December 31, 2019
As 2019 comes to a close and we prepare to kick off a new decade (!!), we’re taking a moment to reflect and share with you some of the excitement we experienced this year. We’ve come a long way, considering SPS started as a crazy idea conjured up in a college dorm room, and we’re proud to have nearly a decade-long legacy to learn from and build upon. We may only be nine, but we totally feel like teenagers already; we’re maturing and coming into our own, but still have some growing up to do.
When this company was founded, smartphones were in their infancy and Instagram had been around for less than a year. Now, nearly everyone has a professional-grade camera in their pocket and over 100 million photos and videos are shared on Instagram per day. Not surprisingly, big money (ie. venture capital, private equity) has taken an interest in the photo printing space and there are so many companies that will print your photos it’s actually hard to quantify. (A quick search of “print photos” in the App Store will yield an endless scroll of results.) We’ve been bootstrapped from the beginning and to say we remain proudly independent — without the help of outside capital — is only possible because of the loyalty of our amazing customers.
What this freedom affords us is the ability to move quickly, try new things, and get creative with offering exciting products and experiences to our customers. When the founders, Ben and George, entrusted me as CEO almost two years ago my greatest concern was striking the delicate balance between pushing new agendas to further the potential of the business in an increasingly competitive industry, while still holding on to what set us apart in the first place. We won the hearts of many early on because we chose to do things differently— we had a quirky brand voice and an offbeat sense of style. As the company matures and the team grows, the culture and the voice will inevitably evolve too. As we plan our roadmaps for the year (and years) to come, I’m convinced that we can change, grow and evolve without losing ourselves.
Tenure at SPS is measured in the number of holiday seasons worked, and as I just wrapped my second, I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished and can’t wait for what’s still to come. Here are just a few highlights from the past year:
Two impressive women joined our ranks this past year. Laurel Wright joined our team as Lead Designer, bringing a fresh visual approach to our highly ranked product experiences. And Koseli Cummings joined as Content Strategist, a role new to the company, helping to ensure consistency in messaging and presentation across our multiple platforms.
Brand collaborations and partnership opportunities with the likes of A Practical Wedding, Wright Kitchen, Hipcamp, Culk, Tiny Atlas Quarterly, Solo Stove allowed us to grow our audience in organic and meaningful ways.
Just a few of our favorite press mentions from the year (humble brag alert):
For me personally, it’s been another year of learning, growing and exploring. It’s an honor to work with this talented team who put so much care and effort into what we do here.
We have a whole lot of exciting things planned for 2020, much of which has been in the works for some time now. Some long-requested features will be making their debut (thank you, annual survey takers!), both our Print Studio app and our website user experience will see major improvements, and we’ve got a few new fun product launches up our sleeve.
It’s all thanks to, and in service of, our faithful and supportive customers. Your loyalty is what keeps us thriving. We respond to every email (rather quickly, might I add), read every single app store review (we live for those 5-stars), and live and die by the votes cast by your dollars. We know our work is never done, especially when it comes to delivering the best products and experiences to our customers. Thank you for your business, your feedback, for sharing the good vibes and spreading the SPS love. We look forward to seeing a lot more of you in 2020!