Today marks two years since the formal launch of Additive Integrity.
I'll let you in on a secret: I didn't know how this would go when I started. Two years in, I still don't know.
When I decided, in mid-2018, to embark on a new path, I had no idea what all that would entail. I learned a lot, very quickly, about establishing an LLC and a business account, creating my own website and getting a domain hosted, finding clients, figuring out workflows and balance... Becoming a one-woman company was a gamble.
In 2018 and 2019, I worked with clients in media, industry, services, standards, education -- and I learned that starting this company was in fact a brilliant plan.
As it turns out, there's huge need for content in a fast-growing, nascent industry that has the potential to revolutionize the way things are done, the way things are made.
Thinking of the way things are made... from late October 2019 through February 2020, I was very focused on the original way of making. I enjoyed a four-month maternity leave to have my son, heal, and start learning an entirely new life as a mother.
In March 2020, I came back to my office, ready to begin working in my new normal.
Joke's on me: that month, the entire world began a very new normal. Suddenly I was adapting not just to life as a working mother of an infant, but life as a working mother of an infant during a global pandemic that shut down much of the world.
The world has changed over the last several months, and not always for the better. From the still-ongoing pandemic, which has now claimed more than 150,000 lives in the United States alone, to massive social unrest, the world is...troubled just now. Very, very troubled.
A silver lining through all the hardship has been that this very industry has been able to shine. 3D printing has been literally saving lives for months now, through on-demand creation of PPE, emergency-use ventilator components, nasopharyngeal testing swabs, you name it. Lives have been saved. Jobs have been saved. Supply chains have been -- if not saved, buoyed, and rethought.
The people working in this industry continue to inspire me with their passion for not only technology, but for saving lives, for committing to social justice; for being, in short, on the right side of a new history being written as we go.
And closer to home, Additive Integrity has continued onward. Ever, ever onward. (Including, closer-still to home, a move as my family and I bought a new house, and sold our old one, which is not an experience I recommend during a pandemic.)
Cheers to new beginnings, to looking ahead; a sunset photo I snapped from our new back deck the night we closed the sale of our new house.
I've been writing for my largest client load yet, and am loving the opportunity to connect with clients, and their customers, from around the world. In these times when in-person events are impossible, I've appreciated the virtual connections that keep us all going. I've also added webinar / virtual event moderation to my service offerings.
In a year that's made anyone who's interviewed for a job in the last half-decade a liar for their answer then to "Where do you see yourself in five years?", I certainly join everyone else who isn't quite where they thought they'd be this year.
For the first time in my 3D printing career, I'm grounded: no events, no travel, no site visits, no getting hands-on with the latest technology introductions. It's weird. But it's been so heartening to see how this industry has adapted, with new offerings through Zoom or even AR to keep everyone connected and supported.
So, in 2020, with now a full two years of operations at Additive Integrity, am I where I thought I'd be? Of course not. A) I had no idea where I'd be.
B) The world is on fire and no one is where we thought we'd be.
C) Yes but -- yes, but I'm still working in the 3D printing industry, and looking forward to embarking on a third year of offering customized editorial services to this dynamic, innovative, inspiring industry.
Let's...not offer any projections into 2021 at this point. Other than this: additive manufacturing, and Additive Integrity, will be there.