Twenty Twenty One — phew, we made it.
It’s been quite the wild ride 2021, and we’re left feeling a sense of relief and saying to ourselves “Phew, we made it. We survived.”
Along with the rest of the world, we tried to start the year with a dose of much-needed optimism. Of courrrrrse it was going to be a good year, better than 2020 at least right? Mmmm well yes, in some ways it has been, but it wouldn’t be honest of us to gloss over the challenges, and we’re all about being honest. So here’s a look back at the year through Mustard coloured glasses.
We welcomed Lilac, our 10th colour into our range and it’s no overestimation to say it’s been a huge hit!! Our beautiful pastel shade has become one of our best sellers already and we totally understand why! The photoshoots were a big achievement for our team, shooting editorial shots with an overload of pretty pastel flowers and a styled shoot at Annie Everingham’s stunning home to really bring them to life.
Without a doubt the best thing that happened this year was Poppy coming into our lives. This little bundle of giggles and tears has bought a much needed ray of sunshine at a time that has personally been pretty tough. Those big blue eyes and endless cute outfits have been keeping Jess, Marc and the whole team going and cooing.
Think big, really big
The coolest project we worked on this year was a very large scale stop-frame animation. Full-size lockers moving one frame at a time to make them shuffle on-screen, peek open their doors, jiggle their keyrings and show off all the things that make them so special. If there’s one thing Becca loves to do, it’s make a last-minute idea happen in a very short amount of time and this was no exception! With our talented photographer Zoe behind the lens and the endless skills of Sophie (who basically took editing to an extreme sport level) as well as scriptwriting from Niki and Paris tying everything together (and hand modelling), we managed to make something truly special. You can watch it here!
Lockers landed in the USA
We achieved one of our biggest goals this year: we launched Mustard Made in America. It was a plan that had changed shape many times and the date had been pushed back more times than we can count. But now, looking back, we are grateful for how things turned out, with all the energy we poured into it making the whole process actually really enjoyable and surprisingly unstressful! We have the right team around us, took a healthy approach to risk and used our collective creativity to make the launch one of our proudest achievements. It certainly wasn’t easy but it has been oh-so-worth-it. Our American customers have been loving their lockers and that’s the best reward we could ask for!
Moving the goal posts
While 2020 came with a tonne of surprises, 2021 has felt a lot harder from a business point of view. The erm ‘novelty’ of Covid had worn off, the exhaustion and frustration really set in. With lockdowns changing the game for us all, our priority became taking care of our team. We all faced personal challenges so there was a lot of adapting and honestly, lowering our standards to find a more realistic level we could maintain. The other really big stuff was the logistics side of things. Freight prices have been climbing steadily higher while the timeframes have been stretching out further and further. Add to that increases in basically all raw materials and a series of surprise events (typhoons, the Suez canal, snow storms…) and it really has felt like a hard time to be in business. So whaddya do? We change our expectations, we communicate regularly and honestly with our customers, we approach everything with a sense of humour and we get through it, like we always do, together.
Breaking the rules
We did something a little different this year and held our big black friday sale a month early. There were a few reasons behind this… we realllly wanted our customers to order early this year, there’s been a lot of worrying uncertainty and couriers (while we love them!!) have not been the most reliable, particularly in Australia. So we wanted to beat the end of year rush as best as we could. Secondly, we know that every year the last months are hard work for our team, so this was one way we could help ease the pressure in December. So yeah, we broke the rules and our sales went nuts in October which is always a very nice feeling!
We also donated our biggest monthly amount to BEAM ever, which really made us all… beam!! :D
While we hosted our biggest sale in October, we didn’t want to miss all the fun in November so we celebrated Wordbits Week! It was super fun bringing together some real cute content to show off the creative ways to play with our favourite magnets. Putting Wordbits in the spotlight made us all fall even more in love with the beautifully designed, strong little letters.
The cherry on top
The last month of the year has been all about two things — shipping orders and Becca coming to London! Our team have been nothing short of outstanding in their efforts to ensure delivery for all our customers. It always feels like a race to the finish line both at work and at home for the whole team. We really couldn’t be prouder of how much love and dedication everyone here has! But for us, the cherry on the top of this whole year was the Love Actually moment at Heathrow. The moment we got to hug each other for the first time in two years, when we got to meet each other's babies for the very first time!!
It may have been a rollercoaster of a year but we couldn't have done it without you, our lovely customers who buy our lockers + keep us busy! All we can say is a huge big thank you, we can't wait to see what 2022 has in store for us!