorable moments, and our team. Next year we want to grow closer to you – our customers + community. We want to have more dialogue, share more of your stories, and help more couples plan the weddings they truly envision. We can’t wait to continue to grow the Season community! Cheers to you and all you’ve helped us accomplish. We’re setting our sights on a bright 2021 filled with many moments of love.
Founder, Season Journals