While the people in the Netherlands are getting ready for the weekend, my day starts with a sunny clear blue sky. “You have a party tomorrow.” my calendar notifies me as soon as I switch on my computer. I see the date that is popping up and can’t help breaking out in a nostalgic smile, November 19. Definitely, a reason for a tiny party because tomorrow my company will be 19 years old. Next year I’m celebrating the big 20, not that I will celebrate that any bigger than this year because I’m not much of a party animal. I’ve always celebrated my company’s anniversary quietly, gratefully, sometimes with a chocolate cake and sometimes just with only a cup of tea, thinking back how far I’ve come.

Nineteen years ago I walked into the Chamber of Commerce office with a baby on my arm. Just divorced, 100% parenthood over a baby and a toddler, and the splendid idea to start a business without backup, help, or any investment. What possibly could go wrong? Sure I had some bumps along the way but it certainly taught me sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith and jump, just do it, to go for it. Go big or go home!

And so my adventure began on November 19, 2003. As J.K. Rowling put it so beautifully: “Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” High-five, girls! Me too!

This year I’m celebrating the anniversary in America, not the first country I’ve been to with my company. Wherever I went, my work always traveled with me. I’ve worked in many airports, hotels, and motels in different time zones because a client needed something ASAP. So I and my company traveled to Belgium, Germany, France, Spain, England, Turkey, Singapore, Australia, Canada, Mexico, and America. I regularly received emails from loyal clients, first asking whether I was in the Netherlands or somewhere else before they started to explain their project. It says enough about my wanderlust.

Tomorrow it will be 19 years of creativity alright. Branding, books, magazines, websites, stands, banners, and pens, you name it, I designed it. So do I have a reason to celebrate? I sure have a lot of reasons. So hell yeah I will celebrate this day! How? I don’t know yet. Maybe somewhere on a mountaintop or downtown Portland but it will be celebrated!

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