Looking Backwards and Forwards

By: Tawnya Sawyer

I love this time of year, but not because of the decorations, gifts, food and fun, although I like all of those things too. I love it because it is one of those quiet times for looking backwards and forwards; and reflection and redefinition. The business world slows as people take vacations and companies close for the week between Christmas and the New Year. This gives us the space we need to reflect on the past year’s accomplishments, and strategize for the future.

Last year was incredible for us by any definition. We started the year with one employee, Joanne, and ended with her plus two more (Matt and Samantha). We finalized our AquaBundance Modular Systems line, learned about palletizing and freight shipping, and have been shipping systems to homes and schools all over the country. We introduced the AquaParts Aquaponic Plumbing kits, along with over one hundred other new products. During the summer we videotaped the 33-session Aquaponic Gardening Online Course, launched it in late August and we now have almost 400 enrolled students and, more importantly, a solid five star rating. And the Aquaponic Gardening Book has spent the year as one of the top ten most popular gardening books on Amazon.com, enjoying a rating of 4.5 out of 5. Yes, 2012 was a very good year.

The Aquaponic Source offices
The new digs!

So what does 2013 look like? In a nutshell, we are making plans to further support those that want to take up aquaponics as the idea continues to catch on. This past weekend Alan and I purchased four sets of office furniture from a used office furniture store in Denver. That was a big step for us but something we deemed necessary to continue to serve our customers at the level we require and also suggests that aquaponics continues to gain attention across the country. Starting Thursday we will have four employees, and everyone is already stretched. Last month we consolidated our two storage lockers into a single shared warehouse location. Later this month we plan to launch our new retail products line, and that, combined with a renewed focus on our online presence, will hopefully enable us to reach even more people with an interest in aquaponics.

We have a host of new products stacked up on the white board. For example, we are working on a raft option for our AquaBundance Modular Systems and we are introducing new aquaponics additives to both make gardening easier and more productive. Further, we are packaging these items and more for retail shelves for those who would rather shop in their local hydroponics or garden shop than online.

Although everything I have mentioned above keeps us driving hard, the most invigorating thing of all is that our singular focus – to empower people to grow their own fish and vegetables – is what is enabling whatever success we are having. This singular focus is what keeps every one of us at The Aquaponic Source loving what we do all year round.

We hope 2013 finds you inspired and growing as well.