2021 Year in Review: Starting my Copywriting Business in White Bear Lake (and other big changes)

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January 3, 2022
Maddie Lemay

This year was full of big changes. I don’t know about you, but for me, change is hard – even if they aren’t necessarily “bad” changes. I like everything to be consistent. It’s why I don’t mess with my regular coffee order from Starbucks (why change the traditional oat milk latte with a half-shot of vanilla)? I like my routines.

So this year, even though a lot of good changes happened, they took some getting used to. But through all of this year’s transitions, I’m so thankful for a family who stuck with me, friends who celebrated and supported me, and a community that feels like home.

Here are some of the big changes that happened in 2021.

1. I started a copywriting business in White Bear Lake

On July 3, 2021, I left my full-time job as a journalist to start this copywriting business! I love being my own boss, but it comes with plenty of challenges too, like establishing boundaries and doing a lot of learning as I go.

I started my copywriting business in White Bear Lake in 2021, where I work from home.

I worked a lot of long days and late nights this year, and I’ve had to learn how to set aside lower-priority projects so I can focus on doing the best work for my clients. One decision I made this year that I’m really proud of is investing in help from Kiana Grant Coaching. She’s helped me set up systems that have helped me stay organized, and helped set me up to grow.

That’s the most valuable lesson I’ve learned so far as a new business owner: I can dream and plan the “fun stuff” all I want, but without repeatable systems in place, I’ll never be able to reach my goals. So this year, I’ve spent many late nights mapping out those systems: creating email templates, planning out my social media strategy, and figuring out my niche market.

2. We bought our first house in Downtown White Bear Lake, where I run my copywriting business

In February, my husband Matt and I bought a house in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, where both of us grew up. We now live a mile away from both of our parents, which has been great, especially because my father-in-law LOVES to do yard work (shoutout Bruce).

Matt and Maddie Lemay outside their home in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, where Maddie Lemay runs her copywriting business.
My husband Matt and I bought a home this year in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, where I now run my copywriting business.

Our home is definitely a fixer-upper. My favorite house project we worked on this year was painting our kitchen cabinets. We went back and forth between painting them white or green, but one day, I decided to choose the color that made me happy, even though it’ll probably go out of style in three years. I love our green cabinets! We put up white subway tile backsplash, too (well, Matt did).

He stayed up until 4 a.m. one morning this fall installing it so he could get it all done in one night. Because he was using the loud wet saw in the kitchen, I slept in the guest bedroom (which is on the other side of the house) with three fans running and plugs in my ears. When I woke up, the backsplash was magically completed! We’ve decided to slow down quite a bit on house projects until the summer. Those late nights were so tiring, but they came with such sweet memories.

Maddie Lemay, who recently started a copywriting business in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, poses inside her kitchen after painting her cabinets green.
Here are my green cabinets! Going with a bold color choice (with these bright cabinets and this pink sweater) is kind of unlike me, but hey… I’m working on taking risks.

Choosing to become a copywriter in White Bear Lake and living in our little fixer-upper has been the best decision. Because I work remotely, I get to work with clients from all over the country (and I even had the privilege of covering a few stories for the Wall Street Journal this year)! But I still get to live in my favorite place in the world, which feels like an everyone-knows-everyone small town.

My favorite part about it is that we get to live a mile away from my four little siblings, who are all still in school. Sometimes, they’ll walk over to our house to grab a snack or cook dinner with us. Because we live closer to them than the nearest convenience store, they’ll bike over when they need an egg or an extra cup of sugar for baking (but I like to think it’s just an excuse to say hi to us).

3. We celebrated ours (and our besties’) weddings

Although we had it pretty easy, 2020 complicated our original wedding plans. So, to make a long story short, we decided to elope in April 2020, and we postponed our big wedding celebration for May 2021. We finally got our normal wedding last year, and it was perfect.

Copywriter Maddie Lemay celebrates her wedding in May 2021.
We finally got to celebrate our wedding after not seeing many of our family and friends for an entire year!

We also got to stand beside some of our very best friends in 2021 and cheer them on as they said "I do." (You know who you are)!

4. We got a puppy!

Wilson is our little ball of Goldendoodle fluff. We call him our Chief Cuteness Officer. But PSA: puppies are a lot of work. Especially when you both work from home. He’s worth it, though!

Copywriter Maddie Lemay's Goldendoodle puppy, Wilson.
Wilson, our new Goldendoodle puppy, was another big change that happened in 2021.

What big changes did you or your business go through this year? Let me know in the comments!

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