Just about one year ago, I was having dinner with one of my best friends, and I told her about an idea I had. I had come up with a name, created an Instagram account, and let this idea fester in my head for a while already. After telling her about it, she looked at me and said, “What you are you waiting for? Just get started!” Join us in this post as we celebrate our one-year birthday!
Jumping Into Action
I came home that night, made my first real post on Instagram, and started posting on the mom’s groups on Facebook to share my idea – a community guide called Wonder and Wander – Jackson. Within 12 days, we had gained over 300 followers, and I had people thanking me for starting this.
I had so many things to get done in those early days. I built this website by myself, created a mailing list, launched social media accounts, and started curating website content. There were plenty of mistakes that I made along the way, too. For example – building my website and launching it, only to realize that I should have used a different platform, which meant transferring it, rebuilding it, and relaunching it with no one knowing. Oops!
Year One Stats
Our first year as a small business in this community has been nothing short of amazing. Here are some fun stats from year one.
We have had:
- +24,000 pageviews
- +4,000 users
- Visitors from 24 countries
- Visitors from 38 states
- Visitors from 170+ cities in Michigan
In year one, Wonder and Wander – Jackson was showered at the Michigan Tribe Business Shower, and I was the recipient of a Michigan Tribe Women Rise Microgrant. Our social media following has grown steadily, and we now have over 2,350 people following along! We have shared everything from parks and playgrounds to events and activities with you! I have met so many amazing people along the way, and I have started to be recognized in public as “The Wonder and Wander Lady” – eek! We can’t wait to continue sharing, growing, and connecting with you in year two.
A Different Kind of One-Year Birthday Celebration
As our one-year birthday was approaching, I pondered what to do to celebrate. A party seemed like fun but a lot of work for a busy time of year. We have done many giveaways over this past year, so that didn’t seem necessary. And then it came to me.
When I was in the third grade my teacher, Mrs. Harris, read the class a book called Miss Rumphius (written by Barbara Cooney). I fell in love with this book the instant I heard it. I went home and told my mom about Miss Rumphius, and she purchased it for me. If you know me in real life now, you’ve probably heard me talk about this book at some point, as it is still my favorite book to this day.
In Miss Rumphius, little Alice Rumphius idolizes her grandfather, saying she wants to be just like him when she grows up. Her grandfather has traveled to many faraway places and lived by the sea, and he tells her that while it is fine to want to do those things, she must also do a third thing. She must do something to make the world a more beautiful place.
She thinks this is the most difficult thing to do and thinks long and hard about what it is she can do. Now – I don’t want to ruin this story for you, as I want to encourage you to read it with your children, but what Miss Rumphius does is so beautiful and memorable and brings beauty into the lives of so many people that she becomes notorious for it.
(Have I sold you yet? This book is available for checkout at JDL – click the link here to put a copy on hold.)
The Miss Rumphius Challenge
What in the world does this have to do with our one-year birthday? In the past few weeks, there have been so many tragedies in our country filled with so much sadness. However, in these tough times, I always think of Miss Rumphius, and she reminds me that it is within us to do something to make the world a more beautiful place. I always think of Miss Rumphius’ grandfather, too, who knew it was his job to teach the next generation the importance of this.
There are so many ways to do this:
- Random acts of kindness
- Surprising someone you know
- Helping someone in need
- Making a donation to an organization that is meaningful to you
Additionally, there are so many ways to make a difference that takes no money to do – such as picking up trash from a neighborhood park, helping a neighbor complete a task, donating items you don’t need anymore, etc.
Therefore here’s my challenge to you – what can you do to make the world a more beautiful place? What can you do with your kids to teach them that we can make a difference in our world? What ideas can your kids think of that they can do to make the world a more beautiful place?
That’s it – that’s how we are celebrating our one-year birthday. Wonder and Wander – Jackson’s Miss Rumphius Challenge. We can’t wait to hear what you come up with! Please be sure to leave a comment here or send us a message on Instagram or Facebook to let us know what you do to beautify our world!
Happy One-Year Birthday to Wonder and Wander – Jackson!