<aside> 👋 Hi, I’m Ian. I run a technology consultancy in Brooklyn called Gardener NYC.

This is the 4th Perennial Report, a yearly review of how the business is doing and what we learned while doing it. These reports exist to make starting and growing a creative business less intimidating for those considering independent work.

If you haven’t read these before, or need a refresher on previous numbers, here are the reports since Gardener’s founding in 2019.

2021 Review2020 Review2019 Review


Table of Contents

What is Gardener?

Gardener is a technology studio that builds websites. 9 out of 10 projects are ecommerce related and the businesses we primarily work with make anywhere from $2-10M in revenue per year.

Gardener has also become a way for me to share resources and learnings on how to operate a business in the creative industry. It doesn’t exist to grow and grow towards an acquisition, but rather be just one example of a human-sized business that can fluctuate and evolve as needed.

Year in Review

2022 was a year of intentional slowness and correcting course. Coming off the manic multi-year sprint of founding and growing Gardener in COVID, this past year was one where I got to ease off the gas pedal and think about what comes next.

By the latter half of 2021, I’d found stability in working 4-5 hours a day on Gardener projects. I’m both shocked and proud to report that I’ve continued to do this for the last 2 years. That newly opened time in the week brought me back to explore a side of myself that I thought was long gone in adulthood. I got bored, I got inquisitive, I read poetry, I learned the basics of oil painting, I invested in friendships, I started writing music again.

It is important that I pause here. The thing I’ve been meditating on most this past year is how the work can exist to serve me, rather than me existing to serve the work. Yes it is a codependent relationship and hopefully there is good to come from a 9-5, but we’re all much more multifaceted than we give ourselves credit for. There’s a whole world of people and places to see and romance over.

I’m not sure if or when I will ever go back to working full time again. And yet, good work was not absent. In the spring and early summer we launched D.S. & Durga’s new site and relaunched Red Rooster. I was less concerned with the profit engine in 2022, so we really sunk some hours into those two builds and it shows.

My partner and I took a summer break in the woods of Virginia for about a month. We saw our families and friends, but we also wanted to test run what it would be like to live there again. On the very last day, truly unplanned, we went to tour a house about an hour outside of town. We immediately fell in love with it and bought it.

Later in the year I was lucky enough to spend time with friends in Vermont and work on a solo record. You should hear more about that later this year.

Throughout, work has remained at a steady hum. Now, the things that would have upended my week or month are simply waves. Most of the time they wash over me, at times I’ll loose my balance or tumble. In recalibrating how I spend my time over the last year, I’m a better collaborator to my clients, more attentive to my partner, and a more open friend.

Much love to all and good luck out there.