Aaaaah, December! The month of lots of merry making, food, family, and fun. December is a bitter sweet month for me. I’m a December baby, so as a child my birthday indicated the culmination of all the merry activities to come, it truly was an exciting time. This was my reality for many, many years. Then came December 31st, 2006. My dad had been ill for a little while in Nigeria and I could only rely on updates about his progress from those near him including my mum. More frequently, I got updates that he was getting much better, and I began to feel relieved. Then comes that fateful day, December 31st. Like everyone else, my family and I were excited and preparing to ring in the new year, when the call came in that my father had passed away. I was devastated! I had not seen my father since I left Nigeria several years before, and I was hoping to be able to go see him soon. I felt helpless and frustrated and I mourned the loss. Over the years, it got a little easier to get through the holidays without the sorrow of his passing overwhelming me.
With the passing of my dad, my mum visited my sister and I here in the United States more often. Her visits grew longer till she was permanently here with us, and life couldn’t have been better. Mum helped my sister with her new born son and she was extremely happy. Mum was always about family, especially her children, and she would do whatever it was that needed to be done to help out. It was such a joy to have her with us on a more permanent basis, and all was good with the world. Suddenly, mum fell ill summer of 2016 and my sister and I with our husbands did all we knew to do to get her through. Her health continued to decline and unfortunately mum passed away six months later, December 15th (I shared a little of this with you in my last letter). She passed away eleven days after my birthday and sixteen days before dad’s anniversary. I felt completely lost! I’m thankful for my support system that helped me through that extremely trying time. My birthday this year was hard, the first one ever without mum, and we just came up on her one-year remembrance. Dad’s eleven-year remembrance is around the corner and then December will be over, phew! The beautiful thing is I have wonderful memories of the holidays we did get to spend together, and that can never be taken away from me.
The absolute bright side to all this is YOU! You have been an absolute inspiration to me this past year. I can’t but thank you for being a part of my journey, and as I reflect on the small and big successes throughout the year, I want to share them with you, . We had our first ever trade show at the Apparel Mart in Atlanta, which was an amazing experience. We're almost at 5K followers on our Instagram page, (we’re nearly there…yaay!), and grew our Facebook page to over 6K. We were a part of awesome collaborations and giveaways with other amazing brands allowing us to increase our reach to more women across the globe. We recently launched our new products which include shaping camisoles you're sure you’ll love click here. Last but by no means the least, we were just recently featured in the VMH online magazine, where I share the story behind Velvet Queen click here. This truly has been a year of firsts and countless new amazing opportunities, all because you trusted and allowed Velvet Queen into your world.
As you begin to wind down from a year of hard work, and gear up for a period of fun, relaxation, family and lots of food, this is my charge to you. Take the time to be fully present and enjoy your family. Make new memories and reflect on old ones. Most of all, don't forget to rest, relax and renew, and together we’ll be right back in January making it an even more memorable year.
From our family to yours, cheers to the end of the year and here's looking forward to the new year!