What a year! Lighten Print didn’t even exist this time last year — in fact, if you had a glimpse of our fall last year, you would have seen the two of us finalizing text placement with our illustrations while simultaneously googling ISBN numbers, LLCs, favorite Kickstarters, and business bank accounts.

Basically, this labor of love has had quite the learning curve.

(Adding the text to our illustrations)

But we’ve taken each step into the unknown because we’ve known for years that “Savior” was meant to be in the world! Getting our first book from our minds to our kids’ hands has been one of the biggest joys of our life. As we enter November and the focus of gratitude that brings to all our minds, we’re just feeling so grateful for you over here at Lighten!

Grateful for 2021: A Lighten Print Year In Review

In January of this year we launched Lighten and started sharing some behind the scenes on Instagram. We were so nervous and excited to finally send off our final draft and hope that the printed version would come back looking like what we’d been envisioning for so long. Before even receiving that first shipment of books, it was onto launching a Kickstarter campaign and crossing our fingers that our timing worked out with Easter. We spent a beautifully exhausting day together making our Kickstarter video and our first photo shoot with the few sample books we’d received in advance.

We launched our Kickstarter in February and were completely.blown.away. Fully funded in 8 hours! The response told us something that we had felt in our hearts all along: we were not the only parents who wished they had something like “Savior” to read to their children. The next four weeks were a wonderful ride as we felt all the love and support from you for our project. We visited Good Things Utah to share more about our why behind this book, and every day of that month long campaign had us bursting with gratitude for the response and support.

Come April, we were beyond thrilled to have those Kickstarter books shipped off for Easter baskets — even with snow storm delays and late nights figuring out fulfillment for the first time. Those boxes meant books in kids’ hands to us, and that feeling was indescribable!

We spent our last day together that weekend compiling media kits for our retail goals, hoping to see this book on shelves over the holidays at places like Costco, Deseret Book, and small businesses.

We then spent the summer, admittedly, totally burned out. This year had a lot of love and loss behind it in both our lives, and we have a greater appreciation for all creators out there who are undoubtedly doing what they do while dealing with similar situations behind the scenes. Our gratitude goes deeper now for everyone pushing through difficult circumstances to make their dreams happen, even when that means steps into the unknown when you’re still taking shaky steps from your own load. Creating is no small thing.

Enter Fall of 2021, which we can’t help compare to last fall in disbelief at all this year has held. We ended up experiencing a little piece (thousands of books little) of the messy global pie that was the California port situation this holiday season. We followed our second printing shipment’s progress from freight to port to delays to trains to customs, to finally our own hands just before Thanksgiving (two months late!), so that we could add more focus on Christ under Christmas trees this year.

That whole process was another trip in learning that you can only control what you can control, and the rest takes a lot of hope and moving forward with faith. This year we are feeling overwhelmingly grateful for you! Thanks for being here, and for your support during this year of launching Lighten. We’ve got big goals and plans ahead!

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