Don’t Call It A Comeback
“Don’t call it a comeback, I been here for years
I’m rockin’ my peers, puttin’ suckers in fear
Makin’ the tears rain down like a monsoon…” — LL Cool J
Around the time I decided to pause my blogging in late 2021, our little idea-baby, Picture This Clothing (PTC), was on life support. You can read our awesome launch story on the PTC website here if you’re unfamiliar.
Since 2019, Ken and I have put everything the company earned, plus over $250k of our personal savings, into the company trying to grow various aspects of it. We built custom software/internal systems; took over manufacturing; we hired professional help for email and other marketing things we didn’t fully understand or have time for; we tried creating new products; we tested all sorts of ideas–if you can think of things to try, we more than likely tried them or had solid research or reason not to. Anything we could do without seeking external investment, we tried, and for the first few years, it worked.
2020 gave us hope after a rough 2019. When everyone was looking for stuff their kids could do while stuck inside at home, people all over the internet shared Picture This Clothing. As the pandemic dragged into an uncertain 2021, sales declined again. That, combined with a host of personal and health challenges within our family, felt overwhelming. Sales never stopped happening; there just wasn’t enough to actually pay ourselves AND the help we needed to keep it all going.
We always said we’d ride it ’til the wheels fell off, and PTC was coasting downhill on metal rims. Maybe it was time to stop.
Ken and I walked into 2022 prepared to step away and slowly transition manufacturing over to our shop neighbor Jeff to fulfill any new or open gift certificate orders, sell off our fully paid-for equipment, then clear out our warehouse before the lease end date in August.
Then, like some sort of magic from the universe, January almost broke even. For the first time since 2019, we didn’t have to put thousands of dollars in to keep it alive. February was better than Jan, and March was better than Feb. Except for a dip in July 2022 was our best year since 2018.