Oh my gosh. Nikki Darling is four years old and I have a lot of feelings! Firstly, I have feelings of deep gratitude for the amazing community who supports this small business. I have gratitude for the organisations and the events who welcome Nikki Darling at their events, the sex educators who work with us at our workshops, the media who give me space to share my knowledge, and of course the amazing customers who put their money where their mouth is to shop small, local, queer and feminist.
The third year of running this business was a really hard one - I have ongoing injury issues and that meant I had to slow down. This has eased up in the fourth year, but it isn't 100% yet, and I don't know if it ever will be.
Don't get me wrong - I always prioritise my customers. Just because I have these issues doesn't mean you should have to wait forever to get your goodies or to receive a response to your enquiry. But it does mean I have had to carve out space in the day for resting and recovery, and it also means some tasks take longer than I would like (see the currently delayed release of the shiny new and improved Nikki Darling website, for example).
Between the personal challenges and the ongoing, systemic sex-negativity that presents new and exciting obstacles for me every day (I kid, they are always devastating and never exciting), I will admit that at times I have wanted to just throw in the towel and move on to something that is met with less resistance than sexual health and pleasure.
But I persevere. I persevere because just when I think this little boutique business of mine can't survive in a world dominated by big corporate players, someone will reach out to me and tell me why my business specifically is important and valuable to them. You might not realise, but I'm really grateful when this happens - knowing I am achieving my aim of helping folk and giving them permission the world has denied them fuels me to keep going.
So on this anniversary, I am especially grateful to every one who has been vulnerable with me and allowed me to hold space for the complexity you experience around sex. I'm grateful to you. I'm in awe of your power.
I have a five year plan for this business. I'm hopeful that as Nikki Darling continues to grow that you'll stick around for the ride (and bring your lovers and friends too - there is room for everyone!) I'm excited to expand what Nikki Darling is and plug up the holes (all pun intended) in this here town!
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