A birth represents new beginnings, and that’s been the theme for this past year at Landmark 12 Consulting.
We’ve celebrated a birth in the literal sense, when my daughter (L12’s newest office assistant) was born in March. And we also celebrated the one-year anniversary of being in our Hutchinson Square office, which has been a rebirth of the business, metaphorically speaking.
A new office, in the bustling, adorable Square, has resulted in substantial growth for Landmark 12, so it’s a good thing we have a new assistant! Ellington isn’t able to answer phones yet, of course, but she provides hours of entertainment for employees and clients alike (which is an invaluable skill, in my opinion).
There’s also another reason to celebrate—It’s L12 fourth anniversary. It’s hard to believe that when I started out, the business was home-based and had a different assistant—my son, Smith. Last year, when he went off to preschool, I decided it was time for L12 to fly the coop, too, so I moved the office to the Square. The same month I transitioned into the commercial space, I also realized I’d be making another major transition: I’d soon become the mother of two. When I found out I was expecting Ellington, I remember feeling a rush of emotions—happiness, excitement, elation—but I will also admit the business owner in me felt worried, too. I remembered all too well those early days of the business, trying to concentrate with a screaming infant in the background. It was tough. L12 has seen such significant growth in these past four years… I was worried a life-change personally would mean a set-back professionally.
Now that Ellington is eight months old, and I finally feel like I’m coming up for air (the infant months are challenging, aren’t they?!), I wouldn’t call this period a set-back at all. It’s simply been adjusting to a new normal. Not only has Ellington been a welcomed addition (and the missing link) to my family, she’s been the same for the Landmark 12 family. She was meant to be on this journey with us.
When I started the company, new to both entrepreneurship and motherhood, I undoubtedly felt overwhelmed as I stumbled and clawed my way through that challenging time. But when Elle arrived, I realized… I’ve got this. Juggling a business and a family is not easy, but I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again—There’s not much that a mompreneur can’t handle.
With that being said, let’s pop the cork and celebrate the accomplishments of the past year:
- Landmark 12 was one of only three local companies to be named a Business of the Year finalist by the Greater Summerville Chamber of Commerce.
- My family and I were featured on the cover of West Summerville Neighbors magazine, highlighting the story of how Landmark 12 was created to encourage future entrepreneurs to invest in both their dreams and the Summerville community. The article also described the importance of “mompreneurs” in the business world.
- L12 successfully increased the number of pro bono clients. We take pride in our mission, and in keeping with our goal of helping as many students as possible, we were able to serve 12 percent of our clients in previous years on a pro-bono basis to provide low-income families access to college planning assistance, but last year, we assisted 20 percent. We believe the educational development of our youth is vital to our community.
- I was a presenter at the Berkeley County Career Conference, which consisted of events designed to prepare students for entering the workforce.
- I was a presenter at both Career Day and College Fairs in Dorchester District II schools, as well as a classroom guest speaker to students interested in the fields of business and entrepreneurship. I also volunteered several times by answering students’ questions about college applications, admission essays, and scholarships during their lunch breaks at various tri-county high schools.
- I’m an active, involved, and proud member of the Summerville Chamber of Commerce and enjoy participating in Chamber events to meet fellow business owners and Summerville residents.
- Most importantly, Landmark 12 has continued to grow and expand its service offerings. In addition to assisting high school students and undergraduates with their college planning and scholarship needs, L12 also helps post-graduate students by finding scholarships for those who are attending law school, chiropractic school, and graduate school just to name a few. I’m also proud to say our service area continues to expand. We have clients in almost every school in the Lowcountry’s three districts, and the number of out-of-state clients continues to grow with students as far away as California.
I am grateful for these successes, and I’m also grateful for setbacks. No company experiences smooth sailing all the time. There were moments during L12’s rebirth that were extremely hard, but when you think about it, giving birth is one of the most difficult things a human can endure (can I get an “amen” from all the mommas out there?!). It’s painful; it’s emotional; it can be frustrating and scary. But it’s also one of the most rewarding and gratifying experiences of a woman’s life. For me, since giving birth is still a fresh memory… I remember holding Elle for the first time feeling enlightened, hopeful, inspired, and blessed. On a smaller scale, I choose to think of the professional challenges I’ve faced this past year with the same optimism. There have been far more victories than setbacks, and as one year closes and another one begins, that’s a “win” in my book. I’m ready to start the next chapter of this book feeling enlightened, hopeful, inspired, and blessed—Thanks to Ellington and Landmark 12.
I’m excited to watch both of them grow.