Today will be more of a rant and a rave than an actual shoe post per se. It will be more about my feelings than about shoes. So be warned…..
Every year, for me, marks a reflection point not only because my birthday lies within the first week of the year (the big 3-0 this one!) but also because I now have a family and a business that needs growing. That growing usually involves planning and tending to. Not something that you can just let fly by and see what happens. Therefore, the month of January usually serves as a period in which I need to reflect (as well as mark my goals) on how I plan to carry out the rest of the year in the attempt to progress towards the things that I have always wanted not only as that family man but also as a business man.
2013 was a great year. It was the year that I became a father. An accomplishment that for me means that real life has now begun. Adolescence is over and adulthood is in full effect. It’s a scary yet invigorating feeling. One can no longer think about themselves but now need to put a greater purpose forward, a purpose far greater than their own well being. It’s a hard thing to swallow but also the most beautiful reward at the same time as it gives one the opportunity to truly grow something that is wholeheartedly dependant upon you as a person and a nurturer. This very idea is something that brings excitement to my everyday emotions but also brings fear at the same time. Either way, it drives me to be the best that I can be and that is what I love.
I also launched my own shoe line in 2013, a project that was 7 years in the making. That accomplishment was by far the greatest that I had ever achieved in a self-fulfilling nature (i.e. a goal laid forth for career/personal gain, not family oriented). And while this achievement has not come without it’s own strife and difficulty, it has also been so rewarding and fun at the same time. It has brought me closer to my goals of seeing men wearing better shoes and men caring more about the footwear that they choose to represent. And while I have only once recognized someone (that I did not know) wearing my shoes in passing (therefore outside of my friends and personal customers), it created a second of my life that I will never forget and will forever cherish as it was amongst one of the best feelings in the world.
While many of you may think that I say this because you are sitting here reading it, I can wholeheartedly say that without the support of the blog readers, none of this (shoe company-wise) would have been possible. Of the 700 or so pairs that I have sold since March 19th, 2013, I can confidently say that 75-80% of them have been to blog readers. And I am truly grateful and indebted to you for that. That number states (without bias) that without your support, my brand would have already failed. That is precisely why I hope and plan to do more for you this year as it is time for me to give back. In 2013, I had so much going on that I felt that I was not able to dedicate as much to the blog as I had wanted to and that disappointed me. But in 2014 I will change that, and partly so because I am finally leaving my day job of shoe shining and will be focusing solely on my business and the blog.
That being, expect more in-depth content and more give-aways this year. I will at least give away 1 pair of J.FitzPatrick shoes, if not more and try to get you products from others as well (if I can). So, as always, I appreciate all of your support, from each and every one of you and thank you to all those that have spread the word about my blog/shoe line/accessory range. It means so much to me and that is not just empty words at the sake of sounding good. I truly mean it.
I wish all you a wonderful 2014 and hope to meet even more of you this year that still have yet to meet.
Justin, “The Shoe Snob”