What we thought March 2020 would be like: We would be heading into YC Demo Day, right off the back of our record-high revenue month and our two week pop-up in NYC. We’d sail into wedding season, knowing that every one of our carefully laid plans had paid off.
What March 2020 was actually like: COVID-19 hit in mid March. Markets crashed just as we slid into a revised online version of Demo Day. We had to close our NYC showroom early. Wedding season was effectively postponed until further notice.
But we came out of it with a set of incredible investors who believe in us and our business. In the matter of two weeks, we have re-structured our entire team (we’ve retained everyone - just in new roles), re-written our goals for Q2 (yes, we found ways for our weddings-based business to be productive even when there are no weddings), and created team processes to work from home across 3 time zones and keep our strategy agile.
Today marks the 1-year anniversary of the day Arian and I began working on Riya Collective together, full-time. In reflecting on this past year, I realize that - in fact - adapting and learning to thrive in uncertainty has been the theme of our first year. Perhaps it’s the theme of every startup, everywhere, all the time. And it’s been nothing short of exhilarating.
It’s been a year of growth and challenge and passion and creativity and so many moments of pure joy. I am taking this time to reflect on what we are most proud of from this past year so that we will always have this to look back on:
I am well aware that in the big picture of what we are working to build, we are at the very beginning. It is not yet time to look back and pat ourselves on the backs, there’s way too much still to be done. But that doesn’t mean that every once in a while (once a year for now), we can’t reflect and say we are proud of how far we’ve come. And today, we certainly are.
With our deepest thanks to our customers, our team, our investors, our South Asian female entrepreneur community, our city, our peeps (South Park Commons, YC W20), and our husbands, we ask for your continued support as we forge ahead into these uncertain times and plan to prove again that we will thrive. We hope that we will make you proud.
Sarina and Arian