and the tree is twinkling in our favorite corner. Just a couple gifts still need to be wrapped but the smell of hot, cinnamon-laced wassail is calling our names with our favorite holiday songs playing in the background.
"I heard the bells on Christmas day,
Their old familiar carols play
And mild and sweet their songs repeat
Of peace on earth good will to men"
There's something wonderfully comforting to me and Dave about all things, mild, and sweet... that repeat. For so long, things weren't "mild" or "sweet", and they certainly didn't repeat. And yet, we're grateful for that. It's because of those difficult times that Albion was born. The journey to get "here" was filled with heart-ache and for a long time, we honestly didn't see an end in sight, at least not a good one. We worked hard, we worked late. And there were risks and deadlines and questions we didn't have answers to and bills we didn't have money for. There were failures. So many failures. But there was always hope thanks to unfailing "good will" from friends, family, and ultimately, co-workers and teammates who gave it their all because they too believed that we could actually pull this thing off.
You see, Dave and I believe that hard work and kindness are the secret sauce to success. But we also believe that success can be measured in so many, wonderfully different ways. For us, it means creating something that makes women feel beautiful, and comfortable, and happy, really and truly happy! It means that we've made a swimsuit that allows you to focus on the important things: playing with your kids, swimming with those dolphins, looking fabulously glam drinking that pina colada pool side! It means for the first time ever, finding a swimsuit that you actually love on your body, and one that will last for years because it's made with the best fabric, by the most talented seamstresses, with designs that are all original and unique and timeless. We've seen through your emails and posts that we've achieved that, and yet we're grateful to say that's just ONE mark of success for us.
The entire process from start to finish has become a series of successes. Working side by side with talented, smart, kind, and downright fun women who thrive working in an environment where we build one another up and aren't scared to share ideas, women we consider BEST FRIENDS and hang out with on the weekends-- that's what we call success. Being able to hire from within our company for leadership positions because at the end of the day, they are the ones who know us best and know why we work the way we do, and who we do it for-- that's success. Going to Disneyland and seeing a dozen different women wearing our rompers and our jet setters and overalls (because Splash Mountain is no match for those quick drying joggers)-- that's success. Being able to work with charities and causes we're passionate about and literally see lives change before our eyes-- that's success. Seeing our talented sewing team in Guatemala triple in size and getting pictures of their kids graduating from high school, college, and one even graduating from medical school this year, that is success.
Albion has never been about just me and Dave and us being a husband-wife team. We're the first to admit that it makes us unique-- but it's not what makes us special. For that, we have our team and our loyal customers to thank. We are humbled by this magic that has transpired over the past 5 years and although we feel we've come so far in a relatively short span of time, there is still. SO. MUCH. MORE. TO. DO. At the end of the day, we're in the business of changing lives and leaving a positive mark on the world. We feel a responsibility to build our community so that we can do this together, because together, we're stronger, smarter, faster and kinder, and together, we can change the world. We believe this with all our hearts, and if you're reading this, we know you do, too.
Merry Christmas, friends. We wish you a Happy New Year, Peace on Earth, and good will to EVERY ONE.