June 14 is PLU Founders' Day, the day we celebrate and the day I say thank you to our 1140 Founders who joined us in the first two weeks when we started offering paid subscriptions.
Can you believe that was 2 years ago today?
After a heap of planning and launching into the torrent of a raging pandemic, we started our next phase on 14 June 2021.
Carey Ennis was the first to join us, about 2 minutes after I did the update and before I'd even announced it!
1140 of our members joined us in that two-week period, around 30% of the members we had at that time. I'm grateful to all our members who join and support us but I acknowledge the leap of faith it took for our Founders to jump in, and I shall forever be grateful for your support.
We depend on our PLU Community for nearly everything: setting our values, mentoring our newbies, promoting our culture, and growing our membership.
Starting that day, I also asked for your financial support to help us grow, and I was overwhelmed by your response.
In the weeks following, I was able to leave my job and start working on PLU full-time and I have done so ever since. Alexandra started work on our marketing soon after and Kathy joined me in the business at the start of 2023.
We've grown from 3890 homes on the day we started to 8064 today, the second-largest home exchange organisation in the world. (Given that we started as the 75th largest, that's pretty cool!)
When I started, though, I said that what I most wanted People Like Us to be was the best home exchange community in the world. Not the biggest, but the best.
There are all sorts of things that I want to continue to improve about our platform but one thing I can absolutely, confidently, hands-down, with both eyes closed, claim is that PLU is the best home exchange community in the world.
You show it every day in the way that you are, the way that you respect each other, and the kindness that you show to each other.
Thank you, PLU's, and Happy Founders' Day!