Let's Raise A Glass

Cheers to the steady and sustainable — traits of a company that has persevered through a pandemic and endless change.

12/31/2021

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As I prepared to write the standard message about all the things Blend had to celebrate this past year, I can't help but think about the post I wrote a year ago today. To quote from December 31, 2020:

"I have no doubt this year's hurdles will prepare us for the next challenge lurking right around the corner that will come."

After leading Blend through a pandemic, I was ready for a new year and a new challenge but perhaps a bit naive about how much change was ahead of us. I can say with certainty that uncertainty has been a theme for 2021, and so much transition in such a short amount of time calls for a reset, a new chapter, and a new vision. Perhaps that is our greatest reason to celebrate as we turn the page on another successful yet unusual year.

After 16 years in business, Blend has new life. We're different in many ways, which can be exhilarating and scary at the same time. Helping our clients succeed by being their trusted partner hasn't changed, but how we do it sure has in a positive way. With clients in 32 states, we now enjoy seeing their faces on regular Zoom calls. Oh, and our faces at Blend have changed, too, adding six new team members over the last year. We've improved our processes and proved we have a sustainable business through all the uncertainty life throws at us.

As the remaining hours of 2021 tick by, we have so much to reflect upon and celebrate. It all feels like a bit of a blur, but a few highlights stand out:

  • Welcome Jenna, Alasdair, Tori, Jada, Shannan, and welcome back to Steph. 
  • We flew our team and their guests to a resort in Mexico to celebrate our 15 (now almost 17) years in business. Oh, and everyone made it back into the country unscathed. 
  • Blend published The Web Project Guide, authored by our very own Corey Vilhauer and founding partner, Deane Barker, and illustrated by our Lead Designer, Sam Otis.
  • Collaboration days provided an opportunity for our team to work side by side and enjoy the return of company lunch. We also enjoyed yoga on our rooftop this summer, which was a pretty awesome way to start the workday.
  • We became an Umbraco Gold partner, complementing our existing Optimizely Gold partnership and allowing us to serve another target market.
  • We've weathered a pandemic, remained sustainable and profitable, have been able to give back to organizations in need, helped our clients meet and exceed their goals through their web presence, and provided a place for our team to learn and grow in their profession. Check. ✔️
  • It's a whole new chapter of Blend. One with maturity, confidence, expertise, and lessons from our past to move us forward. Proud doesn't begin to explain how I feel about this crew.

With excitement and optimism, with a side of uncertainty, I'm looking forward to 2022. Cheers to a steady, monotonous, and boring year ahead! Wait, I can't say that, can I? (Nor do I actually want that, but some normalcy sure sounds appealing). As they say, if it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you.

So, raise a glass to the change in 2021 that made us who we are and the challenges that got us where we are today.

Cheers to a new year.

- K